Monday, September 10, 2007

FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007

We have seen the men (Copa America 2007), the adolescents (Under-20), the boys (Under-17), the tallest (FIBA Americas), the ruthless (Los Pumas) and many more in action. Now it is time for the ladies to show us what they’ve got. I did remember writing a brief preview on the Senoritas Albiceleste back in April on what an achievement it was for them to qualify ahead of Brazil.

Overview

Back in 2003, Argentina made their FIFA Women's World Cup debut after CONMEBOL were granted an additional qualifying berth for the finals in the USA. Despite the fact that BORELLO's charges had something of a baptism of fire there, losing all three games, conceding 15 goals and scoring just one, they vowed to come back stronger for the experience.

26th November 2006 will forever be remembered as a landmark day in the annals of Argentine women's football. Not just because the team sealed qualification for China 2007, but also because of the manner in which they achieved it - beating archrivals Brazil for the first time, and all in front of their delighted supporters in the coastal resort of Mar del Plata

“The team has picked up plenty of experience," BORELLO says. "Naturally there's always room for improvement in this game, particularly in women's football. But the younger girls have come on leaps and bounds and that's made us more ambitious and flexible. It's the best thing that could have happened to us."

Before jetting off to the Orient, BORELLO also spoke of the almost religious fervour with which the game is followed at home and the pressure that puts on his charges. "Argentina have always been a world power in the men's game, and people seem keen therefore to compare us with them. We've still got some way to go obviously, but it's just something we have to put up with. If you look at the United States, the reverse is true. Their men aren't among the world's best, but the women are right up there."

The Group

Argentina could hardly be facing a tougher start to their Chinese campaign. First up in Group A are defending champions Germany, who beat the South Americans 6-1 back in 2003. Despite the odds, BORELLO is confident his side can come good. "The players were happy when they heard they'd been drawn against Germany. Just as they wanted revenge against Brazil, they now want to get their own back against the Germans. They won't have an easy time against us I can tell you."

The girls in blue and white then do battle with England and Japan, another side to put six past them four years ago. "I think we'll be fighting to be among the top ten within the next four years," continues BORELLO, undaunted by the challenges ahead. "This team is capable of anything, though. Once we get to China we'll be out to win each game."

The Team

Goalkeepers

Romina FERRO (1,No Club affiliation), Vanina CORREA (12, Renato Cesarini), Elisabeth MINNIG (21, AFA)

Defenders

Eva GONZALEZ (2, Boca Juniors), Valeria COTELO (3, Boca Juniors), Gabriela CHAVEZ (4, Independiente), Carmen BRUSCA (5, Boca Juniors), Sabrina BARBITTA (6, Boca Juniors), Clarisa HUBER (8, Boca Juniors), Catalina PEREZ (14, River Plate)

Midfielders

Rosana GOMEZ (11, Boca Juniors), Maria QUINONES (13, San Lorenzo), Florencia MANDRILE (15, San Lorenzo), Fabiana VALLEJOS (17, Boca Juniors)


Forwards

Ludmila MANICLER (7, Independiente), Natalia GATTI (9, Boca Juniors), Emilia MENDIETA (10, AFA), Andrea OJEDA (16, Boca Juniors), Maria POTASSA (18, AFA), Analia ALMEIDA (19, San Lorenzo), Mercedes PEREYRA (20, River Plate)

Coach

Jose Carlos BORRELLO

In goal, Argentina are fortunate to be able to call on the experienced and safe hands of Romina FERRO, at veteran of USA 2003.

Other senior players include the astute Marisa PEREZ in midfield, influential playmaker Rosana GOMEZ.

At the other end of the spectrum are defender Eva GONZALEZ and striker Maria POTASSA, two starlets who made the breakthrough at Women’s Under-20 World Cup in Russia 2006 and shot to fame with the winning goals against the previously all-conquering Canarinha.

Emilia MENDIETA was call upon as a replacement striker after injury suffered by the influential Mariela CORONEL at the very last minute

As for the team's playing style, BORELLO can take considerable satisfaction from seeing his charges mastering the passing and ball-control skills he values so highly. However, on the debit side, he still has some way to go in helping them overcome perhaps their biggest weakness: their profligacy in front of goal - a luxury they will not be permitted against the top teams in the world at China 2007.

Before her injury, CORONEL said that "The prospects are good. The team has improved a lot in the last few months, both collectively and individually, and our first objective is to get past the first round. I think we can do that because there's not that much difference between us and anyone now. We've closed the gap on the strongest sides."

And who can argue with her? Brazil for one can vouch for that improvement, and more than a few observers believe there could be a surprise or two in store in the Far East. Germany and Japan, Argentina's six-goal conquerors in 2003, are their first targets in China, and BORELLO's girls are itching to exact revenge

5 comments:

Seba said...

Thanks for the article John. To be honest, with all the things I'm doing at the moment, I had no idea this World Cup was starting.

And just as I read this article from you, I've checked the result and it's a really horrible one: our girls lost 11-0!

Enough said....

Roy said...

The match here started at 8(and I have class at 9). So I got up and was watching some of the match. First few minutes(and I mean very few minutes), Argentina was playing good. But it all went downhill after that.

alwin said...

Yes 11-0 indeed. Goalkeeper Vanina CORREA starting and ending the rout with 2 own goals. This is a record victory in the tournament but, can the ladies rise in moments of advesary?

alwin said...

Yes 11-0 indeed. Goalkeeper Vanina CORREA starting and ending the rout with 2 own goals. This is a record victory in the tournament but, can the ladies rise in moments of advesary?

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