Living out on the West Coast, these 4 a.m. matches are tricky. Being a night owl, I could either: A) Pull an all-nighter and try to catchup on sleep later, or B) Go to bed early and try to wake up.
(There’s also C: DVRing the match, but that feels like cheating.)
On Saturday, after a full day of drinking (I had Guinness for breakfeast) I passed out around 6 p.m. and woke up around 10 p.m. With my nap completed, I figured I could battle through my tiredness and watch the rest of Group C.
I was wrong.
I knew watching Algeria and Slovenia was going to be more work than fun, but I underestimated how boring it is watching two teams wait until the other one does something really stupid.
By halftime, as entertaining as it was watching John Harkes try to analyze a match without knowing the names of half the players, I went to bed. I can only appreciate a well-organized defense for so long.
I woke up a few hours later, fast-forward until the red card and watched Slovenia score on the second goalkeeping blunder of Group C (though nothing compares to Green’s gaff).
The U.S. should beat both these teams, but Slovenia won’t be easy to score against. I’ll write more about this in the coming days, but when you’re always the underdog, it can be difficult when you’re the favorite. The U.S. has no trouble being the better team in CONCACAF qualifying, but it hasn’t been the case in World Cups.
The Slovenia match won’t have the hype of the England match, but it’s even more important the U.S. gets a result.
Ghana wins one for Africa
ESPN had the superlatives flying when Ghana beat Serbia 1-0. Jurgen Klingsman even said we had just witnessed “a historic event” with an African team winning a World Cup match on African soil.
In truth, unless you’re a Ghanaian or Serbian you’re not going to remember the score of this match in three weeks. Just because Ghana is on the continent on Africa, doesn’t mean winning a World Cup match in Africa is a ground-breaking event. Kind of cool, but leave it there (I’m a real scrooge aren’t I?).
In the match itself, I thought Serbia was slightly better and a draw would have been a fairer result. The Serbs struggled in the final third and Ghana got lucky with the handball and took advantage.
Germany is legit
I was one of the people who thought Germany would struggle to score goals and Serbia had a chance to take this group.
Germany gave the performance of the tournament thus far, humiliating a poor Austraila team. The Germans did everything they wanted to: controlled the ball, strong defensively, dangerous on the wings, finished their chances — everything. They looked like title favorites and have gone from 16/1 to 8.5/1 to hoist the trophy.
Also, does it go without saying Ally McCoist is the best color guy for ESPN. There’s something about a Scot giving color that’s so enjoyable.
Holland 2, Denmark 0
Japan 1, Cameroon 1
Paraguay 1, Italy 0
Japan and Cameroon tie — +210 — $5 to win $10.50
Paraguay to beat Italy — +270 — $10 to win $27
Individual matches: 0-1 (loss $10)
Prop bets: 0-0 (loss $0)
Parlays: 1-0 (made $9.32). I packaged Argentina and Germany together.
Over\Under: 1-1 (made $.50). Picked the under in the Algeria-Slovenia match.
Future: 0-0 (10 pending, 0 wins, 0 losses)
Total: Loss $.18.
You can get my most up-to-date bets on Twitter at IntelSoccer.