After Australia’s 3–1 loss to the United States in the World Cup on Monday, a blogger for the official Australian national team site gave a surprisingly frank and bizarre assessment of the game: the U.S. stunk.
“The USA, well, they just aren’t that good,” wrote the unnamed official Matildas website staff writer as his or her No. 1 takeaway from a game in which the team he or she supports was defeated by a two-goal margin.
While it’s true that the Americans played a mediocre first half and were bailed out by goalkeeper Hope Solo on repeated occasions, the USWNT dominated for large parts of the second half and ultimately deserved the victory, which came at the expense of the team that the blogger says was “a better, smarter footballing side.”
“The US certainly like to talk a good game. The reality is they play a fairly rudimentary, bog-standard 4-4-2, were short of ideas going forward and outmanoeuvred tactically,” wrote the blogger, whose team watched as Megan Rapinoe controlled a loose ball with her backheel, took on four Australian defenders, and scored the opening goal to give the Americans the early lead.
The U.S. definitely did not overpower its opponents to the extent that fellow World Cup favorites Germany outplayed its opening match opposition, but it is strange that a country whose most successful recording artist is Iggy Azalea would rely on aesthetic arguments to criticize anyone. Also, the blogger spelled “outmaneuvered” wrong.
“US relied on the individual brilliance of Megan Rapinoe to win them this game,” continued the Australian blogger, noting how individual brilliance sometimes plays an unfair role in team sports and how Rapinoe wrapped up the impressive victory by notching a brace with a devastating run from midfield followed by an all-too-easy finish past less impressive individual performer and Australian goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri.
“If it wasn’t for [Hope Solo], this could’ve been a different result,” he or she added, describing how if the United States didn’t have a player that it did have, then the team might not have won.
The blogger also noted, accurately, how the Americans were outplayed for much of the game “before the Aussies ran out of gas.” It is true that the result would have been different, specifically a 1–1 draw rather than a 3–1 Australian defeat, had the game ended before the Australians got tired—somewhere around the 61st minute when Christen Press slotted home the go-ahead goal after a beautiful setup from fellow World Cup rookie Sydney Leroux.
The staff writer is reportedly working on his or her next article, how the Australian team would be leading Group D by a significant goal differential in a world where the United States did not have Solo, Press, Leroux, Rapinoe, or any of its other stars and the game was only 60 minutes long.