Beijing Blogs - Jillian Ellis - August 6, 2008

Aug. 6, 2008

Game Day!

We spent all day at the hotel waiting for our evening match. For the players, the day is about relaxing and mentally preparing for the game. In between meals, some of the players got to meet up with their friends and family who had just arrived in town. We had a brief meeting after lunch and watched a highlight video of some previous games. Finally, at 5pm we loaded up the bus and left our hotel for the stadium.

Tonight was our opening match against Norway in the first round of group play. It was a less-than-auspicious start as we lost 2-0, but with two more group games we can still determine our own fate. The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals. Giving up two quick goals in the first ten minutes of play made it an uphill battle from the very beginning. Norway played their typical, direct style of soccer and capitalized on their chances. Our starting left back, Lori Chalupny, was in a collision in the opening two minutes and had to leave the game with a concussion.

The second half we created some scoring chances, but Norway's goalkeeper, Erika Skarboe, was up to the task, and the final was 2-0, Norway. We were naturally very disappointed with the result but optimistic that we still have games against Japan and New Zealand to secure a berth in the next round. In the earlier match, Japan and New Zealand tied, 2-2. Post-game, some of the players are escorted away for doping control tests, while the rest must pass through the media mixed zone. Once we got back to the hotel, the players and staff had a late meal, and then the players went for post-game treatment or massage, while the coaches met to discuss tomorrow's training schedule.

- Jillian Ellis

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