Women’s World Cup Review

2A42FE9700000578-3150427-image-a-110_1436146525139

I was slightly in to women’s football before this summer’s World Cup, but the tournament has made me so much more interested in the sport, and that’s down to the fact it was so entertaining and intriguing to watch. The rest of the planet agreed, and it was the most watched Women’s World Cup ever. We saw high scoring games, incredible goals, surprising upsets and history being made on many occasions. The USA won a record third trophy after beating Japan in an amazing final, with England achieving their best ever finish by ending up in third place, with Germany in fourth. Read on as I look at the highlights of the tournament, how the Lionesses fared and if my predictions were anywhere near correct.

Player of the Tournament

Carli Lloyd – USA

USA vs Japan Highlights 2

Not just a hero in the final, Carli Lloyd was superb throughout the tournament for the USA, contributing towards nine of their 14 goals in Canada. That included hitting the back of the net six times herself, meaning she was the joint top scorer at the tournament. She scored in every game of the knockout stages, including the winning goal in the quarter-final against China. Then you look at the final in Vancouver, where Lloyd was the star of the show as the USA romped to a 5-2 victory. She became the first ever player to score a hat-trick in a Women’s World Cup final, and did it in just 16 minutes, whilst the third goal from the halfway line was one of the best at the tournament. After missing her penalty in the 2011 final, this tournament was a chance for Lloyd to show herself as one of the world’s best players, and boy did she take the opportunity with both hands.

2nd – Aya Miyama (Japan)

3rd – Megan Rapinoe (USA)

My Team of the Tournament

nimbus-image-1436273499424

  • GK – Hope Solo (USA): For the second World Cup in a row, Hope Solo was awarded the Golden Glove award after letting in just three goals in seven games. At one point in the tournament, the 33 year old went 540 minutes without conceding, the second longest streak in Women’s World Cup history. Says she will not play in another tournament but could be persuaded.
  • RB – Lucy Bronze (England): The Lionesses best player in the tournament, Lucy Bronze managed to displace regular right-back Alex Scott from the starting XI. Scored twice, both crucial goals against Norway and then Canada, proving her worth going forward as well as at the back. She was nominated for the Player of the Tournament award.
  • CB – Julie Johnston (USA): One of the breakthrough stars of the World Cup, 22 year old Julie Johnston was another one of the main reasons why the USA’s defensive record was so good at the tournament. After winning the Under 20 World Cup in 2012, deserved to add the senior crown to her CV, as well as a nomination for the Player of the Tournament award.
  • CB – Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada): Completing a rather youthful centre-back pairing is 19 year old Kadeisha Buchanan, who won the Young Player of the Tournament award. Despite hosts Canada being knocked out in the quarter-finals, before their defeat to England, they conceded just once, with Buchanan being a rock at the back throughout.
  • LB – Meghan Klingenberg (USA): Much like Lucy Bronze at right-back, Meghan Klingenburg was superb in attack and defense throughout the tournament, seemingly never stopping running down the wing. In fact she had the third most touches in the attacking third out of the entire USA team. Starting every game, Klingenburg was a key part of the trophy winning squad.
  • CDM – Amandine Henry (France): Despite France only making it to the quarter-finals, Amandine Henry was still awarded the Silver Ball by FIFA, rewarded her impressive and dynamic displays in the middle of the park. She also scored one of the goals of the tournament from 30 yards out in a 5-0 win over Mexico, which secured France’s spot at the top of Group F.
  • CM – Anya Miyama (Japan): A World Cup winner four years ago, it wasn’t to be this time around for Anya Miyama as Japan finished as runners-up, but at least the 30 year old could console herself with the FIFA Bronze Ball. She was a key part of Japan’s Barcelona-esque play in midfield with quick passing and skills, contributing two goals and two assists.
  • CM – Megan Rapinoe (USA): Another Player of the Tournament nominee, Megan Rapinoe also got herself two goals and two assists in Canada, as well as a deserved winner’s medal of course. Her absence in midfield showed against China, as the 30 year old’s subtle sense of movement and smart passing which started US attacks was missed.
  • CAM – Carli Lloyd (USA): What else is there to say about the Player of the Tournament? Six goals and three assists meant that she contributed to over half of the USA’s goals, whilst her hat-trick to win the trophy will go down in history as one of the best performances in a World Cup final. Moreover, that halfway line goal was one of the best at the tournament.
  • ST – Celia Sasic (Germany): She may have missed a penalty in Germany’s semi-final defeat to the USA, but Celia Sasic still scored six goals at the World Cup, the joint most. This included a hat-trick against the Ivory Coast and a brace against Sweden in the round of 16. Sasic is a free agent this summer, but I’m sure will have plenty of interest surrounding her.
  • ST – Eugenie Le Sommer (France): Whether it was creating or scoring them, Eugenie Le Sommer always had something to do with France’s goals at the World Cup, hitting the back of the net three times and getting two assists. Like Amandine Henry, she will surely be one of the stars of the show when the World Cup is hosted in her country in 2019.

Goal of the Tournament

Carli Lloyd vs Japan

 

2nd – Amandine Henry vs Mexico

3rd – Lucy Bronze vs Norway

Game of the Tournament

USA 5-2 Japan

web1_2015-07-05T231822Z_1994872736_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-WOMEN-S-WORLD-CUP-FINAL-JAPAN-AT-UNITED-STATES_14

Carli Lloyd scored an incredible 13-minute hat-trick as the United States thrashed Japan to win their third Women’s World Cup title. In a repeat of the 2011 final, which Japan won on penalties, the Nadeshiko could not live with their stronger and quicker opponents, who went 4-0 up when Lloyd scored an astonishing third from the halfway line. The American midfielder put the 1991 and 1999 champions two goals up within five minutes in a stunning start to the match. Lauren Holiday volleyed in after Azusa Iwashimizu’s woeful header and Lloyd then caused pandemonium among the huge contingent of US supporters inside BC Place when she lobbed Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori. The 2011 winners retaliated thanks to a Yuki Ogimi strike and a Julie Johnston own goal, but Tobin Heath made it 5-2 before 60 minutes had elapsed and despite further pressure, English coach Jill Ellis’s USA side held on. Read the full report here.

2nd – Germany 10-0 Ivory Coast

3rd – Sweden 3-3 Nigeria

Statistics (from ESPN)

Goals

APTOPIX WWCup Japan U_Schm

1st = Carli Lloyd (USA) – 6 goals, 3 assists

2nd = Celia Sasic (Germany) – 6 goals

3rd = Anja Mittag (Germany) – 5 goals

Assists

anja-mittag-e1434251717687

1st = Anja Mittag (Germany) – 3 assists

2nd = Carli Lloyd (USA) – 3 assists

3rd = Gabrielle Onguene (Cameroon) – 2 assists

What about England?

2652553_xbig-lnd

History makers. By finishing third at the World Cup, the Lionesses recorded their best ever placing at the tournament, whilst they also beat Germany for the first time ever to secure the medal, making it just that little bit sweeter. The whole nation fell in love with the squad, with millions of people staying up in the early hours of the morning to watch historic victories over Norway and Canada. Mark Sampson rotated his squad for every game, a policy which earnt criticism early on, but proved to be a masterstroke, and the Welshman proved he has great tactical knowledge. 22 of the 23 players in the squad featured in Canada, whilst right-back Lucy Bronze was also nominated for the Golden Ball award. The passion and determination that they showed, even after the opening defeat to France, was admirable, and has hopefully encouraged a lot of young girls to get into football. They were incredibly unlucky not to reach the final, and I’m and sure would have given a much better showing of themselves than Japan did. Nonetheless, they inspired a country and made everyone proud. Well done the Lionesses.

My Predictions

predictions

At the start of the tournament, I predicted the top four, and it came out rather well. I correctly said that the USA would win it, but I thought that they would beat Brazil in the final, who were knocked out in the round of 16 by Australia. I was also one of few people who predicted that England would reach the semi-finals, but I thought we would lose the third place play-off to Germany, who we ended up beating. So all in all, not too bad.

The same can be said for my individual game predictions:

France vs England

  • My Prediction: 2-1
  • Final Score: 1-0

England vs Mexico

  • My Prediction: 2-0
  • Final Score: 2-1

England vs Colombia

  • My Prediction: 2-1
  • Final Score: 2-1

Norway vs England

  • My Prediction: 2-3
  • Final Score: 1-2

England vs Canada

  • My Prediction: 1-0
  • Final Score: 2-1

USA vs Germany

  • My Prediction: 0-1
  • Final Score: 2-0

Japan vs England

  • My Prediction: 2-1
  • Final Score: 2-1

Germany vs England

  • My Prediction: 2-1
  • Final Score: 0-1

USA vs Japan

  • My Prediction: 2-0
  • Final Score: 5-2

So in total out of nine predictions, I guessed seven correct results with two correct scores. Much like England, it appears I was on form throughout the tournament!

Fear not, this is not the end of my coverage of the Women’s World Cup and Under 21 European Championships. I am hoping to get 10 best moments from the World Cup out later today (Wednesday 8th), and then two opinion pieces, one on each tournament, out on Friday and Saturday.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s