The Qualification Dance

Seeing as how I'm going to be watching a lot of soccer today, I just thought I'd drop this post in and update it throughout the day as thoughts occur to me.

Russia v. Germany

* So who wins the impersonator contest between the keepers? Akinfeev should get the nod for his "Iker Casillas," but he's missing the 2009-vintage beard. Ah well, at least he's keeping reasonably up to date on Facebook, as this Wednesday entry demonstrates...

As for Germany's René Adler? Well, he's on Facebook too (note the awesome cell phone self-portrait), but the 80's Duran Duran look isn't even in the right genre, is it?

* Germany sure is a tall team. Phillip Lahm must feel like a midget. Facebook? Yep. And he's pretty popular boy to boot (though no less original)...

* Whither the waves of dynamic Hiddink-ian assault?

* Sigh. Not quite the dramatic night in Russia, was it? Even down a man, Germany never looked worried. Which just goes to show you: never bet against Germany in a high-stakes international match...

Bahrain v. New Zealand

* Only caught the last 20 minutes. Big step for the Kiwis, as they escape with a goalless draw on the road. Of course, given the quality of the finishing on display (from what I saw), I think we can confidently predict that whichever of these sides qualifies will go three and out with nary a goal scored to speak of...

Sweden v. Denmark

* Lots of sound and fury from both sides in a pretty open game, but the chances are pretty much all coming from range and getting blocked or partially blocked. So do I take a chance on Italy-Ireland, knowing that both coaches are Italian or stick with this one?

Ireland v. Italy

* Good choice by me to watch a dramatic one. Italian coaches shipping set piece goals?

* So as an Irish defender charges out of position and allows Italy to scamper off on a late, late counter chance, I say to my daughter, "this is going to end badly for Ireland." And she says, "How do you know?" To which I have three possible replies, but I go with, "Ireland is excited that they're doing Italy in their home park, and their defense just got carried away with enthusiasm to win a tackle and is out of position." Sensible. But I could have also gone with, "C'mon, girl! This is freakin' Italy, it's what they always do," or the sad but true, "I watch enough DC United to know what happens next."

* Italian TV does 10-15 second spots whenever a substitution is made. Don't let American TV know, because then we'll be inundated with micro-commercials whenever there's an injury, the ball goes out of play, etc...


  1. Did you notice the miniscule dimensions of the field in Bahrain? It looked like a high school field - you could pass the ball on the ground from touchline to touchline - I saw that at the beginning and knew it would be a nil-nil draw. When I woke up from my nap an hour and a half later, I was right!

  2. To be fair, it looked like Bahrain's lack of ability in front of goal had as much to do with the game ending goalless as the field dimensions. Now that you mention it though, that track looked suspiciously wide by comparison...