How the hell are you supposed to get any quality work done during this World Cup?
I’m struggling at the minute and I expect it will only get tougher this week as the group phase enters it’s final round of games. Before I look at that let’s just reflect on today’s matches.
Belgium and Russia stunk up one of the world’s greatest sporting venues, the Maracana, but the tournament’s ‘dark horses’ managed a late strike to win 1-0 and progress. Are the Belgians slow starters? You know, like Italy used to be. They certainly seem to be the closest thing to the Spain of 2010 in this tournament, which I guess isn’t a bad thing if they intend to win. I’m still not sold, so we’ll see.
Anyway, that match, taped as it was, was easily deleted as Nathan and I settled in to watch Korea get battered by Algeria. I certainly didn’t see that coming. Algeria were a horrible, horrible watch in their first game while I also have this (probably stereotypical) image that any Korean side will be able to defend. Well, this match threw both those preconceptions out the door.
The North Africans were 3-0 up by half time and cruising. Korea were shot all over the pitch. The first 15 minutes of the second half saw the Korean comeback. They should have got themselves level during that time. Instead they only had one (their shooting was like their first half defending), then Algeria grabbed a fourth, Korea got a second and after a frantic final ten minutes it finished.
Time to squeeze in some work before setting up for the USA v Portugal match. What a cracker that turned out to be. It had all the elements of an Amazonian classic (yesterday‘s word) but really was just par for the course for Group G. This is no longer the Group of Death… it’s the Group of Amazing. Portugal’s goal a million minutes into added time saved them for a few more days, but they didn’t look great and I expect Ghana will put them out of their misery. Which means they’ll probably cruise it.
Forget how the players feel after 90 minutes plus in that heat and spare a thought for the hardy spectators sitting halfway ’round the world who have to get up early and sit through all that edge of the seat madness. I need a break. I guess I won’t get one any time soon. Just go to Plan B instead – reach for another coffee.
I’ll have an important choice to make this week when it come to watching the games. Should I get up at 4am and watch the two simultaneous early games, or choose one to tape and get up an hour later and watch it through until kick-off in the late games (while foregoing the other early game)?
We’ll have to wait and see. More planning required.
Score picking update
I did okay today, picking a couple of the results but no correct scores. The Algerians buggered things up for me a bit, though.
Picks for Day 12
Australia 1-2 Spain, Holland 2-2 Chile, Cameroon 0-3 Brazil, Croatia 1-0 Mexico.