Saturday, June 10, 2006

First Half Diary: Requiem for the Elephants.

Before a ball is kicked, ESPN2 shows a shot of Diego Maradona in the stands and instantly I'm reminded that the Ivory Coast has almost no chance against the Argentines. Well, let's see what happens. Let's get it on....

Minute 3: Akale gets the first attack of the game and sends in a cross to Didier Drogba. Drogba heads it well wide. My guess is the perm got in the way of Drogba hitting the ball cleanly.

Minute Minute 6: Good possession from the Ivory Coast. They are showing some early confidence. So confident that Akale shoots from about 40 yards out and kills a pigeon about 50 yards above the goal. Shot well off target, to say the least.

Minute 11: We are already 10 minutes into the game and there's been no sign from Argentina that they are the better team. THe speed of the Ivory Coast down the wings looks to be giving the Argentinians trouble. I still can't get over these grown men with permed hair for the Ivory Coast. Snoop need to get all these guys together for a music video.

Minute 14: Argentina don't look to have any ideas of how to go at the Ivory Coast. I'm expecting to see Tevez and Messi in this game at some point....

Minute 15: Ivory Coast keeper bobbles a header and it looks like the ball crossed the goal line but the referee does not call award Argentina a goal. Let the debate begin about instant replay in soccer.

Minute 17: The surest way to tell that the announcer thinks he's talking to an uneducated audience is his use of cliches drawn from other sports. The announcer keeps talking about balls and strikes in baseball, defensive traps in basketball...Let's just keep the commentary to soccer, please.

Minute 20: Ivory Coast look like they are clearly the better team. Pekerman needs to bring on players who can run at the Ivory Coast. Again, where are Messi and Tevez? The two most talented Argentinian players are starting the game on the bench. Riquelme can control the game but he needs someone to pass the ball to.

Minute 24: Just like they drew it up I suppose. Riquelme free kick into the box, Ivory Coast defense fails to clear the ball and Crspo scores. 1-0 Argentina. Not impressive stuff but still a lead for the Argentines.

Minute 30: Almost getting tired of the basketball references by the commentators. One more and I'm switching to Univision.

Minute 35: Excellent play by the Ivory Coast. Cross headed down by Drogba to Keite who heads it straight at the keeper. Espn's stat says Argentina has had 61% of the possession at this point. Sure looks like the Ivory Coast has had more of the ball than the number suggets.

Minute 38: Argentina drops Saviola back to the midfield he passes the ball off from the center circle and then 10 seconds later he pops up in the box and scores a goal. Argentina 2-Ivory Coast 0. Game over. I guess we won't be seeing Messi and Tevez soon.

Minute 45: 2-0 to Argentina at halftime. This one is pretty much over. Ivory Coast had a good opening 15 minutes that had me believe they had a chance. Once Argentina scored it was pretty much over. I won't blog on the second half unless Ivory Coast scores a goal and makes it close.

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