Sunday, June 18, 2006

World Cup 2006 Match Report (undisclosed location (aka the pub))

USA 1 - Italy 1. This was one of the most brutal matches in World Cup history. According to the Times of London, there were 34 fouls committed and three red cards (they also said that it was a "disgraceful" game and they pulled the old "think of the children" red herring). It all started when Italy scored against themselves (aka "own goal") and one of their players decided to take his frustration out on an American player by putting his elbow in the American player's face. He should never have done that, especially, when you consider that we did nothing to cause his ire in the first place. All that told the Americans is that the gloves were off and the one thing Americans have is an efficient brutality. So we retaliated by using a two-footed tackle directed at one of their player's ankles, which got us a red card. One thing I have to explain is that when you get a red card, you are permanently down a player (much like hockey's "power play" except for the rest of the game). In the second half, one of our players did it again and put the guy on a streatcher. Although, I have seen more theatrical dives, trying to play to the referee, in proper football, than on a ballet stage. This left us 9 players on our side to 10 players on their side. After that, the ball was consistently in our face as we tried to keep Italy off our back, which we did successfully.

Having to play one man down showed that the US team has grit and determination to hang on. If this is applied in the correct way, could make us one of the most feared teams in the World Cup. However, because we did not have it together against the Czech Republic, it leaves us in a very tough position in our group. Since Ghana spectacularly defeated the Czech Republic yesterday, this leaves the group wide open. For us to advance to the "Sweet 16", we must defeat Ghana by, at least, 2 goals when we play them (on the 22nd of June at 3:00 pm) to make up the goal difference that we have from the Czech game and Italy must defeat the Czech Republic. Not very good odds to be honest but we will take what we can get.

As always, I know nothing about this sport and my opinions can be complete garbage.

posted by Chris  #4:48 PM | 0 comments |