Saturday, June 24, 2006

The World Cup from the eyes of a casual fan

It looks like Germany has this one wrapped up. They're up 2-0 at the half, they've dominated the scoring opportunities, and the ref just sent Swedish player Teddy Lucic off on two weak yellow cards. I couldn't believe they kicked a player out of the game for sticking his hand out to slow down a player at mid-field. I recognize that a foul should have been called, but that was a terrible reason to kick a player out of a playoff match. If Sweden can score one early in the second half, things will get interesting. Otherwise, it's hard to stay excited. It's always nice to see the host country stay alive in the knockout round, as hometown fans add an air of excitement to any match.

It's too bad that so many of these games are played during the workday. I've taped a couple games, and watched them when I get home from work, but it's tough to get through the day without accidentally overhearing how the game went.

I was hoping for a good result from the US soccer team. Given how high they were ranked
at the beginning of the tournament, winning a couple games in the knockout stage would've given a chance for the sport to gain some media exposure here. After the 3-0 loss to the Czechs, the US played well enough against Italy to keep their hopes alive, but they couldn't get the job done against Ghana.

I'm looking forward to the Argentina-Mexico game this afternoon. Outside of that, the Brazil-Ghana and Italy-Australia games intrigue me the most.