Thursday, June 17, 2010

World Cup Running Diary: Thursday, June 17th

This is my running diary for World Cup action on the date of Thursday, June 17th. Hit F5 to refresh the page, and feel free to leave comments either here or on our new twitter account, @thebuckychannel. Recent updates are at the top of the page.

3:18pm - Well, that sucks for France. Mexico wins 2-0. Thanks for being with me today, more predictions coming later tonight, plus I'll have another column I promised about a personal issue. For now though, I'll leave you with what might have been, courtesy of EPL Talk:


3:12pm - Five minutes to go for France, looks like this one is over. Mexico will move into a first place tie with Uruguay at four points each, while France and South Africa each will have one. Mexico plays Uruguay, all they have to do is silently agree to tie. Maybe it won't be as bad as the West Germany / Austria conspiracy, but I think you can pretty much rule France out of this tournament. France needs a winner out of the Mexico / Uruguay game, and they need to win and advance on goal differential. Same with South Africa for that matter. Real disappointment for France right now, as they've yet to score in this Cup.

GOAL - Mexico 2, France 0

3:05pm - For those of you that hating all the faking in soccer, that would have been hard to watch. Pablo Barrera went down in the box after he was challenged, although there was minimal contact at best. Blanco buries the PK, and that's two goals by two subs.

3:04pm - Penalty kick for Mexico!

3:02pm - I just wanted to take this moment to thank whoever created me that I am not French.

GOAL - Mexico 1, France 0

2:50pm - Mexico just threaded a ball through France's flat back four, and it looked about as offside as you can get before actually being offsides. Javier Hernandez though made a move past the keeper and got the victory.

2:49pm - Any MLS fans in the house? Blanco just came into the game for Mexico. Actually, anybody in the house, at all?

2:47pm - Sixty minutes in and we're still scoreless. Man, France just does not play exciting soccer anymore.

2:37pm - Mexico with a couple of chances near the box, but can't convert in the 50th minute. The color announcer just pleaded for a goal from either outfit, in hopes of getting a "real game". Definitely the least exciting of the three games today so far, despite how fast-paced the game started.

2:31pm - FIFA 99 didn't work, so I spent halftime researching the 1982 Cup game between West Germany and Austria, where Germany scored within the first ten minutes to go up 1-0, but then the two teams just passed the ball to each other the rest of the game. Basically it was a game where the result was fixed, because both teams would advance with this result. The score screwed Algeria out of advancing, coincidentally the opponent next week for the USA.

2:17pm - Tied at zeros at half. I just found an old computer game, FIFA 99, in my parents' rummage sale bin, so I'm going to see if that works here at halftime.

2:16pm - Mexico on the quick counter attack but Jeremy Toulalan of France fouled the attacker at midfield to prevent further damage. He gets a yellow for his effort (second in the tournament), and will miss France's next game.

2:13pm - France getting a little more of the attack right now, two minutes to go in the half.

2:06pm - My dad's Mexican friend just stopped over. He isn't able to watch much of the game today because he's spending the day painting. There's a bad Rick Reilly joke in there somewhere...

2:00pm - Still scoreless, with Mexico coming a lot closer to scoring goals than France is.

1:57pm - By the way, I noticed more this year than ever that there a lot of soccer haters, people that will never watch the sport because it's not "American". While I could get into how that's not necessary true (um, hello, how many "American's" are immigrants whose descendants did nothing but play soccer), if you don't like soccer then don't watch it. I know ESPN has been pushing it more than normal, but I have noticed a lot more people on the "Fuck Soccer, it's Stupid" side of things than the "Just Watch Soccer Once And You'll Love It" side. I've never pushed soccer onto anyone, although this post is kind of long if you're just looking for Brewers recaps.

1:50pm - Still scoreless after twenty, pretty evenly played match so far, all the way around.

1:49pm - Not soccer related, but I have to say, one month in to this Twitter experiment I'm not really a fan of it. It's still too confusing, and I don't get the language. Maybe I just don't spend enough time on it, but this experiment might end up to be short lived.

1:44pm - Sidney Govou of France looks just like Rickie Weeks, dreadlocks and all. Just like there was a guy on Nigeria today that looked like Harold Perrineau. WAAAALLLTTT!

1:34pm - Mexico sees a yellow card already too, Guillermo Franco. I picked Mexico to win 1-0, but this game has already started off hot and we've had a lot of goals so far today. France just looked so bad in their first game that I have no confidence in them today. Although so did Greece, and they won (with help).

1:32pm - Two minutes in, and Mexico is already on the attack. A shot went across the goal and his the right post, although it was deemed offsides. Still, Mexico looked ready to attack.

1:29pm - Back up and running as I'm at my parents house for France vs. Mexico. Interestingly enough, a year ago at this time my parents house was also my house.

10:53am - Well there's your final. Greece 2, Nigeria 1. Argentina leads this group with six points, while South Korea and Greece are tied at three points, both with a -1 goal differential. Nigeria has nothing to show for themselves yet, and have a -2 goal differential. To advance, Nigeria would need to beat South Korea and then have Greece lose to Argentina, and then hope for the goal differential to be in their favor. Nobody eliminated yet in this group, and it should make for an interesting end to the round robin. That's all for now. We'll be back for the France/Mexico game at 1:30pm.

10:48am - Two different games for Nigeria today. Before the red card, they were in control and looking forward to a decent shot at qualification. After the red card, they played fearful and couldn't stop the Greek attack from finding their way through their defense. Four minutes left of stoppage time remain.

10:40am - Greece still putting on the pressure, as they'd really like a goal for the goal differential tiebreaker. About eight minutes left before stoppage time. In cases like this, you'll see Nigeria get desperate and then miss an assignment, leading to a quick counter by Greece, especially with only ten men on the pitch for Nigeria.

10:35am - There's no question, there is definitely something different about these games now that everyone has got one under their belt. A lot more chances being taken overall. Basically, just a little less conversation and a little more action. And Enyeama almost gave up another goal the same way he did the last time.

GOAL - Greece 2, Nigeria 1

10:30am - Oh my God. Just as I shower down praise for Enyeama, he gave up a real easy goal. He saved an initial shot from 20 yards away but couldn't hang on, and then Torosidis was there for the follow through. Wow. I think I said yesterday that if Greece won it would be a bigger upset than Switzerland over Spain. Good thing no one reads this blog because that was the dumbest thing I've said throughout this whole World Cup.

10:27am - Huge save, again, by Enyeama. This guy has been unreal this Cup. He's currently playing professionally in the Israeli Premier League. Hopefully, someone in Europe will take this 27-year old after this Cup and get this guy paid.

10:26am - Seriously, I don't see a tie happening. This World Cup has already had more ties than a Father's Day sale at J.C. Penney's (REILLLLYYY!)

10:20am - Both teams are trading chances. With Nigeria down to ten guys, and both teams basically needing a win for a chance to advance, I don't see this game ending 1-1. Someone is going to score.

10:12am - Nigeria has been pressuring more in this half, but still we're tied up in the 53rd minutes. Greece actually would be eliminated from qualifying if they lost this game. Meanwhile, they just showed a Nigerian fan who brought a clay pot into the match and is rubbing it continuously. Strange.

10:05am - Second half underway, and Nigeria tries to score right away from midfield. When I coached, I had a player do that once, and it was awesome. When I played keeper, that may have happened to me once, but I can't remember....

10:02am - Spending halftime watching an NFL Network interview with Packers president Mark Murphy about expanding the season to 18 games. Interesting watch if you want to check it out.

9:48am - Halftime. Nigeria is playing for the tie at this point and then will need to beat South Korea. Greece needs a win here, because they have Argentina next.

GOAL - Greece 1, Nigeria 1

9:46am - Nevermind that, Greece just scores. Dimitros Salpingidis (we'll just call him Sal) riffles one from about 15 yards out on the right side, it deflects off a Nigerian defender and into the left part of the net. Nigeria is going to lose this game because of a stupid red card, this is awful. I've found myself pulling for the African teams in this cup, and this is a shame so far.

9:44am - Another chance for Greece, but the shot is cleared off the line by a Nigerian defender. Nigeria needs to find a way to get out of this half with the lead in tact. Greece is really putting the pressure on.

9:41am - Greece comes up short on a good chance, but a big save by Nigerian keeper Vincent Enyeama, who I'm super high on.

9:38am - Greece is going for it now. They just took off the defender with the ridiculous name that picked up the yellow earlier, and subbed in an attacker. Huge disappointment for Greece if they don't score in this match.

9:34am - Greece has had a few chances, but I'm not impressed with anything thus far. They just got a huge break though, as Sani Kaita just got a red card for Nigeria. He had a little collision with Torosidis on the touch line, and when the Greek defender kind of pushed back a tad, Kaita retaliated with a shove. It's something you can't do, especially at this stage, but I think the red card was a bit harsh there. In a heat of the moment thing, to put a side down to ten men just for a quick shove doesn't seem right. Kaita walked off the field, shirt covering his face. Have to feel bad for him right now. This changes everything in this game, and suddenly Greece becomes the favorite. Nigeria has to be thinking of a 1-0 result at this point.

9:31am - I never understood why for as strict as the rules are about player eligibility, coaches can come from pretty much anywhere. Nigerian's current coach is from Sweden, and actually coached Sweden in World Cup Qualifying. Now, he's in the Cup only with Nigeria. Not sure how that works.

9:26am - Just was doing some Wikipedia reading about the 1930 World Cup, when the United States were awarded third place. It wasn't nearly the tournament that it is now, but that's something to be proud of, right?

GOAL - Nigeria 1, Greece 0

9:17am - A costly yellow card at that too. The card gives a free kick to Nigeria, and Kalu Uche tries to pass it in to the middle, and even though nobody can get a body to it the ball finds it's way in anyway. The keeper was expecting some change of direction from the ball, which would have been the case had someone touched it, but nobody did and the ball had an easy path to the back of the net.

9:17am - Yellow card for Sokratis Papastathopoulos. Greek names are the worst.

9:14am - You know, I've been real hard on Greece, but as of May they were ranked 13th in the FIFA World Rankings. That's ahead of teams like USA, Uruguay, Mexico, and yes Nigeria. But the way they looked against South Korea I just don't have any faith in them. I'm still sticking with my Nigerian prediction for this game.

9:12am - Teams still feeling each other out a bit, similar to how I'm still waking back up.

9:01am - Well, I guess I'm awake. Took a nice twenty minute nap, one where you can't tell whether you are awake or not. For a brief moment, I thought about sleeping through this one, or taping it and watching it, but part of the charm of the World Cup for me is breaking your sleep patters just to watch soccer. So I'll get up now, but after this game, it's over until the France/Mexico affair. I'll be out cold. But for now we got Nigeria and Greece in the third minute.

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8:19am - And that will do it for game one - Argentina 4, South Korea 1. Although Argentina did just miss the back post by inches at the end of the game. I don't know how you can't like this Argentinian team, especially with Maradona at the helm. Good game to wake up to this morning, and I'll be back in forty minutes for Nigeria/Greece. Nap time.

8:16am - About two minutes to go in this one, and South Korea is in flop in the box and hope for a penalty kick mode. With a win here, Argentina will now have six points and are all but certain to advance. South Korea will have it's eye on the next game between Nigeria and Greece. Ultimately, giving up four goals in this one may hurt South Korea in the goal differential department, but this doesn't end their tournament by any means. Not yet.

GOAL - Argentina 4, South Korea 1

8:08am - Now it's just getting easy for Argentina. With ten minutes to play, Higuain picks up his third goal off of another header after some brilliant passing. South Korea hasn't played terrible, but there's a reason why you don't really see non-favorites end up winning World Cups. Sure, there will be upsets along the way, but in the end it will be teams of Argentina's caliber or better that take home the trophy.

GOAL - Argentina 3, South Korea 1

8:04am - Lionel Messi rips a shot that goes off the South Korean keepers' foot, the ball heads back to Messi and then it rips it off of the post, only to deflect in front of an open goal where Higuain was able to pick up his second goal of the match.

7:59am - Comment from Tony Brown: I have to miss the next game, so in anticipation, "Feed the Yak and he will score." That's all Nigeria has to remember. Ah yes, Nigerian attacker Yakubu Aiyegbeni. I'd post a video of his Everton fans chanting this, but YouTube has been insanely strict lately. Elsewhere, Argentina's Gabriel Heinze just picked up a yellow for a deliberate handball, Sergio Aguero (Maradona's son-in-law) just was subbed in for Tevez, and I am enjoying the hell out of a Jimmy Dean bacon breakfast bowl.

7:53am - Both teams are still getting chances, and perhaps this victory isn't secure as I thought it would be for Argentina. They are still outplaying South Korea, but as we saw in the Switzerland/Spain contest yesterday sometimes the better team doesn't always win. You know, I really think that being a soccer star and living in Argentina would be the most glamorous of lifestyles for some reason.

7:45am - South Korea just had a great opportunity that was wasted, as John Harkes tells us in his best Jim Rome voice.

7:41am - Sung-Ryong has just stopped two tough shots, the feeling is he is going to get peppered over the next forty minutes. He'll definitely be getting a workout today. Looks like we're going to have a booking here too, as Mascherano for Argentina just picked up a yellow card, which will give South Korea a free kick about 25 yards out. Can't convert it though.

7:37am - We're about five minutes in to the second half, and the teams are still settling back in. Also settling in is myself, as it's supposed to be a hot one today so we turned on the A/C last night, and now I'm sitting in a 59 degree apartment when it's probably 59 degrees outside. Gotta love overindulgence.

7:18am - Halftime. Time to maybe make some breakfast. Take a quick nap.

GOAL - Argentina 2, South Korea 1

7:16am - Nevermind! A miscue on defense leads to a South Korean goal courtesy by Lee Chung-Yong in extra time, and this thing is tied at halftime.

7:09am - Well, there is officially no way South Korea comes back to win this game. Argentina is just having their way with them right now, and I'm not sure SK has put a pass together in the last seven minutes. I mean, it's all Argentina. The keeper Sung-Ryong (I think you can tell he's the South Korean keeper, and not the Argentinian) just made a nice punch save though. At this point, South Korea needs to get into half just down the two goals and make sure they don't concede another.

GOAL - Argentina 2, South Korea 0

7:02am - Argentina has a free kick on the near side, and after stringing some passes together the ball is crossed in to the mixer. Gonzalo Higuain puts his head on it and, well, it's 2-0 already now. Looked like he could have been offsides from the normal TV angle, but the goal stands.

6:58am - Carlos Tevez belts a shot after a free kick that just sails over the net for Argentina in the 27th minutes. Just a little lower placement, and it would be 2-0 already.

6:53am - There has been a tiny blue balloon on the field for about the past seven minutes, and it just keeps floating along in the midfield. Nobody seems to have any desire to get rid of it. One South Korean kicked it away temporarily, but that's about it. Samuel ended up getting subbed off because of the injury. Argentina misses a bicycle kick in front of the South Korean goal.

6:50am - The teams have traded shots, and now we have a brief injury stoppage for Samuel from Argentina. South Korea will have a few moments of 11v10, let's see if they can do anything with that. Ah, nevermind, he's right back out there.

GOAL - Argentina 1, South Korea 0

6:45am - Argentina does that thing that high school girls teams do, where they have a couple of people lined up to take the free kick but you don't know which player is going to take it. Messi ends up hitting it, and oh my goodness South Korea. The ball literally goes off the foot of some poor guy named Chuyoung, and we have an own goal. Sad.

6:42am - After much deliberation, I'm going to write this with recent updates at the top of the page to make it easier to follow along, although it might be a pain in the ass to read after the fact, you know, because reading from bottom to the top is so unthinkable.

6:40am - Yeom Ki Hun picks up the first yellow card of the game, for basically tackling Lionel Messi. The action draws a "WWF" comment from the announcers. Interesting, because I'll have a bit more on wrestling later today...

6:37am - It's Argentina vs. South Korea, and we're currently tied. Argentina is rated the 7th best team in the world according to FIFA, while South Korea is 47th. I'm predicting an Argentina victory, but South Korea is playing decent so far. You gotta think they are playing for the tie.

6:31am - Well, surprisingly I'm awake. Last night I had one two many mixers, but somehow this is the morning that I'm able to get up for the first kickoff. That's dedication to this blog people, that has to count for something.

4 comments:

Tony Brown said...

I have to miss the next game, so in anticipation, "Feed the Yak and he will score." That's all Nigeria has to remember.

Gweedo said...

U.S. Open on little T.V. let me know if any sweet shots happen.

cc said...

Winks, I have some "meetings" tomorrow morning. See you at 9 USA USA!!

Tony Brown said...

The Yak will be super hungry next week. Don't count out the Super Eagles yet.

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