Thursday, June 15, 2006

Crimes against futbol: Sweden vs. Paraguay

You could hand out the indictments in both directions from tonight's vaudeville in Berlin: an erratic Sweden could be prosecuted on about 30 counts of missing easy passes and a good 5 or 6 counts of choking in front of the keeper. Serious charges for sure, but far from mortal.

The rap on Paraguay is rather heavier, I'm afraid: attempted futbolicide seems likes the right word. The Paraguayans decided to play for a draw shockingly early and barely tried to get closer than 30 yards in the second half. Their soul-sapping defensive style almost paid off, except for a lovely, 89th minute goal by an exhausted but brilliant Ljunberg. Paraguay really played horrible futbol and frankly deserves to be out. Sweden was far from good, but at least they were offense-minded and of course deserved their win.

So groups A and B are more or less settled before the third game is played. Most likely, the Round of 16 will bring us Germany vs. Sweden and England vs. Ecuador - though if the Ecuadoreans manage to fight Germany to a draw they'd end up facing Sweden instead, and Germany would go against England.


Blogger ow said...

I'm going to put you on the spot - what chances do you think Ecuador has against either England or Sweden?

I have to say, in my very uninformed opinion, Ecuador has a fighting chance against either one of those to this point unimpressive teams. Sure they could lose to them, but its not unrealistic to think they could beat them either. Maybe a week ago England/Ecuador looked like a certain win for England. But I don't think it does anymore.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Mumin said...

It seems that practice makes perfect - it only takes about ten beautifully failed attempts to score one beuatiful goal. Let's hope Sweden tone down their ambitions and start playing pig football now, because the World Cup is to short to wait for another perfectly conceived goal like Ljungberg's.

Also - two games in a row with that awful all-yellow uniform!?! It almost made me confuse Sweden with Ukraine for a while.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Francisco said...

Mumin, I should explain, is my football-mad Swedish friend who's visiting me this week. We've watched an obscene amount of football these last few days - but his blood only ever seems to get pumping for Sweden. BTW, pig futbol? The last refuge of the desperate...


The way Sweden is attacking, Ecuador has a chance against them. England is a different story altogether - I think they'll improve over the next few games, because they have heaps and mounds of talent both on the starting team and the bench. Sweden, though? Well, even Mumin thinks they could pull it off - it'd be a one-goal game...

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What makes Mumin so sure that Sweden will even be in the Round of 16? If the yellow lose to Eng, and T&T beats Paraguay? That would be a real nightmare for the Swedes...

11:09 AM  

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