June 2010

Group B Thoughts And Perspective

Match Day 1 has come and gone in Group B with an excellent match between Argentina and Nigeria, and an absolute trouncing of the Greeks. Here are my quick thoughts on the two matches.

South Korea vs. Greece

This game was a beating. Did the Greeks even know they were playing in a World Cup?

They were awful all over the field. Shitty forward play, dismal midfield possession and a completely unorganized defense is all the Greeks had to offer. At no point did they appear to threaten the South Korean goal mouth. When watching the game I honestly thought that the Greeks had just taken 11 random dudes off the street, dressed them in blue and called it their World Cup squad. What the hell happened to the tenacious defense that got the City States to the World Cup finals in the first place? This was not the start they wanted in hopes of making it to the second round. Other than the goals, the only other watchable part of this match was analyst and personal hero Alexi Lalas verbally shitting on the Greeks during the halftime and the postgame shows. One of this choice nugs at half time, “That guys got great long hair, but you have to try and do something!”

With all this Greek hating, it is important to not overlook the performance of the South Korea. They forced the Greeks into a great deal of their shitty play. In my group preview I fully admitted that I did not know much about this team going into the World Cup. However, after watching this game they could be the favorite to move on the knock out rounds with the Argentineans.

Argentina vs. Nigeria

This was an excellent match. Early on, Lionel Messi and the rest of boys

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pushed the pace and dominated play. After a goal in the first ten minutes, Lighting Cup Levy and I thought this was going to be a blow out. As the game continued, and especially in the second half, the Nigerians upped their energy level resulting in some end to end action. If both teams actually finished their chances this game could have very well been 3-3. The Nigerians will think that they should have earned a draw with their second half performance, but it was not to be.

Just to be clear, Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez fucking rule. I am not trying to say that Higuain is not a stud; he is just not as good as the other too. Hopefully both Messi and Tevez get on the score sheet soon, I love those guys.

On a side note, I learned something interesting today. Since Diego Maradona became the manager of Argentina, the “magic spray” that miraculously cures any injury, has been replaced with, you guessed it, cocaine.

Player of the Day 1 Award: Vincent Enyeama G, Nigeria

Enyeama stood on his head for the entire match. The only goal he allowed was an unstoppable header due to some shitty defending in front of him. Shutting down Messi with several opportunities inside the 18 yard box is no easy task. Without his excellent play the Nigerians would have been run out of the building.

Here is what to look for in the second round matches

Argentina vs. South Korea:

The winner of this game most assuredly will be moving into the knockout stages of the World Cup. The South Koreans surprised me and several other folks here at TYAC, with their stellar performance against the Greeks. Look for the Argentineans to keep possession of the ball for long periods of time in order to draw out the Korean defenders. Hopefully, Messi or Tevez will get themselves on the score sheet during this matchup. For the South Koreans, don’t overlook a possible moment of brilliance from Park Ji-Sung. I fully expect Argentina to win the game, but don’t be surprised if they give up a goal to the gritty South Koreans. A draw would be an excellent result for Park Ji-Sung and the boys.

Nigeria vs. Greece

This match essentially amounts to an elimination game for the two countries. The winner walks away with three points, and an outside shot of moving onto the next round. On the other hand, the loser has to prepare for their final game of group play with the knowledge that it will be their last in South Africa. Lighting Cup Levy and personal hero Alexi Lalas will most definitely be rooting for the Greeks. However, if their performance against the South Koreans is a measuring stick, they will get their shit pushed in by the Nigerians. I fully expect the Nigerians to win this game by at least a two goal differential.

Puck is the pop culture guru for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at puck@yanksarecoming.com.