World Cup Day 3: Your Running Commentary

pirlo - Zimbio

By RYAN TOLMICH

Groups C and D will get their chance to shine Saturday, with a slate of four games headlining World Cup action.

A matchup between Colombia and Greece will kick things off, with the Colombians entering this year’s tournament with their most talented team since they’re famous 1994 squad. However, Greece is no stranger to deep tournament runs as underdogs, as evidenced by their famed Euro 2004 triumph. The highly publicized absence of Colombian striker Falcao will certainly level the playing field.

The day’s second contest will feature a Luis Suarez-less Uruguay taking on Costa Rica in what looks like the days biggest mismatch on paper. Even without Suarez, the Uruguayans boast an attacking lineup featuring Edinson Cavani and 2010 Golden Boot winner Diego Forlan. They will be heavily favored to kickoff the tournament with three points.

Saturday’s headliner comes next, as a pair of European powerhouses collide when Italy takes on England. Longtime Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is doubtful for today’s action, leaving Italy without their first-choice goalkeeper and their first-choice left back, due to the injury to Mattia de Sciglio. The two sides faced off just two years ago in Euro 2012, with Italy prevailing on penalties after a perfectly taken Panenka from Andrea Pirlo.

Finally, Didier Drogba and the Ivory Coast round out today’s action when they take on Keisuke Honda and Japan. Both sides are a part of a wide-open race to emerge from Group C with Colombia and Greece, so a hot start will be crucial to a possible knockout stage run.

If you will be watching today’s matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (TV listings after the jump):

TODAY’S WORLD CUP SOCCER ON TV

11:30am – Colombia vs. Greece – ABC

2:30am – Uruguay vs. Costa Rica – ABC

5:30pm – England vs. Italy – ESPN

8:30pm – Ivory Coast vs. Japan – ESPN

 

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263 Responses to World Cup Day 3: Your Running Commentary

  1. Jeff Engelhardt says:

    We’re all super excited for Colombia vs Greece right?

  2. Dave80 says:

    Yard work … World Cup … Yard work … World Cup …

    As that annoying commercial ad says, some choices are obvious.

  3. Scott says:

    Keeping up with this WC theme we get an an MLS referee.

    • beachbum says:

      hope Geiger represents well

    • g-dub says:

      Geiger doing well 30 minutes in. Has control of the game – no hesitation on the yellow for hard tactical foul. Pretty consistent so far on fouls.

      • beachbum says:

        agree with you guys.

        replay seemed to show he’s given a couple of free kicks to Greece around the area that were maybe not fouls but really only visible on replay. Greece embellishes, it’s part of their idea although all teams do it some of course, but they’re experts at it, like the Italians (I’m Italian)

  4. Scott says:

    Suck it Greece.

  5. Scott says:

    This Columbia-Grease game is pretty good

  6. The Garrincha says:

    I want to go to Bogota
    come on and take me there.
    Go Colombia(Sorry I always misspell you, D.C. you know).
    got to love the British Commentators
    “Greece had designs on parking the bus,
    now they are going to have to start it up and move it a little bit forward”.
    Game on, I always called Greece, Italy light.
    Time for the Spartans, to lively up that defensively boring style.

  7. Citronomics says:

    Whoa. Great save on that curler by Greece. Lively 45 mins.

  8. usaalltheway says:

    What a game thus far!

    This is what I want to be seeing. Colombia is seriously deadly in the final third. High energy attack that doesn’t seem to stop until the opposing team throws numbers in front of the goal.

    I am excited to see how far they can go!!!

  9. g-dub says:

    So many Columbians in the stadium. It’s a raucous home crowd for the South Americans

    • Scott says:

      30k Colombians in the stadium. Chile brought 40k yesterday.
      Home field advantage without having to build a single stadium.

  10. QuakerOtis says:

    Colombia scored early… who brought coffee?

  11. BookNerd says:

    The best ref so far is an American. I’ll take that. He is letting them play, but not letting the match get out of control.

  12. Scott says:

    I can’t believe Greece doesn’t heavy any yellow cards.

  13. JAB says:

    Good on Samaras to tell the ref he wasn’t fouled in the box. It’s nice to see some honesty.

  14. Scott says:

    Another horror tackle by Greece. Finally a yellow.

  15. Benny says:

    Nice goal by Colombia !!!!! GGUUAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. g-dub says:

    Would’ve been a great goal by Greece. How does he miss that?

  17. Pace says:

    Ouch. Who would have thought gekas would miss that?

    • bodeguero says:

      For over a decade, for Greece scoring goals was superfluous. It was all about preventing goals and hoping to counter attack a frustrated side. It can work in qualifying, sure. It worked for a month back a decade ago, but it wasn’t sustainable.

      I’ve counted at least 2 Colombian counters 2 on 3 or so, and next thing you know, it’s 2 on 8.

      Really? You need 8 guys to come sprinting back to prevent a goal by 2 Colombians?

      It shows that they cannot get out of their defensive mentality.

      • beachbum says:

        interesting observation on the counter attack stuff, thanks for sharing. going to watch for it. Greece seemed gassed at the end as a team

  18. Pace says:

    This has been a fun game. Not as high profile, but tightly contested.

  19. JayAre says:

    The South American advantage is real. Basically no Greeks fans.

  20. beachbum says:

    Rodriguez stays on. he looks tired, or maybe that nasty foul he suffered in the first half slowing him down?

  21. The Other Jeff says:

    Geiger 1-0 Colombia and Greece. You did us proud.

  22. Fredo says:

    Some pretty sweet combinations by Colombia. This tournament is rockin.

    • JayAre says:

      Yup. theres been at least a goal in every game, Would have been more if it wasn’t for the ref in the Mexico game. I have a feeling England v Italy is going to break that streak. Just can’t trust the English with anything.

  23. JayAre says:

    5-2-3?? What is Costa Rica trying to do with that formation.

  24. Jack says:

    So are people pulling for Costa Rica as a represent of Concacaf or not so much?

    • Citronomics says:

      I’m throwing in with Costa Rica because of reppin’ our footballing region and the MLS contingent. Too bad Saborio is out injured as would have liked to see what he can do in this WC.

    • beachbum says:

      only Concacaf team I don’t root for in these matchups is Mexico, although I enjoy watching Uruguay

    • RB says:

      Since the silly follow-up on their part to the SnoClasico and what happened in the later match in CRC, I pull for their defeat and especially failure for Joel Campbell every time out.

      Besides, this pull for others in our region movement is way too wishy-washy, way too on again, off again to be taken seriously.

    • Gary Page says:

      If CONCACAF teams do well, then maybe in the future they get 4 in without having to go through a playoff. Also, if they continue to do well, then winning the Hex will probably result in higher ranking and, maybe some day, a seed. So we should always pull for CONCACAF teams in the WC.

  25. Lu says:

    Costa Rica has one of the best GK’s in La Liga

    • beachbum says:

      very organized defensively typically as well along the back 4 and midfield. we’ll see if they can make it work today, get Ruiz some chances to make decisions in dangerous places

  26. Nate Dollars says:

    World Cup Day 3: Your Mark Geiger Running Commentary :)

  27. bryan says:

    our group is rough, but i love that there are no South American teams in it.

  28. Citronomics says:

    What’s the penalty call for?

  29. beachbum says:

    wish they would always call that. it’s a foul, yes. hopefully that will be called consistently like that all tournament

    • Jack says:

      Reminds me of the Slovenia call where at least 3 US players were getting just as much pulled and we scored and yet it went against us.

      • beachbum says:

        great example, happens all the time too.
        consistency within the tournament would be great, let alone within a game, whatever the emphasis imo. we’ll see

      • Increase says:

        Yep, I remember that. I was so angry.

  30. Pace says:

    And to think Chicago could have aravelo rios, who is now starting for Uruguay in the World Cup.

    • Citronomics says:

      What’s the story behind why the Fire and Rios parted ways? As I recall, Rios had been playing in Serie A and certainly on paper has a solid, good pedigree relative to MLS foreign player acquisitions.

  31. Luke says:

    I have to say today’s officiating has been spot on. First penalty I’ve seen that has truely been deserving.

    The first game reffed by the American, had lots of Greeks going down in the box that might have been penalties if they were refereed by the referees in the first 2 days. Good to see they didn’t fall for it and change the game.

    • Wooden Right Foot says:

      No it was not. If it had been the other way around the ref would have not called it against Uruguay. Why? Because Costa Rica is in the “not money making team” list while Uruguay is. Lugano dived in both, the hand ball and the PK call plays.

      • Increase says:

        We had someone pull that hugging stuff on the USA in the 2010 world cup. You don’t get to do it. You can’t argue that “my hands had to go somewhere” as the guy is running away from you and you manage to wrap your arms around his waist.

      • RB says:

        “If it had been the other way around the ref would have not called it against Uruguay. Why? Because Costa Rica is in the “not money making team” list while Uruguay is…”

        Might want to loosen up that tin foil hat a bit, as it may be restricting blood flow to your head. ;-)

        • Wooden Right Foot says:

          Might want to check what your mother is doing now.

          • RB says:

            Now that’s class.

            • Wooden Right Foot says:

              So, you belittle people and expect no retribution? My comment was a general one. I did not attack anyone in particular.

              • RB says:

                Wrong: I criticized your idea, you OTOH turned to a personal attack on my mother.

                You must be dumber than you already look if you think these are equivalent.

              • Wooden Right Foot says:

                “Might want to loosen up that tin foil hat a bit, as it may be restricting blood flow to your head.”

                That’s a personal attack.

              • RB says:

                Wrong again: it’s all simply in reference to the conspiracy theory nature of your stated views. And even so, it’s directed to you, not some uninvolved family member of yours.

                But by all means, keep going. You’re doing very nicely (as with that original theory!). :-)

      • Lucas says:

        Just curious why dived over dove…..are you English?

      • Jack says:

        If this theory was true, the US would get a lot more calls then they do.

  32. beachbum says:

    ohhh!!!! what a chance on the corner for CR, goalie error exposes the back post but just away from the finishing heder

  33. Increase says:

    Urg, I’m still so jealous of Forlan’s hair. 4 years of envy. I just can’t pull that off.

  34. usaalltheway says:

    Although the Uruguayans aren’t saints, Costa Rica’s players are acting like fools and carrying on like thugs.

    I can’t root for them. They give our Region a bad name. Hell, Mexico played very well yesterday without the antics. Why can’t these guys?

    • Jack says:

      What annoying is it doesn’t even seem needed. They are keeping the ball pretty well, creating there chances. They don’t even get anything out of the theatrics.

    • UclaBruinGreat says:

      I’m watching the same game and have no idea what you are talking about. Atleast i think we are watching the same game. CR vs URU right?

  35. bryan says:

    lame. of all people to score it has to be that dbag.

  36. beachbum says:

    Beautiful!!! Gamboa…what a run and ball in

  37. Fredo says:

    Ticos!!!

  38. Wooden Right Foot says:

    Scummy Uruguay is losing. Don’t worry they’ll get another dubious call to even the score.

  39. beachbum says:

    Duarte!!! what a header. cajones baby on that one

    • Citronomics says:

      Superb placement too! Let’s go Ticos… taking the play to Uruguay

      • RB says:

        So superb that the replay, as they just commented, indicates he was off.

        • Citronomics says:

          Don’t disagree RB. My post was commenting on the quality of the header. Still very well struck IMO.

        • beachbum says:

          I missed that replay, thanks for posting. Bummer! still a gutsy header but offsides is offsides never like to see goals count when they shouldn’t

  40. SBI TroII says:

    CONCACAF represent!!!

  41. JayAre says:

    Lets go CONCACAF!!!!

  42. The Garrincha says:

    Los Ticos, Los Ticos, Los Ticos.
    Go concacaf!

  43. usaalltheway says:

    Someone needs to remind Uruguay’s keeper that he needs to do more than just watch the ball. Twice he just stares as it goes by him.

    He may not have stopped the goals but at least DO SOMETHING!!!!!

    • JayAre says:

      I’m happy with him playing like that. Better for Concacaf… But at this point he’s making Casillas look good and just 24 hours ago I thought that was an impossible task.

    • Citronomics says:

      Get what you’re saying but once the header was struck, based on the replay, don’t think the goalie could really do anything but watch as (my hunch) probably anticipated a near post attempt.

  44. beachbum says:

    wow! Campbell scorcher just awayfrom the upper 90 from deep

  45. Ry says:

    Joel Campbell looks to be the best player on the pitch. Incredible.

  46. Clover362 says:

    Doesn’t look like the uraguay team has the mental toughness to deal with the gut punch Costa Rica just gave them. Would love to see concacaf do amazing at this World Cup. go Ticos!

  47. JayAre says:

    Spain and Costa Rica are two good examples of how a good goalie can make or break a team.

  48. bryan says:

    didn’t realize it at first but he doesn’t appear to be onside on that 2nd goal.

  49. bryan says:

    BOOM! 3-1. makes up for the missed offside call. CONCACAF!

  50. beachbum says:

    oh yes baby. come on now!

  51. Bryan says:

    What a ball from Campbell.

  52. SBI TroII says:

    As Sir Ian Darke would say, “Costa Rica are in a certain dreamland at the moment.”

  53. kodi says:

    Did not see this result coming. Go ticks! Go Concacaf! Now let keep the late game antics to a minimum.

  54. usaalltheway says:

    How the mighty fall!

    First Spain, now Uruguay.

    Who will be next?

    • Colin in MT says:

      Portugal and Germany

      • usaalltheway says:

        I have always thought that the USMNT would beat Portugal. Germany on the other hand…well, I don’t see it happening.

        • Colin in MT says:

          Won’t matter by then. We’ll have 6 points and will be giving some younger guys experience

    • Gus says:

      I’ll guess either England or Italty.

      • usaalltheway says:

        I see what you did there… ;)

      • JayAre says:

        My guess is England, they suck but they think they are amongst the best in the World. Delusions of grandeur at it’s finest.

        Red Card too for Uraguay! wow Real bad day just got worse

        • GW says:

          JayAre,

          That’s not true.

          The English think they should be among the best and can’t understand why they are not.

          In terms of talent they don’t suck, they just play like they do.

          As for Uruguay they are the same team as in 2010 but they are four years older.and play like it. Only Suarez has really gotten better since 2010.

  55. JayAre says:

    CONCACAF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok go on and beat Italy and England. As for Campbell Arsenal would be stupid if they send him on loan again

  56. Wooden Right Foot says:

    Muslera messed up on that last one.

  57. Fredo says:

    Pura Vida

  58. JayAre says:

    CONCACAF!!!!!!! Ok go on and beat Italy and England. As for Campbell Arsenal would be stupid if they send him on loan again

  59. beachbum says:

    +5 minutes? lol

  60. SBI TroII says:

    Only undefeated confederation is CONCACAF.

  61. UclaBruinGreat says:

    Can Honduras and USA keep it going?!

    USA better do it!! Honduras would be a shocker vs France. Maybe eek out a draw?

    If USA lose on Monday me and Landon are going to egg Klinsmann’s house!

  62. RB says:

    Looks like your conspiracy theory view was in fact correct, WRF! Uruguay is clearly about to win here because the ref threw the match due to the lesser prestige of CRC. Gotta hand it to ya — great call.

  63. Francois says:

    I abhor Joel Campbell, but he looks like a great player. He’s going to be a handful everytime we play CR.

  64. Wooden Right Foot says:

    Uruguay shows it’s class.

  65. Bryan says:

    We’ll deserved red card.

  66. Wooden Right Foot says:

    Thanks God the refs caught that one.

  67. g-dub says:

    Ticos!!!!!!!!!

  68. beachbum says:

    earned victory. the better team today. Costa Rica

  69. Scott says:

    This’s is why the World Cup is the best sporting event in the world. Nothing comes close.

  70. Wooden Right Foot says:

    What’s Alexis Lalas going to say now? Douchbag that he is. Can’t stand him and his mini-me, Twellman.

    • JayAre says:

      It’ll probably go something like this “I still believe this fully motivated Costa Rican team will lose to England and Italy”

      It funny but every time COCACAF win against a big team its never how well we played thats talked about it’s how the other team had a bad game and it thats exact mentality that will make it easier for them to beat England and Italy.

    • mike says:

      I love twellman. palaeontology not so much.

  71. Wooden Right Foot says:

    Well, the standard has been set for CONCACAF.

    • Jack says:

      It has, Costa Rica didn’t just steal a couple goals they out played them, lets do this

  72. JayAre says:

    The field looks fine in Manaus. The English always have to find something to complain about or an excuse to make. Freaking bums!

    • beachbum says:

      didn’t they paint the field green, at least in many parts? whatever, just have to play. we’ll see if it’s an issue or not soon enough and hope it’s not

    • bryan says:

      no, it is not “fine”. when you have to paint the field, there is a problem.

    • kodi says:

      There was an article on Goal dot com yesterday,which states that both Hodgson and Gerrard said they would have no problems playing on the pitch in Manaus. Additionally, I’ve worked outside of Manaus as a biologist for a songbird study. To say the city is remote is an understatement.

      • Alex S. says:

        Really? I just said in another comment that it looks like a normal cities with roads and stuff. Why can you only get there by plane/boat? Why don’t roads connect it to the rest of the country?

        • Kodi says:

          Its definitely a “normal” city with roads, restaurants, growing economy, a nightlife, etc…Many of the roads connecting the city with the rest of the region aren’t even paved all the way and are very poorly maintained. i couldn’t say for sure if there is any roads paved or not that connects it with another major city. I do know that you can 100’s of miles in any direction without encountering more than farmers or a village. The rain forest around there is spectacular.

          • Alex S. says:

            Cool, interesting, thanks for sharing

          • Ali Dia says:

            Kodi. Thanks for this. Very interesting. You obviously have some unique perspective on the region.

            In your view, is there a unique factor that the USMNT (or anybody) should recognize and adapt to — specifically from the perspective of the on-field competition? The media has told us that humidity and pitch are the likely “things to watch”. Anything they may be missing? Any off-field concerns teams may encounter during the buildup that are unique to the region?

            I didn’t notice too much during England-Italy that was unique, outside of the cramping lapses of concentration that England experienced in the final 15 minutes… Very noticiable, and very similar to what happened for England vs.a 10-man Brazil in 2002, in the heat and and humidity of Shizuoka.

            • kodi says:

              The locals there were great. The humidity is the only thing I can speak of. Most of us experience high 80s to low 90s. ,but the humidity is what really wears you down like you mentioned. You can literally feel the air its so thick. Days of hydration in advance help. I think our boys can adjust to it better han some of the euro teams. Also in regards to the roads as discussed below,you made an excellent point about letting them decide if they want roads connecting to other areas. The people there enjoy their rainforest and cultural isolation. Fragmenting the rainforest with roads has a huge negative effect on the wildlife.

        • bryan says:

          dude, you make it sound like an Interstate system is easy or cheap. especially one in the middle of the Amazon! and we all know the Brazilian government doesn’t necessarily spend tax dollars intelligently.

          • Alex S. says:

            Hey I am from America so I am ignorant as to why other countries dont enjoy the luxuries we have, back off. Brazil managed to pay a billion dollars or whatever for a World Cup.. how expensive is a one-lane highway?

            • Nate Dollars says:

              there are places in america like that, too. :)

              a couple cities in alaska aren’t connected to any other cities by highway. they still have cars and roads in the city, they just have to ship or fly everything there.

            • bryan says:

              did you really not pick up on my point about their government not spending money intelligently?

            • Ali Dia says:

              You mean the type an heavy-logging truck uses to haul commercial timber volumes? Plenty of timber companies would pay for that themselves, World Cup or not. Plenty of environmentalists would fight it, World Cup or not.

              Could be a lot of things, guys. One thing I’m confident of— this kind of infrastruce is not something FIFA should be financing, regardless. Builiding roads that connect these regions should be the decision of Brazilians, not some Swiss con artist.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      you’re doing a heckuva job, sepp!

  73. JayAre says:

    Sometimes the media can be poison. I don’t see anything “remote” about this city and the stadium is perfect.

    • Alex S. says:

      They claim you can only get there by boat or by plane but it looks like a normal cities with roads? There is no highway connecting it to the rest of Brazil??

  74. blokhin says:

    love all the scoring in this World Cup-higest goals per game since?

  75. ManicMessiah says:

    I said it at the time and I’ll stick by it, Pirlo’s influence on that game was overrated and overstated. He played a lot of balls over but most of them were over the defense in a way that the defense could recover and deal with the threat.

    • bryan says:

      yeah, that dummy from him was SO overrated…

      • ManicMessiah says:

        Yes the dummy from today that helped Italty score back in Euro 2012, completely agree that was the point I was making, well argued.

  76. The Garrincha says:

    So if Italy and England tie, Costa Rica may have a 50/50 chance to advance.
    Yesterday a random German man walked away from me shaking his head when I told him
    That Mexico was concacafs, 4th play in WC qualifier, and that the region ain’t half bad.
    Anyway don’t listen to the bs some people will try to feed you
    regarding regional strength etc.
    In fact it helps with FIFA rankings and may yield in time more considerations.
    for example if you are somebody like Canada, or Jamaica, or any other team from concacaf
    not in the WC, you still want the region to be successful,
    and purely as a fan it’s nice to know you are watching decent quality.
    it also will help with development,
    I bet more club teams are taking greater notice as well.

  77. Ali Dia says:

    I’m not gonna lie. I really love the World Cup.

  78. Alex S. says:

    How tight were those Uruguay jerseys though? That was weird

  79. JayAre says:

    Yes!! Go Italy!!!!!

  80. bryan says:

    lol oh England.

  81. RB says:

    That ball was very well struck but also had eyes, apparently!

  82. Fredo says:

    Very Nice Italy.

  83. beachbum says:

    game on!

    yes, what a day so far

  84. bryan says:

    OH MAN!!!!! this game got exciting finally!

  85. Fredo says:

    Boo!

  86. RB says:

    And wow again

  87. Don the Jewler says:

    England looking seriously good

  88. JayAre says:

    Noooooo!!!!!!!!!

  89. beachbum says:

    that was sweet from Mario, Candreva doing whatever he wants so far

  90. Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

    Anybody else excited for this second half?

  91. JayAre says:

    So Ballack feels like England and Italy can tie because they will beat Uruguay and Costa Rica. Its amazing how these Europeans think the cup was made for them.

  92. chuck says:

    The England team visited an orphanage in Brazil today.
    -‘It’s heartbreaking to see their sad little faces with no hope’-

    said Jose, age 6

  93. beachbum says:

    Candreva doing some dominating out there

  94. Citronomics says:

    Nasty cross to tee up Balotelli’s header. And the 2H comes to life.

  95. JayAre says:

    Yes!!! Balotelli!!!!! Italy!!!!

  96. Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

    Look at what is happening to England. Cramps and an obvious decline in focus. Don’t want to be chasing the game in Manaus.

  97. Pace says:

    Well that was a fun game until Italy decided to park the bus. Ridiculous free kick by pirlo.

    • Gordoninho says:

      We would see Pirlo’s freekick for decades, if it goes in.
      Is the England team what the ceiling looks like for the USMNT?

  98. JayAre says:

    I knew England couldn’t win. Thank you Balotelli.

    • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

      Spoken like a man who is relieved that he was more-or-less proven correct :)

  99. Fredo says:

    England’s youth movement came close. But, Italy too smart and too professional. I’m happy.

  100. usaalltheway says:

    Italy and England was quite boring.

    Italy is a great team that is usually awful to watch. England has it all on paper in in theory but the final result is always bad.

    Let’s go Japan!!!!!

  101. bryan says:

    are there a bunch of Mexican fans at this game? or did the Japanese fans pick up the Mexican goal kick “chant”?

  102. usaalltheway says:

    JAPAN!!!!!!!!!!

    Great goal from a great player. :D

  103. JayAre says:

    Is there something in the water in Brazil? I thought Brazilians knew how to score now I’m starting to think it has something to do with the country. I’ve never seen so many goals this early in a WC.

  104. Hush says:

    Are my American Futbol noobs watching Japan vs Ivory??? This gm is a clear example that height isn’t a big deal in Futbol! … Technical ability is the most important element of the gm. Enough said

  105. Fredo says:

    That was a nice goal by Honda. But, there is a ton of sweet, smart, quick passing by Ivory Coast. It’s a pleasure to watch.

  106. manicmessiah says:

    I wonder if a player has worn the #9 jersey in a world cup who was less likely to score than Cheik Tiote.

  107. usaalltheway says:

    Okay, so anyone else notice just how good the Japanese are?

    They are fast, technical, sharp, team-orienated, athletic and have excellent players.

    Why aren’t we considering them contenders again? Really, I am very impressed with them.

    • Increase says:

      They had a rough time last summer in the confed cup. They looked good but no more likely to be a “contender” than Mexico is.

      • usaalltheway says:

        Well, their GK just proved one reason.

        It seems they don’t have enough “muscle” to push themselves around.

        They actually did well in the Confederations Cup. They were very unlucky to have not beaten Italy.

  108. Increase says:

    Man, African teams love you run at you and that kind of aggression is hard to deal with. Japan collapsed into their box so quickly there but at the same time it seemed like there were no defenders in there. I hope Japan wins though. I love the way they play.

  109. Pat says:

    So… Ivory Coast is behind and looking pretty short on ideas with a half hour left. Then… for some reason, they bring on this aging talismanic player and, even though neither goal comes from him, suddenly they’re all super inspired and score two goals in two minutes.

    If only we had some sort of aging talismanic player. …

  110. Paul Thomas says:

    Irritating to see CIV’s time-wasting fake injury antics work at the end of the game. They killed a good minute of the 4 stoppage time minutes with that crap. Hint: when you allow people to run down the clock with fake injuries, you encourage more fake injuries.

    It’s really not that hard to actually time the length a guy spends rolling around in mock agony and then add that much — or better yet, twice as much — to the clock.

    • Matt Bk says:

      Well, CIV won the match by scoring two goals. So after 90 mins they could control the ball however they wanted. Time wasting, true. But Japan was lifeless. Both teams were gassed. Unfortunately for JP, they were done after 60 mins. Fun game, how the tide can change, right? CIV owned JP. Amazing how Drogba coming on changed things for CIV.

  111. chuck says:

    I love how Japan plays. Last WC vs Denmark it was like watching an episode of Captain Tsubasa. What a shame that they lost :(