Tournament of Nations 2017 Day 1

What is this competition?

The USA were upset they couldn’t compete in a tournament like the European countries can with the Euro’s, so they invited Australia, Brazil and Japan to come play some football in their backyard. The use of the word ‘tournament’ to describe this competition is probably a bit of a stretch due to there only being four teams and three match days. BUT Australia are in it and we can get it on FoxSports so lets just take it as a win, appease the fragile American ego (whilst beating them) and watch some more quality football.

 

USA 0 – 1 Australia

History was made. Australia beat USA

This was a game that seemed to play out to the opposite of many previous USA v Australia games. The norm often goes we come out guns blazing in the first half only to be smothered in the second half by a fitter and more dominant side the USA normally are.

Fast forward to the present where this game it was the US who had the better of the first 20 minutes as we looked rusty. Having said that this is an Australian team has had few games since Rio and with players spread out over four continents, all with different club seasons.

Once we did settle into the game however it was the US who looked lethargic and disjointed. The Americans seemed to run out of attacking options once Ellie Carpenter figured out how to deal with the handful that is Megan Rapinoe.

Most of the game was played in the middle of the park and honestly in my sick haze I found myself napping for parts of the second half and didn’t seem to miss much. Australia got the break through goal as a result of some tired defending.

Whilst we never like to make life easy for ourselves, we were able to shut out the game in the end. Note here by this point of the game, being one nil up, I was wide awake and am convinced we don’t actually know how to park the bus, even if a legit bus were to come onto the field to help us out. Massive shout out to my player of the match Lydia Williams who produced two massive saves to ensure the Matilda’s FINALLY BEAT THE USA!!

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Brazil 1 – 1 Japan

A great game to watch. Both sides were stretched and demonstrated their attacking prowess.

Japan, who are going through a time of rebuilding, demonstrated their lack of experience at times especially in defence. However this is the type of tournament to blood new defenders against the worlds best so ultimately shouldn’t be of too much concern for the Japanese. With a bit more experience they will have a quality defence to see them through for years to come. Note here though this ought to be a scary thought for any Asian team needing to beat them to qualify for a future World Cup or Olympics.

Meanwhile Brazil were classic Brazil. Threatening in attack and passing from out of the back with intent. Some of their younger players from the Olympics were looking more confident. For a team post-Formiga they didn’t look like they were missing the influential midfielder too much, which ought to be a huge compliment for the Brazilians.

Ample chances were had where either side could have got a winner, however both teams deserved a result and a one all draw gives it to them.

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