Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The GBU: Canada - Argentina

Breaking down the Olympic soccer opener...

The Score:
Canada 2, Argentina 1

How I Saw It:
On the tube.

The Good:
- Kara Lang scoring Canada's second goal off of a free kick awarded to Canada only moments earlier when she was viciously tackled by Argentina's Maria Quinones, who earned a yellow card for her trouble. Brilliant way to get vengeance without getting booked in the process.
- Jodi-Ann Robinson, turning an impressive performance as a 19-year-old sub despite only being called up to the team earlier this week to fill in for the injured Amber Allen. The highlight of Robinson's play was the brilliant Hackey Sack move she performed to fool a defender, holding the ball between her legs while on the ground, flipping over and getting to her feet on the opposite side of her marker. Who ever said fooling around gets you nowhere?
- Melissa Tancredi's hockey-style screening of Argentine goalie Vanina Correa on Canada's first goal. I've always wanted to see that move more often in soccer, and Tancredi confirmed that it is possible, legal and effective.
- Correa's performance in goal for Argentina. Canada easily could have had a couple more goals if not for her strong play, particularly on an early blast from Christine Sinclair that she dived across the goal to parry.

The Bad:
- Rhian Wilkinson's turnover late in the game near the sideline in her own half that led to Argentina's lone goal. Obviously, she failed to pay heed to one of the central tenets of minor soccer instruction: "When in doubt, kick it out!"
- Canada's inability to finish. The Canadians squandered plenty of chances, hitting the woodwork, the stands and occasionally each other instead of the net. The poor finishing didn't come back to bite them in this game, but it just might against better opposition down the road.

The Ugly:

- Melissa Tancredi's rolled ankle. Tancredi had a great game, playing her usual bang-and-crash style that makes her seem like the women's soccer equivalent of Cam Neely. Unfortunately, she proved prone to injury as well, rolling her ankle in a severe collision with an Argentine defender early on. She was stretchered off, but returned to the game and gutted it out for another 20+ minutes, which might not be the best thing for her ankle in the long run. Eventually, she had to call it quits for the day. Let's hope she'll be back soon, as Canada could sure use her scoring talents.
- Some of the Argentine hairstyles. Note to Argentina: long, stringy hair looks just as bad on female footballers as it does on the male ones. Please take this look out of fashion. Thank you.


- My recap of the game and its implications [Out of Left Field].
- My liveblog of the game [Sporting Madness].
- An excellent game story by Jim Morris of The Canadian Press [The Globe and Mail].

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