Wednesday, June 23

USA, England both advance at World Cup 2010

Just as I predicted (hah!), the USA and England both advanced out of Group C and into the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Both teams scored 1-nil victories over cagey opponents Slovenia and Algeria, who most pundits thought would go rather quietly before the tournament began. However, England played poorly their first two matches, resulting in two ties, and the US likewise had to come from behind late in both their first two matches to salvage ties as well.

Thus it came down to the final day of the first round for both squads, with all possibilities still alive: both teams could advance with wins, both could exit the tournament quite unceremoniously with losses, or either could advance and the other to go home depending on a complicated set of circumstances involving more ties.

In other words, the games already played all went out the window as the Group was wide open. But when England beat Slovenia 1-0 and the US responded with a 1-0 victory over Algeria thanks to a penalty-time goal by star Landon Donovan (pictured above), both favored countries could breathe a sigh of relief knowing they'd escaped Group C and will move on to single-elimination play. Well done to both countries and good luck in the next round! I don't know exactly how the bracketing works at the Cup (does anyone?), but if it's possible that the two countries could replay their 1-1 tie in the Final; that would be epic!

First things first though: Each team must advance to the round of 8, then 4, then the Final. In other words, before dreaming about being in the final game for the trophy, three consecutive victories against the champs from the other Groups will be necessary. Like the cliché goes, one game at a time...


Metamatician said...

Wow - interested Cup so far. Italy, the defending champs, are out of the tourney, as are France, the defending runners-up. So both Finalists from 2006 (the last WC) didn't even make it out of the first round. Germany and Spain, two other powerhouses, are looking like they'll rebound and probably get out of their groups, but both started off the tourney with a loss to a weaker team and have had to fight back, unexpectedly for being so early. As mentioned, the USA and England both struggled as well before advancing. Really only a few traditional soccer powers have had an easy time of it - Brazil, Argentina, Denmark, Holland. Most others have struggled. And a few surprise teams, like Slovakia and Japan, have gotten through to the round of 16. Nice to see some different teams in the mix!

Hans said...

I was at my bank today and Omar just talked about this. Otherwise you might as sell be talking to a brick where I'm concerned. PK

I like small foam balls - the big ones look like round cows to me. Hanzerelli

Metamatician said...

Round cows...hahaha. Hans, you'd be a natural soccer player with your footwork, but you're not allowed to bite the ball and carry it around in your mouth.

Who's Omar? The guy at the bank?

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