Saturday Recap Below
Youth Girls Brazil vs. Youth Girls Canada: Canada 5-2.
Youth Boys Canada vs. Youth Boys England. Canada 10-0.
Women’s Canada vs. Women’s England: England 8-2. England starts their tournament off with a bang. The top Women’s teams are becoming clearer by the day. England is clearly gunning for Ukraine.
Women’s Austria vs. Women’s Chile: Chile 7-0. Chile is back after a disappointing showing last year, and they’re in the mix with Ukraine, England and Germany as contenders.
Portugal vs. Serbia: 3-2 Portugal. Portugal held off Serbia for a 3-2 win. Not the most still-filled game of the tournament, but nonetheless entertaining.
Ukraine vs. Scotland : 5-0 Ukraine. I’ll say this. Scotland is trying hard. They’re a young team, they run hard, hustle, don’t give up, but they are in for a very rough tournament. This isn’t anything new. They’ve been placed in the toughest group, and it’s extremely likely that all their games end up this way. Ukraine will be tough to take down in this group.
Norway vs. England: Norway 4-1. Although you wouldn’t necessarily see it from the scoreline, Norway did not look like a team that’s expected to challenge Ireland in the group. Far too many mistakes, poor touches and a lack of discipline. Neither team was able to really gain control in the game, and it looked as though it could go either way for the most part. Norway eventuall potted a couple more goals to seal it. However, it has to be noted that Norway were missing a couple key players and that it was the first game of the tournament. I expect a better showing at their next game. England is a decent team though, they played well.
Poland vs. Germany: Poland 4-2. The third shocking result of the weekend. Poland went up early on Germany, and never looked back. It was 3-0 by the time Germany finally scored, and Poland scored one more to seal it before the Germans scored in the last 10 seconds of the game. Germany was expected to be an offensive force, but none of this was seen during their game against Poland. The reason became quite apparent as the game wore on, which was that Germany completely took their own midfield out of the game. The word “possession” is a word that the Germans have to learn if they want to win this group. The long ball is a great way to catch a team off-guard once in awhile, but it can’t be used every single time. Poland knew it was coming every time and simply clogged it up and retook possession. While the German defence ball-watched, Polish players ran into space and punished them. Germany is one of the most talented teams in the tournament, but they blew this one. It was disappointing to watch a team as good as Germany stumble like that. This was their first game together since last year, and you can bank on them being better than that in their next game. And Poland? Great game by every player. They knew Germany is very tough to handle, and they made a real statement with that victory. Hard work, solid defence, good goalkeeping, and goal-scoring from everywhere makes them a very real threat to make it out of the group. Look out for Poland.
Nigeria vs. Greece: Greece 4-2. This game was a shocker, but for all the wrong reasons. Sloppy play from both teams, and Greece just ended up overwhelming Nigeria. Nigeria was supposed to have top notch team play, and we saw that in the RSA tournament. Yesterday? Non-existent. Turnover after turnover killed them. Greece took full advantage of every turnover. Nigeria has to get their act together, and they’ve got an uphill battle to make it out of this group. I’m looking to Afghanistan as the next team in line to take second place in the group, and their game against Greece should be interesting. Congratulations to Greece, as they held together against Nigeria. Not an easy task.