Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Women's World Cup: Day 1-2

Last summer in the men's World Cup, Germany v. Argentina was one of the best games of the tournament. Not so much with the women's version. This was a blowout. A score you'd usually associate more with, say, Germany v. San Marino. The Germans were helped by some terrible goalkeeping by Vanina Correa, who put the ball in her own net twice, as well as some equally atrocious defending by Argentina; the back line might as well have not even been there for all the good they were. I think they just kind of gave up after the first five goals or so. But even so, it takes a pretty good team to score eleven times in the space of 90 minutes, including hat tricks for both Birgit Prinz and Sandra Smisek. WIR SIND DEUTSCHLAND. WIR SCHTOMPEN ON DIE PUNY SOUTH AMERICANS MIT UNSERE BIG SCHTOMPY BOOTS.

Fortunately, the other matches so far have been much closer. In the other Group A match, Japan scored first with a free kick from Aya Miyama, before England equalized and then took the lead with two quick goals from Kelly Smith. But in injury time, Miyama scored from another free kick on the edge of the box, leaving both teams with a share of the points.

(I'm not going to do the bad hair awards for this tournament, because most of the players just have ponytails, which is boring. But I have to mention Japan's Eriko Arakawa, who has a truly spectacular fro. How do you even head the ball with that?)

Group B, meanwhile, is wide open, as both of those games also ended in a draw. North Korea surprised the favoured Americans with two goals in the space of five minutes, both scored with the USA down to 10 players while Abby Wambach was off having a nasty head wound stitched up. I'm not quite sure why that took the team up so much, though -- if you're going to be missing a player, wouldn't you want it to be a striker?

And finally, Nigeria's Cynthia Uwak scored a late equalizer to give her team a deserved point against Sweden, who'd taken the lead early in the second half with a goal from captain Victoria Svensson.

Group A
Germany 11-0 Argentina
Japan 2-2 England

Group B
USA 2-2 Korea DPR
Nigeria 1-1 Sweden

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