I’ve been watching a lot of soccer over the past few days (as I seem to do). It’s been rainy and I like soccer. I got into this tournament mostly because I want to watch Canada win. So far the team is winning. They are atop their group and will probably advance to the next round. They got a lucky penalty in their first game and find offensive finesse in their second game. The team has both some good and bad things going for them.
The positives to begin with. They are winning their group. They’re not through yet but they are in first place. The team is also getting a lot of scoring opportunities. They’re just not finishing any of them. That deftness and finesse that creates goals out of nothing seems to be missing from the squad. A lot of chances are passing them by and they’re not creating a lot. They cleaned up all the horrible defensive giveaways that plagued them against China. They just haven’t had good enough services or finishes in the final third of the field.
The bad news is that so far they haven’t scored any regular goals. They got a penalty but that’s it. No other real goal scoring has been generated. The team needs to score at least one goal against the Netherlands. If they don’t the team can look forward to a bunch more draws, defensive close calls and hopefully pulling it off in penalties. That’s not really the narrative they’re going for. That’s not what successful teams are made of. They need to beat defenders and make plays happen.
Then again they are doing good things. Opportunities are happening they’re just wide or off the cross bar. The team isn’t in chaos or falling apart. They just can’t score. It’s tough to come down on just Canada for this given the number of riveting 0–0 games I’ve watched. A lot of the other teams can’t score to save their lives either. As long as they keep winning whether their forwards can score goals or their midfields can get balls to their forwards does it really matter? The Dutch will be a test. I hope that they pass and that many beautiful goals take this weight off their back.