Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Stunnah in Dresden


To me, it was shocking mostly because justice was served at a time that it seemed to have left the building. Even more than that, it was amazing theater because it had everything required. Marta ("The pantomime villain" according to Ian Darke), was the perfect foil, diving relentlessly, complaining with such vehemence that she earned a yellow and turning any nonpartisan fans against the world class Brazilian. Erika's horribly feigned back injury was the final straw, when the Dresden crowd snapped and started booing and whistling restlessly.

It had adversity for the home side, when Rachel Buehler was bafflingly handed a straight red for a challenge that was 50/50 at best, forcing the US to play with 10 for about 50 minutes. Seconds later, a Hope Solo penalty save was called off in a buzz of confusion and Marta converted the tying shot later. My best guess based on the replay is that a player breached the 18 before the kick and then Solo was carded for dissent, but even that was immensely dicey. Koman Coulibaly pt. deux.

Then  it had the cathartic release of a 120th minute+ payoff off a brilliant feed from Megan Rapinoe to the head of Abby Wambach and into the net. That led to the shootout that gave Solo her redemption and released the U.S. into the semis against France. Craziest game I can remember watching. But, and I say this only as a partially biased observer (heh), the more assertive side won. Justice was served.

Woof. It's only 2:30 and I need a drink.

- Will Parchman


SPA2TACU5 said...

First the Silverstone GP, then the Tour, and then US-Bra game. Wow.

Will said...

The more I watch that red card decision the stranger that whole scene appears.

First, there's Ian Darke's initial call, "Buehler was sensationally good there." To an honest observer, absolutely. Play over.

Then the strange point to the foul, not the spot, from ref Jacqui Melksham, which added another degree of uncertainty. There is a lull there for a moment, the air sucking out of the commentary booth while they echo our confusion. And then Melksham rips a red card out of her back pocket and awkwardly stalks Buehler, who has her back turned. It almost looks like Melksham can see the boom of the shock wave in a flash before she pulls it. It's almost as though she doesn't want to reach Buehler. Then the Solo incident, when she gives a reactionary yellow card for reasons still partly unknown. Pretty fascinating moment of human nature.

But it was a terrible call. And a terrible game from Melksham, whose crew missed badly on calls on both of Brazil's goals.