Unprofessional Foul


May 20, 2008

Toulon: Day 1

The Toulon Tournament started today. It’s an eight country international under-23 tournament. The eight countries are divided into two groups which play a World Cup style round robin. The top two team of each group go to the semifinals with the winners playing in the finals two days later.

This year’s Group A consists of hosts France, Chile, Japan and the Netherlands. Group B has USA, Italy, Ivory Coast and Turkey. Most nights the update will be folded into the Backpass section, but tonight I had to post this:

That’s French player Vincent Muratori losing his shorts and revealing a somewhat see-through pair of black bikini briefs. Thanks to commenter kenny in the US Youth National Team blog for posting the video.

Writeups of today’s action after the jump.

All Group A action to start today.

In the first match Japan took on the Netherlands. Japan seemed to counterattack a lackluster Dutch squad. The first half produced nothing of consequence. It was so dull that I decided to take my son for a walk rather than watch the last ten minutes before halftime. The second half really wasn’t much better. The Dutch would try to build, then give the ball away or shoot off target. About 20 minutes in, one of Japan’s hopeful long balls from the keeper was misplayed by multiple French Dutch defenders, allowing Tadamari Lee to poke home with his left foot. The Netherlands continued with their useless attack for the rest of the game, but Japan successfully parried all attacks. A slight upset for Japan, 1-0.

The second match was much more interesting with two spirited teams looking to attack. France struck fast, with two goals in the first 25 minutes. Though they seemed to have the game under control, Chile was able to sneak back in with a goal 10 minutes before the half. Two minutes after the break, France scored again to take a 3-1 lead. However, the home side lost the momentum soon after with what the English pundits call “a rush of blood to the head”. Ricardo Faty was tracking back in the midfield when he attempted to make a tackle from behind, way behind. He missed the ball by about two feet and went studs up into the Chilean player’s ankle. The referee was trailing the play and issued an immediate red card. Chile scored on the ensuing free kick, then throttled France down the stretch. The goal to draw level was scored of a French defender’s face, and Chile got two more in the last four minutes. 5-3 to the Chileans.

USA-Turkey 9.30 A.M. EDT
Italy-Ivory Coast 12 noon EDT

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