The play offs in the football tournaments this summer continuous. Four teams are ready for semifinals in Copa América and FIFA Women’s World Cup, while Sweden and Portugal will play the final in the FIFA Under 21 European Championships.
Argentina favourites for winning Copa América
The quarterfinals in Copa América have been played. Both Argentina’s and Brazil’s matches had to be decided by penalty shootouts. While Argentina came out on top against Colombia, Brazil lost against Paraguay. Chile beat Uruguay in a match that will mostly be remembered for a disgusting move from Chile’s Gonzalo Jara against Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani. While Cavani got a red card for slapping Jara, anyone that sees the clip below will understand why Cavani reacted the way he did. In the semifinals Chile will play against Peru June 30th, who won against Bolivia 3-1. Argentina will play Paraguay July 1st. From these teams, Lionel Messi’s Argentina are probably the strongest team, even if they have had problems getting their goal scoring going.
Germany eliminated France in the best game of the Women’s World Cup so far
In the Women’s World Cup in Canada the quarterfinals have been played and we have seen some tight matches, all decided by the odd goal, except for the match between Germany and France which had to be decided by penalty shootout. Carli Lloyd scored the only goal between USA and China in the 51:st minute. Japan continuous to win by the odd goal, beating Australia by 1-0. England eliminated the host nation Canada with a solid 2-1 win.
The match between France and Germany really was something to remember. France dominated the first half by playing a quick and creative offensive game. Germany was under pressure and it was pure luck that the standing after the first half was 0-0. In the second half, Germany could move the game up fields a bit, but could not produce any really chances on their offense. Instead, France scored 1-0 in the 64th minute. As the game progressed, it looked like France should come out on top. However, in a German attack, the ball hit the arm of a France defender which led to a penalty shot. Celia Sasic did no mistake and the match was tied 1-1 in the 84th minute. 30 minutes of overtime was ahead, and the phase continued to be high. Players limbed, bled and fought all over the field. France was closest to get a decider at the end of the second overtime quarter but failed to convert. Instead, it would take a shootout to core a winner.
In the shootout, the quality of the game was still high. We got to see hard, well placed penalty kicks. After four rounds all penalties were scored. Sasic scored her second goal of the game in the fifth. The last shooter for France was 21-year old Claire Lavogez. She was under pressure to score against 36-year old German veteran Nadine Angerer. However, her penalty was weak, Angerer throwed herself in the right direction and Germany prevailed. This was by far the best match of the tournament so far. High phase, great defense, goaltending and battles all over the field.
Germany will face team USA in the semifinal June 30 and Japan will play England July 1.
Sweden versus Portugal in the U21 final
In the European U21 Championships, Sweden will play the final against Portugal. Portugal are favourites after crushing Germany 5-0 in the semi final while Sweden made sure to score on all their chances against their nordic neighbours Denmark, winning 4-1. Sweden were underdogs in the semifinal and are underdogs in the final. If they win it will be a sensational victory for Swedish football who has been struggling to produce new talents from the generation after Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrik Larsson, Fredrik Ljungberg and other players. No matter how the final will end, there is hope for a bright future for Swedish football!