And Arena (perhaps rightly) tossed a nutty after the game. We are going to have to be much much better to not get drilled by both Italy and Ghana in our next two games. 1998, here we come.
Incidentally, Otto Man revises and extends on America's indifference towards soccer.
MoM: Clearly Rosicky. Arsenal bound. Just when is Man U going to sign a few players?
Japan vs. Australia
Egregiously bad missed call by the ref for the Japan goal, though not atypical of Schwarzer to make a howler in goal. Australia were the superior team for most of the game, I thought. Viduka was very effective as a sort of "post-up" forward especially in the first half. A shame he doesn't always play this hard, as when he does, he's a load. Great winner from Cahill. Having watched him at Everton for a few seasons, he seems like the kind of guy you wouldn't want to mess with in a bar. Third Oz goal was well done, but the Japanese defender looked like he had been watching the Gooch Onyewu "This way, sir!" instructional video.
MoM: Tim Cahill.
Italy vs. Ghana
Good game. Two good teams. Something of an archetypical Italian performance, I thought. Looked classy without necessarily doing much. After the first goal from Pirlo, they defended well and counter-attacked.
2-0 was pretty harsh on the Ghanians, especially since the had two reasonable penalty appeals turned down - interesting that through 11 games there have been no PK's awarded (and really, very few missed calls where they should have been). Pisses me off that Iaqinta got the second Italian goal - his performance of the "Oh My God I Broke My Ankle! Send Him Off! Give A Penalty! Waste More Time!" opera was Tony, Oscar, Emmy Grammy and espeically Razzy worthy.
I don't see how the U.S. beats either team - no way they even score against Italy without a sudden injection of creativity. Toni and Gilardino will give us fits, and I'd be surprised if we don't give away at least one penalty. I foresee Ghana's midfield of Essien and Appiah ripping ours to shreds.
MoM: Despite the loss, Essien was the best player on the field by a fair bit. (Yet another Man U. target lost to Chelsea...this is getting old, fast. It's like losing out on A-Rod (but good) every single year)