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Friday, June 16, 2006

WC2006: Day 7

Well, Ecuador's performance against Costa Rica either showed how lousy Germany really are at the back or that Ecuador is a real team to contend with - solid, Wanchoproof(R) defense, and no trouble finding the back of the net. Like most things, it's likely to be a bit of both. But how about that Premier League veteran, Ivan "Inseminator" Kaviedes providing the, er, icing on the cake?

The way they're going, the Neither-North-nor-South Americans just might end up with the loser of England-Sweden in the next round. Despite the firepower on both teams, neither one looks any more threatening than a wet kitten right now. Indeed, England's performance could have brought a true football lover to tears. If you want to laugh your proverbial off about it, though, go here.

Still, TDH was surprised by the surge of emotion that gripped the room when Wine Hrooney returned to action. It was so much like the Second Coming that TDH was looking for a white pony on the sideline. The Messiah looked a bit tubby and wasn't quite at his best. He did stir things up, though, and with Lennon and Downing terrorizing the wings England looked a different team.

Which leads TDH to the discovery of Sven's secret formula: 1) Starting with the same old team, bash around and tire out the opposition while offering little offensive threat - it's guaranteed to be 0-0 after an hour. 2) Put on the young speedsters to stretch out the defense. 3) Score a couple of goals from nowhere, resulting in the now-customary mix of jubilation and recrimination that accompanies an England win.

Tomorrow's the big day here in Argentina, and there are more flags in the streets than ever. Cambiasso is out for Lucho Gonzalez, which will give the former more time to visit the Hair Club for Men, but there aren't any other changes from the first match. Clearly, Pekerman has solved the Eriksson-Parreira "Too Many Stars" Problem (which has puzzled top mathematicians for centuries) by benching everyone with a modicum of talent except Riquelme. Against S&M, it should be a veritable festival of cynical football.


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