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.