Friday, June 25, 2010

World Cup Thoughts: Friday, June 25th

Ivory Coast 3, North Korea 0

While technically still alive in group play, Ivory Coast's chances to the next round were about as close to impossible as you can get. Not only did they need Portugal to lose, but they needed to make up a goal differential of minus nine. After scoring two goals in the first twenty minutes, you might have thought for a second that they could do it, but alas they ended up with just the three. Rough tournament for North Korea though. This was a club that played well in a loss to Brazil and maybe began to think they were better than they were, and then gave up ten unanswered goals to Portugal and Ivory Coast. One thing about the World Cup that amazes me is the gap between the best team in the Cup and the worst team in the tournament. The parity in this tournament is a lot lighter than in other events you see these days.

Brazil 0, Portugal 0

Pegged as a key matchup before the tournament began, it ended up being that neither team really had much to play for. On another day, we may have seen these teams hammer a bunch of goals together, but nothing today. You'll have that I guess. The tie secures Brazil as the group winners, and only two teams have won all of their matches so far (Netherlands, Argentina). Brazil is placed on the United States side, and if we do make the semifinals it will be either against them or the Dutch. Portugal takes second in the group.

Spain 2, Chile 1

There have been a lot of insane and ridiculous goals in this World Cup, and you can add David Villa's third goal of the tournament to that list. In the 24th minute, Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo came about fifteen yards out of the ball to clear a ball that had been played forward, but David Villa was there to hammer the deflection home from about forty yards away. Spain added one more and then were able to keep the Chilean attack at bay except for one mistake, but ultimately the favorites got the 2-1 victory. After losing to the Swiss in their opener, Spain rebounded nicely and ended up winning the group. They will now take on their neighbors, Portugal, in the next round, while Chile has a tough test against Brazil.

Switzerland 0, Honduras 0

So after a shocking win against Spain, Switzerland is only able to muster up one more point in their final two games, thus not qualifying for the round of 16. Very disappointing for them. This was one of those games where I just had a feeling that even with their tournament on the line they wouldn't be able to get past Honduras, frankly because I don't think the Swiss are that good. Good for Honduras to get at least a point for them, you always have to root for the other CONCACAF teams (except Mexico), kind of like how we always root for Big Ten teams in bowl season (except Ohio State).

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