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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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?