09 July, 2011

Women's World Cup: England v France Highlights

I caught the first half of this match on the tv at the gym. Honestly, I thought it would be a blowout win for France. Every time they had possession, they would take it right at the English and take a shot. Then I remembered an old saying by some idiot savant, "the team that scores the most goals wins". That was nearly the problem for France. Despite outshooting England 33 to 7 and doubling up on set pieces, the French held only a modest majority of possession 51:49. England struck first with a 59' goal from Jill Scott to open the scoring, and France needed a last minute goal from Bussaglia just to take it to extra time.

No one scored in regulation, and in penalties, France pulled it out. England's Camille Abily's shot was stopped by Bardsley. England then sent a limping Kelly Smith to the spot where she put it home. In the end, Claire Rafferty knocked her's wide and White clipped the crossbar to seal the fate of England. Great match.

Video: Footytube

Women's World Cup: Germany v Japan Highlights

Maruyama and Japan needed extra time to down hosts Germany. Maruyama came on at the start of the 2nd half and despite being outshot by a ratio of 2:1, Japan held the majority of possession and made it count. Japan moves on to take on Sweden in the Semis, 1-0.

Video: Footytube

08 July, 2011

Is Soccer Less Beautiful for the Fit?

I just read an interesting article on Soccer America today. It's definitely worth the read as the article is by a Masters of Sports Physiology student at John Moores University in Liverpool. The general premise is this, the game of soccer is growing and will continue to grow stale as long as FIFA does nothing to change the rules of the game to compensate for improved fitness of players.

The argument that the game is more boring and needs to be livened is not a new one. It has been around for years and is part of the human belief "that back in my day..." vein of thought where over time, a certain play or instance is gradually improved to the point where it is truly legend. Granted

U17 World Cup: Germany v Mexico Highlights

Mexico's Gomez scored in the 3rd minute, Germany equalized in the 10th (Samed Yesil), then Germany captain Emre Can scored a nice goal in the second half to put Germany up 2-1. But then it got crazy. Mexico's corner kick taker bent in a corner kick directly, called an "Olimpico" in Spanish, to tie the game while Gomez crashed heads with the defender on the far post (taking him out of the play) and needed to get his head bandaged up. Gomez returned to action with a big bandage on his head, and in the 91st minute, he bicycle kicked a teammates flick header from a corner and scored one hell of a golazo. The Mexican crowd went ape. 6 minutes of injury time later, Mexico advances to the final to take on Uruguay.

Video: 666FinalGoal1

U17 World Cup: Brazil v Uruguay Highlights

In what bizarro world do we live that Brazil gets handed a beating at the hands of Uruguay? Apparently, the one where Alvarez converts a penalty after the Brazil keeper seemingly is snapped in half and as usual Brazil forgets what defense is as a completely unmarked Uruguay put the nail in the coffin with their 3rd goal in stoppage.

Video: Anatoliy_65

07 July, 2011

Women's World Cup: Sweden v USWNT Highlights

Well played Sweden. The USWNT continues a string of firsts. First they don't make the CONCACAF finals and have to play Italy in a play off even to be in the Cup, then they are the only CONCACAF team to make it out of the first round, oh and they lose their first group stage match... ever. That said, the US had an exceedingly tough schedule and with this loss, they put themselves in the unenviable position of now facing Brazil in the quarterfinals. If they should lose to Brazil, it will be the quickest elimination ever for the USWNT and the first time they didn't place in the top 3.

Dahlqvist and Fischer both score in the first half for Sweden as the US gets a token late goal from Wambach to keep the scoreline respectable in this match as the US more than doubles the Swedish shots on goal with 20.

Video: Best Football Highlights

U-17 Worlds Semifinals Tonight

The semifinals of the U-17 FIFA World Championships will take place tonight. First, Brazil and Uruguay meet at Estadio Guadalajara. Secondly, Germany takes on the hosts Mexico at Nuevo Estadio Corona in Torreon. My picks for the finals are Brazil and Germany, but don't count out the home team. Both Brazil and Germany have been vulnerable in the previous matches, and can be beaten, but my opinion is that they will both win tonight.

06 July, 2011

Women's World Cup: France v Germany Highlights

In what proved to be one of the must see games of this year's Cup, Germany and France both came out swinging. A 4-2 result with French keeper Berangere Sapowicz seeing red make this game a nailbiter from beginning to end. In the final table though, Germany wins the game and the group while both move on to the knockout round where England takes on France and Germany will face Japan.

Video: footytube

Women's World Cup: Mexico v New Zealand Highlights

Mexico scores two early in what should be an easy cruise to the knockout stages only to give up not one, but two injury time goals knocking both out of the competition. Late goals by Smith and Wilkinson prove the difference makers.

Video: footytube

Women's World Cup: Canada v Nigeria Highlights

Nkwocha scores to earn Nigeria its first Women's World Cup win since 1999. Nigeria came out to win this one as they dominated Canada in possession and shots.

Video: footytube

Women's World Cup: England v Japan Highlights

Japan just couldn't get anything going right in this match. The team known for it's set piece effectiveness dominated possession and shots, but it was England that scored when it mattered. A 16' minute goal by the youngest player on the English squad, Ellen White, opened the door for England with a nice flick on that lobbed the keeper and is one of the goals of the tourney. Yankey put the nail in the coffin for Japan with a late strike that guaranteed that the English would move on. They'll meet long time foes, France, in the knockout stages on July 9th.

Video: Footytube

03 July, 2011

Women's World Cup: North Korea v Sweden Highlights

Sweden looks a little less dominating, but they take double the shots despite North Korea playing a more controlled possession game. Apparently, Kim Jong Il's telepathy is in more control and the effects of the lightning on the North Korean players is cured as Sweden comes out 1-0 winners. Dahlqvist is the lone scorer. US and Sweden move on with only their head to head to determine who will play Brazil in the quarterfinals.

Video: Brasiliero2011tv

Women's World Cup: Colombia v USWNT Highlights

Just miles from Heidelburg and a US base, the USWNT looked to move on to the second round of the World Cup. Colombia had the difficult task of minimizing the attack of the US and trying to hold on for a draw or keep it close like they did with a strong Swedish team. The US attacked early and often, with nearly double the shots and a majority of the possession. An early deflected shot from the US' forward Rodriguez resulted in some bandaging of the Colombia keepers hand and debatably, this may have affected her ability to handle the ball, which was most notable for the 3rd goal by the US which deflected off her hands from distance and careened into the goal. O'reilly opens the scoring with Rapinoe scoring again off the bench and Lloyd capping off the route by the 57th minute.

There is a replay of the game available here on ESPN3.

Video: Brasilierotv2011

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