Just days after it occurred on the pitch, the game-tying header scored by former Florida Gators striker Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2011 Women’s World Cup quarterfinal match against Brazil on Sunday won the ESPY for Best Play as announced during the award ceremony Wednesday evening.
Down 2-1 and facing the earliest elimination from World Cup play in United States history, Wambach converted a beautiful cross from Megan Rapinoe to tie the game and force a penalty kick shootout, which the Americans eventually won 5-3.
With the ESPYS set to air three days later, ESPN‘s producers decided to add the connection between Rapinoe and Wambach to the Best Play category as what they termed an “extra time” nomination on Wednesday. Even with only a short window for fans to vote (it is the only award that can be voted on until the night of the show), Wambach and the USA brought home one of the most prestigious awards from the event.
Defeating France 3-1 on Wednesday, the U.S. advanced to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1999. The Americans will face Japan on Sunday at 2 p.m. live on ESPN.