Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Cup 2010 - Day 2

A couple of days ago I mentioned that there were a few teams from Europe that should not be here; Greece were hard at work to prove me right! Appalling performance from the Greeks, without taking away anything from South Korean team that did everything right and could have won by an even bigger margin.

In the second game, Argentina showed glimpses of what they can do, but although the scored early (and I was expecting an avalanche of goals after that), they obviously took the foot off the pedal, particularly in the second half. That mentality almost left Nigeria back in, but overall, Messi & Co. controlled the proceeding and only their lack of finishing focus and a very inspired Vincent Enyeama [man of the match] preserved the narrow lead. It just didn't look like Argentina's midfield would be able to control the game against a stronger it'll be interesting to see how they improve on that as the tournament progresses.

And last, but not least, the only game really worth watching in this tournament so far: England - USA. No, not just because the "home" team played (having then the obvious emotional perspective) but it was the quality of the game: high tempo, plenty of chances on either end (slight edge to England here) and good stretches of time where it looked like none of the players were saving themselves for the next game(s).

The US was surprisingly strong, with a solid team performance throughout. They had full control of the game for good portions of time, especially in midfield, where Lampard and Gerrard were "absent" for good stretches of time [there wasn't much mention of Lampard until late in the first half; he had a pretty low key game, given his usually high standards]. The defense did well also, limiting Rooney's options and keeping him far from goal. And Tim Howard was outstanding!

On the other end, England never seemed to find their rhythm (obviously difficult to do with all that US pressure) and Green gifted Dempsey with a goal that's sure to make the "bloopers" real of this edition of the World Cup [take that, Calamity James!*]. He made amends later on when Altidore got through on the left side only to see his close-range shot deflected against the post!

Overall, a slow start to this World Cup so far. Seems like all the teams are focused on two things in this first round: preserve energy for the games ahead and don't lose the first game [yes, the focus is not on winning the game, but not losing it; so don't expect much in terms of spectacle under those auspices].

More of the same should be expected today, with Slovenia - Algeria squaring off in the other group C game, and both group D games under way [Serbia - Ghana should be close, but Germany - Australia, just a matter of "how many", I'm afraid...]

Enjoy another football-filled day!

* for those of you not familiar, "Calamity James" is the nickname given to David James (the other choice for England keeper) well known for similar bloopers and blunders (here's one: but I'm sure you can find plenty more on You Tube if you're so inclined).

1 comment:

  1. do I have another choice but to enjoy the day? anyway same on UK hihihi good for us