2) Survive and advance.
Style points mean nichts. (Which admonition is now really an adjunct explanation to Rule #2, though the Rules Committee is considering elevating it to Rule status at its next meeting.)
Die Nationalmannschaft 1, USMNT 0.
Given Portugal’s 2-1 W over depleted Ghana, the loss is of no consequence now. Nor, is that last second header given up to Portugal. Had the U.S. held on 2-1 then, it would not have changed a thing, assuming today’s result was the same.
Actually, if the Americans had qualified already for the knockout round prior to today, Jurgen Klinsmann more than likely would have rested most, if not all, of his starters and Germany might have rolled by 4, 5 goals or more.
For ye neophytes who might consider the United States’s advancement, “backing in,” think again. The red, white and blue moved on from the Group o’ Death fair and square.
With heavy legs on a heavy turf, the good guys generated hardly any offense at all. The German goalie spent most of the day, trimming his fingernails and checking out the fräuleins in the soaked crowd.
Defensively, the US remained pretty stalwart against the steady, heady if not scintillating German anschluss. The game had a methodical feel to it, by both squads at both ends of the pitch.
Next up in the loser-goes-home stage: More than likely Belgium, the tourney’s dark horse And Group H leader, assured of advancing. It could be Algeria, if it bests Russia, and South Korea steals one from Belgium.
* * * * *
Neymar, playing for Brazil, and Messi, playing for Argentina, each have tallied four goals in the WC so far, to lead the pack.
They both play for F.C. Barcelona in the La Liga.
So, I gotta ask: How did Barça, with the two most potent strikers extant, finish 3d during the La Liga season, behind Real Madrid and Altetico Madrid, which Barcelona rivals also played for the Champions League title?
Would a team with Michael Jordan and LeBron James, both in their prime, be a lock?1
* * * * *
One thing I love about soccer is that, no matter how chippy the contest, if a player goes down with an obvious, real injury, and the other team has the ball, that other team will kick it out of play.
When play resumes the team of the injured player will then immediately give the ball back.
* * * * *
Tonight’s the NBA draft.
I admit I’ll be watching.
If only for the hoops fix. They show a lot of game highlights, you know.
Also to see if and where Russ Smith, arguably U of L fans’ favorite player ever, is drafted? I’m also curious to see where Shabazz Napier goes, as well as Julius Randle.
The question hovering over this gang ready to prove their worth is the Joel Embiid situation. Which obviously won’t be answered tonight.
Is some team going to steal the next big man superstar?
Or, are they going to draft the next Greg Oden?
Will some team leave Parker or Wiggins or somebody else on the board, take Embiid, then have to hear the words “Sam Bowie” mentioned way too much in the future?
— Seedy K