Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

What a Weird Pair of Games

Because we needed to get over to the Seaside Convention Center (about 50 meters from the hotel) this morning, I only saw the first part of the Ghana-Czech Republic match this morning, but I saw Ghana score the first goal. Lisa was bemused by me whooping and hollering over it. I was even more excited when we came back just before noon and I saw that Ghana had won that match against the powerhouse team that was supposed to sweep the group. Instead, the door was left wide open.

Then game USA-Italy. Best result for the USA would be a win, of course, and they showed a lot more aggressiveness than they had in the game against the Czechs a few days ago. However, they still haven't managed to score a goal, even though they pulled off a 1-1 draw, thanks to an Italy own-goal. The story of the match appears to be the referee, however, and that's never a good thing. (I speak here as a former soccer player and referee when I was in high school.) The Italy player sending-off on a direct red looked reasonable. He threw an elbow into the American player and drew a fair bit of blood. The first USA sending-off (a direct red) was not reasonable IMO; it should have been a yellow. The second sending off (a second yellow) also not reasonable; it was not even cardable, although it was a foul.

That the USA was able to mount a credible offense at all playing 9-on-10 says to me that the USA is improving, but will it be enough in time?

While the USA wanted to beat Italy today, now we're their biggest fans, as we need them to beat the Czechs while the USA must beat Ghana in the final pool match. We don't want to have goal differential (USA is -3) have to decide the group. But the USA still has a chance. They just have to get out there and win.
Tags: soccer, world cup
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