Contributed by: Troy Thompson
One thing that never surprises us when the IC schedule comes out is that USA v Canada is on there. Despite the nations playing regularly and sharing a border, someone always seems to think it a great idea to fixture these two nations to play each other when they travel to Australia.
Nevertheless it usually provides a great contest, and the spectators do enjoy the tension on the ground and in the air when they clash. Even though these teams are ranked closely, the US has an overwhelming record of wins in these contests. Both nations have big domestic competitions and surrounding community (and extensive networks in Australia) and are desperate to improve their place on the world footy pecking order.
Add to all this some ill-feeling coming out of the events surrounding the 2015 49th Parallel Cup weekend (presumably resulting in the annual fixture going into remission in 2016) and you can understand there is a lot on the line.
The Americans had first use of the breeze kicking to the city end. They squandered early opportunities with three behinds in the first three minutes. As expected it was a hard fought opening with both teams tackling, bumping and spoiling with all their might. Max Depina was in everything for the US early. While the rain had stopped before the match, the ball was a bit slippery early.
Canada kicked the first goal of the match through their inspirational captain Jim Oertel after his free kick was upgraded with a 25m penalty that aided his kick into the breeze.
The US late in the quarter added two more behinds but innacuarately and added two more behinds. Finally their frustration was broken when David Grzeiakwas paid the takle 25m out from goal and kicked truly after the siren had sounded giving them a five point lead at quarter time.
The second quarter started in bright sunshine, but the breeze was still strong and early on Kyle Graham marked well up forward but he missed to the left. At the other end Daniel Livy also had his kick drift wide. The arm wrestle continued and the Canadians added another behind before Adam Nash slotted the banana kick from deep in the pocket for a goal. That would be enough to give the Canadians a 2-point lead going into half time.
A four goal third quarter and keeping the Canadians scoreless looked to set the US up for a win. First it was Livy taking an intercept mark from a Northwind clearance. David Restrepo was on fire and squeezed his first goal out of the pack, later in the quarter he kicked another from deep in the pocket after being taken high – his flat set shot snap splitting the big sticks. Big man Brian Dragus had been working hard up and down the ground and finally got his 6-point reward also goalling from the pocket with a high long snap. Eric Klein battled hard and won a number of clearances for the Northwind but the US onslaught was too strong. Restreppo finished off the quarter marking 25m out over the back of the defender and giving the US a 30-point lead at ¾ time.
Canada came out in the the fourth full of intent to wrest the game back. They could not get anything going up forward though. The US pushed them in every contest and to be fair both teams broke even through the quarter. Adam Nash had a chance to goal after he received a free kick for an American deliberate out of bounds but his kick from the pocket went wide, Eric Klein missed from set shots twice (and had one out of bounds on the full), and Hobbs’ set shot came off hands, simply nothing was working out for the Canadians. Finally a consolation goal went to Nash after receiving a free kick after it seemed Simpson was deemed to be ‘kicking in danger’ , but the Americans had the points and the game in the bag by now. In the end a solid 20 point win to the Revolution.
Canada have a tough ask ahead of them Wednesday at Officer where they take on the GB Bulldogs who are on a high after their victory over the South Africa Lions this morning. The Americans play the losers of that match at Wesley College, and will be wary of the wounded Lions. We hope the 49th Parallel Cup returns in 2018 and we see more of these contests on an annual basis.
|Canada||1.0 (6)||2.2 (14)||2.2 (14)||3.7 (25)|
|USA||1.5 (11)||1.6 (12)||6.8 (44)||6.9 (45)|
Goal Kickers: D. Restrepo 3, B. Dragus, D. Grzeiak, H. May
Best Players: D. Grzeiak, B. Spohn, M. DePina, B. Carpenter-Nwanyanwu, D. Restrepo, R. Gartright
Goal Kickers: A. Nash 2, J. Oertel
Best Players: E. Klein, R. Macdonald, R. Tersigni, J. Oertel, A. Nash, T. Loosemore
World Footy News