Monday, June 19, 2006

Day 11 - A Horrible Day for Fob...

Agh! None of the teams I was supporting today came out well! Of the two games I did watch, one of the teams showed a decent effort while the other just played horribly... Here's what happened at the World Cup today.

Togo : Switzerland - 0:2
Didn't watch this one, but from the stats it looks like Togo didn't do too badly. They played quite well, but didn't finish. The game was definitely very even between the two teams and perhaps Togo's performance might have been even better had they not had all that fiasco going on! The players on the Togo team individually played really well, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of them had some offers. They actually deserve offers. They played well and I'm sad to see them eliminated. Good job to the Swiss though. They did their job and held off Togo well too.

Saudi Arabia : Ukraine - 0:4
Ukraine was certainly shaken after having been run over by the Spanish bulls, but they didn't show any signs of weakness during this match. Even though I was supporting Saudi, Ukraine played very well and was more organized than the Saudis. The Saudis had some chances, but nothing much. Apparently the conditions are not something the Saudis are used to at all, which was very apparent since they slipped like a billion times! Well, I began to get frustrated with the Saudi's performance and actually got very bored, so I started watching the Simpsons even though it was a rerun...

Spain : Tunisia - 3:1
Okay, the Tunisian defense was amazing today! They are definitely the stars of this team. Tunisians led the game with one point for 63 minutes thanks to their seemingly impeccable defense, but unfortunately Raul came and messed it all up with his equalizer at the 71 mark. Of course Raul made a mess, but Torres just totally ruined the party by scoring another goal 5 minutes later. I was definitely angry even though that goal was pretty good.

Torres scored another one when he was fouled in the penalty box. The Tunisian goalkeeper almost stopped it, but somehow it went in. The game was definitely exciting. Actually it wasn't exciting as it was nerve-wracking! However, the Spaniards definitely were in control of the ball with 66% of the possession!

Also, I found the referees to be extremely nice to the Spanish and not so nice to the Tunisians! Some of the yellow cards the Tunisians got just didn't make sense. Did anyone else think the same thing? Arghh! Now Tunisia has to beat the Ukraine in order to make it into the round of 16, which I believe they can do since they did tremendously well against the Spaniards than the Ukrainians! So based on that I'd have to say that the Tunisians will be a formidable opponent in the years to come! I was hoping that they would replace Turkey for me... Maybe they still can.

Day 10
Day 10 games ended quite well for the teams I was supporting, thank God! Yesterday's results are like aspirin after what I witnessed today of my teams. My prediction were pretty good too save one!

Brazil beat Australia (2:0) and S. Korea tied France (1:1) just as I expected. Zidane may have played his last game unless France wins their next game. I thought Croatia would beat Japan, but fortunately they didn't beat them, but Japan didn't win either. Instead they had a scoreless tie.

Predictions for games to come
Tomorrow will begin the start of the last games being played in the group stage. To prevent game fixings and all, FIFA has set the schedules so that the last two games for each group are played simultaneously. Groups A and B will be playing tomorrow. Here's what I think will happen.
  • Germany will beat Ecuador (Supporting Ecuador and I don't think Germans will have an easy time!)
  • Poland will beat Costa Rica (Supporting Costa Rica)
  • England will beat Sweden (Supporting England because of Beckham and TnT!)
  • Trinidad & Tobago will beat Paraguay (Supporting TnT)
On another note: Just like to say that this World Cup seems to have some amazing goal keepers! I mean some of the saves that many of the goal keepers have made are amazing! I'm expecting these goal keepers to get amazing offers after the World Cup. I'm also expecting some of the defense players to get offers because I've seen some amazing defending in some of the games that have been played. Tunisia's defense today is an example of that. We should give more spotlight on these guys sometimes than we do on the goal scorers because some of them are truly amazing!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Day 9 - Now this is what football is all about!

There simply aren't enough words to describe the drama that unfolded today in Germany. Day 9 was simply brilliant! Portugal beat Iran 2-0 in a convincing win, but the real drama and excitement began when the Czech Republic went up against Ghana.

Ghana : Czech Republic - 2:0
Two minutes into the game and Ghana's Asamoah Gyan scored a beauty! Whoa, what do we have here? Hmm... Don't get me wrong, I did want Ghana to win, but I didn't think they'd have a chance against them after watching the Czechs hammer the Americans. However, Ghana had the early lead. Most people had the Czechs down as the winners and were sure that experience would prevail over youth. Ghana has the youngest squad in the tournament right now and they proved to be a handful for the older Czech team, hwever.

More trouble came for the Czechs in the 65th minute when Amoah was brought down by Ujfalusi in the penalty area who was then given a red card! The Ghanians failed to capitalize on the penalty kick, however, when Gyan's strike hit the Czech's left-side post...

With a one man advantage, the Ghanians simply poured on the attack against the weaker (yes weaker. They simply couldn't keep up with them. They were much slower and got tired.) Czech side. Offsides saved the Czechs from a humiliating defeat, but the Ghanians managed to get one more goal into the net in the 82nd mark. Muntari's left foot drive form 12 yards sealed the historic victory for Ghana. It was parrrrttaay time in Ghana! And well deserved one too! :D

I have question for you folks. Do you know why one of the players from Ghana waved Israel's flag when they scored? I have no idea why he did that. I really want to know the answer! The curiosity is killing me! Please leave your answer if you know! THANK YOU!

Italy : USA - 1:1
After watching the amazing upset by Ghana, I didn't think that this game would be as interesting especially since the Americans were soo poor in their last game. There might have been only two goals scored during that game folks, but everything else that happened during the game showed why football can be oh so beautiful to watch! There was anger, elbowing, blood, red cards everywhere, and tons of missed opportunities. This was the drama of football that I'd been waiting all week for!

The Americans started off quite well by attacking the Italians early. Landon Donovon was especially dangerous today and gave the Americans some great chances to score. However, it was Italy's Gilardino (22') who scored the first goal with a glanced diving header curled to him by Andrea Pirlo.

Things turned around very quickly in 5 minutes though when Zaccardo accidently sliced the ball into his own net! He was trying to clear the ball, but unfortunately ended up scoring the final goal of the match.

What's so exciting about that you say? Nothing actually. Except that the own goal seemed to put Italy out of form. Italy actually began playing horribly after that. One minute after the own goal, De Rossi decided to elbow Brian McBride in the face and that landed him a red card. McBride ended up with a bloodied face and the Italians were down to ten men. The game was certainly getting interesting now and there was still 60 minutes of football left to play! Right before half-time, there was another red card and now both sides had ten men!

Immediately after the 2nd half began, there was yet another red card! Amazing! This time it was for Pope and boy were the fans getting upset. The whole stadium was incredibly loud and I had put the volume down a number of times.

Things were definitely beginning to look better for the Italians, but in the end the Americans seemed to put more offensive pressure on the Italians with nine men than the Italians did! Seriously folks, there was soo much more that happened then I can describe here.

The game was also a test for the coaches who had to make tactical substitutions. They did well and so did the players who managed end the game with a draw. The Italians are going to face some tough critics though. They not only scored for the Americans, but they also managed to not score with a one-man advantage for 40 minutes! The Americans did well to stay alive.

Can't wait to see Group D play again in their third games, which will decide once and for all who will advance into the next round! Italy is leading Ghana and Czech Republic by one point, and three points from the Americans. Anything goes in the group of death though. Bet carefully folks. ;p

Predictions for tomorrow:
  • Brazil over Australia (supporting Brazil)
  • Croatia over Japan (Supporting Japan)
  • South Korea and France will tie (Supporting Korea to win though. France may play better after their first game disappointment.)