The RSK behavior in the first half was deplorable. I was surprised not to see red shown. They were targeting Otsu. However, they got the message in the 2nd half and went easy on the hard fouls . . .easier, anyway. That said, they did appear to lack a sense of urgency after falling behind. I put that on the manager. There was no change in tactics, same with the Mexico match. Also, where's the great Japanese midfielders they've always had? Where was the service to Otsu? He had to find the ball himself too much, something that Nagai seems reluctant to do.
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@toguro, I'm not speaking hypothetically. I'm talking about what actually happened. I never said that Japan would have won, but it is highly likely playing with a 2-1 lead and your opponent is a man down (or two).
As far as the ref goes, you haven't read anything from me blaming her. She didn't knock the ball down with her hands. She didn't tackle Kinga. She made a couple of howlers, sure, though on the bear hug her vision was probably blocked. But other than the huge errors, she called an okay game.
This is my point. The "bad calls happen" cliche is meaningless to me. Any scrub who has ever sat on the bench during a match knows that. The problem is less the bad call than the actions themselves.
Why are you talking about the WWC? Why would I cry foul. I don't remember that anyone was hard done on either side. If I did any crying it was tears of laughter at all the shots Wambach sprayed wide.
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To casual fans, it may seem like "just a missed call." I don't know if many of you know the severity of the act that led to the "missed call." The players who committed the infractions would be ejected and Japan would have had a penalty kick, a sure bet to score a point. USA would have had to play the match with 9 players.
Yes, referees miss calls. But Heath and the other defender cheated and got on with it, that's what bothers me, an American.
And those who are saying "missed calls on both sides," can you tell me when a Japanese player committed a foul that would have led to a player being ejected and the US getting a penalty kick?
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@tideofiron - you know nothing about jingoism if you aren't in the states. There's just no escape from it. No way it is worse in Japan.
The ref did play an unfortunate role in the game today. Aside from the handling call not given, there was another clear penalty when a US player literally tackled a Japanese player in the box, both arms wrapped around and brought her down.
It isn't simply a matter of "calls not going your way" in this case. Save that for a ref that missed a chance to issue a yellow card or an offside call. If they came to my court I'd call it "gross negligence" on the refs part. Those are game changing moments, stopping a clear goal scoring opportunity that should have given a penalty, and a red card should have been shown. Twice.
That's not "sour grapes."
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Didn't some programs do profiles of Iwabuchi when she first got called up? Well, that was a rhetorical question since I've seen them.
I tire of talking about the appearance of the athletes.It's fine, I guess, on occasion, and if they tried to present themselves as models to be judged that way (France, Germany, the US to an extent), but they are athletes. Talk about their play.
I had to laugh at the comment about them making millions as a professional. The only women soccer players who are near that figure are those with the Nike contracts and such.
For every one person that thinks soccer is boring, there are 50,000 in the world who don't. Excitement in soccer isn't measured by shots on goal. But yeah, Japan could have been more aggressive in the first half.
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Speed, when is it considered "bad sportsmanship" to cry after a loss in the states? Maybe in the 1920s, not today. Happens all the time after big games. Ever been to or seen a post-game press conference? The coach is even shedding tears.
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