I believe that it is largely useless to make assumptions about one elite team’s performance in a tournament like this based upon another elite team’s performance in the same tournament. Because Portugal beat North Korea 7-0 and Brazil only won 2-1 and Brazil beat Ivory Coast 3-1 while Portugal could not muster a goal against them, bear in mind that Brazil had the opportunity to scout Ivory Coast when they played Portugal and Portugal had the same opportunity when North Korea played Brazil. Of course it’s always valuable for a coach to watch videos of games during qualification (friendlies, IMHO are not a good indicator of a team’s potential), it’s far more important to see how a team is playing recently than how they played months ago.
Hugo Almeida looks like he’d be a good bouncer. Perhaps when he retires he should get together with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Emile Heskey and Adriano to form their own bodyguard firm. They have to be the most physically imposing group of forwards I’ve ever seen.
With today’s victory for Portugal, I believe it’s safe to say that Ivory Coast has an almost insurmountable goal differential to make up against North Korea. They have to beat North Korea by at least ten goals and hope Brazil beats Portugal or hope that Brazil reduces the goal differential significantly in defeating Portugal. Good luck with that. It will be fun to see Drogba playing against North Korea’s defense.
Somebody likes the Jabulani.
One of the benefits of watching a game as a recording is that you have the opportunity to keep an eye on certain players. I watched Valon Behrami before he was sent off and frankly, he was behaving thuggishly all game until his red card. The referee had ample opportunity to card him before and probably should have. That being said, considering that he had just whacked Jean Beausejour in the face seconds before he did the same to Arturo Vidal, I can’t gin up too much sympathy for him, despite Vidal’s dramatic fall.
Chile was offside 9 times. They’ll have to do better than that against Spain. Much better.
Much has been made of the Switzerland’s shutout streak in the World Cup. The last goal they surrendered in the World Cup prior to today was in the 1994 World Cup. If you throw in Euro 1996, Euro 2004 and Euro 2008 as well as the World Cup this year, they have surrendered 14 goals while scoring 10, for a -4 goal differential.
Chile had as many shots on target as Switzerland had shots: 7.
Chile will miss Carlos Carmona who is not eligible for the Spain game due to yellow card accumulation. Chile has been great in controlling the midfield in both games and they’ll need all the help they get against Spain.
David Villa may rue the penalty kick miss, if he doesn’t already.
I’m impressed by Chile’s play, but they have yet to face a team that moves the ball as well as Spain. On the other hand, Spain has yet to face a team that can actually attack consistently. I still believe that may favor Spain a bit based on their performance against Switzerland. Both Spain and Brazil have been frustrated by bunker style defenses.
David Villa’s first goal was gorgeous. As a Barcelona fan, I can’t wait to see him paired with Leo Messi next year.
Tomorrow, due to prior commitments we’re just going to have open threads. I’m back Wednesday with the hope that we can discuss how the USA advanced.