10 July, 2011

Women's World Cup: Brazil v USWNT Highlights

Damn, harder to find the highlights than you could believe, but here they are, because, damn, you need to watch this game. Replay is on ESPN2 tonight at 11pm CST and ESPN3...

Either way, a 2nd minute own goal off a bad deflection by Brazil opens the scoring for the US. It was a sweet cutback, and anyone will tell you, just get the ball in front of the net, because you never know what happens. Well, damn son if it wasn't a goal.

In the 2nd half, Brazil came out with a little extra fire under them and it showed when Marta put what was a debatable offsides flick on into the corner of the net for an equalizer. US defense just failed to mark and looked to the ref to make the call. Let that be a lesson to you kids.

Stoppage time proved equally nailbiting. Marta flung herself over US defender Buehler and the call , while debatable by many, the minute the ref had to call a foul, which was a 50/50, then that had to be a pk. On the ensuing pk, Solo deflected it wide and out of play, until the AR said that there was a need for a retake. What sucked was that ESPN repeatedly showed that a US player encroached into the box by a step before the pk, and by the rules of FIFA, that means the kick has to be retaken. They showed the video twice, but somehow, they got stuck on the fact that Solo proceeded to get a Yellow. What the announcers failed to grasp was that the card was for dissent and the retake, while it's been a long while since I saw one needing to be retaken (yes I'm aware of one game having the ref force 7 retakes in one play...) because it affected play, was a defendible call. The retake, there was nothing but net. Brazil up 2-1.

Then the shananigans started. Where the ref seemingly became the game, rather than the play, and the US down to 10, more attacking was pressed by the USWNT. Brazil started to collapse into a park the bus style with occassional counters, but... Erika, took what looked like a hit with the force equal to paper falling to her back, walked for a minute then collapse, necessitating her being carried off the pitch. Where, miraculously, she recovered in seconds, and was jogging full speed in under 30 seconds. Understandably, the ref issued her a yellow for time wasting (their 2nd time wasting yellow in stoppage). With literally seconds remaining, Rampinoe took the ball up the left wing and knocked a cross to the back post where both a Brazilian defender and the outstretched hands of their keeper missed the ball. Wambach did not, and the nice tinny sound of the ball clanking off the back post for a goal was drowned out by the thousands of fans in attendance as the seemingly time wasting Brazil shot themselves in the foot and gave the US a chance to come back.

If anyone tells you, don't take the US to penalty shootout on July 10th, be warned. The US has an unbelievable record of on that day. Now, I know days should have no effect, but that stat is one of the ridiculous.

In penalties, Daiane, the same one who found the back of her own net in the 2nd minute, sank Brazil. Her on target shot was sent wide by a leaping Hope Solo, for the only pk save in shootout, and Brazil dropped to the US 5-3 in pks. Stunner of a game and definitely a classic for those who think the girls game isn't as intense or fun. Next up, USWNT v France 12noon EST Wednesday.

Video: MangledExperience

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