Friday, July 2, 2010

Catch Up and Go Forward

July 2, 2010

The announcer just said that all the starters for Brazil are happily married (though I'm not sure how anyone would actually know that). Such a factor could give Brazil and edge that I hadn't added to my calculations when I made my prediction. Given that it is a warm and sticky day in Port Elisabeth, there are other reasons why I might reconsider. I have to assume that warm and sticky fits with Brazil more than Holland.

In fairness, I will now show you the complete table of my group and first knock out round predictions and outcomes. I have italicized the matches where I predicted the outcome correctly and italicized and bolded them if I got the actual score correct (rare event).

Group A

South Africa-2 Mexico-3
Uruguay-0 France-2
South Africa-2 Uruguay-2
France-2 Mexico-0
France-1 South Africa-1
Mexico-3 Uruguay-1

Obviously I knew Nothing about Group A.

What a softness in the middle. Rabinho scores for Brazil, and it was no fluke. Beautiful movement to free Rabinho.

Group B

South Korea-2 Greece -1
Argentina-2 Nigeria-0
Argentina-2 South Korea-2
Greece-0 Nigeria-2
Nigeria-2 South Korea-1
Greece-0 Argentina-2

A bit better in Group B.

Group C

England 2- USA-2
Algeria-0 Slovenia-2
Slovenia-2 USA-3
England-2 Algeria-0
Slovenia-0 England-2
USA-1 Algeria-0

Given that USA really probably beat Slovenia 3-2, this is one of my best efforts.

I'm thinking that the 40% of employed folks in The Netherlands who took time off from work today or this afternoon may be biting their nails at this point. The Orange defense looks so much shakier than they have in their first for games and the Brazilians (who look strange to me with blue on top) look customarily collected.

Group D

Serbia-2 Ghana-1
Germany-3 Australia-0
Germany-2 Serbia-1
Ghana-2 Australia-2
Ghana-1 Germany-2
Australia-0 Serbia-2

Pretty mediocre. Missed out on Serbia's effort completely.

Sidenote: I met some Serbian fans at the Lesedi Cultural Village and, of course, asked if I could take their photo. They didn't have on fan gear, just black coats with Serbian crests, but I didn't think I would have a chance to see Serbian fans any other time so I went for it. As we lined up and Davis prepared to snap the shot, the man standing next to me reached over and pulled my stadium coat more closed. When I looked puzzled, he said, "I must cover your Adidas [on the soccer jacket I wore as an extra layer]. We are Nike."

Brazil seems to have a secret map to the seams in The Netherland's defense. The are looking quite dangerous. I think Robben has a goal in his shoe, if he can just get in the box without nine blue jerseys.

Group E

Holland-2 Denmark-1
Japan-0 Cameroon-2
Holland-3 Japan-0
Cameroon-2 Denmark-2
Denmark-2 Japan-0
Cameroon-2 Holland-2

Obviously, betting against Japan and in favor of Cameroon was an ineffective strategy. The Indomitable Lions were actually quite domitable. Oh Well. And Japan fielded a team that had more than just skill on re-starts (which was quite amazing). Honda has become one of my favorite players!

Group F

Italy-1 Paraguay-1
New Zealand-0 Slovakia-2
Slovakia-2 Paraguay-2
Italy-2 New Zealand-0
Paraguay-2 New Zealand-0
Slovakia-2 Italy-3

After a brilliant first match call, this group fell apart for me. I didn't think New Zealand had a chance to score and they left the tournament unbeaten. In the process Paraguay became one of my favorite teams to watch (gotta love the barber pole red and white socks).

Can the Dutch answer fire with fire. We will see over the next forty-five minutes. I hope they added starch to their back line at half time.

Equalizer in the first 10 minutes. Sneijder from quite a distance.

Group G

Ivory Coast-2 Portugal-1
Brazil-4 North Korea-0
Brazil-2 Ivory Coast-1
Portugal-2 North Korea-0
North Korea-0 Ivory Coast-2
Portugal-1 Brazil-1

This group had the advantage of having North Korea in it. making three of the picks pretty obvious. My best percentage correct.

Group H

Honduras-0 Chile-2
Spain-3 Switzerland-0
Chile-2 Switzerland-0
Spain-2 Honduras-0
Chile-1 Spain-1
Switzerland-0 Honduras-2

Finished with one exacto and half the group.

Holland adjusted some at half and currently the game looks more like I thought it would.

Unbelievable header from a corner for the Dutch! Sneidjer again!

Melo sent off? Who can believe it. While it makes it difficult for Brazil, perhaps that will fire their belly to counter this surge from The Netherlands.

Ten minutes left and things are getting quite scrappy.

Obviously, given my lukewarm predictions (20 right, 28 wrong), my Round of Sixteen predictions had to be re-vamped a little, based on who was playing, rather than how I filled my brackets before the Cup started.

I actually predicted three-quarters of the teams going through on the left wide of the bracket and five of eight on the right side. I think I only predicted two match ups correctly: Argentina/Mexico and Brazil/Chile.

I'll start with those two:
Argentina-2 Mexico-1
Brazil-2 Chile-0

The Dutch ends up on top. Unbelievable. I can't believe Brazil couldn't hold it together.

1 comment:

  1. I love your posts and I cannot BELIEVE that Brazil lost. Really shocked. Now that you are watching at home, are the vuvuzelas more annoying via t.v. than they were in person? I have to say that I am oblivious to them now and would miss them if they stopped...