Monday, June 19, 2006

World Cup: Some are moving on

The 2nd games of the group round have barely begun, and already we have some teams who have booked their slots in the 2nd round.  Yesterday Germany won their 2nd game, and guaranteed a spot, and today Ecuador and England won their 2nd games.  I thought Germany looked pretty sketchy in their match against Poland, but a win is a win.

Today Ecuador convincingly beat Costa Rica, controlling the ball all over the place and scoring 3 times.  If they tie Germany in the next match they could conceivably end up topping the group and playing the runner up from group B. 

England 2, Trinidad & Tobago 0
The score is misleading, as England didn't get their first goal until the 82nd minute.  Trinidad defended well and even got through the English defense a couple of times.  However, for 65 minutes of that game (as well as the first game) England played like smeg.  They couldn't find the penalty box of the opposition to save their tea.  It was close your eyes embarrassing. 

Sometime in the 65th minute, after some intelligent subs by Sven, the English woke up.  Finally: they were passing and keeping the ball.  Finally:  they seemed to find that inner passion they needed to win the game.  Finally:  they found a way to get the ball into the box and look threatening.

The reward came late with a perfect cross from Beckham to the tall and lanky Crouch (whose sole contribution up to that point was collecting penalties for climbing over defenders).  Gerrard's goal after that was beautiful, but academic in the 91st minute.

Sweden 1, Paraguay 0
Sweden has a chance to redeem themselves in the game vs. England next week.  They didn't look good in their first game, and from the reports they didn't sound very good in this game, but came away with the win anyway.  Paraguay is going home now.  They declared that they weren't afraid of England and Sweden before coming into this tournament, and perhaps they shouldn't have been.  But lack of fear doesn't help.  You also need to be able to score.

I'm on the road tomorrow.  Probably won't post again until Saturday.  Catch the action tomorrow, there should be some good games.  Up until this point, many of these teams have just been warming up.

1 comment:

Kat said...

Smeg, dren, or p'tokk--they played pretty badly, eh? Dave Lister will be disappointed, but I suppose a win's a win. (Yes, I watch too much sci fi.)