Monday, June 27, 2011

Women's World Cup - Japan v New Zealand

Time for kickoff!

2 - I'm ready for the match with the breakfast of champions, real whipped cream and strawberries on a chocolate brownie - Breakfast at Germany, the AC version.

3 - Corner for Japan, nothing comes of it.

4 - Nearly a corner straight into the goal from New Zealand there.

6 - GOAL! Through ball from Ohno reaches Nagasato who chips the goalkeeper. Sweet. Japan 1-0

8 - Nearly another goal for Japan there, but NZ recover.

12 - GOAL! New Zealand fight back - ball goes over the top to Percival, and Amber Hearn makes a far post run to head the ball in. 1-1

14 - Shocking marking on that goal.

16 - Fun facts at the WWC - Japan is only the second-shortest team at the Women's World Cup. The shortest? Mexico.

17 - Save from New Zealand's Bindon.

18 - Sakaguchi off the post! Japan goes close there, but Bindon saves Sawa's following shot.

22 - Japan looking nervous - overshooting a lot of their passes. When they're on, they're great to watch, with tricky quick passes.

25 - Japan's corner - is served well, but Binden corrals the ball before a shot is taken.

28 - Bindon gets NZ out of trouble again. She and Riley are easily the busiest players on their squad.

29 - Then Bindon bobbles one - but Sawa can't take advantage.

30 - Japan is actually looking decent on corners so far. They're mixing up the strategy, not going short every time.

35 - New Zealand is bypassing the midfield with their long passes.

38 - Japan still threatening on their corner chances, but close doesn't count.

42 - New Zealand with a corner chance of their own - Kaihori claims it in her box.

45 - Bowen clips a player as Japan breaks on the counter - Yellow card.

Halftime - Even draw would be considered a poor result for Japan. Goes to show that parity in the women's game is growing.

47 - Japan closes in on the NZ goal, then is offside.

49 - Freekick for Japan - Miyama to take. She used to play in LA, nice technical player who tended to get nervous shooting at the goal. Her kick is fine, but Bowen punches it clear.

54 - New Zealand look more lively, Japan dead in the heat. The announcers keep referencing how Barcelona's style is echoed by Japan. That's a terrible comparison when Japan are creating so little.

55 - Ohno coming off, Iwabuchi coming in. Now they're comparing her to Messi. Please, just stop.

57 Which is not to say that I don't believe Iwabuchi is an amazingly talented player, by the way. On her first touch, her pass gets cut off. Like Whitehill points out, Iwabuchi had players open on the other side.

59 - The pressure of being "the next Mia Hamm", which Whitehill mentions for USA players, is more realistic than being like Messi.

61 - Wilkinson in for Gregorius.

63 - Japan's player seem afraid of making a mistake. They're tentative.

64 - Corner for New Zealand - foul call on Wilkinson for pushing the keeper kills it.

68 -GOAL! Iwabuchi is fouled just outside the box. Miyama, who has had a quiet game so far, nails the freekick with perfect bend past Bindon. 2-1 Japan leads.

74 - Now it's New Zealand who seem out of ideas.

77 - High kick from Hearn kills an NZ attack.

83 - Great builup by Japan ends in a tame Iwabuchi shot that was easy for Bindon.

88 - Just when I was going to type that Japan is playing boring, but effective keepaway, Iwabuchi gets cheeky and tried to chip Bindon. Not too shabby.

90 - Miyama's sloppy foul gives NZ a good freekick chance, but Hearn is no Miyama. Misses the target on the freekick. Too high.

Fulltime! Like Germany yesterday, Japan didn't get the extra goal differential they wanted, but they got the most important thing - the win.

No comments: