LAST NIGHT RECAP QUARTER FINAL ACTION
Mike has a busy day at work and seeing as how I have the day off and am in Regina he asked if I could write a review of last night's action. So this post will be brought to you by DG. I don't have all the scorers and I am not as adequate with the names as Mike but I will try my best. Sorry if I butcher any names and I didn't take any notes so I am going strictly off memory.
Over View: Easily the best night of soccer played in this tourney and if I was to ask Kevin I would venture to guess that he would say that last night was historic for atmosphere and the amount of quality played in one night ever at WCP. The action had everything from 3 OT's, a shoot out and every game ended up being a one goal game. What a way to show case soccer at WCP.
Ireland vs Germany: Ireland got off to a quick start when Ryan Mcallister scored his first of 2 header goals on the night to make it 1 to 0 ROI 5 minutes into the match. Germany sat back and defended and very little happened through the first half. The second half however was anything but boring. After Ryan Mcallister scored his second header goal to make it 2 to 0 and Lee Mooney added ROI 3rd goal with 15 minutes left in the game it seemed all but over for Germany. Fortunately for Germany, I (dg) decided to play an ill advised back pass to Jonah with 6 minutes left that ended up being served on a platter to the German striker and it was 3 to 1. Germany with life pushed everyone forward and with 3 minutes left they scored again to make it 3 to 2. With the crowd heavily cheering for the German underdogs they equalized in the 53rd minute (I don't know where the added 3 minutes of extra time came from but it happens). With all the momentum on their side heading into OT it took ROI 2 minutes to make ammends for a shocking final 6 minutes as Nathan Reis got his head on the ball to get the game winner and end Germany's nice run in the WCP.
ES vs Laos: I missed much of the first half but Matt Leung tapped in a goal mouth scramble to make it 1 to 0 for Laos and Jerson equalized for ES on a penalty to tie it up. This game had a very good flow to it. Lot of quick players on both teams and plenty of good technical players on both sides. With 9 minutes to go in the match Laos scored on a direct kick that was a rocket. 5 minutes later Rolfe brought the fans to their feet with a cheeky back heel goal and this game looked like it was going to head to OT as well. But with less than 2 minutes to play a kick in that appeared to go off Boun's head beat ES keeper Mitch Cantin and put Laos through to the semi final. ES did have one last goal mouth scramble and the ball actually beat Evan but was cleared off the line by a Laos defender. The Laos clappers were in full force last night and will be out again in full force again tonight as Laos will take on ROI in semi final action. ES had a slow start to the tourney but they definitely proved that they were one of the contendors in the tourney.
France vs Canada: This game was not as exciting as the build up to it. Not too many clear cut chances, and the real excitement did not start till the PK's. Tavis opended up the scoring halfway through the first half, a France turnover lead to Tavis getting posotion of the ball. He made a few nice moves to create some space for himself, and slid it into the back of the net. Both teams tried to keep possesion of the ball, but neither team could really keep the ball. France came out strong in the second half, and created some sustained pressure, which led to the equalizer. Mason had a free kick which was flicked in by Danny to tie to the game up. After that it was a game where both teams were playing not to make a mistake. Tavis and Mason both had a chance with free kicks near the end of regulation and at the end of extra time. This game had PK's writen all over it, and thats excactly where it went. Withuot going into all the names of the shooters, both teams scored on all their first 5 shots, creating sudden death and added pressure for additional shooters. Tristan and Waller both came up with big saves, at one point Kupiack from Canada having to take his kick twice, and twice missing. In the end it was Canada who was able to convert a PK in sudden death and advance to the final. This game was as toss up before it started, so it went to script.
Sudan vs Poland: With the building in a state of frenzy after 3 electric games it was nice to see another game that lived up to the hype. Who else but Jay Tomchuk to get Poland out to a 1 to 0 lead about 10 minutes into the match. Michal made a couple of quality saves for Poland through the first half as both teams exchanged some ok chances and Poland took a 1 to 0 lead into the second half. Poland seemed to have the run of play for most of the game but played a little more direct in the second half that kind of played into Sudan's hand. With 10 minutes ish left to play Sudan equalized and their supporters went nuts. I keep saying that Sudan playing and doing well is excellent for this tournament. With 2 minutes left in the game the dreaded roof ball as a Sudan player went to block a shot and who else but Tomchuk to be on the ball for the potential game winner. With the Polish faithful ready to shoot off their confetti and retire Jay's jersery right there Nooer decided to make the save of the tournament as he stuck out his leg as a reaction to the shot and after the game said he was just hoping it hit him. What better way to end off this night than another OT for the fans. With very little chances in the first half of OT it was Tong Tong's wonderful header with 2 minutes to go in OT that sent Sudan and their supporters into the semis. I think I saw 6 back flips, 5 jersey's removed, 4 randoms run on the turf and a partridge in a pair tree all on the field.
CONCLUSION: I think it is next to impossible for the semis to live up to this night, but you would be doing yourself a disservice by not being at the center tonight catching semis final action. Tonight's games feature: Womens: Ukraine vs England at 6:30 and Germany vs Poland at 8:30 On the men's side ROI vs Laos 7:30 and Sudan vs Canada at 9:30