World Cup Daily: U.S. heroic, Greece putrid, Messi shines
Good things don't always come to those who wait. Greece waited 16 years to get to another World Cup, and gave a terrible account of itself in the day's opening game. England vs. USA was one of the most anticipated matches for some time on both sides of the Atlantic, but ended in a 1-1 draw that failed to show the best of either team. Only Argentina was rewarded for its patience, earning three points against Nigeria to silence the doubters, at least for now.
As an aside, a British boffin has decided that now is the time to rubbish FIFA's claims that the World Cup is made of solid gold. Nottingham University's
It's hard to ignore
Greece really can be as bad as last time. It hadn't qualified for the finals since its dismal showing at USA 94, when it bombed out with three defeats and a goals column of 0-10. But it had won Euro 2004 in the meantime, and top-scored in its (admittedly uninspiring) qualifying group to get here via the playoffs, so we can be forgiven for hoping for better than the insipid display we got earlier today.
"To begin a World Cup in winning fashion gives you a certain sense of calmness" -- Maradona, after spending 90 minutes leaping around his technical area, frantically gesturing to his players, and dishing out hugs and kisses.
Confirmation of the battle in midfield during England v USA: pass completion rate was 64.54 percent, the lowest of any game so far. South Africa v Mexico tops the list with 73.21 percent of passes completed.
Algeria's new captain
Previews to the World Cup focused on Serbia's tough defense, and then they leaked three goals in a 4-3 friendly win over Cameroon. Which is probably why Muntari says Ghana "don't know quite what to expect." Probably a cagey affair, as both sides fancy their chances of making the knockouts alongside Germany.
The Germans in turn, face Australia tomorrow, and