Friday, October 29, 2010

Women's Gold Cup Day 2: Group A Follows in Group B's Tracks

The Women's Gold Cup Day 2 was entertaining and full of some great performances. Group A, who opened their campaign today, followed in Group B's footsteps by starting their competition with a bang.

Hey everyone, here reporting and commenting on the Women's Gold Cup Day 2! In fact, I just finished watching the Mexico game, which was great by the way, but, let's talk about the matches in chronological order. So, I'll analyze the Canada vs. Trinidad and Tobago game before we even get into Mexico's performance.

So, the first match of the day was Canada vs. Trinidad and Tobago. Canada won 1-0 over the Trinidadians (not even sure if that's how you say it), thanks to a goal from Melissa Tancredi. I was expecting a way bigger scoreline in Canada's favor, though. I caught the 2nd half of the game, and it seemed like Canada dominated the match. Their performance somewhat resembled that of the United States, shots barely missing, or being blocked by a wall of defenders. Canada had some great chances which they just couldn't seem to put away. The case with Canada, as was the case with the United States just a day ago, was that many of the opportunities created by their team, or even created by the mistakes of the opposing team, were not finished. The reason for this, I think, is that in the case of the Canadians, and more so the Americans I think, is that both teams were not playing at their highest gear. Yesterday, the USA put on a good performance and got an outstanding result. However, if you were watching the game, you knew that the USWNT was not giving it their all. I'm not saying they put no effort into the game, but they did just enough to get the result they wanted. And I do not blame either team for doing this, not one bit. Here's my argument: Why kill yourselves when you know very well you are going to win? The USWNT played Haiti in a rather lazy (for lack of a better word) fashion. It was definitely not their best performance, but even though they didn't play at their full potential, they got an exceptional result. So why kick it into high gear and overdo it, risking an injury or further tiring yourself out? These teams have 3 matches to play in 7 days, that's a lot of playing squeezed into only a short period of time. The USWNT was smart to not kill themselves, as was Canada. If you can put in less energy (conserving it in the long run, which is extremely important in a competition where a World Cup berth is the stakes) and still win (and in the USA's case get a fantastic 5-0 result) then good for you. Many people will say "Oh, well they better not pull this crap when they play tougher opponents." Well, to be honest, I'm sure both Canada and the USA are well aware what they are up against. The USA and Canada have each dealt with tough opponents before. Taking it down a notch against teams they can afford to do so against, does not mean they will suddenly forget how and when to kick it into high gear. It is a smart strategy I think. Well, that is all for my mini-rant. Back to Day 2! So yes, Canada gains 3 points, and sits atop the Group A table.

Now for Mexico vs. Guyana, which concluded about 30 minutes ago. That game was a real treat to watch. It was entertaining, there were plenty of goals to feast your eyes on (well executed goals that were the result of smart, accurate, and creative plays), and the home crowd was truly a presence in the game, which was pretty cool to hear. Mexico shredded Guyana 7-2. Mexico went up 2-0, then Guyana would make it 2-1. Close game still. Then Mexico added another making it 3-1, but shortly after Guyana answered, making the scoreline 3-2. Close game right? Well, not after that it wasn't. And honestly, even when Guyana was scoring, the Mexicans still had control of the match. The Mexicans made it 4-2, then 5-2, then 6 and 7-2. The goals just kept coming, and while you were watching you just thought they would never stop. The home crowd was absolutely electric, and their presence was definitely heard and felt by the players. Mexico undoubtedly pulled and gained energy from the Mexican home crowd who were cheering them on throughout the 90 minutes. Mexico looked like they were giving it their all, in contrast to the USA and Canada, who seemed to play at cruise-control. The Mexicans were relentless in their attack. they didn't stop after 3, 4 or 5. They kept going, and there were some beautiful goals. One from 30+ yards out, a few from 1v1 with the keeper, some from a direct cross, it was a cornucopia of plays and goals, and it was a fun game to watch. However, as I said, Mexico was kicking it into high gear, and never rested once throughout the 90 minutes. Whereas the USA got almost the same result, but cruised through the entire game. However different these teams played, both got a fantastic result and 3 points. The goalscorers in the Mexican "Hat Dance" around the Guyana team, were Dominguez (4), Garza (2) and Worbis (1). For Guyana, it was El-Masri and DeSouza.

That is all for Day 2's report! Tomorrow, Group B will resume play, as its teams will be playing in their 2nd of 3 fixtures. First up will be Costa Rica, who currently have 3 points, taking on Haiti at 7pm ET. In the 2nd match of the day, the USA, who also currently sit atop Group B with 3 points, will take on Guatemala, at 9:30pm ET. Be sure to catch both matches on!

That's all for today everyone! I'll be back tomorrow when Gold Cup resumes!

Until then,


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