Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Women's World Cup Day 4: Spain wastes chances, Colombia and Mexico even

France 1-0 England
France wins on a wonderful goal from Eugenie Le Sommer in 29th minute. England, despite being a goal down, really struggled to get involved on the attacking end. They only took three total shots for the entire match. In truth, they are lucky it was only 1-0 when all was said and done. France was far and away the better side in every way of measuring. England is a little behind the eight ball here to open the tournament. Thankfully for them, they are quite capable of earning results against Colombia and Mexico.

Spain 1-1  Costa Rica
Spain  went ahead in the 13th minute with a nice turn around shot from Vicky Losada. The lead would last all of 73 seconds before Costa Rica had a nice counter attack that ended in a tap in goal for Raquel Rodriguez. Costa Rica are lucky to escape this with a point though. Spain did nothing but blast shots towards the Costa Rican goal for the entire second half. A combination of poor shots going wide and strong goalkeeping from Dinnia Diaz kept the scores level.

Colombia 1-1 Mexico
Veronica Perez put Mexico ahead in the 36th minute with the aid of the first ever use of goal line technology in the Women's World Cup. She looped in a bending cross from near the corner flag that instead crossed the line despite three Colombian defenders and the goalkeeper trying to keep it out. Colombia would take most of the remainder of the match to level. Daniela Montoya was their hero with a screamer from outside the penalty area. A point for each team here might play a big role in helping both sides advance. The fixtures against England will be the key here, since neither of these teams will beat France.

Brazil 2-0 South Korea
I figured it wouldn't take long for Marta to move all alone atop the all time leading Women's World Cup goalscorers list, and I was right. She put Brazil up 2-0 in the 53rd minute with a confident penalty. Formiga had already put Brazil up 1-0 by pouncing on a poor Korean back pass in the 33rd. Brazil will win this group with ease already, but their goals last night came from silly plays by the Korean defense. The lazy back pass that led to the first goal was bad enough, but the penalty that made it 2-0 was horribly unnecessary. Korea can still grind out results against the Spanish and Costa Rican newbies, but they will have to be a little more responsible in the back if they hope to do so.

Thursday's Matches
Wednesday is an off day for the Women's World Cup and things pick back up Thursday afternoon with Groups A and B in action. At 4pm, a real dandy between Germany and Norway takes place in Ottawa. Both sides are among the best in the world and easily handled their first opponents. I expect Germany, who is the best in the world, to come out ahead, but it could be a dogfight. Let's go with 2-1 in favor of the Germans.

At 6pm in Edmonton, China looks to rebound from their late loss to Canada against the Netherlands. The Dutch were 1-0 winners over New Zealand, but face a bit of a stiffer test with China. I can't separate the two, I'll say 1-1.

At 7pm back in Ottawa, Ivory Coast, who got hammered by Germany, takes on Thailand, who was beat down by Norway. A win from either side here could be a back way into the knockout rounds with three points possibly being enough to see a third place side through. Goal difference will be tough to make up, but you never know. I'll say Ivory Coast rebounds to grind out a 1-0 victory.

Finally, at 9pm in Edmonton, the hosts are back in action against New Zealand. They got a lucky break to beat China and will have to improve a lot if they hope to live up to their potential. I say they grind out another 1-0 win against the Football Ferns.

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