Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Timely Message To The Sore Loser Named Hope Solo

Soccer Brazil
Pia Sundhage got the final say on Hope Solo as the former U.S. Women’s National Team coach led Sweden to yet another mystifying victory over a world power, this time beating Brazil in its own soccer cathedral, the Maracana, to move to the final against Germany.

Just like their quarterfinal victory over the Americans, the Swedes played a lockdown defense for the whole match and forced 30 minutes of scoreless overtime to get to penalty kicks. And just like the result that led to Hope Solo calling Sundhage’s team "a bunch of cowards," Brazil fell to a deciding dagger by Lisa Dahlqvist.

It’s been a masterful tournament for Sundhage, who loves a wide-open style but switched tactics completely after a 5-1 loss to this same Brazil side 10 days before. It frustrated Solo and it frustrated the host team, too. Goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl saved two shots in the shootout stage, and several more during the 0-0 match.

"We feel horrible," said Brazil coach Vadao. "We had a domination of the way we played the match. The strategy of the Swedes was expected. They played quite well."

There was no sniping toward the winners from this losing group. Asked about Solo’s comments and their aftermath, Vadao said, "It’s not for me to criticize the opponent."

Sundhage, when given the chance to fire back at Solo, sidestepped. "Football is much more than a comment here or there," she said.

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