This is the big prize, the one we've been waiting four years for ... it's Germany and Sweden in an all-Aryan World Cup final! I'd like to see Sweden take it, but there is a strict rule in football -- never bet against Germany. (You won't win all the time following this rule, but you would have made a mint in the last 30 years following it).
The game starts out pretty slow, both teams testing each other. Germany seems more solid in tackling and defence, while Sweden has more flair in the attack. The game starts to pick up steam 20 minutes in or so, with both teams trading good chances but with nothing to show for it. Sweden is giving up quite a few corner kicks, which could come back to haunt them -- Germany's players seem to be taller by a few inches whenever they are shown standing next to a Swedish player.
It looks like we are gonna have a scoreless draw going into halftime, but a lovely through-ball sends Swedish striker Ljungberg in alone in the 41st minute. The German keeper is too late in rushing out and is caught in no-womens-land as Ljungberg slots it home. Nice goal.
Germany comes out firing in the second half, and get a quick goal a minute in to tie it up. This opens the game up completely ... Germany attacks and forces corner after corner after corner. They have to convert one of these ... don't they freaking practice corner kicks? They aren't even coming close. Credit does have to be given to the Swedish defenders who do a fantastic job clearing attempt after attempt.
Meanwhile, Swedish strikers Ljungberg and Svensson are terrorizing the German defence. Ljungberg (wonder if she's any relation to Arsenal's midfielder?) dekes through two defenders and forces the German keeper to make a great save, while Svensson is through alone late and scores the winning goal! Oh, man the offside flag is up? No way that was offside, what bullshitty linesman ... oh the replay shows she was offside. My drunken apologies to the bullshitty linesman.
Late in the game, and Germany is taking their 22nd corner kick. This may not be a record in futility, but it has to be close. They fail to convert, a last gasp attack by Sweden peters out, and we are going to golden goal time.
I hate to say it, but I don't like Sweden's chances here. They have been running hard and it seems a lot more than the Germans, and they look exhausted. If I was the Swedish coach I would take Svensson off especially ... she is out of gas. Germany is quick to attack and force two more corners ... jeez I wonder if they can just decline them at this point? Sweden tries a few long balls but their strikers are done, no pace left.
The end comes when Germay draws a foul 35 yards out or so. The free kick is curled in to German substitute Nia Kuenzer, who heads it home. Germany wins! Hey England fans ... Germany wins! Ha ha ha ha ha. (English football fans hate Germany, because Germany tends to win a lot while England ... doesn't )
This was a fun, exciting game once it got going halfway through the first half. The women players had excellent ball control and playmaking, and the Germans especially were as aggressive in tackling as their male counterparts. The only difference with the women's game is that neither team seemed to have the confidence to blast a shot from more than 20 yards out ... don't know if that's from a lack of leg strength or too much respect for the goaltenders. Women's football needs a Robertini Carlos! (Roberto Carlos in drag would also work for sheer comedy value ... oh god I just reminded myself of Ladybugs. Bleah.)
Mandatory sexist remark from the male sports fan: The cameras cut to various groups of Swedish fans in the crowd, and I am reminded again and again of the beauty of Swedish women. Goddamn I gotta go to Sweden. Ljungberg is also quite the cutie ... the shoulder-length brown hair and well-defined muscular legs were quite fetching in close up. Yummy.
The Northern towns of England look like Flanders in the mud; Boxing rings, bookies, Chinese takeaways and blood. The neon lights are glowing like a furnace in the sky, I'm travelling on the highway thinking of lust and suicide.
I kept an eye on this game. I thought the game itself was really good. Sweden got a total babyface reaction from me after seeing how powerful the Germans are. Okay Swedish girls are cute as well, like 90% of them. LoL. Sweden girls really tried hard but it always looked like a matter of time before the German scored the "golden goal". Which brought all those Swedish girls to tears, poor things.
Sorry I'm late to the dance but I had to catch this one on tape. It was really quite awesome, I must say. I went from being extremely critical of this series to being quite taken with it and I'm looking forward to next season.