Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Update

First up, congratulations to Ireland, Sudan, Canada, Laos, Poland, Germany, El Salvador and France. You’re all through to the quarterfinals! Congrats to me as well for picking the exact 1st and 2nd seeds in every group way back before the tournament. I am a psychic. Saturday night was the most exciting night of the tournament thus far. The last 3 games were extremely close and hard-fought. By now you know the scores, so let’s do some farewells.


Goodbye Norway, you put in a valiant against El Salvador, and it looked like you might tie them for awhile, but it was not to be. Never the most skilled team, but at least you put in some hard work and made the group interesting. Have fun beating up on South Korea tonight.

Afghanistan…what is there to say about you? They hype appeared out of nowhere right before the tournament started. The schedule was already done up before anyone knew you’d be good at all. In a tough group, you had to be damn near perfect, and missing all your good players for the first game made it extremely difficult for you right from the get-go. It was great to watch though, and you had a good fan base. The game against Canada was critical, and you played well, but Canada was prepared. The game could have gone either way, and unfortunately for you, that was Canada’s way 4-3. Don’t be disappointed, because you did good considering what you had to face. See you next year.

Nigeria was excellent in their game against Poland, and turned even the most faithful Poland supporters into speculators about Poland even making it out of their group. Nigeria was a part of some of the most memorable games of the tournament, the 2-2 draw vs. Poland, the 4-3 win over Hungary, and the 3-2 loss to Germany. Thank you for that. You seemed to be a lot better than the last two years, and would have been a difficult game for anyone in the quarterfinals. You may be out, but you won’t be forgotten. Congrats on a good tournament.

Vietnam, congratulations on being the worst team in WCP Cup history. Your goal differential was -61 through the 5 games. That’s actually impressive. On the plus side, you can only get better…right? RIGHT?

Scotland finished an impressive 3rd place in Group A, and showed that they are legitimately getting better, and could be one of those fringe teams like Colombia, Jamaica or Norway next year. Always good to see. Get a bit better, and we look forward to seeing some entertaining games from you in the future.

Hungary was another brand-new team, and came in the way you’d hope a new team would. They battled every game (except Portugal) and didn’t make it easy at all for Poland, Germany or Nigeria. That’s all you can ask. They should leave the tournament proud, and it’ll be great seeing them upset a good team next year.

Quarterfinal previews coming soon...


Anonymous said...

The sad thing about Vietnam is that they actually had a keeper that kind of knew what he was doing. Can you imagine if they had a keeper like Somalia or one of those teams?

Pretty good assessments all around.

Anonymous said...

Good write up!

Probably your best piece since the u11 girls' game announcement.

To me the surprise of the tournament is Italy. Nobody ever even thought about them or mentioned them, but somehow they come out of the so called 'group of death' with a 3-2 record...unbelievable!!

Good game Saturday and good luck vs Canada, can't wait to watch that one.