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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

WC2006: Day 4

Black armbands around TDH today after the US's bad loss to the Czechs - a "reality Czech," as Soccernet called it. Well, we didn't exactly play badly, but we didn't play too well either. There wasn't much fight in us at all until the last quarter of the game, when Eddie Johnson came on. Let's hope he gets a chance to start one of the other matches. And as for Rosicky, Wenger must be creaming himself right about now.

It's pretty much must-win against Italy now, but thankfully they looked a bit less than unstoppable against Ghana. What a great game that was! Too bad Ghana had the same problem as Ivory Coast - they got themselves into plenty of good positions, but lacked the final touch.

Still, it was great to see an Italian team not playing catenaccio after going 1-0 up. They did a bit of expert time-wasting at the end, but it wasn't too blatant. In fact, TDH is starting to wonder whether this cup could be a turning point for bad behavior. Only the intractable Sorin rolled and groaned for the locals, and even the S&M's managed to play cleanly for about an hour yesterday, before they started hacking like a sugarcane harvester with a machete. We'll know tomorrow morning, if Spurs' Lee manages to go the whole game against Togo without diving.


TDH couldn't quite believe that the Aussies were going to lose, but TDH didn't think they'd score three times in 10 minutes, either. Hiddink looks more of a genius than La Volpe did yesterday, with his subs doing all the heavy lifting. One has to wonder, of course, why Cahill didn't start.

As for Japan's goal, it was neither here nor there. Yes, the Japanese striker did push Schwarzer. But Schwarzer initially misjudged the ball, and two of his own defenders pushed the Japanese striker into him. Whose fault was the goal? Hard to say, but the Australians weren't blameless.


Well, people here are salivating for the first Brazil match tomorrow. After the Confederations Cup, perhaps we shouldn't expect too much. It's hard to resist, though. The cup has been great so far, even without upsets like in 2002, but TDH is ready to see something on another level....


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

Nedved and Rosicky were class, but I have to say, the Czech's, despite being one of my tips, will struggle without Baros(!). When he isn't in the line-up, they not only lack pace, they're actually VERY slow. Only Rosicky can run. But, boy, can he run.

Italy started well, but when pirlo started missing passes they struggled. That guy is crucial for the team. Nesta and Canna looked superb, but badly let down by Grosso and Zaccardo. Fortunately Gilo Zambrotta should start the next game, and having the Growl back in the lineup will make them a bit more dynamic.

Toni looks set to prove me wrong, despite not scoring. But Gila should not be near the starting line up. Why the hell didn't Pippo start? there were three loose balls in the box he would have buried.

It's hard to tell italy's real level when the Ghanaian defence seemed to be playing for the other side. How many times did they set up Italian breaks, only for the Azzuri to make the wrong final pass? Essien, like Drogba and Robben was by a huge distance Ghana's best player. So far Chelsea have provided three of the defining competitors in the cup.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous palms said...

I thought the US gave a good account of themselves in the first half. The two Czech goals were pretty much against the run of play. for all the Americans' possession they didn't look like scoring though.

Demarcus Beasley was a disgrace. He looked nervous from the start and couldn't get even the basics right, and ended up as a liability. Overwhelmed by the occasion? Whatever, he should have been hauled off at half time and sent home. He looked like an amatuer. Reyna had a good game and Donovan wasn't afraid to take people on. It's really the first time I've seen the US play. the Czechs are probably the best side in the group so I wouldn't be too disappointed.

Having said that, McBride was isolated for much of the match and I think the Americans should be concerned about where the goals are gonna come from.

Oh and Eddie Lewis looks like a hobbit.

9:00 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Eddie Lewis doesn't look any more or less like a hobbit than Arjen Robben!

I think the goals will come from Donovan, as predator-in-chief, and Johnson, in the air. Let's see if Arena agrees.

There's a great commercial running down here - I don't even remember for what - showing a slow-motion replay of Gattuso injuring some poor Danish player and then smirking, while Pasoliniesque music plays and a man slowly and repeatedly intones, "E' un mondo difficile..."

3:02 PM  

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