Well... that was unexpected. I regret everything I said yesterday regarding Day 10. It was awesome (with the exception of Argentina's cheap victory), I'm a fool and don't deserve to write these preview posts ^^;
So, what a wonderful display by Ghana, Woof! They raised the bar against Germany and could have gotten away with all three points if it wasn't for that old fart (kidding, he's actually lovable) Miroslav Klose (who can still score but can't somersault), the oldest member of Die Mannschaft reminded the world why Jogi Low took him to the World Cup. But that wasn't the only African surprise, cause Nigeria pummeled away a naive selection of Bosnia & Herzegovina, who tried and tried but their ideas (and legs) were not up for the challenge. Another blow for the UEFA as a third team from the confederation is left out of the tournament with no points registered.
Yet the biggest surprise came at the start of the Matchday. An inspired Iran exhibited one of the best defensive display of the tourney, it was a perfect execution by their manager Carlos Queiroz, yet fairy tales don't always come true in real life. And who was the villain in this case? Who else... Lionel Messi, who struck a curler in the first minute of stoppage time while destroying the hearts of millions of Iranians.
Moving on cause time waits for no one, it's Day 11 bringing a couple of interesting games. At lunch time it's Fabio Capello's Negative Football: Russian Edition against the ever exciting Rode Duivels AKA Hipster's Choice. Belgium looked fragile and committed a series of mistakes in their opening match against Algeria, but came out victorious thanks to their imposing talisman, Marouane Fellaini. Can Belgium escape once again from the shackles of an oppressive Russian team or will Capello's army reign victorious? and can Igor Akinfeev keep his palms away from the ball?
Also on group H it's Algeria versus South Korea, a match I really have no idea of the outcome. Algeria were pretty exciting against Belgium and were in cruise control for a victory against the Belgians, until Fellaini's equalizer. South Korea were... energetic, yet disorganized, and while a few positive aspects could be gathered from their draw against Russia, this team is far from the Glory Days of Guus Hiddink.
But the biggest match today comes in the early evening, as Team USA faces Portugal AKA Injured Cristiano Ronaldo + 7 other Portuguese players + 3 unused substitutes. Portugal who self destructed in their opening match against Germany needs at least one point to keep their hopes alive. But the almighty USA want a victory to secure their pass to the second stage! Can Ronaldo do what he couldn't do against Germany to another Germanic-esque opposition? Or will Klinnsman come out as the unsung hero of a whole nation? One thing is for certain, this one should be a thriller!
Matches for today:
- 12:00 PM EST: Belgium vs Russia @ Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro.
Belgium 1 - 1 Russia
- 3:00 PM EST: Korea Republic vs Algeria @ Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre.
Korea Republic 1 - 2 Algeria
- 6:00 PM EST: USA vs Portugal @ Arena Amazônia, Manaus.
USA 2 - 1 Portugal
To make things a bit more interesting... a point will be awarded to those who get the results right and two extra points for each correct scoreline. Feeling lucky? Then make a bold prediction and win an extra point for each one you get right, like ... Ronaldo Scoring a hat-trick then injuring himself and thus crying like a baby like he usually does, or Ronaldo getting himself a red card and thus crying like a baby, like he usually does.
So TAY what are your predictions for today's matches?
I took the liberty to create a spreadsheet (still on the early stages) to make it easier to keep track of our records... anyway, if you want to access it, just click here.