Wow....this tournament sure did become a lot more interesting this weekend.
- Count 'em, 1, 2, 3, 4 powerhouses put in shockingly disappointing performances and now are in danger of not advancing out of the group stage.
- USA and Slovenia played what probably now is the most memorable match in US soccer history (OK, MEN's soccer history).
- As Patrick wrote about today, France's team has completely disintegrated, and who doesn't like watching Frenchmen slap fight with each other like a bunch of girls?
Okay, to the match recaps. I'm a couple days behind..so here's day 7 (Thurs), will probably get days 8-10 up tomorrow AM.
ARGENTINA 4, SOUTH KOREA 1
It was quite a successful week for Maradona. His much maligned team showed that they were maligned for nothing, pretty much sewing up 1st place in their group with a thunderous win over a South Korea team who got a win in their first match. He got a hat trick, the first of the tournament, from Real's Gonzalo Higuain, and he told Pele to "go back to the museum". Not as effective in his pantheon of Pele disses as "Who cares what he says he lost his virginity to a boy", but not bad.
GREECE 2, NIGERIA 1
Even though Greece won it all in Euro 2004, they had never ever won a World Cup match until Thursday. It didn't look like that would change early in the match. Nigeria went up 1-0, and everyone knows that if you score against Greece, the match is over, because their primary directive is to get a 0-0 tie every time out. A red card to Super Eagle MF Sani Kaita gave Greece a 57 minute long power play though, and Greece capitalized with goals from Dimitrios Salpigidis and Vasilis Torosidis to get 3 points and throw this group into a tizzy. They still probably need a point in their group finale against Argentina to advance, but if Nigeria beats South Korea by one goal, they could still advance with a one goal loss. You will need to use the Pythagorean theorem to figure out the other scenarios. Oh the pathos! Not to mention the ethos and the logos!
Ha, ha, You're French..
MEXICO 2, FRANCE 0
And here's where the tournament starts to get good. Mexico thoroughly dominates France as if they were being coached by Napoleon III. Goals for El Chicarito Javier Hernandez, and the most recognizable player and perhaps only recognizable player in Chicago Fire history, Cuauhtemoc Blanco. The result pretty much guarantees that Uruguay and Mexico advance out of this group, just as a certain soccer savant predicted before the start of the tournament, and also gives us a treasure trove of ennui filled quotes from the defeated French, such as “What’s the problem? We’re not a good team. If we don’t win, it means we’re not a good team", and, "“When you go out of the Euro in the first round, and then you are about to go out again, you really don’t want to think about football anymore".