Greece vs South Korea
When I DID finally join the early morning game, here is what I saw...
If I could describe Maradona, he is basically the Ozzie Guillen of soccer coaches. There were just endless shots of Maradona chattering, and cheering, and running up and down the sideline, and grabbing the ball and handing it to players...on both teams...for throw-ins. It is clear that Diego still wants to be out on that field, and it is fun to watch.
As for the game itself, watching Argentina was probably the first team that was showing off Harlem Globetrotter-like ball-handling abilities, with multiple head and chest passes, and wicked crossovers. Argentina has a lot of skill and had several great shots. From a casual fan perspective though, I would say that a lot of their near-goal chances seemed a bit disorganized and leaned a lot on Lionel Messi, who took a majority of his team's shots, and was not even the player who scored the amazing header in the opening minutes. IMHP I think that they need to spread the ball around a bit more near the goal.
As for Nigeria, it really is too bad that there was a win from South Korea in the other group matchup, because I think that Nigeria actually looked really good and had some really close shots. It will be interesting to see how they do on their second matchup, as it will be a must-win to advance.
United States vs England
Well bollocks! While I know that the United States is certainly no world soccer powerhouse, you should always pull for the home team, right? And while this 1-1 tie (thank you Robert Green) can be considered a victory of sorts, I would have to say that a win would have made a much smoother ride for the rest of the round-robin. Algeria and Slovenia hit it up early tomorrow and there is a good chance that one of those teams walks away with three points and leads the entire group. I would have to say that if you are a fan of the US, you would most likely hope for a tie tomorrow.
I did not think the US played great, in fact their goalie was under fire for much of the game, especially the second half. While he looked shaky for the beginning of the second half, as the game came to a close he just looked tough as nails. Still though, a lot of close calls and a lot of work needs to be done going into their next game.
What I learned: Al Franken coaches and Flea plays for England?
Summary of the day:
The Good: A very entertaining match between Nigeria and Argentina
The Bad: I found ONE lousy pack of Panini stickers at Target, and forgot to set my alarm, not necessarily in that order.
The unsung heroes of the World Cup: Let's hear it for the dedicated security at the game venues. These guys, who got a chance to host a World Cup in their country, and actually get to be on the pitch at the games...are forced to keep their backs to the action of the game they love for the entire 90 minutes as they scan the crowd for security concerns. Hats off to these guys for keeping everybody safe, if it were me I would be way too tempted to sneak a peak over my shoulder at the action.