Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup Day 1 Thoughts

Germany-Costa Rica: Unless Costa Rica is better than they appeared to be, Germany can not win the World Cup. While the Germans looked alright attacking (Lahm and particularly Podolski look quite lively), giving up two goals to as non-descript a side as C.R. is not going to get it done. Admittedly, they will be better in all aspects when Ballack is playing, but there is simply no way they can survive against a good team with their back line.

Frings and Lahm put forth early contenders for goal of the tourney. Unsurprisingly, the match ball is again 'controversial'. Has there been a Cup where somebody wasn't bitching about the ball they decided to use?

Man of the Match: Officially Klose, mine probably Lahm, perhaps Schwainsteiger.

Poland-Ecuador: Two minutes into the game, and I can categorically say that Costa Rica will not advance from this group. Both teams are instantly recognizable as techinically and athletically superior. That and Tommy Smyth has obviously spent about a month practing the Poles' names. He normally mangles Italian and French names, but he's busting out Zuraski and Zewlakow with (relative) aplomb. And he actually seems to know what he's talking about most of the time...very disorienting.

For the first 15 minutes Poland look almost Czech-lite, quick and inventive. But Ecuador look surprisingly sturdy. Hurtado's experience shows, in contrast to the dreadnought-like turning radii of Poland's central defense, which was brutally exposed for the opener. After the goal, Poland didn't do a thing until about an hour, and even then they didn't really trouble Mora (who looks like a possible weak link.) 2nd goal on 80 minutes = game over (and time for egregious "Pole-axed!" puns.) And then suddenly they create 4 or 5 chances and hit the goalfram twice...strange.

Man of the Match: Has to be Delgado for goal and assist, though Hurtado, Espinoza and Reasco all played quite well at the back.

Decent first day of soccer, I must say.

1 comment:

bill said...

I need to spend the next four years learning Spanish so I can skip ESPN. I can't believe they brought Tommy Smyth back. He always sounds about half a second from uttering the most bigoted comment ever spoken on television.

I'm thinking language camp in Tamarindo, Costa Rico so I can spend half the day surfing.