Portugal 2, Iran 0. I unapologetically admit that I didn't watch this game. Didn't care about the result, and didn't fancy the chances of a well played match. Portugal advances, and that means I'm actually going to have to learn something about Portugal besides Henry the Navigator. Shit.
Czech Republic 0, Ghana 2 Huge result for the Ghanians and for the US. Suddenly, the US had a chance to compete, even with a tie, they would not control their own destiny, but would be in the mix. Ghana pretty much dominated this game from start to finish, and their 2nd goal probably would have come a lot sooner than the 82nd minute if weren't for Peter Cech. He has officially proven himself one of the top 3 goalies in the world, in my mind. And I understand that Peter Cech has been desperately seeking my approval since I started this blog, less than 2 months ago. There you go, Peter. That should assuage the loss somewhat, yeah?
US 1, Italy 1. Travesty! The US did everything right here (absent the lack of subbing in Eddie Johnson at the 75th minute). Referee Jorge Larrionda is a douchebag. Sending off two American players wholly undeservedly (yes, they were both fouls, but not yellow card offenses, and certainly not second yellow/red card offenses). Mastroenni's sending was particularly egregious. Disallowing what would have been the first World Cup goal scored with a 9 man side was a bit questionable, though as a defender, I have to say that I agree with that call. Great play from the US, even if they haven't technically scored a goal yet (our point is thanks to a horrible attempt at a clearance by the Italians. Own goal!). But they played they way I thought they would play every game. Great midfield running attacks from Donovan, Convey and even Dempsey, who looked like he had stolen a tiny part of Johann Cruyff's soul. Where does he get off running the double crossover at defenders? Who cares, he did, and looked good. Beasley is still a bit of an enigma, having come on late, and then quickly looking like he ran out of gas. Donovan was running more in the last 10 minutes, and he had played the entire game. Perhaps Beasley's disallowed goal brought him down a bit.
Now, the US just has to figure out to replace Mastroenni and Eddie Pope. happily, the Ghanians will be without their two goal scorers from today against the US (they were also sent off. Big Red Card Letter Day). We should also hope that Michael Essien gets food poisoning or something.
But for now, we're alive, baby, we're alive!
Nice shot by Beasley with 9 men - but what happened after? He was one of the few players with fresh legs and he was lagging behind Donovan near the end. Now I see why you want to save a sub when you have 9 men in case of injury, but I still would have put in Brian Ching in the 85th or so. Perhaps Eddie Johnson would be better, but Brian Ching has stitches so he's an obvious sub for Bloodied McBride.
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