Monday, July 11, 2011

FIFA Women's World Cup

Abby WambachI've been really in to the FIFA Women's World Cup lately, thanks to Mara. Its addicting. Everything from the commercial where the U.S. cites pressure as their driving force to the drama-filled history of the No. 1 goal keeper in the world, Hope Solo. Its addicting.

The US-Brazil game on Sunday was beyond any expectations I ever had for soccer. Now I don't know much, but what I do know is the US came back to defeat the Brazilians 5-3 on penalty kicks after finishing extra time 2-2. The Americans had been reduced to 10 players (soccer plays 11 on the field) in the 66th minute of the 123 minute performance. The elimination of Rachel Buehler came off a controversial red card. When Marta, 5-time Women's Player, scored her second goal in the second minute of extra time, it seemed like the US might just have to fold up shop earlier than they ever have in FIFA Women's World Cup History.

Then cam Abby Wambach. She is one confident and resolute chic. Abby Wambach thumped a header in to the goal in the 122nd minute, bringing the US equal with Brazil and surging the two teams into the penalty shootout. This is where Mara and I both leaped out of our seats screaming. It was very cool.

It was Marta and the Brazilians against Solo and the Americans. Marta, who came second in the penalty kicks scored the second of the PKs by Brazil, making it even 2-2 in PKs for both squads. Solo then delivered an awesome one-handed save from Daiane in the third round, with Ali Krieger slotting the game winner.

The winning shots by the US were made even more impressive given the number of terrible breaks the Americans endured. The US team was leading 1-0 midway through the second half and playing an intense defensive game. In the 66th minute, courtesy of referee Jacqui MelkSHAM (like that emphasis?), the US dominance changed. Buehler was judged to have fouled Marta, who was put forth a particularly strong acting pedigree throughout the match, in the penalty box. The contact looked to be shoulder-to-shoulder, which is acceptable.

Even worse to follow was when Solo saved Cristiane's ensuing penalty kick only for MelkSHAM to indicate the kick should be retaken. TV replays showed that yes, there was an American player who ventured into the box before the kick was taken, but that it was hardly enough to issue a re-kick. Additionally, Solo didn't stray off her line before the incredible block.

The US went on the win 5-3 on PKs. Had the game ended 2 minutes earlier, the US would have suffered its earliest loss ever in the World Cup. Now the tournament, with powerhouses Brazil and Germany absent, is there for the taking. I'm liking our chances.

That is a lot of soccer lingo, I get it... I had to look up most of it just to understand it. But maybe that's the point of this post. I've never been a huge soccer fan. I've even thrown the term 'soccer fairy' around a time or two back in the day. I was soo wrong. Those girls could throw a heavy beat down and deserve the recognition they're missing. Take the time to look them up. US soccer is in my sights; I'm a fan of US soccer.

The next game is Wednesday at 11:30 am CST. Watch it.

1 comment:

  1. I am eagerly waiting for Brazil world cup 2014 and i am surely going the event of Brazil. I hope it will be the best event i have ever seen. fifa world cup