July 4th, 2011

Weekend Results: A Declaration of Intent

Roque! We missed you, baby! Image: REUTERS/Jorge Adorno/Daylife

For some, Independence Day is an opportunity to contemplate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and it’s implications for citizens of the globe. For Kickette staff, it is an opportunity to not do any work. All day. You might think this is sheer laziness, but actually is requires quite a lot of strategic planning; we have to constantly ensure we are in an area with no wifi, broadband or cell signal, in case our Editor changes her mind and tries to round us up.

You have Weekend Results, featuring the highlights of both the Copa America and the Women’s World Cup. Treasure them. We’re not sure if anything else (apart from empty bottles) will make it out of here today.

Copa America

Group A

Sergio Aguero is just relieved he can breathe. Image: MIGUEL ROJO/AFP/Getty Images/Daylife

With three goals scored in four matches, Brazil failing to beat Venezuela in their opening match and Argentina held to a 1-1 draw by Bolivia, our Copa America correspondent has been forced to head to the broom cupboard to seek out and dust off the cliches. She’s come up with ‘the first group games in a major tournament are rarely a reflection of the quality on show’. It’ll do for now.

With the game being played at an altitude not normally requiring an additional oxygen supply (the last time these two met Argentina were tonked 6-1, but the stadium the match was played in was 3,600 metres above sea-level, which *may* have given the home side an advantage ) we would have expected a typical Argentina side to cruise to a comfortable win. In the event, they spent most of the match playing catch-up after Bolivian midfielder Edivaldo Rojas’ 47th minute opener; Tevez, Lavezzi and Cambiasso all missing good chances. Sergio Aguero saved his side from the embarrassment of a group stage defeat with a goal shortly after he replaced Lavezzi.

The 1-1 draw leaves Argentina and Bolivia joint second in the Group A table, two points behind Colombia. They beat Costa Rica 1-0 in a feisty encounter that saw Randall Brenes sent off for a poor challenge in the twenty-eighth minute. He will be doubly pleased with that as he is the first Costa Rica player to be red carded in a Copa America. A dubious honour, but one to enjoy with the ‘rents, no?

Group B

Despite failing to score, Neymar was able to evade the fashion police for another fixture. Image: REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian/Daylife

If you think that Group A was a disappointing start to the competition, don’t be looking at Group B for excitement. Brazil vs. Venezuela and Paraguay vs. Ecuador both ended in 0-0 draws, which made the table interesting to look at, but that’s all. The best that can be said is that both Neymar and Pato came close in Brazil’s game, while Roque Santa Cruz looked hot (top) for Paraguay. You can expect us to keep you fully updated on how the latter issue manifests itself in further games.

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Women’s World Cup

Group A

We’re afraid that Cristiano is going to see this picture and consider growing his hair for extra photographic impact. Gulp. Image: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender/Daylife

No mucking about in Group A, where France and Germany are in pole position with two wins out of two and Canada and Nigeria are out. France’s 4-0 defeat of the Canadians in their second group fixture was pretty decisive, but the same cannot be said for the heavily favoured Germans, who struggled against a brave Nigeria side and as yet haven’t displayed anything like the form that saw them win in previous years.

Birgit Prinz’ performances have been particularly worrisome by her own ridic standards, and it was Simone Laudehr who broke the deadlock after half-time with a fabulous volley. The game finished 1-0 and France lead the group by superior goal difference.

Group B

Nahomi Kawasumi (r) is probably the only Japanese currently hoping that Homara Sawa doesn’t score another tournament hat-trick. Image: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/Daylife

Group B is a much more disorganised affair, thanks to Japan. Having held England to a 1-1 draw in their opening fixture, Mexico might have sniffed an opportunity to get themselves into contention against the team who narrowly beat New Zealand 2-1 last time out. But Japan’s tight, skillful and gifted side had other ideas and beat Mexico 4-0, a goal from Shinobu Ohno and a hat-trick by Homare Sawa putting them in pole for their final group game against England, who barely scraped a 2-1 win over New Zealand.

The Kiwis took the lead through Sarah Gregorius, before Jill Scott’s equaliser on sixty-three minutes. Coach Hope Powell’s decision to replace Rachel Yankey with Jess Clarke might well prove to have saved England’s campaign as the Lincoln winger scored the winning goal on eighty-one. England now need a draw against Japan tomorrow to stand a chance of moving through to the knockout stages.

Group C

Um… ow? Heather O’Reilly takes one for the team that may well have killed any one of us mere mortals. You watching, boys? Image: Reuters/Daylife

Consecutive wins for the USA and Sweden see them both qualify, while Columbia and North Korea are both out without scoring a goal. Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd all scored for the US, while Lisa Dahlkvist’s goal against North Korea assured a play-off between the top two for group winning glory.

It really can be that simple and straightforward, y’know.

Group D

See what happens when you spend all that time practicing football and fail to work on your goal celebration? Marta (r)? Are you listening? Image: Scott Heavey/Getty Images/Daylife

Brazil consolidated on their 1-0 victory against Australia with a 3-0 battering of Norway that takes them comfortably through to the quarter-finals. The ‘impossible to contain’ Marta scored two of the goals while Rosana added to her tournament tally with another in the first few minutes of the second half. Norway can still qualify if they beat Australia on Wednesday, and this looks the more likely scenario after the Aussies struggled to beat Equatorial Guinea. The game finished 3-2, but while the referee’s failure to spot a handball of Thierry Henry proportions by Equatorial Guinea defender Bruna can be cited as an excuse, the Australians are going to need to improve their play if they stand a chance of qualifying.

Got a team involved in one of these competitions? Are you proud or peeved about their performances to date?

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55 Responses to “Weekend Results: A Declaration of Intent”

  1. rockerita_coati says:

    Enjoying Copa América so far. Roque was as perfect as ever… but I'm so glad he didn't score against us. lol.

  2. LuvinBale says:

    I watched the US game against Colombia and it was great!
    My lord those ladies have pace and are tough as nails.

    I saw an attempt on goal by Megan Rapinoe that shook the goal because it was coming in at such a pace. WOW!!

    Is the USMT watching this ? This is how you come out of the gate swingin'! Boo Yah!!!

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks so much again for all the WWC coverage, Kickette. Marta is like unto a tiny footballing god.

  4. RAFAela says:

    Roque I love you!!! More Roque please!!

  5. MafiUndomiel says:

    Up until yesterady, I would have said that the Copa América was quite boring. Draws, little goals, all teams playing as safely as possible. And then along came Chile… As an Argie, we're not THAT fond of them (lol), but boy they can play ball!!!!! Hubby and me were more than impressed, and when México scored their goal, we couldn't believe it, but they dug themselves out of that hole (yep, terrible pun, I know. But at the same time, an excellent one- I'm crediting my man for it!)
    I'm now looking forward to second games, since things are so even that favourites are no longer favourites at all.

    One HUGE bit of criticism: do they need to play that late? REALLY? Las night Chile and México were playing in a terrible cold, it was below 0! Chilean players might be used, but I don't think Mexican players are. That is clearly a disadvantage, and quite stupid if you ask me (mummy mode: on) because all you're going to get is injured/ ill players out of that.

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      Yes,indeed! It is really late, the only games played kind on early are Brazil, but the rest I really find it hard to follow, since I need to get up early, I am missing them.

      The weather remind me of SA in world cup!

  6. essjay says:

    I'VE MISSED ROQUE!!!!!!! COME BACK HUNNY!!!

    Can we please get some more Roque? Look how yummy he is!!!!

  7. pao says:

    Kickettes, you spelled Colombia wrong! -_-

  8. GigiSantaCruz says:

    Is it wrong that I was more anxious about the Paraguay match than that of my country, Brazil???? Not coz I don't support my team, I always do, even when they play a crappy game like yesterday… But because in Paraguay there's Roque, who barely gets TV time when playing the Premier League!!!! Never been happier to share frontiers with Roque's land!!! hehehe

  9. Lisette says:

    Equatorial Guinea had to kick two of their players off because they were – allegedly – male:

    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/06/25/…

    Although, considering that the Nigerians were the ones doing the protest, it could well be false.

  10. Deb S says:

    Japan had a fantastic game.

    Of course, I can't help but feel badly for Mexico. However they do have quite a young team. Their keeper is only 16 and starting in the WC. O_o So definitely they should feel some accomplishment for being in the WC and even better about the future of their team.

  11. Lily says:

    I think that so far Copa America has been far from boring. This week's results show that the tournament won't be dominated by Brazil and Argentina, the underdogs will fight back and it will be one surprise after the next. I always support Brazil but they have a terrible habit of having too much confidence and underestimating their opponents.

  12. alessandra says:

    i was waiting all freaken day for the paraguay match yesterday, but they showed a freaken movie instead?!

  13. mochara says:

    Poor Neymar, he really should have scored yesterday. He was still looking sexy as always though!
    My cousin's baby was born today!! :) (ok I know it's off subject but it is Independance day…) Happy Holidays everyone!

  14. maria says:

    thanks for the coverage of the women's wc, i really appreaciate it, but please (and sorry for the nitpicking, because i really love kickette), it's COLOMBIA, not columbia (sorry, feeling slightly patriotic – and sad that they'll be going home, but still, it's great that they even were there). so, now that i got that out, i feel much better ;-)

  15. Wow says:

    Roque,Roque,Roque,Roque santa Hot!

    • Wow says:

      If you miss him so much, than why do you not bring him back into our lives more often???????

  16. mamaly says:

    Come on Kickette, not to much of the women WC.
    They are doing great, but Martha does not rock my boat as Iker or Nando, not to mention Sergio.
    Bring on the thumbs down.

  17. Lisdlotte says:

    You spelt VENEZUELA wrong. And I'm dissapointed no one is actually crediting my country (Venezuela) for their great defense against Brazil, you have no idea how bad our results have been against them, having this draw means a lot to us, yet everybody is just talking about how bad Brazil was.

    • Annafcb says:

      I’m neutral as I don’t support either team but I thought Venezuela played well! The defense guy, Vizcarrondo, was brilliant. I think the problem is we all expected Brazil to do better. The referee was rubbish though, I’m surprised no one’s mentioned his partiality toward the reigning champions. Keeping a team as talented as Brazil at bay is no small feat, so cheers!

    • Deb S says:

      I did on my FB & Twitter. :) They played fantastically against Brazil in spite of that fact that most people counted them out before the game even started.

      I am glad to see these guys giving it everything they got!

    • Siv says:

      I didn't think Brazil played that badly at all, so full credit to the Venezuelan defense and your goalkeeper makes Sergio Romero (Argentina) look incompetent.

  18. Sarah says:

    Columbia is the American city and the University, Colombia is the country!

  19. Shelley says:

    Im glad Nigeria are OUT! They didn't do well as the Nigerian FA and coach are homophobic and they kicked all the lesbians out of the team. They should not have played in the competition and Im glad they are taking their sorry discriminatory asses home….

    • blitzenTO says:

      Wow, really? I didn't know that, not that I'm surprised. Unfortunately. Now I really hope Canada kicks their collective butts tomorrow. We get at least one good result, and haters get nothing. *crossing fingers*

      • Deb S says:

        "Uche said that she has used religion in an attempt to rid her team of homosexual behavior, which she termed a “dirty issue,” and “spiritually, morally very wrong.”

        The newspaper also quoted a former technical assistant for the country’s soccer federation, James Peters, saying that he had removed some players from Nigeria’s women’s team last year, “not because they were not good players, but because they were lesbians.” "
        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/sports/soccer/i…

        it's really a shame.

      • Lisette says:

        "…not that I'm surprised. Unfortunately."

        Me, neither. The kind of homophobia I get from Africans, particularly Nigerians, is a nightmare. There's something about being told that "it's a shame you're not a real woman" or "tolerance of homosexuality and Darwinian theory caused AIDS" that just makes you avoid certain areas, y'know?

        • xoWinnie says:

          totally agree. one of my best friend is Ugandan, and he honestly refuses to step foot back in that country. the h o m o phobia there is appalling. he can't even stand his dad's side of the family (he's only half). it's really sad. so much hatred and judgment.

          • Shelley says:

            Yeah agreed, Uganda were trying to bring in a law to have gay people sentenced to death. Its very hard to prove though. But gay activists, even straight Christian gay activist priests have been de-capitated etc in Uganda for speaking up for gay people. The Ugandan govt have shelved plans to bring in this new law at the moment because of pressure from other countries, but the problem is still there. Plus some Christian aid charities have been blamed for their stance on homosexuality as influencing the attitude in Africa through aid programmes etc. It really must be stopped, and what better way than through football? @SeppBlatter does not care though, look at his comments about gay people not being able to go to Qatar WC? Shocking (I'm straight by the way)

            • Lilly says:

              A general point, addressed to no one in particular:
              It's easy to condemn, difficult to understand. We need to see WHY this is happening.
              People in Africa are the way they are due to their circumstances. Poverty and lack of education breed cruelty. The problem isn't confined to the treatment of homosexuals.
              People are superstitious out of desperation. Making their life less desperate will help their society become more humane. But this means funds and infrastructure need to be properly invested, not just money thrown at them (how much of it actually ends up in the pockets of politicians?). Redistribution of wealth sounds good in theory, but how many of us would actually carry it out if it meant fewer amenities for us? A study showed that the $ europeans spend annually on wine alone would be sufficient to eradicate Africa's debt. How many of us would agree to stay teetotal in order to help Africa?
              Deep rooted social problems cannot be tackled by sitting on our couches and pontificating about how people should be, people of whose struggles we know nothing about.

    • EspePique says:

      You are toatlly right! FIFA could at least suspend her or something.

  20. Tee says:

    yeah argentina, keep leaving higuain out…
    lord knows that's been working out for you

    • Siv says:

      yea, and what was with starting Lavezzi anyway?? That guy is so patchy I hope we never start him again. Also, the game got so much better when he put on Di Maria.

  21. blitzenTO says:

    MARTAAAAA!!!!!!! Queen of the world! That is all.

    Canada out. Guess I’m cheering for…Germany? Or anybody but the US. Sorry, ladies, nothing personal.

    And is it just me, or are the Copa America games kind of…lame…so far? The women’s competition is a lot more fun, plus they don’t fall down as often. If the men want to get me more interested, they will have to start taking their shirts off, asap!

    • xoWinnie says:

      LOL! "anyone but the US!" you sound like my mom!

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      so lame too lol! U-17 is better, Brazil has a very promising team, BUT again I know Copa really start to get interesting in quarter final, but <crossingfingers> Brazil, Argentine..etc start to perform so far it is not looking good!

    • Happy 4th! says:

      Hater much? USA all the way!

      • blitzenTO says:

        It's called a rivalry. You know, Canada/US, Argentina/Brazil, ManU/Man City. Like I said, it's nothing personal.

        • Sarah, Madrid says:

          dont you forget England/Argentine! I think it is worse than with Brazil.

    • Deb S says:

      Marta is outstanding. I've watched her play in the WPS league here…wow!

      No offense taken about cheering for someone other than US. ;)

      Yeah…waiting for some excitement in the Copa America. I hope it's just that Argentina & Brazil came out lackadaisical since they were heavy favorites to win those games. Maybe the draws will serve as a wake up call? I also thought if the coach had started DiMaria & El Kun and/or played Pipita, that it might have been a better game for Argentina? Maybe he was resting them for the "tougher" games?

      I'm really proud of the guys on the "non-favored to win" teams. They are in it to win it! Well done guys!

  22. Sarah, Madrid says:

    wow! Copa so far is not living up to Par, I am counting on Uruguay to save IT!

    I always have been a fan of Argentine, liked them because of bati-goal, always been one of my favs, BUT what was that! really what was that, 3 DMF!, why! Ever! the mistake horrible, the back-line?, Messi (!!!!!!!), I dont get what was Pastore doing on the bench, he is soo cute to be benched anyway, Banega needs a hair-cut NOW! Kun was really something, starting to grow on me, if not for Atelti he would been a fav! – I dont think Argentine should adapt the Barc style, they should play more with 2 DMF and a 10 like pastore with Higuain upfront – YES WHY NO PIPA! I was up waiting for him to show! Al Checho didn't like you for benching Pipa!
    Btw, I am harsh on them because I like them, I always cheer for the host to win, for their people they deserve it.

    Let' me just the hair-style in Brazil was really distracting from the game, Alves (???!!!), Robinho No!!..

    • Deb S says:

      omg! Alves' hair is awful, isn't it? I saw a picture recently with Neymar's hair down and "normal" and it looked quite good, imo. These guys are famous enough, they don't need the crazy hair for people to take notice and remember them. :o

    • Siv says:

      I agree with everything you said! I'm a huge fan of la Albiceleste (even more than la roja) and I'm really hoping they'll step it up and win this time. The starting XI surprised me when it was announced on afa.org.ar, like wth NO Di Maria, NO attacking midfielders, and LAVEZZI??? Please, don't ever start him again ahead of Pipita or even Kun. Glad Zanetti and Cambiasso are back though. Maradona did one thing right: he knew the only way Argentina can win is with attacking players. That starting XI was too defensive (and unnecessary against Bolivia!).

    • Bri says:

      agreed. no pipa is unacceptable.

  23. Angela says:

    the brazil vs venezuela game was disappointing
    the women world cup is really exciting though every game is like a plethora of goals

  24. lalalala says:

    I was really disappointed coz argentina didn`t win…..
    but i was more disapointed coz Higi didn`t played!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :'(

    • Deb S says:

      Was happy to see DiMaria and El Kun substituted in. They both really had an impact on the team….a lovely cross in from DiMaria, Messi chests it to El Kun…back of the net. But yeah…was hoping Higuain would have played. :

      • Sarah, Madrid says:

        It wasn't Messi who chested it, although I get it they all look similiar argentine' players from a distant ^_^, it was Nico (Burdisso)! yeah Angel changed the game, he was pretty good although I perfer him at the right.

  25. tapioca says:

    Nice to see the Brazilian ladies showing their menfolk how it's done!! Also, the US kit is hideous – like a really cheap polyester white shirt. They should go for something more stars and stripes and Wonder Woman-esque.

    • April says:

      They really did our US ladies no favors with that uniform. I think that they think it has some womanly lines or something, but I've not found myself liking it at any angle. It's just awkward looking.

      But then, I am not a fan of this year's USMNT jersey either. Much preferred the blue with white sash of all the recent jerseys. No offense to Nike, because I dig them for much of the other footy gear, but they should leave the shirt and shorts to Adidas.