2023 Women's World Cup
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2023 1:58 am    Post subject:

Spain beat Sweden 2-1 to advance to the Final, as Sweden loses again in the World Cup semifinals. Spain scored late to take a 1-0 lead, Sweden tied it just a couple of minutes later, and then early in stoppage time, not long after Sweden had tied it, Spain scored early in stoppage time on a perfectly placed strike from the 18.
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2023 2:52 am    Post subject:

ChickenStu wrote:
Two entertaining games "today" in Australia/New Zealand saw Spain get past the Netherlands 2-1 in extra time, and Sweden holding off Japan 2-1 as well. Spain will now play Sweden in one semifinal, as that side of the bracket is set.

In the first game, Spain was holding a 1-0 lead as stoppage time began, and 12 minutes (!!) were added. Just into stoppage time, the Dutch scored on a great strike from around the 18 to the far post to tie it up. Then in the second half of extra time, one of the young Spain subs fired a great low shot to the far post from an angle, actually kissing it off the post and in, for what proved to be the winning goal. This is the furthest the Spanish women have ever advanced in a World Cup, and they look dangerous to me. Like the trademark style of the men's team, Spain keep possession very well and I think they could be a problem.

That said, they will face the now five-time semifinalists, Sweden, who are still looking for their first-ever trip to a World Cup final. Sweden absolutely dominated favored Japan in the first half and took a well-deserved 1-0 lead into halftime, and it could've been 2-0 or even 3-0 (they hit a post and had one other glorious chance). Then a Japan handball in the box early in the second half led to a Sweden PK goal, so it was 2-0. From that point on, to their credit, Japan really went for it, the coach made some good subs, and Japan were pouring it on, with Sweden on their heels. Japan earned a PK and in what may have ultimately cost them the shot at extra time, their player hit the crossbar and the ball stayed out of the net. This means that the Swedish goalkeeper has seen 4 of the last 5 PK attempts against her not even be on frame, and I think she's clearly in the players' heads. Japan continued to push, though, and they finally capitalized on a rare Swedish defensive mistake to score late in regulation. As 10 minutes of stoppage time were added, Japan certainly had a chance still, but they could not find that second goal.

This guarantees that we will have a first-time winner of the World Cup. And with France and England on the other side of the bracket, there is a possibility of an all-Europe quartet of semifinalists. Australia and Colombia, respectively, will be trying to break through.


Spain are up 1-0 at halftime of the Final against England. Perhaps my comments will prove to be prescient. Or perhaps this will hex them!
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ChickenStu
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2023 4:04 am    Post subject:

La Roja! Spain hold on to win 1-0. They actually missed a PK that would have put them up 2-0, but in the end it didn't matter. This is an extremely well-deserved World Cup title for them. They are so adept at keeping possession, whether through clever little passes or deft touches, sometimes both in tight spaces. Spain has invested a lot into women's football and it's so clearly paying off. Rather incredibly, Spain now hold the Under-17, Under-20, and World Cup titles all at the same time. That is kicking ass of the highest order.
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Wilt
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2023 2:12 pm    Post subject:

The father of the player that scored the winning goal passed away before the game. She was told after the game.
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