Saturday, June 12, 2010
The Match of the Century ended up as a draw, just like the War of 1812, but just like that war, the tie was mostly caused by English screw-ups. I ended up watching the match at a local establishment, since I decided that I needed fellow fans (and beer) to make it through 90 minutes of USA vs. England.
After Gerrard's breakaway goal in the fifth minute (1-0 Engerlald) , it looked like the USA hadn't bothered to show up, and would be a long day for our boys in red, white, and blue, Then after Rob Green fumbled Clint Dempsey's strike in the 40th minute (1-1 tie!), I figured it would be another long afternoon, since it was going to be one of those games.
England is a really boring team to watch when they're trying to protect a lead, but they're even more boring when they're trying to break one. The entire second half was like a Johnny Horton song, where we fired our long balls but the British kept a' comin', firing long balls of their own. Kick, kick, kick, kick, with no sustained posessions. There were chances for both teams in the second half, but they were both playing to tie, so a tie was the most logical ending for both teams.
This means absolutely nothing in the short term, since both the USA and England should advance to the knockouts from a weak group, but it the long term it means that neither team is very strong against top-flight competition. But after a second place in the Confederations Cup, and draws in the World Cup against Italy and England, it's time for the rest of the world to stop making jokes about "American Soccer".
In the earlier games, South Korea beat Greece 2-0 and Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0. I forgot that Korea is fun to watch, since they attack constantly and don't play defense. This will probably hurt them against Argentina, but it wasn't much problem against the Greeks. And Argentina has a loaded team (Messi, Higuain, Tevez, Milito, etal) who should never lose a game, but they don't really play together that well. They should have scored 4 or 5 goals against Nigeria, but didn't because the chemistry was off, and the Nigerian goalkeeper was stopping everything!
Three games tomorrow: Algeria vs. Slovenia, Ghana vs. Serbia, and Australia vs. Germany. I don't have much interest in these matchups (other than go Socceroos!), so I might take the blogging day off unless something interesting happens.