Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Backpasses: Toulon wrap up

Toulon's youth tournament wrapped up today. No more will I have to hear Max Bretos remind me of how these 21 year-olds are "just kids". That may apply to the U-17 World Cup, but not to all of these fellas working on professional contracts.

Third Place Match
Ivory Coast 2-2 Japan
Ivory Coast 4-3 on penalties

Like a Third Place match should be, this one was pretty entertaining. Ivory Coast were the early aggressors, and it paid off for them. In the 31st minute, Beko Fofana turned nicely on the top of the box and left-footed the ball home. Once again, though, it would appear that Ivory Coast does not have the best conditioned players. The Ivorians held the lead for most of the second half, but when the downpours came on 70 minutes, they let Japan back in the game. In the 72nd minute, the very-Japanese Sergio Escudero put home a Tadanari Lee cross. Japan continued to press their tiring opponent, and it paid off in the 82nd minute. Substitute Masato Morishige outleaped keeper Okoua and headed a corner kick home. Japan looked safe at that point, as Ivory Coast had pretty much given up the ghost as the pitch turned into a bog. However, in the third of four injury time minutes, a missed clearance on a scramble in front of Japan's net caromed off of Seko Cisse's knee and into the net.

Penalties followed. Japan took the early lead as Bofana put Ivory Coast's second chance over the bar. Japan never looked comfortable in their kicks, though, and gave away the advantage in the fourth round when Lee presupposed the keeper would dive. Okoua kept his feet and easily knocked out the weak effort. After Sekou Cisse put his shot home, Japan' captain, Hiroki Mizumoto, pulled his shot well wide to the left.

Italy 1-0 Chile

In a much more dour affair, played on the same water-logged pitch, Italy bullied their way past Chile. This was a tough, tense battle, with a total of six yellow cards given out, five to Italy. Pablo Osvaldo got the only goal of the match, timing his run perfectly from a Daniele Dessena pass and hooking the ball past the planted Christopher Toselli. The goal came in the 70th minute. Chile had a couple of late chances, but nothing would go in today.

The tournament's top player was Italy's Sebastian Giovinco, and the top scorer was Ivory Coast's Sekou Cisse.

Today's links:
Chelsea fire again. Henk ten Cate out [Guardian]
DC United could get half of their funding for a new stadium from the government [Washington Business Journal]
Iraq soccer team quickly un-banned from international competition [New York Times]
American very close to buying AS Roma. Hey, George Soros, we want a club, too! [New York Post]
From Gawker's Blind Item Guessing Game. Which WAG is blind to her player's shenanigans? [UK Mirror]

1 comment:

Goat said...

Bretos isn't nearly as bad as Wynalda was. He used to refer to everyone, no matter how old as "kid."