1.Brazil won Paralympic football gold (5 aside) today, topping France 2-0 in the final at Riverbank arena. The 5 aside tournament consists of four outfield players who wear blindfolds and a goalkeeper. The pitch is 42 meters long and 22 meters wide. The visually impaired athletes use a ball with a noise-making device inside, and each team is allowed one guide in each third of the pitch (the field is divided into three sections). It’s hard to describe how amazing this sport is with words – check out this video:
Football is often described as the sport that requires the most natural ‘feel’- the video above should serve as exhibit A in defense of this claim. Truly remarkable. Outside from the obvious differences, here are some other unique rules:
- During the last two minutes of each half, the clock is stopped for free kicks, kick-ins, goal clearances and corner kicks.
- If a player commits five personal fouls, they are sent off for the rest of the match.
- Although athletes may have different degrees of visual impairment, all four outfield players must wear blackout masks to ensure fairness. The goalkeeper may be fully sighted.
2. Goal of the day – er yesterday
Luton Shelton’s beautiful free kick lifted Jamaica over the United States in a thriller at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The result puts Jamaica at the top of Group A and sets up a pivotal clash on Tuesday in Columbus. The United States should progress to the Hex -but Guatemala could shock the world with a win at Livestrong Sporting Park in October.
Canada where u at, Recovering? Great feeling this morning but still got ways to go. Step by step where going to do this. Let’s go Canada…
— Dwayne De Rosario (@dwaynederosario) September 8, 2012
Anyone else jacked up for Tuesday night? The game will televised on Sportsnet One and City TV with kickoff at 9pm. Postpone plans with loved ones accordingly.
4. Rant of the day
Not going to lie, initially I missed De Rosario’s goal last night. After Simeon Jackson was fouled I assumed the Canadians would take their time setting up and allow the Panamanians to position themselves accordingly. Luckily Atiba Hutchinson bucked that terrible trend and took the kick as fast as possible. Stephen Hart mentioned this in his interview with James Sharman last night, but it needs to be repeated. The amount of time wasted when a free kick is given is unacceptable. You have the players in the wall bickering with the referee about how far back they are while the team taking the kick yells at the ref because the defense is too close. The whole thing is ridiculous. Getting on with it, like Hutchinson did last night, should be rewarded. Panama’s coach was not pleased:
Panama coach Julio Dely Valdes, speaking through an interpreter, called his team’s play on the goal “naive.” Another Spanish speaker disputed the translation, saying the coach had in fact used the word childish.
Childish is the last word I’d use to describe Hutchinson’s split second decision. I’d guess Valdes wished just one of his players showed the PSV midfielders guile last night. If Valdes was referring to his own players, childish makes even less sense. Sloppy, lazy, ill prepared..the list goes on.