Post-Mortem Blog of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarterfinals: USA-Brazil

10 Jul

We’re calling this a post-mortem blog as opposed to a live blog for obvious reasons. Join me in watching the replay of an instant classic. For those of you who watched the game already, spoiler alert: the U.S. wins. And that’s the way it should be. Saddle up on your couch in your favorite pj’s with your favorite bottle of wine or tub of ice cream, it’s a late night edition of the Strong Move’s Live Blog and we head into uncharted territory with this one: women’s sports. Leave your sexism and machismo on your YouPorn site you have on the other Firefox tab.

11:16 – For those of you playing a drinking game for tonight (an aside: if you are playing a drinking game for an encore presentation of a women’s World Cup game, you need to assess your life. And your apparent drinking problem) for the game and/or the analysts talking pre or post game, take a shot 1) anytime they mention Abby Wambach willing the team to win 2) anytime they talk about how shitty the refs are (well, were) 3) anytime they mention how if this script were pitched in Hollywood, it would be rejected for being too corny. Extra bonus rule if you want to go into a coma, take a shot anytime Ian Darke is awesome.

11:25 – I would just like to say, I do respect women’s sports (except the WNBA). I even liked calling the women’s basketball games much more than the men’s basketball games for my college radio station. So I hate what I’m about to say. But this has to be done anytime a guy is watching a women’s game. I have to say who the hottest player is. Sorry to all of you Hope Solo fanatics out there, my vote goes out to Alex Morgan.

11:35 – Watching Sportscenter now as we get ready for the encore presentation. Just so we’re on the same page. Also getting Taco Bell delivered to me by Miss StrongMove.

12:02 – Bob Ley is a fucking champion. I’m reading the new ESPN book and he’s one of the most compelling characters in it. Such a professional. The exact opposite of what I am and want to become. But he’s not a tool. He toes that fine line between professional and tool. Mad props.

12:07 – Ref is a graphic designer? Maybe that’s why she sucks.

12:08 – Marta really works as a villain character. Just look at that face, she’s so evil! Love the way the crowd booed her at the end while she went to take her PK’s.

12:10 – And here’s the own goal. Nice cross. Confused as to what the Brazilians were complaining about. New wrinkle to the drinking game, take a shot anytime the Brazilians are unsportsmanlike.

12:18 – Pretty solid shot of the wave, a really great American crowd showed up for the game. U.S. definitely with the advantage so far in the game after the own goal by Brazil. Doing a great job pushing and keeping them unsettled.

12:20 – Wambach almost with a header on a long challenge. This is what literary types would call foreshadowing…

12:25 – Didn’t realize how well the U.S. started out, I missed the beginning because I was asleep. Brazil looks really timid thus far. The midfield of the U.S. is swarming all over the place. Real nice job by our girls. That was weird. Pretend I didn’t say that.

12:32 – Too strong of a shot by Marta on the breakaway. She’s a bitch but what speed she showed there. And damn is she villainous.

12:34 – What a chance for the U.S. but the flag was up anyway. Why is the Brazil goalie screaming? This seems almost like a movie I’ve seen before. Victory. The analysts are right. This just seems way too scripted. The bad calls from the refs haven’t even started yet.

12:37 – And just when I say that, here’s a yellow…

12:47 – I’m waiting for the moment in which the wheels start to come off for the U.S. Everything seems to be according to plan thus far. Great alignment shift early on. The Brazilians haven’t been able to slice up the defense.

12:50 – Starting to see it a little now I guess. Like Foudy said, haven’t really gotten a pattern down on offense. But the defense has been stellar.

12:51 – Boxx is on a club called Magicjack. That’s pretty fucking awesome. Have no idea what that means though.

12:53 – Apparently it’s a USB device. Oh women’s professional sports…

12:54 – Already seeing the bad blood between the two teams. Apparently after the 4-0 result in their match last World Cup, the Brazil team had a pretty raucous celebration in the hotel both teams were staying at. That was a main talking point before this match. Makes the victory all the more sweeter.

12:56 – One nothing U.S. at the half. Lots of pressure from the U.S. at the beginning of the match, but they slowed it up later. Not a lot of ball possession though, which is probably their biggest weakness. Like I said before, the defense has been swarming all game though. We’ll see what happens in the second half when the action picks up and around the time I awoke from my deep slumber and started catching the game.

12:59 – Damnit, these ASPCA commercials are getting to me. I’m looking at getting a dog or a cat in the near future. Now I know why they call them puppy dog eyes.

1:04 – Second half is underway…

1:06 – Fabiana needs to calm down. It’s just a throw-in. Way too emotional is the Brazilian squad. All they do is flop, complain, and then when they get carted off, they get up under their own power and get back in the game. If the U.S. lost this game, what a travesty that would’ve been. Then again, no one in this country cares about soccer. Much less women’s soccer.

1:09 – Solo has not lost against Brazil. This probably should’ve been talked about much earlier. She played out of her mind. Lloyd gets away with a handball, which would’ve merited a second yellow and she would’ve gotten sent off. The one break the U.S. got.

1:12 – By the way, just me editorializing a bit. Yes, the men’s is a higher level of competition, but if this wasn’t one of the best games of soccer you’ve seen, you’re just sexist. I’m the first to shit on women’s sports, but damnit, I was yelling near the end. I was also only in my boxers. Was quite the scene.

1:15 – Darke very observant in saying perhaps Brazil getting in the refs ears would prove costly later on when judgment calls come into play. Something I’ve always said but many times goes unnoticed.

1:18 – What a save by Solo, goes up and gets it and grabs it again on the rebound. Really tough save there. Brazil is now starting to really get after it though, pressing much much more and the U.S. defense is letting up a bit.

1:20 – Another great suggestion by Darke, U.S. should’ve gone 4-5-1 around this point. Need to control the ball more, especially at midfield.

1:21 – What a kick into the box by Rapinoe…and Lloyd heads it off the bar! That would’ve completely changed the complexion of the game completely. That’s what’s beautiful about the sport. Such a small margin for error in every aspect of the game.

1:23 – Look at the way the ref casually took the red card out and started strutting. That ladies and gentlemen, is a make-up call. Not an atrocious call, but not good either. But here’s where shit gets nuts…

1:25 – SOLO SAVES IT! The balls on her…uhhhhh wait, no.

1:25 – Encroachment?!?!?!?! That’s never called. Something like the tuck rule. Marta takes this penalty kick and now takes it. Marta goes nuts, score tied at one. U.S. is down to 10 players. Darke is incensed. Rightfully so. U-S-A chants starting up. This is the part in the movie where the villain cheats a bit and matches up the game and things are looking down. Fucking Brazil. The Cobra Kai of professional soccer…

1:29 –  Morgan looking to come into the game now. Yes, she does have fresh legs doesn’t she…

1:30 – Not gonna lie, at this point I thought the U.S. was fucked. I’ve rarely seen a team rise above a terrible officiating call. It’s just so demoralizing when you realize you have two opponents to face.

1:36 – Thirteen minutes to go in regulation and the score doesn’t look like it’s going to budge at all. Brazil content with kinda just sitting on it and picking their spots, U.S. just trying to stay afloat with ten players.

1:39 – Here’s where the crowd starts turning on Marta. Falls down and milks it a bit. The boobirds rain down on her.

1:40 – Really like the name ‘Wambach’ by the way. Just thought I’d put that out there.

1:41 – That last set of challenges was the “He’s cut! He’s not a machine, he’s a man!” moment from Rocky IV. The U.S. drew the first blood after going down to ten, and Brazil is starting to look sluggish.

1:43 – Solid amount of views so far, more than I expected at this time. It’s two in the morning on a Sunday night. We’re only reaching heroin addicts at this point. And bums like me. Actually, it’s very promising not to see this number any higher. I have a renewed faith in society.

1:47 – Big reason why U.S. won: much more successful in their set pieces. Actually productive and got them at very opportune times.

1:48 – Tremendously arbitrary yellow card given to Rapinoe. What the fuck is going on? Agree with Foudy, think it was for complaining. But the decision was so whimsical. Once again, Darke handling the controversy brilliantly.

1:51 – “Just not able to get Wambach at the end of chances,” says Darke. Hmmmmmmm

1:52 – End of regulation. The U.S. got a few nice blow in there before the end of the period.

1:56 – And the U.S. even down to ten players playing great defense on the ball.

1:58 – Just as I say that, Marta knocks in her second of the game. At this point, I thought game over. But I also said, much better that they scored this early so you have all of extra time ahead of you knowing what you have to do. An apparent offside that wasn’t called after the U.S. was called just a minute ago for the same infraction, but what else is new?

2:00 – I’m really gonna watch how the U.S. was able to send players and still not let up on defense. That’s really what’s most puzzling and amazing to me. Another look at the Marta goal, just a really fantastic kick. She’s still a bitch though.

2:02 – What a look by Wambach, just missed going inside the post after Andrea punches it wide.

2:05 – Here’s the start of of the string of amazing plays by Solo. Really impressive all game long, but she really started thriving when her back was against the all and when she was pissed.

2:10 – No substitution yet for the U.S., really showing how fit they really are. Foudy argues that they should use one. Darke asks her who they should bring in. Foudy is frazzled a bit and mentions a name. Darke nonchalantly shoots her down. Really good at putting the analyst down without them really realizing it, even after he gave them a chance to show off what they know.

2:13 – Darke asking Foudy about her own history and she doesn’t know. Is it that much to ask for to hope your analysts know about their own professional career? Darke does his homework.

2:14 – U.S. player goes down in the box and the refs swallow their whistle. So much for banking on a makeup call. Was a decent no call, but you gotta figure a makeup call was in the cards there.

2:17 – At this point, the U.S. is way too tentative, not enough chances are being taken. Just not enough numbers in the box. Alex Morgan, as beautiful as she is, hasn’t been able to get anything going.

2:19 – And here’s where Brazil starts to show their true colors. Lots of time wasting going on here on the sidelines. I know it’s part of the game, but come on…

2:21 – Is there a more desperate part of a game in any sport, down by one in soccer with the minutes ticking away?

2:22 – Erica goes down now and some of the same treatment. Wambach goes over to give the ref an earful, nothing much doing. You can see the frustration on their faces. Erica gets off the stretcher. A chorus of well-deserved boos.

2:24 – Rapinoe doing a great job on corners, but no one really home. Tick tick tick tick. U-S-A chants starting up again, lots of neutral fans there as well.

2:26 – Lloyd misses wide. Darke declares game over. I definitely thought so.

2:28 – Here comes the U.S.!…But Lloyd way too strong on that one. Three minutes extra time.

2:29 – RAPINOE WITH A CROSS IN…TO WAMBACH WHO HEADS IT IN. CROWD GOES WILD. Marta and the rest of the Brazil team looks shocked. Great pass by Rapinoe, who’s quietly had a spectacular game. Can’t ask for a better way to finish the game really.

2:31 – Poetic justice indeed, Darke. How much more of this can there possibly be asks Darke. Not much more, we’re going into PENALTY KICKS!

2:33 – Wambach rallying the troops before the kicks. At this point, I knew this game belonged to the U.S. On the anniversary of the 1999 game, we have another classic.

2:35 – Don’t think I’d be able to take penalty kicks. I just wouldn’t be able to handle it. All that said, I really love it when games end like this. I know, I know, it seems almost not fair. But I’m all for it. And here…we…go…

2:37 – Way fucking off the line. Nice try. U.S. gets another show and NAILS IT. Goes top shelf with that one does Boxx.

2:38 – Solo doesn’t even try for that one and Brazil equalizes. Lloyd’s turn now and she’s missed quite a bit in this game…but goes the opposite way and hits the back of the net to go back up one.

2:39 – BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

2:40 – Agree with Foudy, don’t understand why Marta is second in line. I’d have her much later when the pressure was mounting. She goes the same way as the first Brazil shot. AND WAMBACH ANSWERS RIGHT BACK! Didn’t even look up.

2:41 – SOLO WITH A FANTASTIC SAVE! AND RAPINOE GETS THE NEXT! U-S-A! U-S-A!

2:43 – Easy does it for Brazil. Krieger can end it…

2:43 – WHAT DO YOU KNOW?! SHE DOES IT! A MAN DOWN FOR MOST OF THE SECOND HALF END IT IN PENALTIES.

2:44 – Overcoming adversity is what champions are made of. It may be too early to call and they might very well lost in the semis against France, but looking at the rest of the field remaining, the U.S. has a great shot to take it.

2:49 – I don’t think Sundhage knew what “getting off the hook” means.

2:51 – And there it is “Abby Wambach WILLED this team to win.” A running joke between friends of mine, but let’s just say this a a great cop out and bullshit phrase any analyst will utter. Not even sure what this phrases means, but we heard it a lot during these NBA Playoffs. Think Dirk.

2:53 – And that’ll be that folks. It’s three in the morning, it’s time for us bums to get to sleep. And for all those heroin addicts to find some infomercials to watch and do some more heroin. I’ll see most of you tomorrow from your office computer. I will most definitely be sleeping. Here’s to our country. Brazil, you may have stunning looking women. But tonight, victory is all ours. That being said, I’m going to love going to your country in a few years for the World Cup and getting shitfaced. So no hard feelings. Til next time.

 

 

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3 Responses to “Post-Mortem Blog of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarterfinals: USA-Brazil”

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