11 June 2012

Gerrard to Lescott!

Given their injuries and the suspension of Wayne Rooney, England was fortunate to escape with a 1-1 draw against France in today's Group D match-up in the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship.  The players looked to be taxed in the evening heat of Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Ukraine.

I loved Steven Gerrard's long kick to Joleon Lescott in the 30th minute.  Lescott received the ball perfectly just inside the 6-yard box, nearly centered by the plane of the goal.  Click here for video highlights and go to the 0:46 point in the video.  Below is my model of Gerrard's kick (click on the graph for a larger image).
The red curve is Gerrard's kick; the blue curve is what Gerrard's kick would have looked like had the ball not possessed counterclockwise spin (as seen from above).  There is no goal without the lovely Magnus force curving the ball towards Lescott!  I estimated that the time of flight of the ball was 1.73 seconds and that it left Gerrard's boot at about 25 m/s (90 km/hr or 56 mph).  Lescott was able to sneak past the French defense for the header that put England on top, a lead they would hold for only about 9 minutes before Samir Nasri tied the score with a great shot left of goal just outside the box as England's defenders looked a little lost.

England and France play again in four days.  The Three Lions will take on Sweden; Les Bleus will face Ukraine.

No comments:

Post a Comment