Tuesday, September 11, 2007

2nd half US-NK

This would be the upset of the tournament if NK could pull this off.

46 - The U.S. and NK go running out of the gate again, back and forth on chances. NK is still rolling, but the U.S. looks to have picked it up a notch. They're at least playing NK even.

48 - U.S. shot blocked.

50 - GOAL! And Abby scores! The one true forward the U.S. has puts it away. The rain may have helped the U.S. there. The goalkeeper got a hand there, but couldn't hold it.

52 - NK going the other way. U.S. eventually clears.

53 - Free kick from Lily - good chance but slightly off target.

54 - Korea again on the attack, going staight at goal - out for corner.

58 - Abby Wambach hurt on corner. She's bleeding and must come off. The U.S. is down to ten.

58 - GOAL NK scores on a similar play as the U.S. They send in a shot that slips through Solo's hands. She is pissed. She could have stopped that.

61 - GOAL! NK leads. They were pumped up by the first goal, and they attacked hard, with Wambach still on the sidelines. A missed clearance and Kim cleans up in front of the goal.

63 - Clearly, NK played better with ten men then the U.S. have - they've given up two goals with Abby out.

64 - They're clearly rattled. Wambach is back, and probably feels a bit like - "Damn, I can't leave you guys alone for a second."

68 - CK for the U.S. I'd like to see Tarpley on, frankly. GK catches.

69 - GOAL! HAO scores! Just when I was about to explain that I was thinking Tarpley would be more effective than HAO. Chalupny has the charge, Lilly with the pass to put the ball in the box, and a deflection fell to the U.S.

71 - NK corner - finally cleared after multiple misses for the U.S.

73 - Even a draw would be a huge upset, but NK is pushing for the win again. Abby is playing defense like "Not with me here, b******", but NK keeps attacking.

75 - Boxxy has not had a good game, really. CK for NK - the US clears, NK back again, Hope collects long shot.

77 - No subs yet - not sure why. FK for U.S., actually has a chance. Abby misses slightly.

79 - NK with another chance - extended possession in the U.S. box - the U.S. is allowing unprecedented chances.

80 - Clearly, playing cupcakes like New Zealand hasn't prepared the U.S. for NK. Tournament play like the Pan Am games could have sharpened them up better, but hindsight and all that.

83 - Coach Greg Ryan is yelling a lot. Let me yell at him for a second - "Sub someone, Greg! The girls aren't used to this pace. Some look tired." And NK with another chance in the box. It is cleared for a corner.

85 - desperate clearing from the U.S. for another corner. This is weird. The U.S. players are screaming at each other - they're playing to hang on to their draw. It's so odd not to see the U.S. pushing hard for the win - and looking anything but upset with less than a win.

87 - Miscommunication between Rampone and Solo lets the ball run free in the box. NK forward can't quite latch on.

88 - NK still putting pressure on the U.S. who clearly look stunned. NK is faster to everything.

90 - Second sub for NK, the U.S. still with none.

Yellow on NK for a foul.

First U.S. sub is on - Natasha Kai. Foudy agrees with me, can't believe that Ryan took so long with the sub.

The U.S. nearly mounts a counter - NK gets it back fast, Solo with a diving parry saves the U.S's bacon.

And another shot from the outside. Solo smothers this one. Way to bounce back from the earlier two goals, Hope.

Late free throw deep for the U.S., Boxx send it wide of goal. Whistle blows. Full-time.

Consternation is written on the face of the U.S. players. This is not the way they wanted to start off their World Cup campaign. They didn't lose, but they were outplayed, really. Yes, the conditions sucked, but there's no excuse for all the room and chances they gave NK, or how flatfooted they looked out there at times.

Still, it was a good game, especially given the rain. The U.S. needs to bounce back from this. I'd like to see Leslie Osborne and Lindsey Tarpley come in - I think they could provide a spark and create a more cohesive midfield. The defense needs to step up as well, but that also starts with the midfield.


Anonymous said...

Well, thank goodness someone is covering the US WNT.

NK was tough and good...no excuses. The only positive is they could not score when the US had a full squad on the field and before Abby went out I thought the US had a little(not much) momentum.

Keep up the good work Yes there are still some US WNT fans out here!

Diane said...

I may be done with men's football and devote life to women's NT. Abby went off with blood drenched towel on head and came back in stitched up ten minutes later!? Fierce.

JT (Chicago) said...

Great running commentary AC. The coffee really did the job! Thanks for making the extra effort in the middle of the night. Looks like it's back to that terrible schedule we experienced for WC'02.

Anonymous, yes there still are fans - we're just trying to find each other. Stop over at my blog while the tourney runs.