Saturday, August 25, 2007

2nd Half - US v Finland

Well, the U.S. has a comfortable lead against an opponent that's not quite the creampuff of some of the more recent matches.

The halftime has been sufficient to fix the lights, by the way. They're slowly coming back to full power. Luckily, it was an early kickoff time, and the game didn't really miss a beat. I think the crowd was more thrown off - their murmurings about the light situation kind of killed the cheers.

Wambach's limping is the only worry. Normally, a toe injury wouldn't be such a big deal - John Terry played for Chelsea against the Galaxy with a broken toe and scored the game-winner. Then again, we just saw that Quaranta has been sidelined for the season with a toe injury. Then again, Quaranta is no John Terry.

OK - the official word from the U.S. officials - Wambach has a jammed toe. She might go in for X-rays later.

The stadium is playing an '80's goodie, "Eye of the Tiger" I think Boxx is singing along. Maybe not. Maybe she's just talking.

They kick off!

48 - O'Reilly with a great pass to Lilly, right in front of goal. Granma misses it. Yikes. Look for her to score another goal in a few minutes to make up for that.

49 - Rampone lines up free kick - leads to an outside shot by Lilly - yep, she was trying to get that goal back and nearly does.

51 - Finns looking lively for a bit, but the US defense chases them out again.

52 - Lloyd down in box, doesn't get call. Finns getting creative on D - a little between the legs pass to get the ball out.

54 - Turns out the assist Lilly had in the first half was her 100th. That makes her and Mighty Mia the only women to ever score more than one hundred goals and record more than one hundred assists.

58 - They took Wambach for Xrays. Lloys is doing her best, but the presence Wambach provides in the box is missing. The team has basically lost their only target striker. They're playing with a bunch of midfielders, basically.

59 - They're good midfielders, though. Tarpley had a cracker of a shot from outside just now. Anyway, I say the midfielders thing because a lot of the players have been midfielders, no matter where they moved to later on. Chalupny, for example.

60 - Tarpley so close on a shot the crowd thinks its in, but it hits the outside of the net.

63 - O'Reilly races in, takes nice shot, but it's a bit high and wide.

65 - Lilly used to be a midfielder, too. That's partly why she's further behind Mighty Mia in goals scored. She has an outside chance of catching her teammate, though. Only 32 goals to go. Mind you, that's more than Brian McBride had in his whole international career.

68 - Tarpley! Midfielders can be effective. Tarpley takes a nice pass from Rampone, waits until the keeper commits, then slides a shot past her and just inside the near post.

71 - The U.S. confident now, full of momentum mojo.

74 - Lloyd winds up on a shot, but Korpela isn't itimidated, and punches it out. Lilly is subbed out to a standing 0. Natasha Kai comes in for her. Kai has some nice moves right from the start. Gotta love her energy.

75 - Chalupny out for Leslie Osborne. Lloyd knocks nice sideways pass to O'Reilly, who just gets her foot in front of her defender to redirect it in. She's so excited. HAO is usually buzzing around the goal, but oddly, she hasn't scored a lot. Maybe this will start a streak. That's her 11th all-time.

80 - To put O'Reilly's goal into perspective, she just tied Whitehill for goals, and Whitehill is a defender. Of course, Whitehill has about 50 more caps.

84 - Finns with some gritty defending. The U.S. has the ball on their toe a couple of times in the box, but can't put it in. Finn free kick gets cleared out. Speaking of Whitehill, she gets subbed out right now for Marci Jobson.

85 - I missed the Tina Ellerton, Aly Wagner sub, but they're in now, and Wagner just forced a good save.

88 - Tarpley looked for Kai but her defender got a toe in to knock ball out. Pace has slowed slightly. Finns hanging on, U.S. looked pretty satisfied with four.

90 + Finns with a free kick - chance to salvage some pride. They get a shot off, but that's about it.

This one is in the books - the ladies look in good form heading off to China.


1 comment:

glen vw said...

Good match for the US, showed some nice fast breaks, solid defending (maybe we could use them on the Galaxy, lol). Kai had some good chances towards the end of the match, but was a little over anxious. Not much practice for Hope Solo tonight though, which is a good thing!