So, England’s women may have crashed out of this year’s World Cup – on penalties, of all things. But still, their success in the competition (a darn sight better than the men last year, I might add) and the BBC’s U-turn in deciding to televise today’s game perhaps marks the beginning of a surge in popularity in the ladies’ beautiful game.
Forget Keys and Gray for a minute. The matches we saw this summer were as nail-biting as any men’s matches I’ve seen in the past few years; and it wasn’t without its moments of skill and initiative. In fact, when it comes to scoring goals, there are some that would rival even the finest that us blokes have fired in. And so, to prove it, here’s my top five.
#5: Lori Chalupny, USA vs China
A fairly straightforward goal, this: but still one to be admired. Ms (or Mrs) Chalupny, whose surname sounds like some kind of foreign meat, picks up the ball against the Chinese and promptly spanks it into the top corner from outside the box.
#4: Kozue Ando, Japan vs Australia
I think this might have been in some kind of Asian Cup, or something. Anyway, after some slick build-up play from the Japanese, Ando picks up the ball, runs into the box and smacks it past the keeper. Sayonara, Matildas!
#3: Christen Press, Stanford University vs Pacific
This certainly isn’t international football, but it’s a great goal nonetheless. Christen Press, who some might say is rather attractive, goes on a mazy run past a few defenders before clipping the ball past the keeper, in a goal reminiscent of Michael Owen’s legendary shot against Argentina.
#2: Lisa De Vanna, Australia vs Italy
From the tightest of tight angles, Miss De Vanna picks up the ball, runs with it for a bit down the wing, before cutting inside and lifting it into the top corner. A goal that would make ________ (insert famous footballer here) proud.
#1: Marta, Brazil vs USA
I’ve heard it said that Brazil’s men’s team is pretty good, so it’s no surprise that their women take time out from shaking their bits in the Rio De Janeiro carnival to be equally as awesome. This goal by Marta, for example, needs no introduction. Brazil are still in the women’s World Cup, so watch out for her. And prepare to be amazed.