England 2 - 2 Sweden: Tanto nadar para ahogarse en la orilla...
Everything went wrong for England tonight. After weeks of hype about the night when Owen and Rooney would start together, the partnership lasted exactly 3 minutes, when Owen took what seemed like a bad injury and was stretchered off. This took them right back to where they were before Rooney recovered: with a gangly 2 meter clutz bearing the burden of the attack alongside a very talented striker who is still recovering from injury, with the other talented striker definitely hurt. It's just that Owen and Rooney switched roles.
Joe Cole was the only good news for England. He put in one of the best goals of the tournament, added a superb pass to set up England's other goal, and he created chances out of thin air time and again. The Swedish defenders had no clue how to deal with him at all.
Still, it's damn hard to win the world cup with great midfielders but only so-so strikers. If Owen is out of the tournament my prediction that England can win the Cup looks pretty unlikely.
On the other hand, the Swedes were definitely much better than against Paraguay, especially in the second half, and especially in the air. I know a lot of Latin Americans think the air game is just an aberration, but it's the weapon they have and they can't be blamed for using it, and using it well. Sweden deserved their tie.
Still, I can't imagine that this kind of shenanigan is going to work against Germany. Or that Ecuador can do to England on the ground what Sweden did to them in the air.