Blog Entry

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

Posted on: July 10, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 5:13 pm
That was one of the most compelling games of international sport -- any sport -- in U.S. history. Hope you were watching. Hope Solo hopes you were watching, too.

Problem is, it was soccer. And not just soccer, but women's soccer. And so society being what it is, this game -- a U.S. victory against Brazil in penalty kicks on Sunday in a World Cup quarterfinal -- probably won't go down in history with some of the others unmistakably on that list, all-timers like the U.S. men's hockey team's win over the Soviets in 1980 and the U.S. men's basketball team's loss to the Soviets in 1972.

Sunday's soccer game wasn't for the ultimate championship, but neither was that hockey game in 1980. The gold-medal game was against Finland, but I digress.

This soccer game on Sunday, this women's soccer game, was the most compelling soccer match in American history. If you won't give me the first sentence of this blogg post, surely you'll give me that last one. The U.S. women have won world titles before -- two in the World Cup, three in the Olympics -- but there has never been a game like this one.

A game with awful officiating, flopping opponents, a goal in the final seconds of extra time in the latter of two overtimes to force penalty kicks, then a final penalty kick by Ali Krieger to finish off the Brazilians.

The Americans were screwed by blind officiating on at least one goal, then had to play 10-on-11 -- and I'm telling you, it was more like 10-on-14 counting the officials -- after Rachel Buehler was sent off the field with a red card on a penalty against Marta that probably wasn't a penalty and definitely wasn't worthy of expulsion. That led to a Brazilian penalty kick that U.S. keeper Hope Solo swatted away, only to be told to do it again because, well, as of this writing I'm not sure why Solo had to do it again.

All I know is she couldn't, and Marta scored on the retake, and a 1-0 U.S. lead became a 1-1 tie. Brazil eventually went ahead 2-1, but Abby Wambach buried a second-overtime header seconds before the game would end in defeat, and it was on to penalty kicks.

This was a victory for the United States, yes, but it was also a victory for class and dignity. Brazil showed very little of it with the theatrical flopping and bush-league stalling tactics.

I'm not sure the better team won. But I'm sure the classier team won. And if you're thinking to yourself, "This blogg post sure was written by an American homer," I'd tell you that you're damn right.

Category: Soccer
Tags: USA

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:21 pm

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

Doyel doesn't need to be a homer here - he's right.  As a Canadian my opinion is that the officiating was so bad as to strongly indicate corruption rather than incompetence.  The financials of the referee and his family should come under scrutiny and the entire officiating team (missed offside for 2nd goal) should lose their international credentials.

Much like the Salt Lake women's Gold Medal ice hockey match where even more blatant cheating occurred, it's always satisfying to see the right team win despite corrupt officiating.

Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:18 pm

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

@ 8cowboys--

Couldn't agree more about the officiating..i am an american football fan, but my girls play and my wife coaches..i am still learning the game, but dang! even i pick up those offsides and was very very exciting and so so glad to see justice served! especially after that injury time in the 2nd OT when the chick from Brazil got off the stretched, jogged to the sideline, then came running in when it went to a corner kick. If you watch carefully you'll see she doesn't even get touched and just lays down!!  Back to Brazil with all of you! It was a classless play and a disgrace to Brazil and its fans!

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2011 7:04 am

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

As bad as the officiating was in the Women's World Cup game between Brazil and the USA, it was still pretty exciting to watch. I cam out of my chair and screamed after Abby Wambaugh scored on a header, which came in added injury time of the 2nd overtime period. Actually, the Brazilians, who certainly got most of the calls, tried to milk time in the extra time periods by flopping, and faking injuries. The fans booed the ladies from Brazil constantly, but in the end, the US team scored the tying goal because the referee(who finally did something right), added injury. So, flopping and faking injuries really killed the team from Brazil in the end.

Three problems with, the players hold up their hands if something is wrong, and stop playing...that's how Marta scored her goal in the first period of extra time. It should have been called offside, but wasn't, and the US team paused for a moment, and Brazil scored. Second, there is way too much acting, flopping, faking etc. Last, the officials can make such a huge impact on the game and if they are bad, which they were on Sunday, it can cost a team dearly. I'm not sure what the referee and the linesman were doing in this game, but it didn't resemble fairness or consistency.

Since: Oct 12, 2008
Posted on: July 11, 2011 11:40 pm

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

OK, guys, a "gold medal game/match" is a match where the winner gets the the gold medal no matter what. Not so with this game.  Let's say that Finland had beaten the US and the Soviets had beaten Sweden (which they did in real life).  Result - Soviet Union, 4 points, Finland 3 points, USA 3 points, Sweden 2 points; it was 2 points for a win, let's get that straight here.  That means that the USSR would have won the gold medal, Finland the silver (if the tiebreaker would have been the head-to-head; I confess I do not know that detail) and the USA the bronze.  I cite (from Wikipedia, since someone so thankfully brought it up):
"The top two teams from each group play the top two teams from the other group once. Points from previous games against their own group carry over, excluding teams who failed to make the medal round. First place team wins gold, second silver and third bronze."
This means that there is no one gold medal/championship match, especially considering that ties were allowed in these matches (three of the four teams had ties go into the point totals here).  
This one has a parallel in the final match of the round-robin at the 1950 World Cup between Brazil and Uruguay; you will find it, in any legitimate and official source, referred to as the final game of the tournament or as the "Unofficial Final."  Same goes with this game.  In my opinion, when you can have one team win the game and still not get the gold, it doesn't count as the gold medal game. Sorry to bust your bubbles here.

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:30 pm

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

See, this is why I don't watch soccer, either men's or women's.  That's all they ever do.  They flop around, they make up stupid penalties, then add random amounts of time to the end of a half.  They all make this huge big deal on their flops too, like they just got shot.  They usually get stretchered out too.  Then they are back in the game 5 minutes later.

Apparently in the rest of the world this is considered "sportsmanship."  Trying to take every advantage you can.  That is why so much of the world likes this sport, because they live in a different world (the third world) where you need to do that type of thing to survive.  Then they riot like a bunch of hooligans and claim that shows passion.  Over a game.  People actually seriously injure each other over this sport.  It's ridiculous and stupid, and it doesn't fly in the US where we are civilized.  Brazil is particilarly bad about this, and worse yet is when you watch Brazilian fighters, they just blatantly cheat as much as possible. 

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2011 6:29 pm

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

The only time you get free kick and a Yellow to me is if you complain to the ref when you are already awarded the free kick. Never the less that officiating crew was pathetic and should be sent home for the remainder of the tournament.

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2011 5:48 pm

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

Everyone keeps talking about the horrendous officiating, and rightfully so.  However, they keep failing to mention the incident that to me summarized the whole situation.

I don't follow soccer, so I won't pretend to know all of the rules (or laws, or whatever you want to call the rules).  However, what did Rapinoe get a yellow for near the end of regulation, and how was she able to get a free kick even with the yellow?  I think the commentator claimed it could have been for Rapinoe mouthing off, but if you watched the interaction, the ref had the card in her hand before Rapinoe got anywhere close to her.

It just makes no sense to me that a player gets called for something that warrants a card, but gets the ball.

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2011 5:43 pm

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

No, he can't. When you write about sports for a living, you are supposed to stop being a homer. Doesn't matter which side is involved, you are not supposed to openly root for one side over the other. I get that Doyel is a columnist and the rules of objectivity don't apply as strictly to him, but being a homer is never something to be proud of if you're a sportswriter. Period

That's all well and good, and I agree with you 95% of the time.  However, Doyel is writing an article for a target audience, and every well-written article takes that target audience into account.  Since this website is an AMERICAN-based site, it really isn't too difficult to figure out who the target audience is.

This isn't ANY different than an editorial in a local paper.  In fact, that's exactly what this IS, an editorial on a local site.  "Local" in this case just happens to encompass the entire AMERICAN population.  Editorials don't pretend to be objective, in fact, they are frequently designed to be completely subjective, to express an opinion or debate from one side of an argument.

Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: July 11, 2011 4:52 pm

The Finland/USA game WAS the gold medal match

Uh, that's what he said. What article were YOU reading?

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2011 1:57 pm

Women win classic ... hope you were watching

So let me get this straight, Doyel is not allowed to be a homer for a team bearing the name USA because he is a columnist?  What a bunch of garbage!  Dude, get real.  When we are talking about the world theater and the team playing is OUR team, you're damn right he can be a homer.
No, he can't. When you write about sports for a living, you are supposed to stop being a homer. Doesn't matter which side is involved, you are not supposed to openly root for one side over the other. I get that Doyel is a columnist and the rules of objectivity don't apply as strictly to him, but being a homer is never something to be proud of if you're a sportswriter. Period.

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