- By Whirly
Two matches in the books and the first semifinal is set. The first match was a fun, physical, strange, and a drag out battle. The second was little more entertaining but still lacked drama.
Germany vs. France (1-1 5-4 PKs): Well it finally happened, the Germans fell down to Earth in this matchup. The French squad came out with zero fear and guns a blazing. The French put the Germans under pressure and possessed the ball well.
Even with the French side dominating the run of play, they still managed to set up some chances. The second half the Germans had some renewed life and played smarter and played the ball quicker to relieve the pressure. The Germans were reminded the second cardinal sin of soccer; “never clear the ball down the middle of field.” A German defender headed a ball down the middle of the field and the French forward scored easily.
The Germans got a gift penalty kick (they scored) and kept up the attack. In the end the game went to the shootout and the number one team showed composure and finished off the game. This escape scares me when they play the next round. They learned that they can be beat and the Americans haven’t had that lesson in this World Cup.
Now let’s take a look at the France side of things. This game will be the “Canadian Frozen Haunting.” The French side missed so many opportunities; it wasn’t even fair at points. Yes, the German keeper made some decent saves but from a professional stand point those chances need to be goals.
They took advantage of the German miss clear but after that still couldn’t find a way to finish off the German team. Even in overtime, a French forward was all alone and had a wide open net and missed from 3 yards away.
How does that happen? Now there were some coaching blunders that left fans from all over the world go “Wait, did I just see that?” Taking off two of your top players to put in some younger players for experience or energy was mind boggling. Those two shooters could have been used in the shootout.
Thomis was dominating the flank and she gets benched and what a shock the offense goes to a standstill. This game will forever haunt the French team for World Cups to come. Hopefully this doesn’t affect their development or confidence moving forward.
Score Result Comparison: Whirly Prediction: Germany Wins 3-1 Real Score: Germany Won 1-1 (5-4) PKs: Well I thought the Germans were going to come out stronger and not give the French attack to much respect. Weird to see them so conservative.
Whirly Knockout Record: 8-1
United States of America vs. China (1-0): Well this game ended as expected. The USA squeaked out a 1 goal win. Shocker!! Now as the play being slow as has been in previous games, umm there was some improvement. The US came out with more prowess then other games but then stopped when they scored the goal to take the lead. There was much better speed of play and at points more selfish play (in some cases is cool to see).
The Chinese had a great defensive system but couldn’t hang with the USA forwards. Even when the Chinese created a turn over there was little cohesion. This young team has much to be proud of and will grow to become threat in the future. I’m sorry there wasn’t much to say here. The only real offense was off of fouls. The commentators that said the Chinese looked great in the round of sixteen are on another planet. This young team was too predictable in the last stage and it showed in the quarterfinal.
Score Result Comparison: Whirly Prediction: USA Wins 1-0 OT Real Score: USA Won 1-0: Nice I got the score mostly right (scored in regulation). US still need to score more goals.
Whirly Knockout Record: 9-1
Final Thoughts: “If you don’t want a shootout, finish the blipping ball.” One goal leads are not safe at this point of the tournament. So many teams are tooooooooo nice, put the game out of reach. Don’t put the game in the hands of the officials. Man, simple lessons, gee whiz.