FanDuel - WFBC

June 19, 2006

Spain's 3-1 win over Tunisia leads to World Cup games of death.: Well, I didn't really care as much about the game, altho it was interesting while Spain were trailing Tunisia. The more important thing is for the next four days, all eight groups are down to their final matches. Some groups have been decided while others remain keenly poised. Who're your picks to go through to the second round (where knockout play begins)? Which are the hardest matches to call? For extra credit, who will top their table, and will some try _not_ to top the table? Time for some SpoFi punditry...

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 04:24 PM - 32 comments

Oh man! I thought we weren't going to post scores on the front page as a favour to those who were recording them to view after work. /kicks dirt I'm still going to watch the game, but I'll be tempted to fast forward to the 4 goals now.

posted by grum@work at 04:36 PM on June 19

You almost made it through the first two rounds of group games without seeing a score too, Grum. Unlucky. It's a shame you don't have a highlight show, the way we do in the UK - that would be worth watching, even if you know the score.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:48 PM on June 19

Argh! Sorry, grum (and everyone else)! Sorrrrrryyyyy! Qualifiers and hopefuls (with points) plus matches, by group: A: Ecuador, Germany B: England, ? (Sweden 4 or Trinidad & Tobago 1) - England v Sweden: Will England want to risk any players just to get 1st place? If I were Sven, I'd rest all the top players and let group A (Ecuador and Germany) sort themselves out. - Paraguay v T & T: A hopeless match, really, unless England does T&T a big favor and trashes the Swedes. T&T still has to win, which is not bloody likely. More like a draw. VERDICT: Sweden C: Argentina, Netherlands D: Portugal, ? (Mexico 4 or Angola 1) - Portugal v Mexico: Mexico only needs a draw. - Iran v Angola: Meaningless, I think. VERDICT: Mexico E: ? (Italy 4, Czech Rep 3, Ghana 3 or USA 1) - Czech Rep v Italy: Italy only need a draw, and will play for it. - Ghana v USA: A miracle for the USA, probably undeserved. Would rather see Ghana go through. VERDICT: Italy, Czech Rep F: Brazil, ? (Australia 3, Croatia 1 or Japan 1) - Japan v Brazil: Japan must win. Will Brazil field team B? Could that actually be worse for Japan? - Croatia v Australia: Australia to finish strongly. VERDICT: Australia G: ? (Switzerland 4, Korea 4 or France 2) - Togo v France: France must win by at least two to avoid Switzerland and Korea just settling for a draw. - Switzerland v Korea: Both Korea and the Swiss only need a draw, unless France suddenly go on a scoring spree. The Swiss don't particularly like France. You do the math. VERDICT: Too close to call. But likely, Korea and Switzerland. H: Spain, ? (Ukraine 3, Tunisia 1 or Saudi Arabia 1) - Saudi Arabia v Spain: Will Spain field team B? - Ukraine v Tunisia: Ukraine to trash Tunisia. VERDICT: Ukraine through.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:05 PM on June 19

"I thought we weren't going to post scores on the front page as a favour to those who were recording them to view after work." Wouldn't matter where I work, people seem to think it's a great idea to shout out the scores whilst reading them on the internet. I wouldn't mind but they don't even follow the game when it isn't the world cup. Ecuador, Germany England, Sweden Argentina, Netherlands Portugal, Mexico Italy, Ghana (sorry guys) Brazil, Croatia Switzerland, South Korea Spain, Ukraine

posted by walrus at 05:08 PM on June 19

Again, I beg forgiveness for these, my misdoings.

posted by worldcup2002 at 05:12 PM on June 19

the only negative remark on the whole predictions page concerns the US? nice....real nice

posted by ksb122 at 05:52 PM on June 19

If you're referring to my post, it's not intended as a negative remark: it's a prediction from a neutral. I don't really mind who wins out of the USA and Ghana, but if I was putting money down it would go on Ghana. No offence intended, and it's probably a very close call. I was just impressed by the way Ghana swept the Czech Republic away. The Czechs are a very good team.

posted by walrus at 05:59 PM on June 19

I've been rooting (and agonizing through the first two games) for the US, but I just can't see them going forward based on their players, strategy, tactics and in-game decision-making by individual players (whether to shoot or pass, which kind of pass to play, whether to tackle or not, whether to foul or not ...). They have only one goal, and that from a very very lucky own goal. They have strikers who are afraid to run at defenders or push into the box with the ball at their feet. They will have two key defenders (Pope and Mastroeni) unavailable against a strong team, who managed to score an outright goal against Italy and then tear apart the Czech Republic. (The only bright spot is Ghana's two goalscorers are also unavailable due to yellow cards collected). I don't see a team with players who have any level of confidence to boss midfield or scare defenders. Dempsey was starting to look like it, but one man does not a team make. Stacking Ghana against US thus far, I just see Ghana with greater strength, pace, confidence. It would be awesome to see the USA beat Ghana and pip the Czech Republic, but they'd have to play a shocker. I would love to see that.

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:08 PM on June 19

wc2k wrote: Stacking Ghana against US thus far, I just see Ghana with greater strength, pace, confidence. It would be awesome to see the USA beat Ghana and pip the Czech Republic, but they'd have to play a shocker. I would love to see that. My confusion is that the above seems to be undercut by your prior statement: "Ghana v USA: A miracle for the USA, probably undeserved. Would rather see Ghana go through."

posted by holden at 06:14 PM on June 19

Yes. I support the US (after Brazil and England - heh) but after seeing the US matches and the Ghana win over the Czechs, I think the Ghanaians deserve it more. However, if the US pulled it off, I wouldn't be unhappy. I just don't see it happening right now. btw, how come you guys would rather pick away at what's supposed to be some fun speculations as if they're contract law? Why don't you come up with predictions of your own and keep the fun going? I'm going to start ignoring your pedantry. (btw, maybe sometimes, just sometimes, there are some people who can see beyond their team allegiances, who - surprise - enjoy the game, enjoy seeing underdogs win, can see that their favorite teams are playing crap, and have been beaten by other teams. It's not bad sport to acknowledge another team's superior efforts. Sheesh.)

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:22 PM on June 19

I'm just hoping the Argentina vs Netherlands game is on a par with the 98 effort. That was a good game, (sending off aside), settled by one of the World Cup's best ever goals.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 06:33 PM on June 19

Was that's Bergkamp's crazy outside-of-the-boot effort from an acute angle?

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:37 PM on June 19

btw, how come you guys would rather pick away at what's supposed to be some fun speculations as if they're contract law? Sorry; it's what I do for a living. Thus shamed, here are my non-scientific picks for the final group standings (advancing teams only, in order). A -- Germany, Ecuador B -- England, Sweden C -- Argentina, Netherlands D -- Portugal, Mexico E -- Italy, America F -- Brazil, Australia G -- South Korea, France H -- Spain, Ukraine Bergkamp goal here.

posted by holden at 06:40 PM on June 19

Speaking of the World Cup's best ever goals, here's Brazils effort against Italy from 1970, finished by Carlos Alberto. Some are saying Cambiasso's effort betters it, but I think Alberto's has absolutely everything which is beautiful about football. Some of the passing under pressure is sublime, the mazy dribble through the Italian midfield, and what a finish!

posted by walrus at 06:42 PM on June 19

Yes, that's the goal, holden. Brilliant. And nice picks. I see you've gone the romantic route with Korea and France (I took the cynical path). I would love to see France go through (and play good football), but they just haven't been playing worth crap and I'd rather see Korea in ahead of them at this point. Great Brazil goal, walrus. Spain almost pulled one off toward the end of today's match, with 5, 6, 7, 8 one-touch passes in one move, but they undid (overdid?) themselves by playing into an offside position. They left Tunisia chasing shadows in that frame, and would have walked it in except for that last piece of bad timing.

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:49 PM on June 19

Holden's got the right one wc2k2, yeah, but if you can find it with the original Dutch commentary you should - the goalmine clip makes it sound like they're at an accountacy seminar. Much as it hurts me to say so, Maradona's second goal against England in the hand of god game is probably the best world cup goal, but this David Platt effort was pretty special, coming as it did in the last minute of extra time.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 06:54 PM on June 19

I don't have any predictions, but have to say how I have muchI been enjoying this Cup sitting by the campfire with fellow SpoFites. Cisse!

posted by scully at 07:02 PM on June 19

Maradona's was a great individual effort, but Owen's against Argentina made up for it. Platt's was a lucky volley ;-) Still Brazil for me.

posted by walrus at 07:05 PM on June 19

The campfire has been awesome, (despite me being a dick, sorry, Sam), and has really added something to the games. Even if that something is often only discussions about Laser Jesus' hair.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:18 PM on June 19

Oh man! I thought we weren't going to post scores on the front page as a favour to those who were recording them to view after work... Yea...the good ol' days. I remember when you could walk into SpoFi and not have a result blaring through an FPP. We made it through all of 31 games...

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 08:24 PM on June 19

Thanks for goal video links! A -- Ecuador, Germany: Hosts are getting a bit arrogant B -- England, Sweden C -- Argentina, Netherlands: Wonder how much effort either side puts into getting a result though D -- Portugal, Mexico: Our southern friends probably make up for the embarassment to go through on goal difference even if they lose and Angola win E -- Italy, America: I can't bring myself to type anything else :-((( F -- Brazil, Australia: Aussies seem more likely to at least draw Croatia... G -- South Korea, Switzerland: France showed me nothing against the Koreans and will be missing Zidane, Togo should have recovered from their bickering and looking to get at least something from this tournament H -- Spain, Ukraine: Ukraine showed form today, made up their goal difference and will go through even with a draw but I doubt Tunisia will hold them to one Round of 16 Ecuador 2-1 Sweden Argentina 3-1 Mexico England 1-0 Germany boohoo! Portugal 1-2 Netherlands Italy 3-0 Australia South Korea 1-2 Ukraine Brazil 3-0 USA - learn the lesson boys! Spain 3-0 Switzerland * some one goal wins are from shootouts/OT

posted by billsaysthis at 08:54 PM on June 19

I like all of your predictions bill, except where the USA looses 3-0 to Brazil. But at least you have them getting there. I would like to thank all of you guys, I have learned alot in here since the world cup started and am hooked on this now.

posted by jojomfd1 at 09:56 PM on June 19

The campfire has been awesome, (despite me being a dick, sorry, Sam), and has really added something to the games. Even if that something is often only discussions about Laser Jesus' hair. I'd love to join in on weekend games, but I think their is a delay (by about 15 seconds) on the HD broadcast I watch, so someone would always be spoiling the result for me...

posted by grum@work at 10:49 PM on June 19

I agree with bill's predictions (go U.S.!)--but I wouldn't be surprised if Croatia beats Australia. Germany "upsetting" England in round 2 wouldn't shock me either (home-pitch advantage and England's struggles thus far.) And I'll stick with my bold prediction of Brazil to win it all.

posted by curtangle at 01:12 AM on June 20

grum, I think we're all getting the same feed and at least the US/ABC HD feed does not have the delay typicaly of HD sports feeds.

posted by yerfatma at 06:10 AM on June 20

I'd love to join in on weekend games, but I think their is a delay (by about 15 seconds) on the HD broadcast I watch, so someone would always be spoiling the result for me... Grum, all the ABC/ESPN coverage has a 10 sec. delay that the BBC and other chanels dont. So far (at least) the Brits in campfire have not been able to type fast enough to say GOOOAAL before we see it with the delay (damn Janet Jackson and her nipple ring). Im going to miss the fun till Saturday as I am going to visit my mom (ok mum squealy) for a few days. Cisse! all, and a hearty Laser Jesus to you Mr. B (all assholeness forgivin). on preview, what yfm said

posted by Folkways at 07:13 AM on June 20

The predictions are logical, but as far as Group E goes, I'm inclined to disagree on both ends. I don't think Italy plays for the tie, because then if Ghana wins, Italy gets stuck with Brazil. They'll go for the win. Dunno if they'll get it, but Italy is the better team right now, IMO. Plus, I don't think they'll want to go into the second round on two straight lackluster efforts. As for Ghana-USA, Ghana played the game of their lives on Saturday, and will be hard-pressed to repeat that effort, especially without the two guys who scored the goals. The players the USA will be missing are more replaceable, IMO. I think USA should be the favorites, but it remains to be seen if they can earn a goal of their own.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:47 AM on June 20

How does one find this campfire you guys are on?

posted by Ricardo at 03:06 PM on June 20

Bit surprised by the Germany v. Ecuador result. Ecuador's defence had looked good so far. Germany have this annoying knack of coming right at the right time though, kind of like Brazil, but at the other end of the spectrum of what wins football games. England v. Sweden was a predictable result (a draw) but a better game than predicted. Looking at Owen's knee when he went down I think his cruciate is done. Four months minimum. I hope I'm wrong.

posted by walrus at 03:56 PM on June 20

Ricardo, see here. And ssshhhh.

posted by yerfatma at 04:39 PM on June 20

Cruciate it is. Owen is done for the tournament.

posted by psmealey at 08:41 AM on June 21

Man, I saw Michael fall backwards and knew right away he was done for a long time. How sad is it, he should never have Liverpool because nothing's gone right for him since. And yeah, didn't my picks suck? At least we can point out that Ghana beat Czech "FIFA #2" Republic worse than us.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:50 PM on June 22

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