26 March 2005

Bulgaria 0 - 3 Sweden

My wife is road tripping to IKEA today which means that junior and I are on our own. While my two-year-old was very agreeable and permitted me tune in to Bulgaria - Sweden instead of demanding Blues Clues, I must say that between putting together puzzles and LEGO castles and tolerating the satellite transmission issues that plagued FSC's coverage, I wasn't able to focus on the match as much as I might have liked.

From what I was able to gather, Sweden solidified their position as favorites to win UEFA Group Eight with a big away win. I've been a fan of the Swedish national team, dating back to their third place run at 1994 World Cup in the U.S. where they memorable trampled Bulgaria 4-0 in the consolation match. As an aside, I'm of the opinion that the 3rd place game is typically one of the more entertaining matches of the World Cup and I vociferously disagree with those who would do away with it.

As in the 1994 World Cup, Hristo Stoichkov led Bulgaria, this time from the sidelines as their coach, menacingly dressed all in black. And, as in 1994, Sweden again had their way with the Bulgarians. I must say that, as a team, the Bulgarians left a poor impression. The few occasions they managed to test Andreas Isaksson arose from fortuitous bounces or individual flashes of skill rather than any cohesive pressure. For all the strong challenges they put in defensively, they toppled over far too easily and whined far too much on the offensive end. For a team playing at home with everything at stake, Bulgaria proved hugely disappointing.

From Sweden's perspective, this is a massive away win. You certainly can't question the Swede's esprit de corp. Just witness all the beards. Must be a nordic thing. Ljunberg scored a brilliant first goal and a cheeky last minute penalty. I can only hope his form carries over to the Prem. His goals in the final weeks of the 2001/02 season sealed the league title for Arsenal and he's been a steady contributor this season as well.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?