Friday, September 14, 2007

Let's not lose the Ghana goal!

Matildas win 4-1... yay first win... just not as excited about that as I expected I would be...

Why am I not excited? It's not that I'm not patriotic, but when it comes to football I can get distracted by the skills on the field. At the start of the year I came across a book, Only the Goalkeeper to Beat and early into it, I found a few lines that describe how and why I get distracted".
Many of my own prejudices will become perfectly clear as we go along. But here, just to get started, are a few that might as well be out in the open once and for all. In the first place, I don't believe that goals are particularly important in football. I know that games are won and lost by them, but I don't (unless I happen to be playing) care about them that much. As a spectator I tend to enjoy rather small things. To see somebody trap the ball neatly, swerve away from a defender, and give a thoughtful and efficient pass to move the game on is often more of a pleasure than to watch some routine goal work again against a foolish defence.
-Francis Hodgson (1998, p.10)
So while Eamonn and Neil have covered the glory that is our first World Cup win, I hope that the one goal that we conceded does not get lost in the hype.

I got distracted by the silky skills from the Ghana girls. Beautiful stuff to watch! Unfortunately they're just not very desperate for the ball, they lacked heart. Oh well...

I did love their goal. And not because it was a goal, but the way that it was set up and then executed. Two touches - it's all you really need. First touch to not only control the ball and put it where she (
Amankwa) needed it to hit it well, but crucially got past the defender by playing it BEHIND the defender! And then the second touch was a beautiful strike. Barbieri had no chance.

And that penetrative ball through the defence and to
Amankwa was gorgeous! I love through balls! (Spase Dilevski crush should be explained by that.) They had a number of beautiful balls that would slice through the Australian defence, but just no desperation to make it a completed pass... oh well. Really pretty football!


Neil said...

It was lax of me not to talk more about the goal by Amankwa because at the time I thought it was a great bit of skill and finishing. I would also agree with you that the skills of the Ghanaians were indeed very silky and if they had a bit more luck the score might have been closer. As a former goalkeeper, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on Barbieri's performance in goals.

john said...

Oh dear, here is Spase's fait:

Down the bottom of the Romanian 1st division. And the former Roar Michael Baird appears to have disappeared altogether.

john said...

Also his fate.