Sunday, July 3, 2011

WWC - Brazil v Norway Running Blog

Brazil! They did open the World Cup with a win, but it wasn't particularly impressive over Australia, only one goal scored in the match. Norway is expected to be a tougher opponent, though many have tipped Australia and Brazil as the two teams to advance.

Anthems. Brazil's is peppy, Norway's is somber. Sad that Brazil get so few friendlies together. Officiating crew is from USA. With a win, Brazil advances to the next round.
1 - Rosana on the run, but Norway snuffs out the chance with a nice save.
3 - It's a choppy match so far, lots of balls out of bounds.
5 - Norway with a wayward shot.
7 - The crowd is doing the wave - Brazil in the box, but Norway cuts off the pass intended for Marta.
9 - Brazil is slipping on the wet field.
11 - The long-ball approach also isn't working for Brazil.
13 - Marta is already looking frustrated. She sent a not-great long pass, and when the receiver couldn't handle it and lost the ball out on the sideline, Marta threw her hands up in exasperation.
15 - Fabiana has her right show off, apparently injured.
18 - Shot on goal, and Brazil's keeper has to make the save.
20 YELLOW! Daiane brings down Haave.
21- Christiane from distance. Not much of a chance there.
22 - GOAL!  A long pass finally finds Marta, who pushes her way into the box, evades two other defenders and fires a low shot just inside the near post.
24 - Marta's path to the goal gets squeezed shut by two Norway defenders who are probably still mad about that push.
28 - Corner for Brazil is punched by Norway's keeper. Eventually it leads to another corner. That goes out for a goalkick.
30 - Giske with a rather sucky shot. That's not going to get Norway back in it.
32 - Norway mad at USA ref Seitz. First she missed Marta's push, now she doesn't give Norway the corner they deserve.
34 - It's Brazil with the next corner, but Norway do a good job of screening them off the ball.
36 - Foudy is foolishly defending Marta's push as a good no-call. It's bogus. If players were allowed to push their defenders over, a lot more would score goals, not just Marta.
39 - Herlovson with a low header in the box, but it's blocked by Aline.
40 - Ok, Marta was hit there, but what a theatrical fall that was.
42 - Rosana from distance - Hjelmseth makes the save with a two-handed push that barely resists the power of the strike.
43 - Norwegian freekick gets their fans fired up, but leads to Andrea falling in the box and the play being whistled dead before Norway can shoot.
45 - Rosana again from distance. This one was over by a lot.

Haftime - Bob Ley defends Marta, too. More bogusness. Monica Gonzales on the ESPN desk nailed it - Marta shouldn't have to cheat to get her goals. She's too talented. Tony DeCicco earns my scorn by glossing over the push, as if Marta's ensuing juke and shoot was so good it magically negated the push. It doesn't work that way.

46 - Foudy opens the second half in bad form by still saying Marta's push was "ok". Whatever.
47 - GOAL! See, Marta doesn't need to cheat. A hard run by Marta slides the defense to her, then she pushes the ball square for Rosana to lash into the goal. 2-0 Brazil.
48 - GOAL - Norway are falling apart, as a bad backpass leads to chaos in the box and Marta pounces in to score. 3-0 Brazil.
53 - Brazil are rolling now, but I predict karma for the squad later on in the tournament. Marta lost fans with the push, or I'm a mushroom. 
57 - Norway with a slight counter, but then the ball gets away for a goalkick.
59 - Norway counter - working to get a shot, but Brazil are able to counter before that happens.
63 - Even as Darke and Foudy run down Norway, they've had a bit of the run of play lately, though it really hasn't threatened Brazil much.
65 -  Brazil now charge into the box, but Marta's pass to Christiane is too strong and Norway recover.
68 - Marta charge into the box gets snuffed out by a clearly tired Norway squad.
71 - Brazil looking downright cocky - they always play confidently with the lead.
75 - Norway is learning in real time how outdated and slow their tactics and gamer are.
78 - Credit to their persistence - they keep at it, though. They haven't given up looking for the consolation goals to cut down the differential.
81 - As Darke finally points out, Brazil is looking good now because playing counterattack actually fits their style perfectly.
84 - Norway with a threatening corner, but the final chip shot by Giske ends up on top of the goal.
88 - And another corner chance for Norway ends up with the ball on top of the goal again.
90 Norway have run out of steam and seem to accept their fate. 
There it is! IT's over. The win is tainted by Marta's push, but it was probably inevitable. 

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