Looking for a good seat

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

HANGZHOU, China -- Several coaches of non-favoured teams cringed when Germany beat Argentina 11-0 to open the FIFA Women's World Cup.

But the coach who was forced to begin the tournament sitting in the stands, couldn't help but laugh.

Even Pellerud, who is suspended for Canada's opener (8 a.m. EDT, CBC) against Norway, watched the opening game all-time record tournament slaughter in Shanghai with special interest.

"I knew who held the old record. It was Norway in an 8-0 win over Nigeria.

"I was coaching Norway at the time," said the coach who won the 1995 Women's World Cup with the girls from his native country.

He could relate to being on the wrong end of a score at least a little like that.

Canada lost the opener to eventual champion Germany four years ago 4-1 and ended up making the medal round and finishing fourth.

When a reporter from Australia asked him if he thought the result indicated South American countries were falling back in women's soccer, Pellerud told the media man that there was something he ought to realize.

"Not more than a month ago Brazil played the best soccer I've ever seen," he said of Marta and mates who beat Canada 7-0 at the Pan-Am Games.

It was press conference day prior to the beginning of play in Group C here and Pellerud was in exceptionally good spirits despite having to sit in the stands with Canada playing his old team as a result of an ejection late in the final of the Gold Cup against the USA.

"I am very good at looking at upsides. I think maybe it is a good thing the players don't have to look at my face.

"Now I can sit in the stands and curse in Norwegian."

Asked if was going to have to buy a ticket to get into the game, he reached in his pocket and produced some Chinese currency.

"I don't know where I will watch," he said.

"I've been told I can be in the locker room before the game and at half time but I am not allowed to communicate with the team during the game," he said.

Ian Bridge, who coached half this team at the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championships in Edmonton in 2002, will handle the decisions at field level.

And what if he should accidentally dial Bridge's cell phone number during the game?

"A Norwegian coach was in the same situation a while ago and was seen talking on his cell phone during the game," he said.

"He claimed he was talking to his mother."


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