International Football

The First Week Of The World Under-20s Cup

By on Aug 4, 2011 in International Football, Latest | 1 comment

The next edition of an important English dictionary looks set, at this rate, to use an action shot of this year’s Under-20s World Cup to illustrate its definition of ‘curate’s egg.’ The tournament has had its moments so far, and has got noticeably better as I’ve been typing. But for every Colombia/France, there’s been one… well… Colombia/Mali. And although there...

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World Cup Qualification: Scotland is Due

By on Jul 30, 2011 in International Football, Latest | 1 comment

Forgive the Tartan Army should they be slightly pessimistic about Scotland’s chances of qualification following the draw for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. While Three Lions supporters expect to see England qualify, only to bow out in the quarterfinals or encounter heartache over phantom goals and botched penalties, Scottish supporters have not seen Saint...

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Further England Folly: The World Under-20 Cup So Far

By on Jul 30, 2011 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

Nothing confirms more that the English Premier League was founded on a lie than native attitudes to the Under-20s World Cup, which started in Colombia last night. England actually opened the tournament against Korea DPR, which seemed like a surprise move until the ghastly goalless draw revealed FIFA’s plan to start with a 90-minute tedium masterclass to make the...

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Our Final Word On The 2011 Womens World Cup

By on Jul 21, 2011 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

In covering football tournaments on 200%, I have found it easy to see the good in them. Too easy for some tastes, I admit. But, honestly, the 2011 Women’s World Cup was a belter, wasn’t it? I was glad to be wrong about the winners. BBC analyst Lucy Ward’s suggestion during the final that current coach Pia Sundhage had rid the USA squad of much of its former...

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The 2011 Womens World Cup Final: USA 2-2 Japan (Japan Win On Penalties)

By on Jul 17, 2011 in International Football, Latest | 2 comments

It started slowly, before rising to a beautiful tumult and ended with a penalty shoot-out which ended in a victory for the team of the aesthetes. And then, on top of that, the crowd had the good sense to roundly boo Sepp Blatter. To that extent, this evening’s Women’s World Cup final was, in other words, a series of small victories for football and the...

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The 2011 Women’s World Cup: The Semi-Finals

By on Jul 14, 2011 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

With seventeen minutes left in the France/USA semi-final, Eurosport analyst Emma Hayes was asked if the game, already a classic, was going to extra-time. “We’re going to extra-time,” she declared, “unless someone puts a good ball in and Abby (Wambach, USA’s combative centre-forward) gets on the end of it.” This was an ‘interesting’ comment. France had come from a...

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The 2011 Womens World Cup: The Quarter Finals

By on Jul 13, 2011 in International Football, Latest | 2 comments

So often in major international tournaments, the knock-out stages are where the rot starts to set in, even though they are supposed to be where the tournament ‘hots up.’ Thankfully, the 2011 Women’s World Cup quarter-finals were more hot than rot. In truth, although the group stages produced a lot of watchable football, they lacked a bit of bite and intensity at...

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The 2011 Womens World Cup: A Possible Revolutionary Encounter

By on Jul 13, 2011 in International Football, Latest | 1 comment

Back in 1950, Harry Keough perhaps summarised best the general attitude toward the quality of the American game that might still hold true in some quarters of the international football community. After the postal worker and semi-professional defender considered England’s now legendary 1-0 loss to the US in Belo Horizonte, he quipped, “Boy, I feel sorry...

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