I'm exhausted - one riot this morning, one riot just getting started. Just now our local netball team won nationals, and this morning Mexico beat the French handball team. (The picture on Nick's article may or may not fully convey the severity of the Huntington Park fracas.)
The international press will understandably focus on France being deep-fried garbage, but wow. If that's how they were going to perform, why bother cheating to get there? The Zidane era seems a million years ago now. Patrice Evra agrees, even though Patrice Evra probably should talk a good deal less from here on in. (Connecticut Post link chosen because the headline was apparently written by intern Borat Sagdiyev.)
Evra may be overstating the disaster. They could still make the second round - just kidding, they're dust. But this performance wasn't noticeably worse than the gag job in 2002, and they made the Final four years later. We're done with France for now, but they may rise from the dead. Assuming they don't beat South Africa by nine goals or so - see below.
Not enough credit will be given to Mexico, probably because frankly they haven't accomplished anything yet. I still think they're good enough to take on Argentina and win.
Yes, everyone's jumping on the Argentina bandwagon, but for huge swathes of the game they were threatening to let Korea equalize. I'm simply not sold on Argentina yet. Yes, plenty of good teams are taking entire games off, saving their strength for real opponents.
I suppose I'm just resentful for what British Petroleum would call the "small people." It's nice that Switzerland struck a blow for the League of Little Nations, but Switzerland is as fun to cheer for as a cache of stolen Nazi gold.
Anyway, Argentina will get all nine points, because Greece is the worst team in the history of the universe. Yes, Kaita was a very naughty boy. But Torosidis dove, so much that at first blush I thought he was pulling a Rivaldo. There was at least a half second hesitation between kick and agonizing sprawl to turf. Torosidis should have seen a yellow card.
Fortunately, the soccer gods made sure Torosidis' mendacity was punished, by...giving him the winning goal, for Greece's first World Cup win ever. Those soccer gods, they can be royal pricks sometimes.
And what about the Nigerian goal? I thought at first Greece was being paid to throw the game. It bounced in? After Tzorvas dove the entirely wrong direction? Is there an MLS keeper who doesn't think he can be a European superstar at this point?
Okay, now, let's figure out who needs what to advance. I'm sure it's simply a matter of looking it up on the FIFA website.
Just kidding - I'd sooner go to Major League Soccer Soccer. I'm getting this from fellow BigSoccer poster TrueCrew. He did a great job, go read it. Uruguay and Mexico control their own destinies, France and South Africa need to sacrifice a virgin to the soccer gods - and good luck finding a virgin in those countries, because they've really ********ed themselves.
Group B? A lot more complicated than you would think, but most of this revolves around Argentina losing by three goals or more. In probability scenarios outside the quantum range, winner of Nigeria and Korea goes through, and Korea goes through with a draw. (Unless Greece draws with Argentina, which I'm going to file under "yeah, right.")
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go throw a trash can at some police officers.