- Ireland is the class of the tournament again, even after losing a bunch of good players. The Irish weathered the Sudanese storm then casually asserted their dominance over a plucky Somalian squad.
- Sudan is athletic, exciting and I would bet money they somehow blow a gimme game except there isn't another good team in Group A. Watch out quarterfinals upset.
- Canada and Laos are looking pretty impressive. Canada beat lowly Northern Ireland, but it was a clinical destruction. Laos took apart a promising Afghanistan squad. When these two teams meet, first place will be on the line.
- Jamaica is better than last year. I admit that's not high praise, but it's at least complimentary. I like the new guy they picked up and puting Troy at the back for the entire game is also a smart decision.
- Afghanistan has potential. Whether it can turn that potential into more than two wins is another matter. I look forward to Afghanistan vs Jamaica because that game determines which team gets respectability from 2012.
- Group C is significantly more exciting after that Nigeria and Poland tie. Both teams were solid, but that single point will hang over everything right until the final day.
- Nigeria has attacking power, but can it consistently score? In past years Nigeria has been frustrating to watch as it creates chances and then squanders them. There was a potential win available against Poland and Nigeria missed three quality chances before barely getting the equalizer.
- Poland had an early wake-up call. No more let down games for a tournament favourite or 2012 will be an official bust.
- Germany was a confident team against Portugal. When the Germans play Nigeria and Poland it will need to have better midfield presence. The return of the Pattersons should definitely help.
- Group D is no longer the group of death. More like the group of two good teams and four not-so-good ones.
- Norway and France took care of business in their openers while El Salvador and Greece sputtered feebly. I don't blame Greece because expectations were low from the start, but El Salvador losing to Italy? Yikes.
- France vs Norway on Saturday night should decide this group.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Quick Thoughts on Opening Weekend
Every team has played at least one game and although the sample size is small, there's no better time than a boring Tuesday for some quick analysis.
Posted by Playmaker at 10:13 AM