Marta’s World Cup finale overshadowed by Brazil’s poor play

There is no such thing as a spin to be placed on this, no ‘positives to be taken’ from Brazil’s exit from the Girls’s World Cup. The group had a full cycle of preparation, with unprecedented sources, underneath the command of a prime class coach in Pia Sundhage — and can now depart after the group stage for the primary time since 1995.

It’s an unmitigated catastrophe. It is usually a melancholic finish to the World Cup profession of the good Marta — virtually as melancholic as her performances on this match.

– Girls’s World Cup bracket and fixtures schedule

However Jamaica had been capable of smother that hazard, as opponents have been capable of smother Marta on this competitors. Her sixth World Cup could properly have been one too many. It has been a while since she has been capable of tip the steadiness on a person degree. Tellingly, 14 of her 17 World Cup objectives got here within the first three tournaments she performed. The ultimate three introduced only one aim from open play.

But when she has been overtaken, that isn’t solely the consequence of the inevitable decline of age. It is usually the product of the speedy growth of the game — one thing that she did greater than anybody else to result in. In that sense, she is a sufferer of her personal success — which could give a small crumb of comfort on the lengthy journey again from Australia.

Brazil met Jamaica of their opening recreation of the earlier World Cup. Brazil received 3-0, with all of the objectives coming from veteran striker Cristiane. Sundhage took cost after the match. She ditched Cristiane and stored Marta. Which may have been a mistake. Sundhage’s total reign will now come underneath the microscope — which is suitable, for the reason that total course of was set as much as be judged on outcomes on this match.

The game has developed to the extent the place there may be typically a nice margin between profitable and dropping. Brazil produced a superb opening win (4-0 over Panama) adopted by a slender defeat to France after which a deadly draw in opposition to Jamaica the place they’d all of the play however created only a few possibilities. The Panama recreation was very a lot her triumph. The group performed as a collective block, squeezing the opposition into their half of the sphere, working arduous to win again possession and protecting the strain on.

The France match didn’t go so properly. Sundhage was out-thought. She thought that France had been sluggish to recompose their defence, and went with two fast strikers to show them on the transitions. Nevertheless it left Brazil too stretched out, and France took benefit of the area. Which brings us to the Jamaica recreation, the place the group’s limitations had been uncovered, in two key areas.

Firstly, their artistic repertoire proved closely depending on firing in crosses in opposition to weak groups unable to defend within the air. As quickly as they got here up in opposition to extra competent and higher organised defences then they bumped into issues. That is particularly worrying since, after a few years when defence was the main focus, Sundhage had lately been concentrating on widening the attacking repertoire.

After which there may be the group’s emotional state. Towards Jamaica, because the clock ticked away the group received worse by way of the course of the sport. The primary half at the very least introduced the occasional half likelihood. After the break, when the screw actually ought to have been turned, there was subsequent to nothing. Underneath scoreboard strain, the group didn’t carry out.

Was there an excessive amount of emotional dependence on a Marta who was not capable of ship? Or was there an inadequate emotional connection between Sundhage and her gamers? One problem which has been effervescent underneath for some time now — and which got here to the floor after the defeat to France — was Sundhage’s lack of proficiency in Portuguese. After 4 years she nonetheless doesn’t converse the language in public and is, apparently, hesitant and halting in non-public. She typically appears mystified by her gamers, complaining in the course of the course of this competitors that typically they cross an excessive amount of, and typically they don’t cross sufficient.

The combination of Scandinavia and South America was all the time filled with attainable alternatives and threats. In some methods it has labored. The gamers most likely suppose extra collectively than earlier than, and are much less susceptible to go to floor on the lookout for low-cost fouls. However perhaps, when it got here all the way down to it there was a scarcity of an emotional connection when it mattered most.

What occurs now? Marta leaves the stage, and it will likely be fascinating to see what she does subsequent. Will Pia keep? She is underneath contract till the 2024 Olympics in Paris, however nothing is assured.

Brazil’s finest participant within the Jamaica recreation was skilled centre again Rafaelle. After the sport she was requested if Sundhage needs to be changed. “I feel we now have to consider what’s finest for girls’s soccer,” she mentioned. “If there may be somebody higher, with extra high quality, then the game deserves it.” It’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

Source link

Spread the love

Leave a Reply