Saturday, June 10, 2006

Day One Reflections and Looking forward to Day Two

Day one of the World Cup was an embodiment of what the World Cup is about. First, we saw the home team, spurred on by the home crowd, play an all out style of attacking football that we rarely see from the Germans. In the 12 years that I have been watching soccer closely yesterday was the first time I have ever been impressed by the German national team. The goals by Philip Lahm and Torsten Frings were absolutely beautiful. I couldn't see Germany playing this well away from home soil but having home field advantage allowed them to be more daring than they otherwise would have been, I think.

Second, Ecuador beat Poland. As some of you may recall I expected Poland to have an easy time with this game and to score about five goals. I couldn't have been more wrong. Unfortunately I did not see the game so I can't say much about it except that I learned my lesson: don't bet too heavily against a team you haven't seen play. I had seen Poland in the qualifiers and they looked like a good team but I had never seen Ecuador play. I had no reason to believe that they had a chance against Poland but from what my friends tell me they totally dominated the game. Shows what I know.

England v. Paraguay kicks off in 90 minutes. I expect England to win, but I will be pulling for them to lose. I'm hoping that Paraguay can cause them some problems and frustrate the English midfield. I think the player to watch in this game will be Joe Cole. He gives England something extra coming from the left wing that they haven't had in over a decade. Look for an English victory in this one but don't be at all surprised if Paraguay makes a game out of it.

Argentina v. Ivory Coast is the game I'm really looking forward to. The elephants are my adopted team for this world cup since my homeland, Jamaica, failed to make the cup yet again. Everything will fall on the shoulders of Didier Drogba in this game. Let's see if he can deliver. It may be too much to ask given Argentina's pedigree.

I'm off to the showers then off to the local Santa Monica pub to watch a few Englishmen drink away their sorrows after an English defeat, hopefully.

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