Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Czech out your pacemakers!

If the two previous days were on the boring side, in spite of occasional bright spot such as the tribal dancing from the Ivorian players, tomorrow might be high noon. We will have everything: supsense, the last chance for some teams to show they deserved to play in this Cup, drama as much as you can have, and probably some ridicule too.

Of course, the real group of death is settling accounts. In group E everything can happen. Italy can crown itself as a favorite or find the back door quickly before the fans storm the field. Ghana can redeem Africa's hope or prepare an expiation dance as its neighbours did. The United States can demonstrate it is willing to play with the world according to world rules, or go back to its parrochial World Series. And the Czech, well, they can show that they are more than a Smetana ditty, that they are the Slav March (did anyone realize that there are 5 Slav countries in the tournament and that they are not doing any better than the 5 African ones?).

At any rate, Italy versus Czechland will be a tough clash. Nedved knows the Italians better than anyone else outside of Italy. We might even hope he does not think he is playing with his Italians buddies ;) But what will be horrendous is that Italy qualifies with a tie and they will block the game, they will not be able to resist the temptation of doing what they do best: give football a bad name. Period. Expect high drama and unacountable delays. And imagine if the Czech score first? Three quick replacement to rebuild an attack?

The US and Ghana will put it all on the table as they both need to win to go to the next round. If all tie, Italy and the Czechs move up. If either one wins, then it has a very fair chance to move up. Adn either one can win! They are both reckless teams. A match to watch!

The other games in group F will be less nerve racking. Brazil is in, and Japan must go all out to take 3 points and hope for a draw in Australia-Croacia. Who knows what can happen as Brazil might not care enough since it is all but certain to be the first in the group (Australia would have to pull a victory over Croacia by 4 points!). As for Croacia versus Australia? who knows! I will root for the soceroos of course but I must confess that I have no idea how that one will go, or even if it is worth watching! No matter what, the interest in this group is that three of them need a victory to have a chance to pass, while Brazil might lose a game, as it always does in the first round :) Attack game anyone?


Blogger Francisco said...

Shouldn't that be "Czech out your pacemaker"?

...just looking out for quality punning, that's all...

8:11 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

You are right... how could have I missed that one.... i should read the guardian more often!

10:06 AM  

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