Saturday, June 19, 2010

A good day if you love Yugoslavian football

Huh... well, at least I got half the score right.

2-2.  It could have been worse.  It certainly looked like it at half time.  Then again, it should have been way better.  The US got it handed to them for the first 45 minutes, then stormed back in the second half to score three two goals and win tie the game.  It looked as if they had the go-ahead goal in the closing minutes of the game, but the referee called it back.  As of yet, I still haven't found a written explanation for disallowing the third goal. Unless of course he meant all the holding the US was doing involved in.

I don't know why this team can't come out and play a full game like they did in the second half.  They always seem to play better once they get punched in the face.  At least this time they got it together before it was too late.  Landon Donovan stepped it up big time and Michael Bradley seemed to put the exclamation point on the evening's affair.  It is just a shame that last one did not count.  See for yourself.

I still don't find myself an expert by any measure, but I took some satisfaction in that much of what I feared came true.  Slovenia came out guns blazing and scored a relatively quick goal.  Their second came off a quick counter-attack.  As usual, the US stumbled for a long stretch following the previous big game.  Sloppy passes and poor discipline had me groaning in agony for a good 50 minutes.  And yes, I'll admit it, I thought all was lost by halftime.  You have to admire the resilience of a team like that. 

The other two games yesterday were just as shocking, if not more so.  Germany lost 1-0 to Serbia while England played Algeria to a scoreless draw.  Playing one man down, Germany kept pressure on Serbia, but just couldn't find an equalizer.  One of the heroes of the last game (and FC Köln's own) Lucas Podolski failed to find the back of the net on a penalty kick, essentially curbing the enthusiasm of an entire nation for at least a few days.  Here's a rather fair and balanced assessment of that game.

And to cap off a day of surprises, England, mighty England, looked no different against Algeria than they did against the US.  At this point I don't know if that makes both the US and Algeria look that much better as teams, or if England is truly much worse than everyone expected.  Either way, the two draws by England and the US leave both teams with a pair of points and trailing group leader Slovenia.  But as tough as Algeria played yesterday, I am much happier the US is facing them and not Slovenia again.  The US is not out of it yet.  As they say at the end of all those cliff hangers, stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. The outcome of the U.S. game was rather disappointing, with the poor first half performance of the U.S. team and then the crappy, mystifying referee call at the end. And what's with Germany! :-( The Mann says sometimes in the World Cup you can get some sheisse refs.

    I agree that it's too bad the U.S. team can't seem to perform as well in the first half.

    And, man, England ist nicht so gut and Rooney ist sehr hesslich. LOL. But I think Algeria played a pretty decent game, all things considered. I'm glad for it. ;-)

    I got your email and promise I will respond soon! So tired these days! Hope things are well. :-)