Friday, August 12, 2016

The best doesn't always win

One of the frustrations of football is also its beauty: that just like in life, it is not necessarily the best who wins. That is simply because football is such a varied sports that there are many ways of winning. An excellent example is Portugal's recent victory in the Euro 2016; hardly the best team, rather boring, but one cannot deny their achievement in reaching the title against teams that were better.
Every footballer knows this although it still frustrates them.
In the Olympic football tournament (for women) the defending world champions of USA were eliminated by Sweden in the quarterfinals after a 1-1 score in ordinary time, and then 4-3 on penalty kicks. This is a major setback for the USA, who had never not reached a semifinal. Sweden's victory was not pretty: they know that USA, with its amazing players, is a better side player for player (if anyone knows it should be the Swedish manager, Pia Sundhage, who four years ago coached the USA to Olympic gold). And to win against such a side they need to be defensive, disciplined, and for all that it is worth, cynical.
That is normally the way to win against better teams, as has been shown again and again. And it was that which the veteran US goalkeeper Hope Solo was sore about when she called the Swedish ladies "cowards".
Not very nice or fair-played said by Hope Solo, who was probably frustrated after the defeat.
I do think that Sweden will have it difficult in reaching the final, although of course they should not be underestimated. In the meantime it is sad to see the excellent USAmericans eliminated, but there is no doubt they will rise again from this setback.

No comments: