USA won FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015

The final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was a replay of the 2011 World Cup final and the 2012 Olympic final between Japan and the United States. The teams had one victory each against each other before the final (Japan won the World Cup in 2011 and the US Olympics 2014) and the question now was who would get win number two in what has become a clash of the titans and a classic encounter in women’s football. We did not have to wonder for long since USA and Carli Lloyd gave us answers immediately.

The final

Team USA started the match at a furious pace. Rapid runs and hearty passes. The first goal came after only three minutes from Carli Lloyd in the Japanese penalty box. She also made 2-0 two minutes later. After only five minutes of play, the United States had a firm grip of the final. Japan was not recognizable. They were passive in their defense and appeared to be shaken. United States continued to put on pressure in the offensive game. Lauren Holiday scored 3-0 in the 14th minute. Lloyd completed a hat-trick with a goal from the half the field in the 16th minute. After just over a quarter of an hour played of the final, the match was pretty much over even if Japan got a consolation goal through Yuki Ogimi in the 27th minute. Maybe someone had thoughts of Sweden’s match against Germany from 4-0 to 4-4 in World Cup qualifiers last year when USA scored an own goal a few minutes into the second half. Those thoughts disappeared quickly, however, when Tobin Heath put the 5-2 a few minutes later which also became the final score.

Road to the final

If we take a look at how the teams were drawn in the tournament we get a better understanding of why the final match was such an uneven match. FIFA has not been known to promote sportsmanship and fair play recently and Women’s World Cup 2015 is no exception. To enhance the tournament’s PR, the home team Canada was probably given an easier draw to make them go further in the playoffs. Canada, however, were eliminated by England in the quarterfinals, while Japan has met relatively light resistance in the play offs: Netherlands, Australia and England. The United States made the final after beating Colombia, China and Germany. The true final was perhaps the semifinal between USA and Germany which sadly got decided by questionable decisions by the referee. Despite this, however, we have experienced a nice football tournament in Canada this summer. More nations than earlier has been involved and challenged for places in the play offs and medals. The bronze went to England who beat Germany, something the English men’s team have had problems with in the major tournaments.

A total of 52 matches were played and 146 goals were scored which gives 2,8 goals per match. Germany’s Célia Šašić and USA’s Carli Lloyd were the top goal scorers with six goals each. The 2019 Women’s World Cup will be played in France. Before then, we are looking forward to the Olympic games 2016 and the European Championships 2017.

Previous winners

These countries have previously won the tournament:

1991: United States
1995: Norway
1999: United States
2003: Germany
2007: Germany
2011: Japan
2015: United States

Sweden took silver in 2003 and bronze in 1991 and 2011.

It is time for finals in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Copa América 2015

Two of this summer’s biggest football tournaments are to be decided this weekend: The Women’s World Cup and the South American Championships, Copa América 205.

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015: Japan vs USA in the final – a rerun of 2011 and 2012

July 5, Japan and USA will play the final of the Women’s World Cup of football 2015, just like they did in 2011. Then, Japan won after a dramatic overtime and penalty shootout. The year after, the teams met again in the final of the 2012 London Summer Olympics. That time, USA won 2-1. England and Germany will play for the bronze.

The semifinals

Both semifinals were decided by kind of odd events. If we start with USA versus Germany, the first half belonged to team USA. Germany was pressured, just as they were in the quarterfinal against France. For some reason, this is how the matches have looked like for Germany this year. They are usually a team machine over 90 minutes but something has not been quite right this tournament. However, with 30 minutes to go of the game, they got the chance to take the lead through a penalty shot. As usual, Celia Sasic stepped forward to take the shot. However, this time, she missed. Instead, it was USA who got the deciding goal from the penalty spot after a questionable decision by the referee. Alex Morgan ran into Annike Krahn outside the penalty box and for some reason the referee called for a penalty shot for USA. Carli Lloyd scored 1-0. In the 84th minute Kelley O Hara increased the lead to 2-0 and USA went through.

In the match between Japan and England, there were two penalties as well. Aya Miyama put her penalty shot away in the 33rd minute and Fara Williams tied the game seven minutes later. England put up a good fight against the current champions. The ending became a bitter tale though. At 90 minutes +2, England’s Laura Bassett attempted to clear the ball but instead put it into the crossbar and into her own net. 2-1 Japan and a devastated Bassett. England has done a good tournament though, eliminating Norway and Canada in the play offs.

Chicken Swedes held Germany as winners throughout the tournament. The final between Japan and USA should be a tight game and it is hard to bet on a winner here. However, Chicken Swedes place our money on USA. If they win, we can at least say that our national team played a tied match against the world champions in this tournament. 🙂

Chile versus Argentina in the 2015 Copa América final

July 4th the final of Copa América is played between Argentina and Chile. Both teams played an impressive game in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Argentina are favourites to becoming South American champions. However, they haven’t won Copa América since 1993. They lost the World Cup final against Germany last year.

The road to the final

Chile reached the final by winning their group, beating Ecuador 2-0, tied against Mexico (3-3) and crushing Bolivia 5-0. In the play offs they beat Uruguay 1-0 in a match most remembered for some dirty scenes we are hoping won’t repeat themself in the final. In the semifinal they beat Peru 2-1.

Argentina’s road to the final has been through few goals, except for in the semifinal. They won their group by playing a tied game (2-2) against Paraguay and two 1-0 victories against Uruguay and Jamaica. No goals from Lionel Messi in the group stage. However, in the play offs he scored his penalty shot when the goalless quarterfinal against Colombia was to be decided. He also did a good match in the semifinal where the team got their goal scoring going, beating Paraguay 6-1.

Although it will be a tight game, we believe that it is time for Argentina and Lionel Messi to win a title this year.

Semifinals in Copa América and FIFA Women’s World Cup, final in the U21 European Championships

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!

Summer of football/soccer 2015: play offs!

In 2015 three major football tournaments are played around the world: FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, Under 21 European Championships in Czech Republic and Copa América in Chile. The playoffs have begun in all tournaments:

FIFA Women’s World Cup

The first round of the play offs (16) has been played and with Swedish eyes we can state that Sweden sadly didn’t went through to the quarter finals this time. They got beat by Germany 4-1 fair and square and the yellow and blues didn’t reach normal standard in this tournament. However, since many other European teams also didn’t make it to the next round, Sweden will be able to qualify to the Olympic games in Brazil 2016. The qualifiers are played between Sweden, Norway (who got beat by England 2-1), Netherlands (lost against Japan 2-1) and Switzerland (lost against the host nation Canada 1-0). In the other matches, China won against the only African team in the play offs, Cameroon, 1-0. United States eliminated Colombia 2-0 and Australia managed to eliminated Brazil 1-0 which means there are no South American teams left in the tournament. France won against South Korea 3-0.

This gives us the following quarterfinals:

China – USA
Germany – France
Australia – Japan
England – Canada

While we though Norway would reach the finals in an earlier post, now we have to replace them with Japan. However, Germany still stands as heavy favourites to the gold.

U21 European Championships

Unlike in the Women’s World Cup, in the European U21 Championships Sweden have made success with a second place in their group, which means a) semifinal against Denmark and b) a spot in the 2016 Olympic games in Brazil where the team might get a supreme reinforcement in Zlatan Ibrahimovic (every team in the tournament can have three players over 21 years of age). The other semifinal is played between Portugal and Germany. Both matches are played June 27. The final is played July 5.

Copa América

The play offs in Copa América have just begun. We will update the results in a later post as the quarterfinals progress. In the first matches Chile and Peru have advanced by beating Uruguay and Bolivia. In the other half of the play off tree, Argentina will play Colombia and Brazil Paraguay. Chances are we will see Lionel Messi face a Brazil without suspended Neymar in the semifinal.

Football/soccer, summer 2015

This is an old post describing football events of 2015. The winners of the below tournaments were:

Copa América: Chile
U21 European Championship: Sweden!
FIFA Women’s World Cup: Team USA
UEFA 2016: Portugal

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Before 2015 many of us thought that this summer would become a middle-year between FIFA World Cup 2014 and the 2016 UEFA Championships. That’s not quite right. In this post we summarize the hottest tournaments of summer 2015: Copa América, U21-European Championships, FIFA Women’s World Cup and the UEFA qualifiers. Below we describe each tournament shortly with dates and links to more info.

Copa América

Description: Copa América is the South American championships of football. This years the tournament is held in Chile and you have the opportunity to see Lionel Messi, Neymar and other superstars fight for the gold. The winner also gets to play in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

When: June 11 – July 4.

U21 European Championship

Description: Eight U21-teams participate in the  Under 21 European Championships. Except for the gold medal, spots in the 2016 Olympic games in Brazil is at stake.

When: 17-30 June.

FIFA Women’s World Cup

Description: The highest ranked women’s tournament is on! We look forward watching some high quality football as Germany, USA and Brazil and the other participating teams are fighting for the gold in Canada.

When: June 6 – July 5.

UEFA 2016 qualifiers

Description: The European teams are fighting for spots in the 2016 European Championships in France.

Date: 12-14 June.
More info: UEFA.

With all this football action, it doesn’t matter if the weather this summer is so-so. Let it rain and stay inside and watch some great football action!

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015: Schedule for the round of 16

The last round of the preliminary stage in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 is played and you can find the schedule for the play offs below. There were some drama when the last teams reached the round of 16. Sweden was dependent on Brazil (that was resting their best players) winning against Costa Rica, which they did thanks to a late goal in the 83rd minute. Group A ended with two draws and Canada came up on top as group winners. In group B, Germany and Norway advanced to the knockout stage as planned. 2011 champions Japan won all their games in group C. United States won group D, followed by Australia and Sweden. Brazil won group E, followed by South Korea. Costa Rica and Spain got eliminated. France and England won their last games in group F, and thus made it to the play offs together with Colombia.

Schedule, round of 16

The round of 16 is played June 20-23:

China – Cameroon
United States – Colombia
Germany – Sweden
France – South Korea
Brazil – Australia
Japan – Netherlands
Norway – England
Canada – Switzerland

We predict that the following teams will face each other in the quarterfinals that are played June 26-27:

China – United States
Germany – France
Brazil – Japan
Norway – Canada

…and this constellation will reach the semifinals:

United States – Germany
Japan – Norway

In the final, we think Germany will beat Norway.

Chicken Swedes will now go on vacation for a week. When we return we will see of the following prediction is correct before the semifinals. We will then continue to report from the Women’s World Cup and other interesting sport events from around the globe!

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015: Results from the second round

Women's Football

Women’s World Cup of Football in Canada 2015 continuous. In group A we looked forward to the highly anticipated match between Germany and Norway. It was Germany who got the first goal of the game when Anja Mittag, who scored a hat-trick against Ivory Coast in the first match, scored in the 6th minute. The Germans outplayed Norway in the first half. However, in the second half, Norway came out as a new team, started putting higher pressure on the German attackers instead of collapsing. In the 61st minute Norway got a free kick just outside Germany’s penalty box. Marin Mjelde scored one of the most beautiful goals of the tournament so far, putting the ball high up in the corner of the german goal. That tied the game, 1-1 which also became the end result. In the other match of group B, Thailand beat Ivory Coast 3-2. Important points in the battle for becoming among the top third placed teams which will go through to the play offs.

Few goals in Group A

In group A, China beat Netherlands with a late decider in the 91st minute. Host nation Canada played a goalless match against New Zealand in the same group. Group A is tight with only three goals scored in four games. Canada is in the lead with 4 points before China and Netherlands with 3 and New Zealand with 1 point. While China should be able to beat New Zealand in the last game, Canada and Netherlands will probably have to play a decisive game of who gets the second spot in the group and thereby, for sure advances to the play offs.

Ecuador is the tournament’s punching bag

In group C Ecuador started the tournament with a 6-0 loss against Cameroon, They followed up this result with a 10-1 loss against Switzerland. Fabienne Humm and Ramona Bachmann scored a hat-trick each for Switzerland. Ecuador’s Angie Ponce also scored three goals: Two in her own net and one against the opponents through a penalty… Ecuador will face the 2011 Champions Japan in the next game. Japan beat Cameroon 2-1 in their second game and they have two straight wins now. It is no long shot to guess that they will probably have a perfect record, three for three, after the last game against Ecuador.

No goals between Sweden and USA

Sweden have a team plagued by injuries in this year’s World Cup. In the first round they lost a 2-0 and 3-2 lead against Nigeria and had to settle with one point. They are in a tough group and the next opponent in line was team USA. The Swedes played a more solid defensive game this time and could even have won, but Therese Sjögran hit the crossbar in the second half. There are still question marks around Sweden’s offensive players. Sjögran and Lotta Schelin has not produced any goals in the two matches. Since Australia beat Nigeria 2-0, they will play a decisive game against Sweden where the winner gets the second spot in the group. The consequences of a tie is more uncertain since it depends on the result between Nigeria and USA. The last round will be exciting for sure!

Oh and a message to Canadian TV: Sweden is NOT Switzerland. We are not famous for our cheese and pocket knives, but for beating you in your own game, hockey, every now and then… (Read more about the difference between Sweden and Switzerland).

Brazil in top of group E

Brazil has two straight wins after beating South Korea in the first match and Spain in the second. South Korea and Costa Rica played 2-2 in the second round. France lost unexpectedly against Colombia 2-0 while England beat Mexico 2-1. Colombia and England are at the top of group F while France is currently at third place.

The current ranking of the third-placed teams are the following (team/points):

Cameroon 3p
Netherlands 3p
France 3p
Thailand 3p

Sweden 2p
Spain 1p

The third placed teams with the lowest ranking after the final round will be eliminated.

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015: Results from the first round

The first round of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 has been played and we have seen some great football. Here is a short summary. In group A, the host nation Canada won a tight match against China, 1-0. That was also the result in the other match of the group when Netherlands beat New Zealand. Group B has two favourites that can go all the way in this tournament, Norway and Germany. They won their first matches in this year’s World Cup, Norway beating Thailand 4-0 and Germany crushed Ivory Coast 10-0(!). World Cup 2011 champions Japan won against Switzerland, 1-0 after a penalty shot. In that group Cameroon run over Ecuador 6-0. In group D, team USA are destined to win and they got a good start through a 3-1 win against Australia, who did a solid match, despite the numbers. Sweden lost their lead twice against Nigeria, the match ended 3-3 and coach Pia Sundhage have to do some magic now, having injuries on many key players. Sundhage coached team USA earlier.

Marta made history

Brazil’s superstar Marta broke Germany’s Birgit Prince’s earlier record of most goals scored in the World Cup. With Marta’s 15th goal in Brazil’s 2-0 win over South Korea, she is now the overall top goal scorer. USA:s Abby Wambach is third in the goal scoring league, with 13 goals. Another record was broken by Formiga in the very same match: At the age of 37, she became the oldest goal scorer in the tournament. In the other game of group E, Costa Rica managed to get a 1-1 tie against Spain. Another superstar that delivered was France’s Eugenie Le Sommer. She scored the only goal in the 1-0 victory over England. The other match in group F, between Colombia and Mexico, ended 1-1.

The teams placed 1st and 2nd together with the fourth best third placed teams in each group goes through to the round of 16 play offs. The play offs starts June 20 and the final is played July 5.

2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Women's Football

Today the draw to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was made. The tournament is played in Canada 6th of June – 5th of July. 24 teams participates in 6 groups:

Group A

Canada
China
New Zeeland
Netherlands

Group B

Germany
Ivory Coast
Norway
Thailand

Group C

Japan
Switzerland
Cameroun
Ecuador

Group D

United States
Australia
Sweden
Nigeria

Group E

Brasil
South Korea
Spain
Costa Rica

Group F

France
England
Colombia
Mexico

Schedule

The group stage is played 6th – 7th of June and the round of 16 is played 20-21st. The quarterfinals are played 26-27th of June and semifinals 30th of June-1st of July. 4th of July is the time for the bronze medal game while the final is played the day after, 5th of July.

The two best teams from each group will make it to the playoffs together with the 4 best third-placed teams.

Japan won the 2011 World Cup

In 2011 Japan won the World Cup after beating USA in a dramatic final game. Sweden won the bronze medal. USA and Sweden is drawn in group D which seems to be a hornest nest with four good teams.