A series of very stylish World Cup posters by Scottish artist Robert Chalmers.
The final of the Women’s World Cup was won by the United States last night. The US ladies ran out 5-2 winners in a thrilling match that was blessed by a series of great goals and individual performances. One player that stood out was Carli Lloyd who scored a 13 minute hat trick at the start of the first half. The third of her goals was a stunning lob from the halfway line that drifted over the Japanese goalkeeper. It was a fitting end to a tournament that was enjoyed by fans from all over the world. The near 55,000 crowd in Vancouver celebrated the end of the World Cup in style, and the United States walked away with their third world title.
In the individual awards Carli Lloyd won the Golden Ball, Germany’s Celia Sasic won the Golden Boot with six goals and Hope Solo of the United States won the Golden Glove. Kadeisha Buchanan of Canada won the best young player trophy.
Heartbreak for England. Last night the English ladies team crashed out of the World Cup semi-finals in the most cruel of all possible ways. With the match balanced at 1-1 and the clock ticking down it was an injury time own goal that sealed the tie for defending champions Japan. English defender Laura Bassett tried to clear the ball out for a corner at the edge of her own box but in doing so she somehow managed to knock the ball off of the underside of the bar and in. The holders Japan looked on is astonishment as a freak own goal sent them through to the final against the USA.
The English will still feel as though they overachieved in this tournament and they now have a 3rd place playoff against Germany on Saturday.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup is now up and running. It is the biggest in the tournament’s history having been expanded to 24 nations. The hosts Canada expect huge crowds and a record breaking tournament (as well as a controversial one with the introduction of artificial pitches). Favourites for the trophy are Germany, with the USA and Japan close behind.
Here are some images from the first few matches…
A couple of timely reblogs…
One final piece about the negativity surrounding the World Cup…(I love football, honest!)
Football is a wonderful thing. It can unite nations, it can bring people together and it can help communities in an incredibly positive way. Right now I am watching several Algerians in tears at the prospect of qualifying for the next stage of the World Cup, that is how much football means to people.
However…those at the top of the tree in world football have managed to somehow lose sense of what this sport should actually be about. FIFA has a snappy slogan under its logo and it reads “for the good of the game”, but for a long time now it seems as though this is not what FIFA actually achieves.
The ins and outs of what they do badly would take far too long to discuss, so an easier way to digest some of what…
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A rather dapper looking referee, John Langenus, watching on during the 1930 World Cup final between Uruguay and Argentina in 1930. The match (won by Uruguay 4-2) was overshadowed by a controversy surrounding the match ball. The two nations disagreed over who should have provided the ball and it needed FIFA to intervene. In the end the countries had to each provide one ball to be used in either half.
Despite the fact that the World Cup now seems like it was a long time ago the legacy of Brazil 2014 is still throwing up some unique ideas. The video below was created by a collective known as ‘Ruckspiel’ with the aim of visualising every single match of the tournament using 1 second video animations for each game. The result is both beautiful and mesmerising.
The tiny island nation of American Samoa is home to roughly 60,000 people. A beautiful set of islands set in the Southern Pacific, it is a nation that most people will never set foot on and many will have never heard of.
If you are a football fan though, you might know one fact about the nation of American Samoa. You might know that in 2001 the national football team faced Australia in a 2002 World Cup qualifying match and lost. This wasn’t any loss though, this was a 31-0 record-breaking loss that made headlines worldwide. The loss was so bad that FIFA had to change the way qualification was carried out to try to avoid another defeat like this.
Fast forward a decade and American Samoa are rooted to the bottom of the FIFA world rankings. They are the world’s worst team lying in 203rd place.
Step in filmmakers Mike Brett and Steve Jamison who want to chronicle the nation’s attempts at qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The country has appointed a new coach and has a new sense of optimism, but can they achieve something they have never achieved in the past? Actually win a competitive match? Even jut score a goal?
The documentary follows the team as they play in the South Pacific Games and the preparations for their qualifying tournament for the FIFA World Cup. It shows us the island and the community of footballers that play the sport there.
Next Goal Wins is a documentary but feels like a film. It must be the holy grail of documentary filmmaking to come across a story like this filled with wonderful characters, amazing back stories and unique moments but this is one such film. The sense of warmth you get from the American Samoans is wonderful and the way that the documentary makes you feel about football is really something quite special.
Individuals like the new Dutch coach Thomas Rongen have scenes of heartbreak but also laugh out loud moments that make you feel attached to everyone involved in this football team.
One of the film’s main stars (and there are many) is goalkeeper Nicky Salapu who introduces himself at the start of the film as one of the surviving members of that 31-0 team. He talks so passionately about how football is his life but that he has never been involved in a competitive win and that his life is dominated by thoughts of that night back in 2001. All he wants is a chance to be at peace with his footballing career and feel as though he achieved at least something in his time as American Samoa’s number 1.
Anyone who is a fan of football needs to watch this film. It really is that good. The DVD is available to buy now, you can get in on iTunes and online. This documentary will make you appreciate football more and it will introduce you to a small island community like no other.