We were prepared to play and up for the challenge. We started off the game well. We limited their chances on goal and were holding the majority of the possession. While the other team looked to play direct the whole game, we stuck to what we practice and looked to keep the ball. Our best chance of the first half came when Linda (midfielder) slid to intercept the ball and Tess (forward, Equatorial Guinea) was in on a breakaway. The keeper came up with a save and we were unable to put the rebound away. The first half ended 0-0 and we went into the locker room.
The second half was pretty similar until about the 80th minute. JyPk broke through and scored off a shot just inside the penalty box. Within a few minutes later they scored again and it was 2-0 with only 5 minutes left in the game. We didn't give up and were able to put 1 away with a few minutes remaining. Jackie (my roommate, and also American) took a corner kick. When the keeper went up to catch it, it slipped through hands and found the back of the net! We fought for the last few minutes but were unable to find the tying goal.
Today the refs were not on our side again. I swear the foul count was probably 20-2. It is starting to get a bit ridiculous! We are starting to believe that they are calling everything against us and nothing for us because of the number of foreigners!! Today they called at least three offside's that clearly should not have been called! Tess, one of our forwards who is from Nigeria never gets anything called for her!! And trust me she is a tough girl. I usually don't like to get caught up in the referees but I mean come on lets be serious!
For the game today I was named the captain. Our captain is out for the next two months with an ankle injury. The coin toss is a bit different here then home, everyone was telling me to lose the coin toss! I was so confused. When the referee flips the coin if you choose the correct side then you only get to pick the side, whereas at home you can choose to pick the side or the ball. Here in Finland after every game they name a player of the game for each team. Today I was named the POG for our team. I got a little scale to weigh luggage... pretty handy! While today the outcome wasn't in our favor that is the game of soccer! I look forward to playing them again later in the season! I believe we have the talent and mindset to outplay anyone in our series. Our next game is on Thursday, we will work hard this week in practice and look to get back into the winning column!
Hejdå för nu!Jamie