Saturday, June 12, 2010

Groups A and B (and C)

Game one in the Group Stage is complete for A and B. ESPN and ABC were throwing around a lot of stats today about Game one winners advancing past the GS about 86% of the time and losers only 8% of the time. It can be frustrating when this happens. No time frame was mentioned or number of games studied nor was anything said about teams that draw in the first game. Bottom line; throw that stuff out.

Out of the two groups and the games this weekend I think I was surprised the most with the Mexico South Africa draw. With the difficulty of the group the numbers say that South Africa should have won that game. I wasn't able to see the game but from what I've read it seems that SA should have gotten 3 pts out of it. I am very surprised with the result, especially when you consider the host nation always makes it out of the group. That said, the goalless draw between France and Uruguay helped save SA chances. Had 3 pts been awarded SA would have a mountain to climb.

Argentina played extremely well today in Group B and proved themselves to be in a completely different league then Nigeria, South Korea and Greece. In fact. I don't know what league Greece is playing in. The very much lived up to their 0-0-3 WC record. They also kept the zero WC goals streak going. The only thing they did do was keep Korea from scoring 3 goals against them (their average margin of loss). I have picked Nigeria to advance with Argentina. I wasn't able to see enough from Nigeria to tell how well they will play against Korea, but that will be the critical game for both of them.

Now... the US. I'm exhausted after the game. It was one of the most exciting events I've ever seen on TV. From the England side it was not surprising the game ended in a 1-1 draw. What was surprising is that the US kept England out of the net. I felt like England played deep in the US side in the second half and clearly showed they had more talent. But the US did what it had to do. Helped out by a mistake in goal.

I guess what I'm saying is that the England draw was not a shocker, but the US to draw against England is a pretty big deal.

I'm very much looking forward to the Algeria v. Slovenia game tomorrow. Algeria should get out of there with 3 pts. Putting them in charge of the group and making that game against the US THE game of the tournament.

So on to the important things... how was Claddagh today? Great, rabidly pro American and each English fan that entered was promptly boooed and got a fierce USA chant. We witnessed more then one couple boooed out of the pub. I watched most of the Argentina v Nigeria game there then came back to watch England play well but tie --- yet again.

There has not been any statistical anomalies in the first five games. The US only allowing one goal is the only thing remotely out of the norm, but not anomalous.

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