Saturday, July 16, 2011

France 1-2 Sweden

Gratz to Sweden for hanging tough after going down to 10 players after the adorable but otherwise despicable Josefine Oqvist fouled the crap out of Sonia Bompastor after a clean and successful challenge, then tried to kick her in the head after Bompastor tried to get Oqvist's pudgy little Nordic body off of hers. The Swedish players' reaction was admirable--they went up a goal on the porous French defense. The Swedish fans' reaction was predictably shitty, jeering and whistling every time the blameless Bompastor--who intelligently took advantage of the whiny Oqvist's tendency to lose her shit over small stuff--touched or approached the ball. It's not surprising, really--when you think about it, it's a nation of self-serving assholes, possibly even more so than our own, and it's not really any wonder that their national teams (hockey and soccer) are bags of brutish, abusive, cheating shit. This was highlighted by the fans' reaction to Oqvist's perfectly correct dismissal, while the American referee Kari Seitz--who has been uneven throughout the tournament--allowed Sweden two obvious penalty handballs during the course of the game, and allowed the Swedes to break Louisa Necib's knee on a vicious challenge with no foul called. Sorry, folks, merely getting the ball does not make knee-to-knee contact okay, even if it's incidental to the challenge, and especially when the challenger is inserting a foot and leg between the ballholder's legs.

You can rightly say a lot about France as a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys, and that's fair. I like their food, I think some of their women are adorable, and I think that their national character is shit. Of course, I love their womens' football team. Go figure.

Now let's turn to the unaccountably more reputable Sweden. During the war that counted, the Swedes managed to retain their independence and remain unoccupied in their zeal to outcollaborate the French and supply the Germans with the wherewithal to imperialize the world, while making much hay out of their humanitarian concern for the Jews, of which they saved many thousands while supplying the Nazis with strategic materiel and denying the Allies much-needed support in Scandinavia out of concern for their own profit-engorged skins. So, y'know, fuck Sweden.

But serious congratulations to them nonetheless--it's not easy to get a winning goal after your team has taken a red card, and Marie Hammarstrom's winner was indisputably lovely. That the Swedes couldn't get a winning goal against the French before that is a bit of a mystery--once again, the French couldn't get it together when it counted, though players other than Bompastor showed up for a change (Elodie Thomis was outstanding, and Elise Bussaglia has howitzers for feet--both feet). Sadly for France, none of them, save Bompastor, was in defense--Laura Georges was wretched in the center for the second straight game, and Corine Franco made me wonder what the fuck the big deal was about her being too injured to play in the Cup up until this game. The downturn in Swedish attacking play against Japan and France is a bit odd, but unlike in the Japan game, they managed just enough this time, and under far more adverse technical circumstances.

So congratulations, Sweden, well done, and fuck you.

Fuck you also: Kate Markgraf, who is remarkably dimwitted for a former national team player, and Adrian Healey, who shows with each broadcast why the appallingly horrible Ian Darke is still the right choice (given the available pool) for ESPN's first string during this event. Your paired ignorant logorrhea made an otherwise interesting game--even one involving the Swedes, who I actually despise even more than the fucking Germans--well nigh unbearable. Fuck you.

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