June 14, 2010

WC Notebook: Day 4

I never got around to doing recaps of days two and three, so I'll be brief, and provide links:
Who's looking hot:

South Korea – Took it to the Greeks, earned two well fought goals.
Ghana – In what was most likely the match for second place, the Black Stars took it from Serbia thanks to a PK.
Germany – The Germans have scored twice as many goals as the next closest team, speculation about Ballack not playing should be pretty much gone.
Netherlands – Clean sheet, a pair of goals against what could have been the toughest Group E opponent.
Japan – Kept their composure and defeated a strong Cameroonese side.
Paraguay – Tied the defending champs thanks to a lovely header by Alacadez. Slovakia and New Zealand should be a breeze.

Who's looking iffy:

England – Robert Green. Enough said.
Mexico – Mustered a tie together against Bafana Bafana, but the real "challenge" awaits them with the massively mediocre Les Blues.
United States – Played exceptionally well to tie England and earn an unexpected point, but questions remain on Tim Howard's rib injury. Update: NY Times reports that Howard only bruised his ribs. They're not broke.
Italy – Probably will make it past group stage, but past the second round? Not with that 'speed'...
Slovenia – Got to give it to them, they fought well for their win against Algeria. Their shaky, midfield and defense will need to find a way to neutralize the dangerous attacking style of the USA's Altidore and the speedy-Findley. And quick.

Who's done for:

France – Couldn't make any decent shots against the Charruas. They'll need to have more accurate attacks against El Tri, and a win as well if they want to even consider making the knockout round. Could be 2002 all over again.
Greece – What people thought would be their easiest opponent...well...so much for that.
Algeria – A heartbreaking loss to Slovenia, but an ineffective offense, and a shaky defense will make England's game a field day. It'll make the USA's game more...tranquil. Looking like three and out.
Cameroon – Couldn't get anything against Japan. The Danish and the Dutch won't be of any ease,
Australia – After that 1-3 friendly defeat to the USA, the Socceroos have looked doubtful. Cahill missing the next game due to an ejection, lack of defensive communication...easy three points for Ghana and Serbia.

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Tyler Walter

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