FIFAWWC Day 8,9&10

I missed quite a few games on Friday but there was no way I was missing the England game. I missed Japan beating Scotland 2-1 and I also missed Italy thrash Jamaica 5-0. Italy really seem to have been a bit of an under dog this tournament with their 2 victories. But come 8pm on Friday I was sat ready and waiting for England to take on Argentina. Phil had made a few changes for this game and one of these was Telford coming into goal instead of Bardsley. It was nice to finally see Telford getting to represent England on the big stage as in previous tournaments she had been overlooked.

Right from the start Argentina weren't holding back on the challenges they were putting in and honestly I am surprised Bronze managed to play the full 90 with some of the challenges she suffered through. One thing I think England did well from the get go was working the ball around the field, they did this a lot better than their previous game against Scotland and it really helped them get into some threatening positions. Although they were a lot more confident on the ball once again they just couldn't capitalise on their chances in front of goal, this seems to be something they have struggled with for a few games now and I don't understand why as the players are more than capable. Poor Scott has some great chances from headers but they just didn't want to find the back of the net, which is really unfortunate as I really want Jill to bag herself a goal but it just doesn't seem to be falling for her.

The penalty was definitely a clear penalty as the Argentinian player lunged straight into Greenwood, it is possibly the clearest penalty I have seen given in the tournament so far. Unfortunately for Parris though she couldn't convert it as the ball seemed to come off her heel which meant it wasn't a clean strike. I do believe Taylor could have possibly done better on the follow up though. It was a great initial save from the Argentina keeper though, in fact she pulled off some fantastic saves throughout the game, especially in the first half.

One of the things I really loved to watch was Scott and Kirby linking up during play, they did this really well throughout the game and it got England into some really dangerous positions. It also meant that Kirby was a lot more involved than she was on Sunday which again benefited England. It was the duo linking up that ultimately lead to England finally scoring. A great counter attack from Jill who threaded the ball out to Kirby who played a nice pass to Mead who eventually put in a great ball for Taylor who slotted the ball home from close range, it really was a brilliantly worked goal.

It was nice to see Phil bring Daly on too as I was worried she was just going to be a player who made up the numbers and didn't get any game time, even if it was just a short time on the pitch at least it was some time. But please Phil play her again. I have to admit though that wasn't the best of games and I honestly thought there would be a bigger score line in this game but I think the 1-0 really reflected England not taking their chances and the Argentinian keeper pulling off some great saves. If If I had to name a woman of the match for this game I honestly think it would have to be Scott again she is running the midfield and is helping out both defensively and attacking.

Saturday was an unplanned family day, so I ended up missing the Netherlands beat Cameroon 3-1 but I saw the highlights and what a great goal for Cameroon. Then it was Canada vs New Zealand I did manage to catch a bit of this game and to be honest although Canada came away with a 2-0 win they still don't look like the strong Canada I am used to seeing. It was great to see Fleming score though she is such a great young talent.

Yesterday was fathers day so we had a family get together which unfortunately meant missing the Sweden game where they beat Thailand 5-1 but it was lovely to see the emotion on the Thailand bench when they scored their goal which was actually a brilliant finish. I did however make sure I was home for the USWNT match, there was no way I was missing that but I did actually end up missing the first 15 minutes and the first USWNT goal of the game, when I caught it on a replay though it looked like a fantastic first goal for Lloyd with a nice clean strike.

The USWNT had made 7 changes for this game but still had a fantastic starting 11 on the pitch which just goes to show you how many great players the team have to pick from. I was really glad to see Ali Krieger in this starting 11 as I was worried when she was called up that Jill would just use her as popularity and a bench warmer but to see her actually get game time was great. She really hasn't lost it she still has her speed and her ability on the ball is fantastic she kept up with the game perfectly, her first touch was fantastic and her attacking game was brilliant too, all that time of not knowing if she was ever going to represent her country again yet she has kept up with her training and is really showing why she should be on that big stage.

Chile were really unlucky not to draw level when their goal was called offside, the attacking player didn't make any contact with the ball and honestly I don't know what Naeher was doing when she came for it. After seeing this one ruled out it really did make me wonder if the Australia one should also have ruled out.

It was Ertz who grabbed the 2nd goal for the USA, it was an absolutely fantastic in swinging corner from Davidson which Ertz connected brilliantly with as she got on the right side of the defence, it just shows how much of an ariel threat Ertz can be and her headers are absolutely fantastic.

Another corner from Davidson lead to another goal for the USWNT this time it was Lloyd who found the back of the net. Lloyd absolutely towered over the defence to header the ball into the back of the net. It was yet another precision delivery from the youngster Davidson from the same side as Ertz's goal. It was yet another game for them going into half time 3-0 up.

Davidson has really impressed me in her first world cup game as she provided some fantastic deliveries from set pieces along with getting stuck into her defensive game when required. It is just a case of if she can continue this as they come up against bigger teams as the tournament progresses.

McDonald was brought on at half time for her first world cup game to replace Ertz, was this a tactical move from the USWNT to save Ertz for the upcoming Sweden game? If it was it is a great decision as Ertz could prove crucial in that game.

One player who really impressed me during this game was Press, year after year she is becoming better and better and looking more confident. Her quick feet and skilful runs are really amazing and are really challenging for the opponents she really isn't afraid to take on the opposition which is great to see she really is improving as a player.

2 further changes were made for the USWNT which brought on Long and Sonnett meant that all the outfield players for the USWNT now had some game time under their belts. I was glad to see Sonnett come on as she is a fantastic defender who is really underrated, I would have liked to see her in the CB role though as opposed to the RB one as I think she is a better CB. 

The USA had chance to grab a 4th goal through a penalty but Lloyd was unable to convert this. I know she was going for a hat-trick but honestly I think it should have gone to someone else as her track record isn't too cracking with the penalties, remember that one against Scotland? I suppose it was a little bit of karma though as the penalty should never have been given. Once again the VAR was far too slow and the foul actually occurred outside the box how it was given after so many checks I really don't know. 

The USWNT worked the ball around really well and had some great movement where as Chile never really looked a threat to the USWNT and definitely weren't closing down quick enough, putting pressure on the USWNT and were always going in with heavy unnecessary challenges. 

Woman of the match for me was definitely the Chile goalkeeper Endler, if it wasn't for her the goal margin would have been a lot bigger, she really stopped the USA running away with the game and pulled off some amazing saves in the process. She was hyped up in the pregame and really lived up to it and could be a huge prospect in any league in the future.

The team that started against Thailand for the USWNT really looked stronger and I can see it being that team to take on Sweden but this 11 also played great meaning Ellis possibly has a few tough decisions to make.

See you soon,

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