04 August, 2012

Olympic Final Four

The unlikely quarterfinal run of Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza (pictured) and the Honduras Olympic team has come to an end. Honduras seized a 1-0 lead over Brazil, and then a 2-1 lead in the second half on a goal by Roger Espinoza, but Brazil would equalize and then take a 3-2 lead on a pair of brilliant plays by Neymar. Mario Martinez scored in the 12th minute for Honduras, then Leandro Damiao tied the game a little before halftime. Roger Espinoza put Honduras back on top early in the second half, but then Neymar, playing attacking midfield, delivered the ball to the big goal scorer Leandro Damiao, who was fouled in the box. Neymar converted the penalty kick to tie the game 2-2, and then the magic happened. In the 60th minute, Neymar delivered a truly beautiful pass to Leandro Damiao near the penalty spot, and Leandro Damiao scored his second goal of the match. All credit for the second two goals should go to Neymar, however, and he is without a doubt the best player of any age at the Olympic games. The crowd at St James Park in Newcastle gave Roger Espinoza a standing ovation when he left early with his second yellow card, and gave the entire Honduras team another standing O when they left the field. As did I, watching at home. Congratulations, Honduras. It is not known whether Roger Espinoza will re-join Sporting KC by the 8th of August for the US Open Cup final at Livestrong Sporting Park against the Seattle Sounders.

02 August, 2012

Cool Stuff of the Day

We know you are looking for something to do when not watching the Olympic soccer or Women's Gymnastics, so here you go:
This is a concept design by Swedish/English design firm, Oscar & Ewan. Pretty damn cool even if you can't eat off it... possibly slap a class top on there and you got yourself a pimp dinner table. Better start convincing the wife.

Photo: Oscar & Ewan

01 August, 2012

Olympic Men's Quarterfinal Matchups

I am literally pressing "publish" as soon as the final whistle blows in this Olympic soccer match between the combined team of Great Britain and Uruguay, which will determine the quarterfinal pairings in the Olympic games. Great Britain leads 1-0 in Cardiff, with a first half strike from Daniel Sturridge standing up as the game's only goal, and Group A runner-up Senegal is tied 1-1 againt United Arab Emirates for the second quarterfinal place.

The quarterfinal matches will all take place Saturday, August 4. First, Group D winner Japan will play against Group C runner-up Egypt at Old Trafford, Manchester. The second match is Group B winner Mexico against Group A runner-up Senegal at Wembley Stadium, London. The third match is Group C winner Brazil against surprising Group D runner-up Honduras at St James Park, Newcastle. Finally, the host Great Britain team, winners of Group A, will remain in Wales to play against Group B runner-up South Korea at Millenium Stadium, Cardiff.

31 July, 2012

US Women Perfect

I just watched the US Women's Olympic team defeat North Korea 1-0 at Old Trafford. The TV commentators mentioned that Hope Solo (pictured) and the US Women have not allowed a goal in 256 minutes, since the 14th minute of the opener against France when France seized an unlikely 2-0 lead en route to a 4-2 US victory.

Today, in the 25th minute, Alex Morgan broke away into the North Korea penalty area to beat everyone else to a long ball, drew the defense, and then found a wide open Abby Wambach who easily netted the game's only goal.

Congratulations to the US Women for their best start in group play of any Olympic games, even though they have won three of the four Olympic Gold Medals awarded in Women's soccer, this is the first time they have finished group play with three wins.

Photo: Getty

30 July, 2012

Abby Wambach Breaks US Olympic Record

On Saturday, the US Women clinched a quarterfinal spot after only two games with a 3-0 win over Colombia. Megan Rapinoe scored first for the US in the 33rd minute, and then the headlines were written six minutes later when Lady Andrade of Colombia, frustrated at the aggressive play by the much stronger US women, punched Abby Wambach in the face. Yesterday, Abby twittered this picture of her black eye. She stayed in the game and, in the 74th minute, Abby scored her seventh career Olympic goal, breaking the US record for most career Olympic goals, over Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett, who are tied with six apiece. Carli Lloyd added one more goal and the US women have already won the group with a match still remaining against North Korea.


Honduras Eliminates Spain from Olympics

All of a sudden, losing the second CONCACAF Olympic qualifying spot to Honduras doesn't look so bad. After losing their opening match 1-0 to Japan on a first half goal by Yuki Otsu followed by a red card to Inigo Martinez (you killed my father, prepare to die) reduced Spain to ten men, Spain lost their second Olympic group stage match by the same score, 1-0, to Honduras. The two losses officially eliminate the favored Spanish team. Jerry Bengston of Honduras easily out-jumped Spanish defender Jordi Alba to head a Roger Espinoza cross into the net in the seventh minute. Spain, being the superior team, attacked far more throughout the rest of the game, but Honduras goalkeeper Jose Mendoza preserved the shutout with a little help from the goal frame, as Adrian Lopez and Iker Muniain both struck the woodwork for Spain in the second half.

Japan leads Group D with 6 points after two games, with Honduras coming up next. Honduras is currently second in the group with 4 points after two games, so a win over Japan gives the group to Honduras. The winner of Group D avoids probable Group C winner Brazil in the knockout round.

The other CONCACAF entry, Mexico, is tied atop Group B with South Korea, with 4 points each, as they tied each other 0-0 in their opening match. Mexico has a +2 GD and faces Switzerland in their final Group Stage game, while South Korea has a +1 GD and faces last place Gabon in their finale. The top two teams in each group advance to the quarterfinal knockout round, so the four teams (Japan, South Korea, Honduras, Mexico) have all but clinched quarterfinal positions. However, the Japan/Honduras match determines who must face Brazil in the round of 8.

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