Olympic Soccer - Japan 2020 (2021) and Copa Libertadores

Discussion in 'Sports' started by CenterField, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Seems like our guy did touch the ball first. Maybe not a penalty. Long, long VAR review...

    Penalty is given... darn.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  2. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Qatar missed it!!!!!

    Go USA!!!!
     
  3. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    We are improving, posting some dangerous attacks. Zardes is in.
     
  4. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Several opportunities in a row for the USA after Qatar missed the PK. I'm telling you, that was a momentum changer! Now I'm hopeful that we'll win!

    What a good game!
     
  5. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Goal USA!!! What a goal!!! Spectacular!!! Gyasi scores!

    I take back what I said about him the last game, LOL!!!

    USA 1-0!!! Wow!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  6. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    We won!!!
    Surprising result actually, but our boys got it done. Superb second half by the USMNT!

    Now, I'll root against Mexico... but it's highly unlikely that Canada will beat them.

    So the final, as usual, should be USA vs. Mexico.
     
  7. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Did Gyasi prove me right or what, CF? :D

    He should have gotten the start last night and he'd better get the start Sunday.

    I missed the second half of the Canada-Mexico match but the Canucks played real tough.

    And so we meet Mexico in another Concacaf final...
     
  8. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    You were right, Talon! Go Gyasi! Love ya! LOL

    Yes, Canada played well, above my expectations; Mexico ended up prevailing. So USA v. Mexico again... Fun, fun.
     
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  9. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Two Olympic quarterfinals watched today, women's side.

    Brazil 0-0 Canada. Very good game. Both teams with advanced ball skills and harmonious plays, actually similar to men's teams. Both teams with good midfields and great defenses. Both teams with superb goalkeepers. Both with generally anemic offenses, so the 0-0 in regulation and extra time were an expected results with outstanding defenses prevailing over so-so offenses. Opportunities to score did exist and some of them had good finishing, but the goalies did prevail over the attackers. Brazil had a bit more but Canada's goalie was a bit better. Canada did strike the crossbar once.

    So, penalty shootout... Veteran Sinclair missed hers; veteran Marta made hers. So Brazil opened the series 1-0 but then the Canadian goalkeeper saved twice and Canada advanced.

    Basically, two very good teams, very evenly matched, with Canada prevailing because their goalie performed a bit better. Congrats, Canada!

    USA 2-2 Netherlands. Very good game, again. More exciting than the Brazil-Canada game, and once more, the skills demonstrated were a match for some men's games. The offenses here were more prolific, including, with several disallowed goals due to offside, one of them, which would have won the game for the USA, was offside only by a hair. But all VAR decisions were correct. The strikers were indeed offside in all of them. So the score remained 2-2 after regulation and extra-time. The American goalkeeper saved a penalty late in regulation, keeping the USA in the game. This was an exciting game with the Netherlands striking first, then the USA going up 2-1, then the Dutch equalizing, then the exhilaration of the saved penalty as regulation dwindled. Extra time was fairly uneventful.

    Penalty shootout: The USA perfect. All four takers including Morgan, and including Rapinoe for the last one (gorgeous, in the top right corner), gave no chance to the Dutch goalie. Our goalie saved twice, so we advanced 4-2.

    I clearly underestimated our girls due to the shameful performance against Australia, in a game that seemed to be unethically arranged by the two teams to tie, a result that advanced both. I thought our girls would never prevail against the Netherlands which had scored 21 times in the tournament by that point. But no, our team played very well and ended up prevailing. Again, in great part thanks to our goalie, who saved one penalty in regulation and two in the shootout.

    In the other two quarterfinals which I didn't watch, apparently Sweden cruised to an easy victory against hosts Japan, 3-1 in regulation, while Australia won a thrilling match against Great Britain, 4-3. Regulation ended 2-2 in that match, and extra time had 3 goals. Awesome stuff; I'm sad that I didn't DVR that game.

    So the semis are set, and they will feature Canada vs. USA first (Monday morning), followed by Sweden vs. Australia. TV will be the USA network.
     
  10. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    I watched the full Spain 2-2 Ivory Coast in regulation, a great and exciting game with both teams playing very well. At minute 90 the Ivory Coast scored what looked like the winning goal, leading 2-1. The ref granted 5 minutes of stoppage time. All that the Ivory Coast needed, was to hold it together for 5 minutes. However, in an incredible defensive blunder, they allowed Spain to score the equalizer 2 minutes into stoppage time. Extra time started, the ball hit the arm of an Ivory Coast defender, penalty, and Spain went ahead 3-2. This seems to have completely destroyed the backbone of the Ivory Coast team. After all, they were about to celebrate their victory, and they saw their fortune change like this. Remember, these are young guys. So, they melted down, and Spain scored two more in extra time, winning 5-2. Poor Ivory Coast. They fought a good fight in regulation.

    I fast forwarded most of Brazil 1-0 Egypt, with Richarlison assisting Cunha for the only score of the game. I saw another incredible opportunity by Richarlison, saved by the Egyptian goalie. Given the few minutes I did watch without fast forwarding, Egypt seemed to be organized defensively but toothless in offense so no wonder the score didn't change (but I may have missed important action so I'm not sure if this indeed is what happened) and Brazil prevailed. (By the way, in a previous commentary, I mentioned their mediocre left-winger as Carlinhos but his name is actually Claudinho - today he didn't seem to play as poorly as in the previous game, given the little that I saw).

    In two games I didn't watch except for some highlights, Japan prevailed over New Zealand in a penalty shootout after a draw in regulation and ET, and Mexico scored no fewer than 6 goals on South Korea, although they also did concede 3.

    So the semis are all set: Brazil vs. Mexico, Spain vs. Japan.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that the final will feature Mexico vs. Spain.
     
  11. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Gold Cup final, USA 1-0 Mexico after extra time (0-0 in regulation)

    The USA's team B/C defeats Mexico's team A.

    Wild, wild, highly entertaining game. Everybody looks at the game and thinks that the Mexicans dominated as they had more possession, and more offensive volume. But no, that's not the whole story. A lot of Mexico's volume of offense got thwarted by our defenders who dispossessed the Mexicans, blocked shots, etc.

    So, if we count the REAL scoring opportunities, the story is profoundly different. I went back and watched carefully the highlights, and took notes. Here is the result:

    Again, I counted below the REAL scoring opportunities (regardless of shots on target or off-target; I'm talking about real almost-goals), not just dominance in more attacking volume and more possession. The REAL times when the ball could have reached the back of the net.

    Mexico had 5 of these. We had 7 + 1 that did go in! And one of these was a post hit.

    10'44" - Mexico's #11 heads the ball - great save by Matt
    25'22" - USA - post hit by Arriola
    30'24" - Mexico's #11 gets close to right post, shoots, Matt saves
    37'42" - Mexico's #11 shots strongly from mid-distance, Matt saves
    43'43" - USA - Hoppe heads the ball, it goes above the crossbar by inches
    49'32" - Mexico's #10 shots strongly, ball goes wide left by inches
    51'38" - Mexico's #10 taps the ball inside the small box, goes above by inches
    59'34" - USA - Zardes all alone, shoots wide right. Off-side called but wrongly
    70'45" - USA - Hoppe shoots from short distance, defender deflects when the ball was about to go in
    73'18" - USA - Zardes falls in small box, ball gets to Arriola who misses left (actually I think their goalie deflected this one with his head - confusing, hard to see - yes, it's credited as a goalie save)
    95'05" - USA - Gioacchini gets an acrobatic shot, goalie barely saves
    106'53" - USA - Zardes dribbles through the box, shots, goalie saves
    117'37" - USA scores in a header by Miles

    So, actually, the USA created MORE opportunities that were REAL almost-goals, and fully deserved the win, despite Mexico's futile bigger volume of play.

    After minute 59, ALL scoring opportunities, the real ones, were by the USA. Real goalie saves, 3 for each team.

    So, no, Mexico's dominance was misleading. This game was a lot closer than it seemed, and the replay confirmed it.

    If is phenomenal that this young team, without all the starts from the starting XI who are in Europe with their clubs, was able to win the Gold Cup!

    Given that our A team beat the Mexicans in the final of the Nations League too, it seems like the dominance pendulum in CONCACAF is swinging back in the USA's direction.

    I anticipate that we'll qualify for the WC and will do better than Mexico, in Qatar.

    This time, we do have depth and some exciting players. I think we may have one of our best WC participations in a long time.

    ------------

    Of the three national teams I support, in their continental cups:

    Italy won the Euro
    Brazil were the runners-up in Copa America
    The USA won the Gold Cup

    Not bad for a summer of soccer! Not bad at all!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
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  12. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    "TOO MUCH KNEELING, NOT ENOUGH WINNING": Megan Rapinoe in Tears After Canada Loss in Likely Last Olympics: ‘It’s Tough.’

    We don't like her anymore than she likes us.
     
  13. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    "GOT WOKE, WENT BROKE": US Women’s Soccer Team Smoked By Canada; Megan Rapinoe Mocked.

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/465321/

    One cannot mock her enough.

    [​IMG]

    "The self-righteous Rapinoe was savaged on Twitter after the loss.

    I hope the #USWNT lose the bronze game too! #karma don’t kneel in front of the next time. Why represent a country you’re not proud of? Yea you @mPinoe, concentrate on soccer instead of politics." Good win! pic.twitter.com/NeINL4wekw

    — Aldo ⚽️ (@Aldo_Giammusso) August 2, 2021"

    "I do love it when Megan Rapinoe loses because even though she’s ON Team America, she’s not FOR Team America" https://t.co/SVBR2JxkqF

    — Lavern Spicer (@lavern_spicer) August 2, 2021

    "Watching Megan Rapinoe crying after she lost to Team Canada, with a transgender player, is fantastic. Where are those cocky smirks and poses?" https://t.co/YK73oza7r1

    — Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) August 2, 2021
     
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  14. HB Surfer

    HB Surfer Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    .... so they women can still get bronze. So brave!
     
  15. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It's been a GREAT summer for the USMNT!

    In June they beat Mexico to win their first Concacaf Nations League championship...

    19071-us-stuns-mexico-in-thriller-to-win-inaugural-concacaf-nations-league-title-1068x601.jpg

    ...and last night they beat Mexico again (!) to win the Concacaf Gold Cup.

    225430557_370589454474332_2512528677255467111_n.jpg

    And as you correctly pointed out, they deserved to win - over an older, more experienced team that had some of its top players participating while ours were across The Pond with their clubs.

    What a great group of young players and what a great job Gregg Berhalter has done with them. The USMNT has done a complete turnaround since it cleaned house and now it has one of the most promising programs in the world. Their youth is tempering my expectations for next year's World Cup in Qatar but they should be in their prime when the WC comes to North America in 2026. I don't think I've ever been as excited about the USMNT as I am now. Our Men's program may have finally arrived.

    Before I conclude I have to say that goalie Matt Turner was spectacular - FIVE shutouts in this tournament - and he gets my vote for MVP.

    World Cup qualifiers start in exactly one month against El Salvador:


    image.jpeg

    at El Salvador — Sept. 2

    vs. Canada — Sept. 5 (Nashville, TN)

    at Honduras — Sept. 8

    vs. Jamaica — Oct. 7 (Austin, TX)

    at Panama — Oct. 10

    vs. Costa Rica — Oct. 13 (Columbus, OH)

    vs. Mexico — Nov. 12 (Cincinnati, OH)

    at Jamaica — Nov. 16

    vs. El Salvador — Jan. 27 (TBD)

    at Canada — Jan. 30

    vs. Honduras — Feb. 2 (TBD)

    at Mexico — March 24

    vs. Panama — March 27 (TBD)

    at Costa Rica — March 30
     
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  16. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
  17. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    Yes, we finally have true potential and truly talented players who can succeed in European clubs!
     
  18. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    USWNT in a very anemic performance today, lost to Canada (they didn't play great either - very boring and low skills game) in a silly penalty, 0-1.
    Our stars are old. Their time has passed and the team needs renovation.
    ---------
    Sweden not brilliant either, beat Australia 1-0 in another boring game.
    ---------
    Seems like the heat and humidity in Tokio and the little time between games for recovery is taking a toll in this tournament.
    Oh well, except for the game against the Netherlands, our girls never really got it going so I suppose it's deserved that they are out of contention for the gold medal.
     
  19. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    Damn right. They disrespect this nation and I heartily return their disrespect. I owe these fabulously self-entitled kneelers NOTHING but contempt. And I give them their due contempt with very fiber of my being.

    They ruined US sports, not me.
     
  20. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    I will always support our teams and athletes, in all sports and all competitions, even if I might have something against some individual players or athletes. Individuals disappear with time. Teams stay, and the countries they represent stay.

    For me, the team concept and what it represents is what is important. I sing the anthem along and root like crazy, anytime a team is playing and representing one of the two countries I'm a citizen of, the United States and Italy. I also support Brazil, given that I lived and worked there for a number of years and have many friends there, although of course if they play against one of my countries of citizenship, then I won't root for them.
     
  21. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    I don't root for folks that wear the uniform of a county then deliberately insult that society that has sponsored them when the moment comes to honor our society that is represented by our flag. I loft a fart in their direction. Kneeling puts them at the correct height to receive it. I don't think that is a coincidence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
  22. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Donor

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    I'm not the greatest fan of kneeling either. I think this whole movement is mistaken in the form of protest they picked, because predictably it aggravates people who care for the flag and the anthem and introduces a controversy that actually weakens their cause in being distracting and in turning off people (who then have predictably the reaction you are having). They could use their popularity in press conferences and social media and charitable pursuits to advance their causes, and keep it separate from their sports activity when they are on-the-job/on-the-clock and need to keep focused professionalism and respect for the country that put them there. This said, I'll always support an American's right to express political views and causes which is part of free speech, even when I do not agree with the view being expressed or the way it's being expressed. And I still root for the team because I think that individual failures and these movements come and go but the team persists.
     
  23. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    U.S. Men’s Soccer Team Makes Country Proud, Unlike Women’s Team.

    [​IMG]
    Yes. They can go whine somewhere else. If they want mansions, they should join BLM.
    Nice to see Men's soccer stay Trump-Strong!
    Deserved.
    https://freebeacon.com/satire/men-women-soccer-team/

    Kneelers are free to kneel as Americans,
    And I'm free to loft a fart in their general direction.
     
  24. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Up to this point it's been the other way around for the most part.

    If you're into soccer at all, Zorro, you should catch the Men's upcoming World Cup qualifiers (schedule in Post #65). This might be the best young squad the USMNT has put on the field yet and they've been a blast to watch this summer. Hopefully, they'll build on that heading into the WC in Qatar. It's been a long wait, and I'm pretty confident our boys will put up a good showing.
     
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  25. Talon

    Talon Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I can't help but think the football gods gave the USA and Australian women what they deserved after packing it in against each other earlier in the Olympics. It's hard to feel sympathy for either team after that.

    As for our girls, it seems that age, arrogance and too many distractions finally caught up to them (as have the other women's programs). Hope Solo had some interesting insights into what's wrong with this squad and its performance:

    'The USWNT lacked fight and winners' - Solo discusses Olympic Games disappointment and Andonovski's future
    https://www.goal.com/en/news/the-us...-discusses-olympic/17d6ut1saowcg1ctczc1qb8hx5

    I get that the Olympics aren't the World Cup and I didn't see the USWNT play in Japan, but she may have a valid point about the team lacking leadership on the field like her team had with Abby Wambach, which helped them overcome their struggles and shortcomings. They were so loaded with talent and better than all the other teams when they won the WC in 2019 that it didn't matter, but it looks like it has become an issue for them now. It's hard to replace a player and leader like Wambach and I haven't seen anyone step up and fill her cleats.

    IF Solo's right and they've got a culture problem on that team, then they've got leadership problems on that team, and the USWNT may be facing the same situation the USMNT faced after failing to qualify for the WC in 2018. I guess we'll learn more on Thursday when they play Australia again. If they come out flat again Vlatko Andonovski's job could be in serious jeopardy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021

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