Saturday, June 12, 2010
World Cup Day 2
South Korea/Greece was a little better than France/Uruguay but not by much. Greece were helpless going forward in the first half, with Charisteas being slow and ineffective and Samaras taking far too many touches with no end product. A recent strength of the Greeks, set pieces, were weak and rarely threatened. Acutally these moments set up South Korean counter attacks but they only opened them up once, with Ji Sung Park's ball ripping open the Greek reargurad. Only a fantastic foot save by Tzorvas kept the score at 1-0 to the South Koreans.
While the South Koreans worked hard and took the game to the Greeks, they lacked consistent quality in the midfield, with their passing not sharp enough to really keep Greece under pressure.
Sidenote: Greece subbed their captain at halftime. Haven't heard if he had an injury or not.
The second half was a little better, with the second goal coming from a catastrophic error in the Greek defense, which Ji-Sung Park punished. With 20 minutes to go, Greece picked up the white courtesy phone and at least created a few chances.
South Korea were good value and could have had more. I really liked the force and directness of #22 Duri from South Korea.
To be honest, I fast forwarded through the Argentina/Nigeria game after Heinze's goal. Messi and Higuain could have had several goals, but the Nigerian GK did very well.
I had Nigeria as the worst team in this group, but may have to change that pick to Greece.
That brings us to England/US. Poor tracking from Clark allowed Gerrard to walk in for the opener. The US mangaged to equalize with one of the greatest goalkeeping howlers ever.
I was impressed with the US's composure. They kept possession for the most part and tried to break down England. Donovan didn't really impact the game, but the team did well as a unit.
I was very disappointed with England. Lampard was terrible. Carragher was a poor sub choice, and was lucky to not get punished when Altidore hit the post. I would have gone with Dawson. SWP didn't do much. Rooney came to the fore towards the end but was dropping far too deep.
This is exactly the result the US needed, and was a fair result. (I predicted a 2-1 England win and would have gotten the result right if not for Green.) As long as they don't lose to Slovenia, they should go through. As for England, they should dispose of Algeria, and be able to draw/win with Slovenia to progress.
Tomorrow is my Group of Death: Group D. Serbia/Ghana and Germany/Australia. Really interested to see how those game turn out.