I Hate Penalties!

26 Jun

I don’t care who is playing. I don’t care what event it is. I don’t care how even the match is. I hate penalties. I hate them. It’s a lousy way to end a match. Period. I hate them.

However, I do love ridiculous humor and this photo from Matildas Active Support Twitter account @matildasactive is right up my alley. Crikey!

Anyway, onto the match:

Sam Kerr had a very rough night but it didn’t start out that way. She was nearly on the scoreboard within the first forty seconds of the match! Unfortunately for the Aussies, the shot went wide. Raso had two good chances just a few minutes into the match but Norwegian keeper Hjelmseth was firmly in control. Norway started to pressure the Australian defense but Williams, on her 87th cap for Australia, held up in goal for a very active start to the match.

Both Raso and Graham Hansen made some very promising pushes into the goal areas but the Australian defense, which had been shaky from the start of the tournament, was unable to deal with Herlovsen who received a great cross from Saevik. She moved past Kennedy and Catley, easily forcing Williams to come off her line and Herlovsen got past her for a Norwegian lead in the 32nd minute.

The Matildas were having a lousy time keeping possession and their body language showed it. However, Lydia Williams was solid in goal. Time and again, she came up big for Australia.

And just in case you thought that VAR was having a day off, Thorisdottir was called on a hand ball – it hit close to her shoulder and it did seem like a harsh call on first look but the replays did show that it did hit her upper arm, as the picture below shows.
However, after what seemed like ages, the German referee, Riem Hussein, checked the VAR and actually overruled herself. No penalty.

Australia came out with some fire in the second half and Raso and Foord both got some good balls in from Kerr and Logarzo respectively but both misfired. Kerr fired the ball into the net but it was called offsides by VAR.

Australia continued to pressure with Yallop and Kerr and Carpenter all making great runs. Carpenter was really fantastic…all tournament, really …with her consistency, her running and her strength. She had a great cross across the goal mouth that Kerr couldn’t get onto. And then in the 83rd minute, Kellond-Knight scored off her own corner kick. At first it looked like maybe Gielnik helped it into the net but no, it was a beautiful curving ball that went in with no help at all.

Graham Hansen almost finished the game in favor of Norway in stoppage time but her shot hit the post. Thus, it was on to extra time. Kerr’s bad luck continued with two possible chances and a foul in the box that didn’t get a review. And Williams continued with her brave play by saving a rocket from Bo Rise, tipping it over the crossbar. And after an injury scare after a foul from Utland, she saved another strong ball from Graham Hansen.

Australian luck went from bad to worse when Alanna Kennedy received a red card for a foul on Utland. It appeared shoulder to shoulder but VAR confirmed the foul and she was given a straight red for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity.

Embed from Getty Images

Williams saved the free kick from Boe Risa and Australia hung on for the rest of the extra time after Reiten and Graham Hanson continued to test Williams.
And then… penalties. I hate them. I really hate them.
But in a nutshell, Norway made all four. Australia made one. Kerr completely missed hers and Gielnik’s was saved by Hjelmseth.

I hate PKs.
So I asked Teri what she thought since she had been following Norway and she wasn’t surprised at all. Here’s what she said:

Called it! Here’s what I wrote about Norway in my last group stage recap:

“Maybe it’s all a ruse? Play well enough to move on under the radar and then kick into the next gear in the knockout stage.”

That’s exactly what it was. I am your Norwegian queen.

I watched this on my phone while at the salon and my stylist was mesmerized (don’t worry, my hair turned out great). That is a great sign of an excellent match, when it converts neutrals who weren’t even aware a World Cup was happening. And no, the salon wasn’t in France since we well know they’re barely aware a World Cup is happening there. I mean the stadium was only 1/3 full. A third! Damn you FIFA.

Me, I was in turns hyperbolic and apoplectic with an electrified resting state. Also a great sign of an excellent match. It was bold. Erratic. Purposeful. Physical. Sam Kerr may have felt a bit hard done by with how physical Norway were with her specifically without being checked.

Caroline Graham Hansen was substituted due to an injury in the second half of Norway’s last group stage match; you wouldn’t know here it as she came on like a house on fire for the whole match.

Australia weathered some bullshit out there, oh yes. Hayley Raso was excellent as was Lydia Williams. I was sorrowed though that Lisa De Vanna wasn’t brought in as a super sub, especially as this was likely her last World Cup. Australia needed her experience out there to bring a bit of calm to the proceedings. Maybe she was suspended? I don’t know. Regardless, this may be the best match takeaway:

What do you know? She likes punny humor too!

So—Norway will meet England on Thursday – I think the Lionesses will be in for a bit of a surprise. Stay tuned!

Allianz Riviera, Nice, France
Attendance: 12,229
Referees: Riem Hussein (GER), Kylie Cockburn (SCO) , Michaela Tepusa (ROU), Jana Adamkova (CZE)

NOR: Hjelmseth, Moe Wold (Hansen, 102’), Mjelde (Captain) , Thorisdottir, Minde, Saevik (Maanum, 72’), Boe Risa, Engen, Reiten, Graham Hansen, Herlovsen (Utland, 77’)
AUS: Williams , Carpenter (Harrison,120’), Kennedy, Catley, Kellond-Knight (Polkinghorne, 94’), Yallop, Van Egmond (Roestabakken, 116’) , Logarzo, Raso (Gielnik,74’) , Kerr (Captain), Foord

– ForzaSusan


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