Well, I had 2-1 France as the final score in this game, and I’ll take full credit for it, but I didn’t exactly expect it to go down like this. In the end, Sweden had France exactly where they wanted them: down a goal, questioning themselves in the back, they even had a chance or two to go 2-0 up. But – before halftime no less – they had imploded twice on set pieces, and never really recovered. In a way it’s just Sweden being Sweden of late, good enough to compete with the best, but just not quite good enough to topple them. Meanwhile, for France, respect or no respect, here they are again in a major tournament semifinal with a chance to really announce their presence on the world scene:
Just as I talked about the “small margins” being the difference between winning and losing at a tournament like this, there are also “small moments” that decide games and allow teams to gain momentum. France looked slow, lethargic, plodding, just about any other synonym you could use in the first half, but just before they were about to go to the locker room to try to figure out what the hell was wrong, they get a corner kick, Laura Georges finds herself unmarked two yards from goal, France is relieved, and go on to destroy North Korea. But even with a big scoreline, I still have some questions.