Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Game 1 - Sweden
The Swedish team was a formidable group donning bright yellow jerseys and black shorts. Most of them were taller than Garrett, our tallest player. Our guys were clearly nervous initially, but they seemed to settle in nicely once play began. The Swedish right wing #21 was fast. Poor Brodie had to mark him but he did a great job containing him until help arrived. We gave up one goal prior to the half, which ended 1-0. Coach did not call upon our Italian guest players until the 2nd half so we still had no idea how good they were. Well, when they finally came on the pitch, it was painfully obvious that they were going to be game changers -- for the better. OMG! After several minutes of play, it was obvious to our guys that the strategy was to “Kick it to the Italians!” (a la the movie Kicking and Screaming)….
Tournament rules state that once a player is subbed out, they cannot return to the game. I believe at some point the Swedes thought they had the game in hand so they took out #21 - (pre-Italians). Denis, our new center-mid scored on a cheeky kick that hit the goalie on the face prior to going into the goal. Score 1-1.
It seemed like the run of play was in our favor the next several minutes of the game. We pressed hard and had several more scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, in the last minutes of the game, the Swedes scored another goal. Game over, but it was a very good game, which could have gone either way. Score 2-1 Sweden.