- By Whirly
Intro: The first 4 games were enjoyable for the most part for this stage. The upset heard around the world was awesome. It helped bring life to the round of sixteen. Here is individual breakdown of the first four games.
Germany vs. Sweden (4-1): The German domination of Sweden was a true art form. The German side had its first real chance in the first 18 seconds of the game. Germany was in full throttle in the first half. Chance after chance, they came in with a purpose. They’re showing the rest of the world what soccer looks like when you go to the ball and fight through challenges on a consistent basis.
I mean this game was a great training film for current and upcoming coaches on how to attack compact defenses. The German side was relentless and did little ball watching. They were were looking for loose balls in the box and rebounds. There was little life in the second half by the Swedish team and proved to themselves that possessing the ball was a key ingredient to slow down the German side. Sweden game plan was flawed from the beginning.
Telling the media that set pieces and counter attacks are the way to beat this German side was just complacent. For starters, the Sweden side couldn’t connect a pass to save their life and two the Swedes don’t understand how to counterattack. They showed that in the US game. They had 7 counterattacks in that game and couldn’t get a shot in that game.
Sweden generated one breakaway chance and couldn’t convert against an over pursing German Goalkeeper.
As for set pieces the Swedish side did get one goal back off of a free kick. That was one of three set pieces that the German defenders were caught napping. I’m a bit scared right now because this team turning into a machine.
Whirly Record: 1-0
Score Result Comparison: Whirly Prediction: Germany Wins 4-1 Real Score: Germany Won 4-1: Who is the man; this guy. Woot Woot.
China vs. Cameroon (1-0): This was a fairly decent game overall. The Cameroon team showed a little more toughness in this game. They were little reckless in the first 20 minutes with stupid chippy fouls but turned it around and played more stand up kind of defense.
The Chinese side played well at points but didn’t use the width of the field. They’re young team were trying to do things right but were overpowered in some cases. The Chinese need work on playing out of the back better. Cameroon made strong plays near the end that had fans on both sides out of their seats. This African nation will be one to look out for in the future.
Whirly Record: 2-0
Score Result Comparison: Whirly Prediction: 2-1 China Wins Real Result: China Won 1-0: I did okay here.
Brazil vs. Australia (0-1): Congratulations to the ladies from the world down under. Australia ladies win their first knock out game in there soccer history. Well I called this game way wrong because the Brazilians brought there ego to the game and not the flare that was expected.
I understand that forwards play with little swag up top but putting your own agenda in front of your teammates is inexcusable. Cristiana chose to play on her own schedule, god forbid she help teammates out. Brazil was the far better talented side today but the heart of the Shelia’s won. Brazil best chances were turnovers.
They had the right idea to shoot on goal because it was raining during the game but you got to put shots on frame. The goalkeeping for Australian squad was better than it was in group play. The regular starter for Australia sat out of the USA game but looked rusty during the rest of group play. She looked more comfortable in this game and developed confidence for the next stage.
Brazil’s keeper on the other hand looked nervous and not fully involved. She mishandled number of balls and gave up a juicy rebound that lead to the goal. This game showed the world that Australia is on the rise and why games are not won on paper.
Whirly Record: 2-1
Score Result Comparison: Whirly Prediction: 4-0 Brazil Wins Real Result: Australia Won 1-0: Well the result didn’t work out so much but it showed that knockout stage is a serious (not fun practice ground) event.
France vs. South Korea (3-0): Well what did we see? Did we see the Columbian France or the Mexican France today? The answer is…..The French side that hammered the Mexico. The women’s French team put on clinic as possession goes.
There were some nice two touch combos. The South Korean women were soft especially the goalkeeper, who will remain nameless. There was little fight by the Korean side. They were taking poor shots and making poor passes.
South Korea had one chance to turn the tide when they were down 2-0. There was a shot from the outside the box and the French Goalkeeper dropped the ball. Not a single Korean forward was near that misplayed ball.
The French team however “closed up shop” for the rest of the game and took foot off the gas. That is all well and good but your next opponent is the number one team in the world.
You need to get the system and chemistry down to an art. The game will be a classic but the French side will not be getting a ton of chances in that game.
Whirly Record: 3-1
Score Result Comparison: Whirly Prediction: 2-2 (6-5) Pks France Wins Real Result: France Won 3-0: The South Korean had a chance to change their fortune with that rebound opportunity but ball watching secured their fate.
Final Thoughts: Coming and playing with a purpose is the key ingredient to create a shot at being in the game and moving on to the next stage. Brazil attempted to bully the Sheilas and learned that talent alone doesn’t win championships. Killer instinct will separate the winners and losers at this point.