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Game Day 4 - PNG girls show their skills but US too good

International Cup 2011

The Thursday night late game at Blacktown saw the impressive US Freedom women's side take on the very young Papua New Guinean Flame.

Clearly out to prove something after their defeat at the hands of the Northern Lights, the PNG Flame came out fighting today. Though young and slender, they showed no fear in the face of much bigger girls and played very tough football. The USA Freedom came back hard as well, smashing through the Flame’s midfield, but the PNG girls banded together, and the Freedom backed off with just two behinds to show for their efforts.

PNG were determined to get on the scoreboard early, and immediately countered, showing off their undeniable skill in moving the ball quickly up through the midfield, but were unable to make it through the Freedom’s tall back line. After a tough fight in midfield, the Americans finally managed to get a goal, and despite their efforts, the PNG girls looking threatening a few times, the Freedom defence held strong.

The Freedom came out after the break looking to secure a few comfort-zone goals and for a while the fight was concentrated in the Flame’s back 50. Then a high tackle on Siobahn McHale gave the Freedom a chance right in front of goal. But determined to rectify her mistake, the PNG Flame’s Joyce Mettakaisava bravely dived in front of the shot, but her efforts were deemed stepping over the mark, and McHale got another shot which this time was slotted home.

On their counter attack, the Flame were awarded 25m which finally got them through the Freedom midfield, but again they were denied by the tall back line, and with a series of impressive marks, the ball was straight back to the Flame’s goal mouth. Freedom forward Jen Cravens took a mark in the goal square, but seconds later was collected by a PNG back liner. Heroically, she dragged herself back to her feet to slot the ball through the posts for another goal. The ball then came straight back from the bounce, and a kick into the danger zone sailed over everyone’s heads and bounced straight through for number four, right before the siren.

After the half time break the Freedom came out hard and a few minutes into the third quarter, a PNG girl needed stretchering off after a collision. Play quickly resumed and the USA got their goal. From then on the Flame tightened up and the contest was locked in an epic midfield battle. After successfully holding the Freedom back, the Flame rallied and after a chain of short kicks and marks, made it past the towering Freedom full backs for their first goal, right on the siren.

Any hope the Flame had for rescuing a respectable score went out the window as soon as Lindsay Kastanek put away Freedom goal number six. Despite their efforts in midfield, the slender Flame forwards were unable to break down the Freedom back line a second time, though the younger girls definitely matched them in every other way. Then after a dangerous USA counter, the Flame were awarded 50m, then after a high tackle, another 25m, taking them right up to the Freedom’s defensive 50m line. The kick in almost made it all the way, but was marked by the Freedom full back, right on the line.

But with the Flames pressing in, the Americans were unable to clear the ball. An impressive Freedom mark finally allowed them out of their own 50, but the Flames came straight back. Refusing to back down, the Freedom took it up another notch, resulting in another Flame girl going down, and the tired PNG girls finally started to slow down. Neither were the USA girls in any shape to drive the knife home, the score remaining until the final siren.

Full time score:  USA 6.5 (35)  defeated PNG 1.0 (6)

USA
Goal Kickers: McHale, Kastanek, Estrada 2, Cravens 2
Best Players: Rasocha, Riehl, Casillas, Kraft, Geoghegan, Cravens

PNG
Goal Kickers: Lavai
Best Players: Lavai, Nalong, Tatsie, Kotapu, Avia, Mettakaisava
 

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Game Day 4 - PNG girls show their skills but US too good | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Game Day 4 - PNG girls show their skills but US too good
Authored by: RevoOldBoy on Saturday, August 20 2011 @ 04:01 am ACST

Firstly to the author (Tobietta), thanks for taking the time and effort to provide a game analysis.

And everyone please take this with a grain of salt as I am obviously biased to the US. And I use the "author" to try and ensure everyone understadns this is a question not a personal attack

But in a write up of a game where the US allowed only one goal, it seems definitely bent twoards the losing team and their struggle, a little too much David v Goliath with Goliath winning this time. I didnt see the game, but was it the authors intention to draw so much attention to size differences. Was that  the only factor and the Freedom did not have the skill to match up?

I know the authors of game write ups are not professional and I am not in any way suggesting that there is a deliberate agenda here... but it hurts to see the US team do so well in their first match against what should be considered "real competition", i.e. not the AMI team, and the adjectives/quotes:

came out fighting--- Though young and slender, they showed no fear --- , played very tough football,--- PNG girls banded together, ---determined to get on the scoreboard early, and immediately countered, showing off their undeniable skill in moving the ball quickly up through the midfield, --- But determined to rectify her mistake, the PNG Flame’s Joyce Mettakaisava bravely dived in front of the shot --- From then on the Flame tightened up and the contest was locked in an epic midfield battle --- After successfully holding the Freedom back, the Flame rallied --- Despite their efforts in midfield, the slender Flame forwards  ---though the younger girls definitely matched them in every other way ---

...are all used to describe the losing team, while the US is described as bigger, taller, harder and inferred as older. Yes, there were some complimentary words used about the US, "heroic" for one. But again, was the US teams size the only reason they won?

Maybe...ultimately...there was no question here and it's just my slanted observation.

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Game Day 4 - PNG girls show their skills but US too good
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, August 20 2011 @ 09:41 am ACST

I get your point but:

1. I have no reason to believe there's any agenda.  And we've certainly commented that the US are up there with Ireland as the only undefeated women's teams.

2. the PNG girls' average age is about 18, they are very much younger, so I think it's understandable that the author might focus on that, especially if they're smaller too

3. yes we're not professional, and I know that's not meant to be a slur, but it's interesting to compare with professionals on many levels - they aren't covering this tournament hardly at all, those that do don't have anywhere near the knowledge of international footy and end up having to research it (if they do) through a site like this, and even when writing about pro sports, guess what, a big chunk of the audience doesn't like the slant they take anyway

4. having said all that yes maybe a bit more focus on why the US won may have been good, but also note our people are watching game after game after game, and so many are complete walk overs at this stage, that to see a team losing comfortably but actually in the contest was perhaps unusual and I suspect Tobie was enthuasiastic to put that point across

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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Game Day 4 - PNG girls show their skills but US too good
Authored by: Tobietta Rhyman on Saturday, August 20 2011 @ 11:35 pm ACST

Were you there? I do try and write it creatively, but otherwise I write what I see. The PNG girls are all short and stick thin but they fly into any challenege like you've never seen it before. Anyone watching them has to respect that. They do have good skills, but they just don't have the height on the forward line. Sorry to make height such a big deal but I really do believe if those forward were any taller it would have been one hell of a competitive game. Not to take any credit from the Americans though, you're right. They are faboulous players, loads of talent, and in the end the best team won.

---
Little Pommy Girl
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