Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Three Days Gone

It's been three crazy days of the 2011 WCP Cup and I'm finally able to take a second and reflect. Monday night was the first night where things kind of went as planned - no upsets, no surprises, nothing shocking - and so it's time to take stock.

Germany is not as good as they think they are. Poland handled Germany in convincing fashion on Sunday night and if they played again today I'd say Poland would be a heavy favourite. The German strategy of playing strikers high and in the box is an OK one, but when its not working you've got to change things up. I'm not sure the Germans are flexible enough as a team to make it out of the pool.

Jamaica and Nigeria are in trouble. Both teams were disappointing to say the least in their openers. Jamaica had a tough opponent in Canada, but a 5-0 loss is embarassing. I'm thinking the Nigerian 4-2 loss to Greece was worse though. Nigeria had nothing going right, and you could tell as the game went on that Greece's confidence kept growing as it saw its first win in TWO YEARS on the horizon.

Ireland is stacked. Enough said right there. Nine goals in the first game and 10 in the second means you've got something going very, very right. Going to be a tough game when Norway plays them.

Sudan has a chance to make it through. Everything hinges on Wednesday night when Sudan plays El Salvador at 9:30. If Sudan can win - like it should have against Laos - then we're looking at tons of intrigue for Group A. If Sudan loses, then bye-bye possible playoff berth.

Last note: The official scores for the games are an enigma right now. CBC doesn't necessarily have everything correct. I'm going to go through the actual game sheets tonight, because that's the only thing that's certain right now. I'll keep updating the scores every day when possible.


GRE vs NOR said...

Braden, i love how you CAPS LOCK TWO YEARS for greece. Listen dude, if we dont meet up sometime this tournament, i would love to play Team Norway. Just contact our manager, Peter Makris, and we can work out a time to play.

Playmaker said...

I'm all for playing Greece. If you guys want to rent a field, pay the ref and buy the beer, I will be there. Otherwise you'll have to wait. During the tournament is a bad time to make challenges - preseason is when we usually play with nothing on the line.

Julio said...

Ok Sparticus... take a deep breath in and relax... every dog has it day, and Greece's came against Nigeria... let's not sell the farm over one win... do your talking on the field and leave it at that... a win has gotten you some respect... all the "Greece are going undefeated" comments have diminished most of that respect... it's only one game... and even Jose Murinho's team lost at home for the first time in 9 Years I believe... so ANYTHING is possible.. Keep playing well and no need to pump your tires so hard over ONE WIN (Yea I capped ONE WIN for ya there pal)

As for Germany, I didn't ever really buy into their hype... they have the Patterson twins and that's about it... I don't think there's an issue with playing a striker deep as many other teams have utilized that system... it's just you only have two good players and other teams like Ireland only have 2 bad players for example (That Master's guy and his kid)

As for Sudan the question still looms... are they really that good or was Laos's performance in the first match that bad... I think it may be a combination of the two... yet ES had a lapse of 5 mins were the let N.Ireland back into the back that a better team may be able to keep the tide going... so Braden is right... alot of it is riding on the Wednesday match in group A.

As for Jamaica... I was shocked when I heard they let in that many goals... I know Canada bombshelled us in exhibition play... but the defending for ES was shocking after the score was already 3-0... Hopefully Jamaica can turn it around but like I had said at the beginning of the blogging season... I see Canada definitely coming out of that group... my second pick Jamaica has a long road ahead.

Anonymous said...

The ES vs Sudan game should be pretty exciting, if the supposed Sudan players from Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver come in. Does anyone have any info on these guys?

Anonymous said...

About Greece...that first guy needs to chill...lol. With all due respect to Greece, they didn't look like a ROI/Canada team out there. They were the better or 2 bad teams in that game. #20 was the only guy that really stood out for Greece. Soft goals and hussle are what won you that game. Don't get me wrong, I hope you guys do come out swinging in all your games, but as mentioned, don't let the emotion of one win in a couple years give you false confidence about that was really going on out there.

As for Sudan, from what I've heard most if not all of those players from Calgary/Edmonton were at that first game...Wish I could see that ES/Sudan game...it'll be a great one!

While I thought Jamaica was a stronger team than a 5-0 loss to Canada, I'm not completely suprised. They are the "over hyped/under delivered" team every year it seems. Hope they can get it together to stay competitive in this pool...realistically a 3-2 record in that pool will give you a pretty good shot at even first with the amount of talent in this group...a lot of the games could go either way.

Anonymous said...

the thing is ya ROI has scored 19 goals in 2 games, i give credit for that but the two teams they played aganist are extremely weak teams, if they beat norway easily (3-0, 4-0 or 2-0 with lots of possession) then ya I would say they are goin to win the tourny

Anonymous said...

i bet ROI blows norway out by 3 goals... at least 3!

Anonymous said...

To be quite honest ... I don't know why people are saying Norway is all that good. Ireland will beat them just like all the other teams. I'm guessing it will be something like 6-2, 7-3, even 9-3 or so. There will be more than 5 goals scored I'm sure. ROI will win this tournament again this year.

yadda-yadda said...

All of Sudans players are staying in Regina for the entire tournament, so they will have a full squad for every game.