Friday, September 14, 2007

Women's World Cup: Day 4

The most notable result from this round of games was England holding Germany to a scoreless draw. It was a thoroughly disciplined performance by England, as the defence stifled the German attack while Kelly Smith, leading the line on her own, harried them at the other end. England allowed Germany very few clear chances at goal, and keeper Rachel Brown was equal to those they did have, including an excellent save late in the game.

Argentina were Germany's victims in their first match, but they put on a much better show against Japan -- possibly heartened by goalkeeper Romina Ferro replacing the unfortunate Vanina Correa. Japan thoroughly dominated in terms of both possession and shots but couldn't seem to score, while Argentina could only muster up one shot on target. The one and only goal came late in the game, Yuki Nagasato pouncing on a rebound in stoppage time to give Japan the win.

That leaves Germany and Japan level with four points atop Group A, although Germany have a far superior goal differential. England trail with two points, but they still have a chance to move on to the next round if they win their next game and beat Argentina by more goals than Japan did.

In Group B, the USA bounced back from the disappointment of their draw against North Korea to defeat Sweden 2-0. Once again it was Abby Wambach (in this case, her presence rather than her absence) who made all the difference as she scored both goals for the USA, from a coolly taken penalty in the first half and a super half-volley in the second.

North Korea also won their second match 2-0, beating Nigeria thanks to two goals in the first half from Kim Kyong Hwa and Ri Kum Suk. Both goals came from set-pieces, the first directly from a corner that looped into the net over keeper Precious Dede (best. name. EVER). The Koreans and the USA are tied and lead the group with four points each; they face Sweden and Nigeria, respectively, in their third game, with both teams knowing that a draw will be enough to see them through to the quarter-finals.

Group A
Argentina 0-1 Japan
England 0-0 Germany

Group B
Sweden 0-2 USA
Korea DPR 2-0 Nigeria

1 comment:

Verde Elemental said...

Great recap, clearly stated. TY!