My ‘brother’ thought it’ll be a good idea to see Team GB take on Brazil at Wembley… Female football, this is. The British would have the benefit of home support and one other thing the Brazilians are famous for that isn’t football is knowing how to throw a great party… It was a promising prospect and it lived up to expectation. As I got out of the train station, I felt like I had just gotten to the world’s most exciting street party. The Brit’s were screaming ‘GB’ and the Brazilians had their own chants. And Yes, they outchanted and outscreamed the British. I had on my England jersey so you don’t need to know who I was siding with. I met up with my ‘brother’ at the ticket collection point and we waited for his friends then made our way into the stands. We got drinks and got in to meet the teams coming out to loud applause. We had decent seats which made the experience more enjoyable. The crowd went crazy as you’ll expect. I chewed my mouth and mumbled incoherent lyrics to ‘God Save the Queen’.
Less than 5 minutes in, the British scored in the goal right in front of us through left back Steph Houghton who’s scored a goal in every game thus far. I was so excited, I got up and started screaming. I find it easy to like the British female team on the basis that most of them play for Arsenal Ladies and they seem more pleasant and less overhyped than their male counterparts. I was really impressed with the way they played. They kept their shape and balance defensively for the whole game and actually snuffed out wave of attacks from the Brazilians fairly easily. The number 10′s on both sides are well regarded in the game. Marta won the FIFA World Player of the Year award 5 times consecutively while Kelly Smith is England’s record goalscorer and has been likened to Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi and it was easy to see why. She was clearly the best player on the field and flourished in a way that reminded of Dennis Bergkamp, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Zinedine Zidane. She had the skills, ball control and strength to pass her opponent’s with ease whilst displaying selflessness with the way she brought her teammates into play. Unfortunately, she missed a penalty in the 2nd half but I thought she was by far the best player on the field. Marta, on the other hand was anonymous. She wasn’t man marked out of the game but defensively, the British were so solid she couldn’t get anything worthwhile out of them. The British goalkeeper also stood out to me. She made great saves when called upon and generally seemed confident and immune to any error or weakness. In other news, I made a fool of myself by jumping up and celebrating a shot that went into the side netting thinking it had gone in. Laughs! I like the look of the British team and hope they can get a medal. (Hope I don’t jinx them).
I also had some fun taking part in the Mexican waves and singing ‘We will rock You’ at Half time. It made me wonder why the idea of commissioning theme songs for the Olympics hasn’t been executed the way you get with the World Cup (Remember that annoying ‘Wavin Flag’ song). You could do this and get the said artiste to perform the song at different arena’s and events every day of the Olympics. The Brazilian fans sat around us were pretty cool. I also found it cool that there were a lot of female fans around. Female football’s improved over the years and gained more attention and exposure so it gives me hope that this would continue. Also, the crowd of 70,584 was a record capacity crowd for a female football match in the UK.
The track events start at the weekend and I’m looking forward to them. The 100m tends to be the centre piece (rightly so this time as it’s presently at its most competitive). However, I have developed an admiration for certain athletes over the last couple of years, (mostly British), so I really do hope they do well. I hope also that the likes of Dai Greene, Christine Ohuorogu, Mo Farah, Perry Shakes Drayton and Blessing Okagbare flourish in the track events while Phillips Idowu, Jessica Ennis and Victoria Pendleton can live up to expectations in the Triple jump, Heptathlon and Track Cycling Events.
I hope you have an amazing Olympic experience. (Bring on the once in a lifetime cliche!)
Some pictures from the event are shown below: