July 11th, 2011

Weekend Results: From Egregious To Electrifying

A picture of a hot, victorious goalkeeper holding a small child would normally be a shoo-in for the lead in a results post. We see no reason to deviate from this policy just because Hope Solo happens to be a woman. Image: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images/Daylife.

Please make your way through the results post with caution. We wouldn’t want you to drift off to your happy place during our coverage of the Copa America, only to spill your morning beverage in your lap when you read the Women’s World Cup reports.

A lapful of coffee is a tough look to pull off, even for an experienced Kickette.

Copa America

Group A

Congratulations to Colombia, who beat Bolivia 2-0 on Sunday to become the first side through to the quarter finals. Potential Chelsea target Radamel Falcao did his prospects of a high profile move from current club, Porto, no harm at all by scoring both goals, including a penalty after Santos Amador’s foul.

Where does that leave Argentina and their failure to launch? Well, due to the complex qualifying system in place at the Copa America (ok, it’s not that complex, we’re just thick) we’re not sure, but we did some ‘research’ and learned that the top two and the two best third-place teams qualify for the next round. We then found a calculator, did some sums and worked out that Argentina must win their match against Costa Rica tonight to nab second spot and be sure to stay in the competition. We didn’t need a calculator to work out that Bolivia are out. Which is something of an  achievement for us, we think.

Group B

Sorry, but his lack of league action last season compels us to lead all posts involving Roque with an image of him. We won’t fight it. Image: Reuters/Daylife.

We don’t need technological assistance to see that Brazil are sailing close to the wind too. Their opening match against Venezuela yielded a mere one point and they only managed to double that after drawing 2-2 with Paraguay on Saturday. To make matters worse, a last minute goal from Fred was required to collect the point, after the delectable Roque Santa Cruz (see above for supporting evidence) equalised and Nelson Haedo Valdez struck midway through the second half. You worried, Brazil fans, or are your boys just warming up?

Whatever the reason behind their unexpected results to date, Venezuela clearly don’t give a crap, as they currently sit atop the group. A match winning strike from Cesar Gonzalez in the second half snatched the three points in a fierce game against Ecuador, whose only hope of qualification is a win against Brazil on Wednesday. Interesting times, no?

Group C

It’s not just the results that have been disappointing. The lack of nudity in the Copa America is a problem for us too. Image: REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado/Daylife

Chile are also traversing the dizzy heights of top spot after Uruguay were unable to live up to their billing. Again. Alex Sanchez cancelled out Alvaro Pereira’s 53rd minute strike, which coupled with Chile’s 2-1 defeat of Mexico puts them on four points. In the other Group C game, Peru’s 1-0 over Mexico means they are well placed to qualify for the next round at Uruguay’s expense. Uruguay must beat a rather battered Mexico side on Tuesday to stay in the mix.

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Women’s World Cup

Ellen White and Faye White assume the post penalty position for England. Image: Christof Koepsel/Getty Images/Daylife.

At last some normality, although not of the type the English contingent of Kickettes will like. When France equalised in the 87th minute against a knackered England side, those of us in the office who were watching sort of knew that penalties were inevitable. We did want to believe that Faye White et al might do us a favour and ‘show the boys how to do it’ as Jack Wilshere put it, thus garnering lots of much deserved positive press attention for the girls. Sadly, it was not to be and after a great start, Claire Rafferty and then White missed the target and the French won 4-3.

Intriguingly, boss Hope Powell has accused her players of ‘cowardice’ after they failed to put themselves forward for the penalties, so it appears that the usual aftermath of accusations and rhetoric when England fail to perform in a major tournament is just about to kick-off. Oh joy.

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The height disparity was not an issue for the Japanese players. Image: ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images/Daylife.

Also thrilled at the prospect of facing their public will be favourites Germany, who were unceremoniously dumped out of the tournament on Saturday by Japan. The game went to ninety minutes without a goal, due in no small part to Japan’s defensive capabilities, but in extra time Karina Maruyama struck and sent her side through to a semi-final against Sweden, who beat Australia 3-1. Far be it from us to make predictions, but Japan are looking pretty good at the mo. Any of you guys think they stand a chance?

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Marta. Gutted. Image: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images/Daylife.

Marta scored two. The USA had Rachel Buehler sent off for a tackle in the penalty area. But as you USWNT fans might vaguely recall when you crawl out from the ditch you have been celebrating in, Abby Wambach popped up in the dying seconds of normal time to head home for extra time, which then went to penalties, giving girlcrush of the year candidate Hope Solo the opportunity to save Daiane’s shot and put the US through to the semi-finals.

Seriously. Of all of the tournament games we have watched this summer, this was the most incredible. If it isn’t sufficient to garner some seriously heavy coverage of the Women’s World Cup and the women’s game in general, we despair.

Did you watch it? And have you located your handbags/shoes/housekeys yet, US Kickettes?

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63 Responses to “Weekend Results: From Egregious To Electrifying”

  1. essjay says:

    I gave up reading after I saw that pic of Roque… Yuuuummm!

  2. Wendy says:

    GO CANADA! jk.. we suck.

  3. sarrible says:

    And let’s not forget the best part of a northern hemisphere summer tournament: no base layers!

  4. Lisette says:

    You know ESPN edited out one of Hope Solo’s nipples?

    http://deadspin.com/5820010/whos-afraid-of-hope-solos-nipple

  5. Deb S says:

    What I have enjoyed the most about the Copa America is the way all the "underdogs" have gone into the Copa with everything they've got. Some of the countries represented are so much smaller (read smaller populations so fewer players to choose from) and yet their talent has been equal to the much bigger countries.

    I don't know what's going on with Brazil but they surely have adjusted their tactics for the teams they play against. Alves continued to push high up the pitch even after he was getting exploited by Venezuela. Ramirez saved his a$$ more than a few times. And just think if Brazil's coach had subbed Fred in for Neymar earlier in the game? Talk about an impact player!

    Argentina…I blame it on their coach. He obviously does not know the strengths of his players. Even after El Kun & DiMaria had such a big impact when subbed in for Argentina's first match, Batista sticks with the same starting line up for Colombia. Colombia's speed was WAY too much for the people he had out there. Meanwhile DiMaria's sitting on the bench the entire game. So happy Batista woke up in time for their game with Costa Rica.

    • Sarah, Madrid says:

      Diego's tactic is the best afterall, this is the ironic part, isn't it? I am in love with Aguero and Higain role on the pitch was ver important, he needs to work on his finishs because it has been a while since he played and started too.

  6. Deb S says:

    As much as I felt sorry for Germany getting knocked out, Japan going through brought tears to my eyes. Not only for the tragedy their country has suffered this past year but because these girls never stopped believing. The poured their hearts and souls into winning that match in a game very few expected them to win. Well done ladies! You are an inspiration to us all!

  7. FCC says:

    WHERE IS U-17 COVERAGE? :/

  8. GigiSantaCruz says:

    Oh my! What a weekend to be a Brazilian!!! Sad and disappointed, that's how I'm feeling… The kiddos from U17 eliminated, the women's loss to the US, the lame men's NT match ( which, btw, was completely and properly used by me to pay attention to Roque <3 ) and then the great volleyball's loss to Russia… Def, a weekend to forget!!
    I agree with all the comments on the 'ugly' match our Brazilian girls played. The nerves surely got the best of them. And to answer a question posted by Catie2838: yes, there's a COMPLETE lack of investment (unfortunately) on women's soccer here in my country. Who's to blame? CBF and that sack of poop who runs it, aka Ricardo Teixeira.

    • LisaB says:

      notice how there were five stars on the Brazil women's shirt? apparently the CBF didn't invest enough money in women's football to make the team new shirts so they made the women wear the men's team kit. Just shocking considering this is BRAZIL we're talking about here.

  9. gillianrosh says:

    Hope Solo + Abby Wambach = BAMF.

  10. Agnes Wonka says:

    I'm so sad that Uruguay U-21 NT lost the final! congrats to Mexico though…

  11. Agnes Wonka says:

    the WWC is getting a bit surprising, but Copa America has been so dissapointing till the moment…

  12. ftblmum says:

    Not gay, but just I may have to be more open to allow Hope Solo on my personal Finest Five. Best match EVER!

    • FootballDaze says:

      I am gay, but Xabi Alonso and Nando Torres have solid spots in my Top 5. All is fair in love and football :)

  13. Hannah says:

    that game was AMAZING!! even though i was cheering for USA i am NOW!! p.s hope solo is FLAWLESS

  14. lulu6 says:

    That's right, Venezuela don't give a crap! Vamos Vinotinto!!! WOOT WOOT!

  15. Kallie says:

    Hope Solo has stolen my boyfriend's attention. Please help.

  16. Catie2838 says:

    Oh my gosh, I was screaming bloody murder at the TV and flailing my arms in anger while my boyfriend just about crushed his beer bottle in silent agony… and then Abby Wambach got that perfect header. And thank god because I was having flashbacks to the US/Ghana game last summer (dear FIFA, WTF is with your choices in refs). Oh sweet, sweet relief!! Seriously, Hope Solo is boss.

    I don't know all the details surrounding Brazil (some say they need more money and time to invest into the women's team, which may very well be true), but I have never seen a team disintegrate into whiny, petty shenanigans so quickly. It's not the worst I've seen, but it was disappointing. They have the talent to play a good legit game (and the best player in the world!), but instead chose to let their emotions get the best of them and use dirty, annoying tactics. That's just sad.

  17. Lotte says:

    Thank God for the womens orld Cup!! The drama, the suspense, the quality! And my Swedish ladies is in the semifinals! Yeeaaah!

    And I'm so happy for the US!

  18. Anon says:

    Woo! Go USA girls!!!! :D
    Kind of bummed out that you didn’t mention the U-17 world cup champions Mexico!! That was an exciting game!

  19. Heather says:

    That game had the worst refereeing I have seen in a while. Also Brazil played in such an unsportsmanlike manner it brought that team down. They should be fined for the atrocious antics they displayed towards the end of the game. A disgraceful match which is unfortunate because there are so many players on the team with such skill.

  20. LisaB says:

    Happy for the USWNT but I'm so gutted for Marta, the same way I'm (going to be) gutted for Lio Messi. The best player of his/her generation is probably going to finish their career without lifting the World Cup. Thankfully both of them are still young and have plenty of time to prove me wrong *fingers crossed*.

    I'm so proud of Japan, as an Asian I'm naturally rooting for them but especially since the earthquake. Roger Bennett of ESPN described them as the "Barcelona of Women's football".

    Is it just me or is the WWC better than the men's WC was at this stage last year? So much drama… but in a good way this time, even though the standard of refereeing is even worse in this tournament.

    • Raincitygirl says:

      Is it just me or is the WWC better than the men's WC was at this stage last year?

      No, it's not just you.

      And I agree that Japan has played awesomely. It's especially impressive given the tragedy that happened only a few months ago.

  21. Blair says:

    Great to see full stadiums for women world cup,great support from the fans.USA's Hope Solo is one hot soccer girl

  22. naylovee says:

    As an american, I felt the same exact way when the refs were torturing us with their stupid calls. Felt like the slovenia game last year but I still had HOPE that we would overcome the obstacles…and we did. reading all your comments are making me tear up right now.

    I have nothing against Brazil or the Brazilians but I was so dissapointed in how dirty they played yesterday. And c'mon with the flopping! What happened to women being classy? Lost complete respect for Marta.

    GO GO USA!

    • Deb S says:

      I agree with the flopping. Neymar did the same thing in his last game. Stop it guys! Alves should not be a role model to the beautiful game. :

  23. Lily says:

    Last night I kept wondering why Hope Solo was so attractive and finally came up with an answer. She reminds me of Olivia Wilde, who's my biggest girl crush ever.

    Oh my God Copa America, I was defending you before but I'm tired of draws Get it going or I'll give up on watching. Muslera stop allowing goals and start taking your clothes off.

  24. lalalala says:

    where are my u-17 german boyz…….
    they killed the brazilian kiddies……….

    baaaammmm

    just wow…………. actually my turkish- german boyz deserved more :)

  25. Gladys says:

    Remind me again why Roque is not in the Finest Five???!!!

  26. blake2108 says:

    Fernando Muslera is hot. Damn him for wearing under armour

  27. Gladys says:

    So happy for and so proud of the USWNT!!! They deserved it. It was extra exciting to see the game covered this morning at the top of the hour on both The Today Show (mass appeal morning show) and NPR (higher-brow public radio)– a big triumph for both "soccer" and women's sport, in general, here in the US. (And BTW, Hope is the awesomest!!! Girl Crush Finest Five, for sure.)

    • Sara P says:

      HUGE triumph for female athletes!!! Especially for soccer in the USA!!!

    • Tria says:

      Yes! Hope Solo should be promoted to the Finest Five, ASAP. Thanks so much, Kickette, for the caption on the photo of her at the top of this article. Loved it!

  28. backoffmyNando says:

    Roque!! I miss your long hair!!!

  29. Sara P says:

    USA! USA! USA! Whoa! That game was a nerve-wrecker!!

    There is something so POWERFUL about their motivation and their HEART! I could literally feel their desire sitting in my living room. I think it is so inspirational to know that young female athletes have such inspiring role models in the athletic community.

    • Deb S says:

      And how fitting was it that Abby ended her goal drought on the goal that sent it to PKs?! It couldn't have been scripted any better, imo!

  30. Ruben says:

    It's official, It's not a FIFA Tournament unless the US win in stoppage time.

    • xoWinnie says:

      they deserved to win.

    • Bella says:

      I think you meant to say that its not a FIFA Tournament unless the US have to win in stoppage time because they've had a good goal called back. (With more accurate officiating it might have been 3-1 for the US at full time in fact).

    • Deb S says:

      Guys, I think Ruben is saying that our team HAS to wait until the absolute last minute to score. Do they not realize that those of us with weak hearts can barely stand it? For some odd reason the Chicago Tribune decided to do a front page (online) article about the game after they won it. I had not yet watched the game but I went to the Trib.'s website figuring it was safe as the coverage for the Men's WC only got a small byline at the bottom of the front and sports pages. So I ended up watching the match KNOWING that they had already won and it was still nerve wrecking. O_o

  31. IrishBlue says:

    Oh England, what are yee like. Bad sub decisions from the manager didn't help your cause, 1-0 in the lead in such an important game was not the time to make those substitutions in the belief that you can hang on until the end. Well done to them though for continuing to fight even with what seemed like half the team barely able to walk. A manager calling their players cowards is not a way to boost team morale mind you.

    • Lisette says:

      The thing about the manager calling her players cowards beggars belief. You practise penalties and decide who will take them beforehand. That's the manager's job. I blame Powell – you don't leave something like that up to whoever's feeling like it on the day. You plan for the possibility that a World. Cup. Game might be decided on penalties.

      Sheesh…

      • IrishBlue says:

        Very true.

      • Raincitygirl says:

        What you said.

        I had a lot of respect for Powell going into the tournament, and I've lost a fair bit of it now. She's the manager. Even if her players had an off day, the buck still stops with her.

    • Deb S says:

      I have so much respect for England. The walking wounded and out of subs and still they soldiered on. Particularly impressed with Kelly Smith was was obviously couldn't put hardly any weight on the one ankle and yet she didn't quit. She even went on to score one of the PKs.

      About taking the PK's? Sounds like the coach is just trying to save face but to throw your players under the bus? So lame! The coach is supposed to have figured out who was taking the PK's well before it came time. The only person who may have been questionable is Kelly Smith but then the coach would have sorted it out after asking Kelly if she thought she could do it or was in too much pain. I just don't get Powell's comments AT ALL.

  32. Vanessa says:

    Top of group of B, already qualified and THAT goal – great weekend for me!
    Oh and loved loved loved to see the American ladies beat Brazil, congrats!

  33. Tashinka says:

    Holy wow. The US women’s WC game had a little bit of everything, didn’t it? And if I may be petty for a mo’, I’d like to say that our team is the prettiest, too.

    (Some may remember that I said this about the US men last summer. So at least I’m consistent!)

    USA! USA! USA!

  34. FootballDaze says:

    That game was….incredible. Puts all the Copa America games so far to shame. What a terrible Copa America so far. I was rooting for Brazil, but I love the USA girls too. What a turn-around, my god! One minute I'm rooting for the Brazilians when Marta scores, and then I'm rooting for Hope Solo (because she's incredible). It was a good day for football. Just wish they had met in the Final. But a USA-Sweden final should be good too. Although Japan is kicking butt lately.

    Also, Hope Solo looks amazing with dark hair. She should never go back to blonde. She's got a football-goddess Xena Warrior Princess look going on with dark hair. Really working for her.

    As for the Copa America: Argentina plays tonight. They better do something. SOMETHING.

  35. m_2 says:

    Abbey's header was glorious. The cross from Rapinoe was a beaut. I think this combo was even better than the one that Landon Donovan put in when US beat Algeria in 2010.

    • Cay says:

      Rapinoe's passing was off for a lot of the game, but I instantly forgave her when she hit that cross. Couldn't have been more perfect if it was in a textbook.

  36. Cay says:

    The USA game turned me into a crying, shaking mess from which I have not yet recovered. It was everything that soccer should be and basically embodied every single reason why I love this game (and my US teams, no matter how frustrating they can sometimes be). Drama, karma (I'm looking at you, Erika–bet you're regretting that pathetic bit of time-wasting now), and that last minute goal that had me screaming even louder than I did for Landon Donovan's goal against Algeria–it had everything.

    Anyway, the USWNT showed why they're #1 in the world. And Hope Solo showed, among many other things, that female players holding babies can be just as adorable as male players holding babies (that's her nephew! He has no idea what's going on! So cute!).

    • Raincitygirl says:

      nd Hope Solo showed, among many other things, that female players holding babies can be just as adorable as male players holding babies

      I know! Isn't it awesome????

      And the totally bemused look on her nephew's face just makes it all the cuter. He may not realize it now, but when he's older, I think he's going to be pretty darn proud of that pic. Maybe the other kids at his daycare have aunties, but I bet none of them have an auntie who put their country through to a World Cup semi-final. I'm not an American, but you guys played a seriously awesome game.

    • janethem says:

      Totally agree!

  37. Sharon says:

    Women’s World Cup >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Men’s World Cup.

  38. Sarah, Madrid says:

    Agree, agree agree! USA/Brazil is a perfect example of how football game should be played, I hope the tape of this game is rooming around Argentine for the boys take notes on how comptetive games should be played. Germany is out, SHOCK! But Japan tactics was spot on to say the least and I was cheering for Australia I loved their game, but Sweden earned it. Looking forward for the semis.

    About Copa, I am sorry but I can't help laughing on Alves, wasn't he the same person who started comparing Argentine to Barc a week ago, saying that Messi doesnt have the same support system he has with barc ( I don't like what he said because you just can't compare a NT to a club, it was pretty unprofessional) and then Dani turned out to be one of the worse players for Brazil in Paraguay game who btw deserved the 3 points.

    Chile are the favs now and hope Uruguay pull something ( them vs mexico might be one of the games to follow this copa) looking forward to Argentine and it is to do or die for them., com'on Argentine Vamos!

  39. Tresa says:

    Watched the US-Game. Holy Moly! So glad the USWNT won, they deserved it. It was such a clear case of what goes around comes around. If you try to waste time by dropping to the ground 30 seconds after really nothing happend to you and wait to get carried off the pitch just to hop off the strecher 1 minute later and run around like a kid at Christmas (yes, Erika, I'm talking about you here.) it's really just your fault.
    So congrats, USWNT & fans, we <3 you!
    And, on that note, so bummed that the Germans are out. :( Really sad.