The U-20 WWC knockout rounds begin!

Tumblr is having difficulties this morning, so it’s time for another post o’ links. Today is game day for Germany-Korea DPR and Sweden-Columbia (is Sweden already down by 2?) and the only one I’m sorry I’ll be missing is Germany-DPRK.

Let’s look at US business first, since I have been ignoring them.

I’d like to highlight the commentary we’ve been getting from the ESPN3 webcasts. The commentary on the Mexican games has been wonderful (especially if you’re sick of FSC’s WPS games). One quote, which I cannot remember word for word, essentially boiled down to, “If you’re struggling with the pronunciation of names, ask the players and coaches.” In the game against Nigeria, after a sub came on, it was, “There are two Sundays in the game now… suppose that makes it a fortnight.” If you are going to commentate a women’s soccer game, you have to relax and enjoy it.

Here is the FIFA business:

By the end of all this collecting, Sweden has not managed to come back. 2-0, Columbia advance. Time for me and the Swedes to pack and hit the road!

Webcast update for the quarterfinals of the U-20 Women’s World Cup

I almost never make predictions in tournaments, so I pretty much forgot who I expected to advance from group for the 2010 U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Group A: Looks like I felt solid about Germany and France and didn’t mention Columbia at all. France struggled more than expected. Germany advances at the top of their group with 9 points. Columbia and France are even with 4 points apiece, but Columbia owns the tiebreaker.

Group B: Here, I felt like Korea DPR and Brazil were the safe bets. This was the group of death, after all. Obviously, Brazil crashing out was a surprise. Sweden tops the group with 7 points, and Korea DPR advances with 6.

Group C: Evenly matched, as expected. I had pegged Japan and England to go through, and I am very happy to be wrong. Mexico and Nigeria advance after a great showing. They are even with 5 points, and Mexico takes first with the tiebreaker.

Group D: I got one right! USA and Korea Republic to advance. I didn’t expect it to be so hard for the US, so this is a shallow win. The US has 7 points to Korea Republic’s 6.

Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Switzerland leave without any points. England drops out with 1 point from their first game, a draw with Nigeria.

Now the knockout rounds start. Times listed are Eastern. They will be on ESPN3, and the US game will be on ESPNU as well.

Quarterfinals

  • July 24
    5:30 AM – Sweden vs Columbia
    12:00 PM – Germany vs Korea DPR
  • July 25
    5:30 AM – USA vs Nigeria
    12:30 PM – Mexico vs Korea Republic

The semifinal games will be played July 29 at 9:30 and 12:30.

North Carolina is not a good place to keep up with soccer.

I still haven’t watched US-Switzerland (not to mention any of the USWNT games) but I’m not sure I can be bothered while at the beach. I am still enjoying Mexico and New Zealand’s squads, and I will have those write-ups after I finish watching their games. I’ll miss those Junior Ferns in the next round.

For now, here is what’s going on with the U-20s.

One big catch-all post for the missed days of U-20 WWC action

The rest of the links from Day 2 of the U-20 WWC (and today)

ESPN Fail

  • Highlighting this, because halftime on ESPN3 is nothing like halftime on ESPNU. ESPN3 stays with FIFA and the game at hand, even if only to replay the highlights.

Yesterday’s Games

Et Cetera

  • US Soccer, in an attempt not to compound their own shortcomings, did an interview with Kendall Johnson.
  • FIFA previews tomorrow’s games and highlights Brazil-Sweden.
  • There is also a feature on Costa Rica.
  • By the way, did you know Chris Wood was at New Zealand’s first game?
  • Unfortunately, he is going to miss their biggest test, tomorrow’s match against Korea DPR.
  • I think most people interested in US women’s soccer have heard the story of what happened at the CONCACAF U-17 Qualifiers between Haiti and the US team. Bryane Haeberlin followed up with the team from Haiti and brought them to the US to spend some time in Florida.
  • CONCACAF shares video of Haiti’s trip.

U-20 WWC: Sweden vs New Zealand

It’s not a well-kept secret that I have a newborn-sized soft spot for the Junior and Young Ferns. The only reason I didn’t recommend their match in that earlier conversation is that I’m selfish. If you’re a fan of soccer only at tournament time, I don’t want to share my favorite underdogs. They have a lot of potential and a good story. But New Zealand was drawn into a tough group this year and might not get a chance to show that they have improved and pulled themselves up into the running.

And overall, today’s game didn’t really show that. The fact that this is Sweden’s first youth world cup doesn’t count for anything. Playing Sweden was not going to be a cakewalk, but New Zealand had the better of the first half and looked like they could contend. Hannah Wilkinson opened scoring at 33′, right after Betsy Hassett picked up a yellow. However, luck ran ran out in the second and Sweden pulled themselves together faster than the Kiwis did. After Renee Leota hit the post and the crossbar, the Junior Ferns had little else in their attack until the final minutes. Sweden’s Antonia Goransson notched two goals in the second half and Sofia Jakobsson looked determined all game to tally one of her own.

The game ended an unfortunate 2-1 loss for New Zealand, with the Kiwis looking more dejected than the Brazilians did earlier. As I said on twitter, group play will not get any easier, and the players probably realized that this was their game to lose, given how they couldn’t put things together in the second. The defense needs work and the team needs cohesion.

I don’t think New Zealand is completely out of the running, but I really wish they could have sustained their first half momentum and at least earned a draw.

First set of games on opening day of the U-20 WWC

It’s halftime during the first games, with Germany up 2-1 over Costa Rica and Brazil-DPRK scoreless with an almost even percentage of possession. Quality of possession is probably in DPRK’s favor, though.

  • I appreciate that New Zealand is giving us features and paying attention to its U-20s. First up, a Q&A with Betsy Hassett and Rosie White. Hassett plays for California Berkeley and White played both youth world cups in 2008.
  • There is also an interview with the Junior Ferns’ head coach, Tony Readings.
  • By the way, Marozsan did not start for Germany. Not that they need her for Costa Rica, but they might want her back later.

First game in the group of death ends 1-0 in Korea DPR’s favor. I am starting to think anyone has a chance to make it out.

Germany-Costa Rica, on the other hand, ended 4-2 with five cautions given to Costa Rica and a straight red given to Germany’s Schmidt. Marozsan did not sub in.

Second game in the group of death is actually more entertaining. Even, equal quality possession. 1-0 in New Zealand’s favor off a soft goal. France is 1-0 over Columbia.

In conclusion, New Zealand 1-2 Sweden, and Columbia drew even, 1-1 with France.