Author Topic: Women's World Cup  (Read 29262 times)

Online Mr. Ypsi

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Women's World Cup
« on: September 07, 2007, 10:03:18 pm »
I thought that the retirement of Hamm, Foudy, Chastain, etc., after the Olympics would inevitably mean a rebuilding period.  Silly me!  If I recall correctly, they are undefeated since then (26-0-4?) and once again ranked #1 in the world.  Obviously, then, they CAN win another World Cup - WILL they, and send the long over-shadowed Kristine Lilly out in a blaze of (well-deserved) glory?

Since this board has been pretty dead, I was tempted to post this on the Men's World Cup (etc.) thread, but thought I'd try to resurrect this board.

Online Mr. Ypsi

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 09:59:47 am »
Game one: USA 2, North Korea 2.

Abby Wambach headed in a goal shortly after the half to go up 1-0.  She was injured in a scramble soon after and, hoping she could soon return, the coach chose not to replace her, playing 10 on 11.  This nearly proved disastrous, as NK scored goals in the 58th and 62nd minutes to take the lead.  However, Wambach returned in the 65th minute, and Heather O'Reilly scored in the 69th to tie it.  There it stood, despite furious offensive action by both teams.

Abby seems to be the indispensible 'spark' for this team.  Anyone know how her scoring pace compares with Mia Hamm's all-time records?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 10:01:47 am by Mr. Ypsi »

Offline ScotsFan

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2007, 04:57:29 pm »
Abby seems to be the indispensible 'spark' for this team.  Anyone know how her scoring pace compares with Mia Hamm's all-time records?

I saw a stat of this during the game and Abby was the 2nd fastest American to reach 78 goals.  I think it took her 100 games?  I can't recall who scored 78 faster, but Hamm was 3rd fastest and it took her something like 125 games.  So that puts Abby's proficiency into perspective.

BTW, she scored from a blast off her right foot that went right through the keeper's hands.  She should have scored off of a header in the 1st half, but it hit the cross-bar and came straight down and Korea was able to clear.

I think your description of her being 'indespensible' is pretty accurate as well.  Especially considering that the US coach chose not to sub her out of the game and it almost cost the US the match.

BTW, did you catch the group that the US drew?  Calling it the group of death is an understatement as there are 3 teams currently ranked in FIFA's top 5.  The US is #1, Sweden is #3 and NK is #5.  And Nigerea is no slouch as they check in at 23 I think.  Who comes up with these draws?  I mean, how do 3 of the top 5 teams in the world end up in the same group?

Online Mr. Ypsi

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2007, 05:51:09 pm »
Every World Cup has it's 'group of death', but I can't recall ever seeing one with 3 of the top 5 teams.  I believe the pairings are done entirely by blind draw, but if FIFA is going to have rankings, why not use them to seed the teams?

NK is such an unknown quantity (I suppose fear of defections and/or discovering that other people don't live in a gulag may prevent many international matches!) that I wouldn't be surprised if even their #5 ranking is too low.  I haven't seen the full schedule to know if it is possible, but a rematch of the survivors of this group in the finals would not surprise me (and one team won't even make it out of group who would also be a worthy finalist).

Offline ScotsFan

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2007, 06:11:37 pm »

NK is such an unknown quantity (I suppose fear of defections and/or discovering that other people don't live in a gulag may prevent many international matches!) that I wouldn't be surprised if even their #5 ranking is too low. 
Judging by their performance against an American squad that many were voting as an overwhelming favorite coming into the World Cup, I'd say your assessment of them being under ranked at #5 might not be far off.  From what I saw, they pretty much dominated time of possession, they were quicker than the US and they seemed much more fit in the end making the US players look as if they were standing still. 

The good news is that Sweden and Nigeria had a 1-1 draw so the US didn't lose any ground by their draw today.  The question I have is how much did this match take out of the US?  They were dragging big time at the end of their NK match.  I don't think they were expecting to have to excerpt so much energy just to preserve a tie in their opening match of group play against a team they have pretty much owned in the past.  And things don't get much easier for the US as they now face #3 Sweden in their next group match.

Offline Jim Matson

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2007, 04:23:16 pm »
I think it was also a case of the U.S. playing flat.  It was an unimpressive showing (even overlooking the poor coaching move mentioned above).
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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2007, 04:54:30 pm »
When was the draw made?  Is it possible NK moved up the rankings scale after the draw was already made?
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Online Mr. Ypsi

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2007, 11:03:44 am »
USA 2, Sweden 0.  Abby Wambach scored both goals (and now has 80 goals in 98 international matches).

I haven't found the NK-Nigeria score yet.

Offline Stinger

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2007, 12:53:16 pm »
World Class goal from Wambach.   It was beautiful.
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Offline ScotsFan

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2007, 04:31:20 pm »
World Class goal from Wambach.   It was beautiful.
Amen to that!  I loved the look on her face after she scored.  It was like, "Did you just see THAT??" 

The US came up big today.  I heard the US coach describe their first 2 matches as almost feeling like semi-finals and a finals matches.  Getting the 3 points against a good Sweden team and to be sitting atop the group standings with 4 points has to feel good for the Americans with what you would have to consider the weak team of this group by default in Nigeria waiting as the last group match.

BTW, NK defeated Nigeria 2-0 so there is still a tie atop the group standings between the US and NK as they both sit at 1-0-1 with a +2 goal differential.  The way it looks, the runner-up of this group will likely meet Germany in the quaters, so the US needs a good result against Nigeria and hope that Sweden can pull out some magic against NK.

Did anyone catch the end of the England v. Japan match?  Talk about getting homered!  England scores the go ahead goal with 5 minutes remaing and looked to have the 3 points all but locked up.  Then with seconds left in stoppage time the referee calls a bogus foul on an English player just outside the box.  Japan scored on the ensuing free kick to salvage the tie.  They showed the foul and I couldn't see what happened to warrant the foul to be called?  And ESPECIALLY at that juncture in the match.  I could see if the English player took down the Japanese player, but from what I could tell, both players were just going for the ball.  I've seen FAR worse in the 2 US matches that didn't get a call.  Just too bad for England.

Online Mr. Ypsi

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2007, 06:45:08 pm »
On the other hand, perhaps the shocker of the tourney so far: England tied Germany, 0-0.  While Germany is still in the driver's seat for 1st, if Japan can pull the shocker (and assuming England beats Argentina), the Germans will not even advance. :o

NK is at +2, Sweden at -2.  Am I correct that if Sweden beats NK, but by less than 4 goals, goal differential beats out head-to-head?  If that is correct, USA and NK are veritable locks to advance.  If NK and USA both tie, or both win by identical amounts (or even lose by identical amounts of 3 goals or less), anyone know the tie-breaker for 1st and 2nd?

Offline ScotsFan

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2007, 08:56:32 am »
On the other hand, perhaps the shocker of the tourney so far: England tied Germany, 0-0. 

Another shocker is Brazil-4, China-0!  Brazil has looked REALLY good through their 1st two matches and they took the hosts out to the woodshed.  Granted, I don't think China is as strong as they have been in recent WC's, but still...

As far as the tiebreaker goes, I have no idea how that would work if the US and NK finished with identical records and identical results.  Hopefully Sweden can get a result and the US can get by Nigeria so we don't have to worry about a tiebreaker.

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2007, 12:47:16 am »
Lori Chalupny scored 57 SECONDS into the game against Nigeria, which then went scoreless the remaining 89+ minutes!  Since Sweden beat NK, 2-1, USA finishes first and will meet England in the quarters.  NK advances on goal-differential over Sweden, and will face Germany.

The other two quarterfinal games will be decided in a few hours.

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2007, 02:50:55 pm »
The balance in the women's game has improved dramatically.  In previous WWC's, at most 5-6 teams had any realistic shot, and at least 6-8 couldn't really even compete.  This year only three teams played like they didn't belong (Argentina, 0 pts, -17 GD; Ghana, 0 pts, -12 GD; and New Zealand, 0 pts, -9 GD - the only team to never score a goal).  Nigeria managed only one point, but considering the group they were stuck in, a -4 GD suggests they might have had a great shot at going through with any other draw.

Poor Canada!  They led Australia by a goal entering stoppage time, but the Aussies got the tying goal that sent them through.

Offline ScotsFan

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Re: Women's World Cup
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2007, 11:23:16 am »
Good points Mr. Ypsi.  I'm interested to see how the US does outside of the 'Group of Death'.   I definitely think Sweden had a good enough team to get out of another group and Nigeria played pretty even with everyone and makes me think that they certainly could've have challenged for a quarterfinal spot had they been in another group as well. 

So far, I have not been all that impressed with the US squad for all of the hype that was being placed on them before the tournament.  I'm sure that some of it has to do with playing in the toughest group in the tournament by far.  Couple that with the fact that they have had to play 2 games in pretty crappy conditions.  It would be nice to see them come out and get a nice convincing result against England though.