The USA let down their guard at the worst possible time against Portugal and now hopes to avoid paying the ultimate price. If that game had ended 10 seconds earlier, the US would have 6 points and be guaranteed of a place in the next round. Now, they have everything to play for against the tournament's best non South American team. If the US can win or tie, they go through. If Portugal and Ghana tie, the US goes through no matter how they play against Germany. But if the US loses and the results go wrong for them in the Portugal vs Ghana match, the US will be on the outside looking in. After being eliminated by Ghana in the last two World Cups, there is a very real possibility that Ghana will send America home again, even though the Stars and Stripes won the head to head matchup in the opener. If Ghana wins and the US loses and either match finishes with a 2 goal or greater difference (eg Ghana 3 - Portugal 1 or Germany 2 - US 0) the US would be out. This was labeled the group of death before the tournament began and it is living up to that name. Germany, who is leading the group, could still go home, if the US beats them and Ghana routes Portugal. That is my favorite scenario and would mean the US and Ghana would advance, but don't count on that.
In the last group to play, Belgium has already advanced, and Algeria has the inside track at joining them. South Korea and Russia still both have a chance to advance also, so there should be some decent attacking in every game.
In the BISERGS battle to get all 4 teams into the next round Krista appears to have the best chance, but Annika and Rachel also have an inside track towards a four for four first round. For Rick and Dawn to celebrate would almost certainly require heartbreak for the US. The relevant matches are Germany (Krista) vs USA (Annika), Portugal (Rick and Dawn) vs Ghana and Algeria (Rachel) vs Russia.
I would love for the USA to win this game, but I have to admit that this first goal in the game (by Germany) was a beauty.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Ronaldo, for helping the US qualify for the next stage, altho their performance today against Germany was less than stellar.ReplyDelete
I have a soft spot for Algeria. If you check back my posts in the draw stage, you will find the message in which I offered Rachel and Bill an exchange of England for Algeria. They were wise to refuse, but I was wise to have offered, because Algeria yielded 5.75 BISERGS pts. to England's 1 point.ReplyDelete
Oops, I forgot that Krista had Russia, too. So, she got Germany into the next round, but Russia didn't make it. That mean only Annika and Rachel have four teams going forward.ReplyDelete