World Cup Daily: Germany falters, England limp, U.S. remarkable
Last weekend the
At half time,
But Bradley took the right decisions at the interval, and key players such as
But now is the wrong time to hold the inquest. Germany, too, will be left to wonder how differently its meeting with Serbia might have ended without the referee's erroneous intervention. England would love the luxury of blaming the officials, but has only its own drab performance to blame for a goalless draw with Algeria. We've spent the past week moaning about how dull the World Cup is, and now all three results today leave groups C and D wide open. I'm looking forward to the game of musical tables that next week's simultaneous kickoffs promise.
Inevitably, Donovan's name is everywhere this afternoon. And in the second half, he took the game by the scruff of the neck and gave it a good shake. But the U.S. team's second goalscorer, Michael Bradley, was one of the few players who can take credit for his performance on both sides of halftime. While those around him struggled to play their own game with Slovenia dominating possession, Bradley's passing settled instantly into a metronomic rhythm. In the absence of anything like what we were expecting from
Given how frequently they find their way in here, perhaps we should rename this section "Goalkeeping nightmare of the day." Donovan's goal to start the U.S.'s comeback against Slovenia was hardly a craftless clogger's punt, but
The German-Serbia post-mortem will focus on the referee's performance and the first German penalty miss in normal play since 1974, which means the life that
One of the most pleasing aspects of the World Cup so far has been the quality of the refereeing -- not perfect, but good enough to have only become a talking point for the right reasons. So who saw today coming? Refereeing Germany v Serbia,
Deciding to keep faith with Findley didn't go down too well, but Bob Bradley came out of today pretty well, trying Torres and reacting quickly when it didn't work. Both U.S. goals were scored within a few minutes of substitutions. Maybe not rocket science, but certainly more proactive than anyone on the England bench.
"Nice to see your own fans booing you. Thanks for your support" -- a scowling
0 -- the number of crosses played by England today that reached their target.
Tomorrow's early kickoff is the Netherlands' meeting with Japan, who will provide more energetic opposition than Denmark did a few days ago. The Japanese have promised to "run the Dutch into the ground" and interrupt the flow of balls from midfield to the Netherlands' forwards. These teams met as recently as September, however, when the Dutch won 3-0.
There's an intriguing match up from Group D at 10 a.m. (ET), with Australia taking on Ghana. Australia's performance against Germany was poor, and lacked any attacking strength; things will be worse tomorrow for the absence through suspension of
Cameroon and Denmark go into their second matches in varying degrees of disarray, depending on the accuracy of reports. Apparently disagreements amongst the Cameroon players have simmered down, but senior players have now picked an argument with coach