The U.S. Women’s national soccer team outplayed China 3:1 yesterday. I, the foreigner lurking within a group of 17 Chinese, tried to be generous to the young team that shows signs of promise, but the soccer aficionado’s were (according to interpretations) having NONE of it. They cheered mightily though, and sang their national anthem vigorously (unlike the U.S. fans, of whom not a whisper of the anthem could be heard). More neutral observers also credited the Chinese with maintaining a “fast physical pace… to the end in a game played from side to side and end to end of the pitch by two equally matched teams almost at the top of their game…and having the courage and ability to take on the United States in open field attacking play” (Women’s Soccer World.)
An obnoxious group of Americans right behind us tried to drown out the Chinese chants everytime they got started, and the folks running the replay cameras managed NOT to repeat the good plays made by the Chinese team (yes, they actually made several, especially on defense). No nationalistic bias there.
When we first met up with the whole group to get our tickets, a woman asked me, “Are you with us?” Later, after the 2nd or 3rd time I criticized a U.S. player for bad sportsmanship, another woman asked, “Where are you from?” 🙂 I enjoyed good plays on both sides, and deplored the bad equally. I suppose it was easy to relax, though, because there was a clearcut advantage in speed, skill and teamwork. And, as Qianqing pointed out in the face of a bit of male chauvinism (sexism, she called it), the Chinese women’s team has competed better overall than the men’s team, even if the men demonstrate more individual prowess.
Gu Li saw the exciting match on Thursday when the Chinese national team came from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the New England regional team 4-3. Too bad the coverage of this game doesn’t expand more on the comeback. (Wanna bet there are some sites in Mandarin that extol upon the team’s success?) Must have been thrilling!
AFTER the game, we went to “the largest Asian food market” in the area, then to what folks have described as the most authentic Szechuan-style restaurant near here (both in Hartford). Lu Li flunked as a navigator! We decided we’d still go places with him, but trust him for directions? UNlikely. 😉 The market was interesting – John Kerry’s salute at the Democractic National Convention graced the cover of a Mandarin newspaper still on sale, and there were more whole dead fish than I’ve seen in one location before. Many people looked oddly at me – was I out of place because I’m not Asian-appearing or was it my mullet? 🙂
U.S. WNT Topple China 3-1 in Final Match Before Athens Olympics; WNT Leave For Greece Monday
Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm celebrate after a goal during the U.S. WNT 3-1 victory over China on Aug. 1 in Hartford.