Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012 WCP Cup Finals Preview

Last day of the tournament and the finals are going to be fantastic. All of the playoff games have been great to this point and I have the highest of expectations for the final matchup. By a formal request I'll preview and recap the women's final. Once a year isn't too difficult.

W- Germany vs Ukraine, 2:30 p.m. - Third straight matchup for these two and I'd be lying if I said there was any doubt they would be playing again. Ukraine is two-time defending champion and has a strong core of past and current Cougars players. Germany also has Cougars, but it's more a mixture of top women's league players. Hard to say that the defending champs aren't the favourites, but Ukraine looks like it has lost a step from 2011 and Germany is determined to get a crown and prove its not perennial second-best. Look for Megan Cormier and Cara Gartner to have big games for Germany and the only way Ukraine pulls off the trifecta is if Michelle Anderson plays amazing in goal and the Ukraine strikers get a couple lucky goals. Gemany wins 4-2.

M - Laos vs Sudan, 3:30 p.m. - Oh boy. I think I speak for everyone when I say how happy I am that we don't have to watch ROI in the final for the seventh straight year. Thank you Laos, even though its kind of getting boring watching that team on the final day too. Thankfully we get Sudan to shake things up. Its been an improbable run for the Sudanese, but big wins are big wins and they deserve props for getting some of the wierdest victories imaginable. In the final look for Laos to try and control the tempo in the midfield with Steve Irinici and Scotty Myrah. If those two can keep the ball and avoid bad giveaways then Laos should be able keep the game from becoming all about headers and long-balls. Sudan is going to pressure the Laos defenders to force giveaways at the back and the Sudanese counterattack is formidable, with a proven big-goal scorer in Tong Tong up front. Laos has the big edge in goalkeeper abilities, but Noor has had a tournament for the ages for Sudan. I think Laos will get a couple free kick goals and that will be the difference. Laos wins 3-2.

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