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Discussion Starter #1
JureM, Since you're partly responsible for a number of us pulling for the "Checkerboards," why don't you keep us up to date once in a while? I try to go to their forum to test the waters, but it is not particularly easy.

Whoa, have you been to the Portugues Forum? Very unhappy campers, there. They're mad at the coach, the players, the refs, the forum modrators and the French and Italians. The only people they're not mad at it seems are the American players and fans! I appreciate the class the guys from their forum showed by congratulating us over here.

The Irish are just damned glad to still be in it with their last second goal against Germany. They all still have headaches! Duff and Keane are really tough little players. I would like to see them more often. The Irish gave up 40lbs a man to the Germans!

Anybody see the Russians? It was hard to tell rather they were good in and of themselves, or rather if Tunisia was just not very competitive. I suspect the former. They had a couple of guys with rocket shots. Early and often Tommy Smythe said the heat was wilting the Russians. Seemed to me they were going as hard in the 85th minute as they were in the 5th.

Three CONCAF teams still in it. I cannot bring myself to pull for but two of them. Nonetheless, still a good showing for our federation!

Enough of this. Keep us posted with links and news.

Oldplayer
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Speaking of other teams, France worked to even stay alive with their nil-nil draw this morning. Not bad for 75 minutes with 10 players.

I'll be watching the Limies and Argos go at it hammer and tongs tomorrow a.m. Should be one of the best matches of the WC. In Central Time Zone, I can watch the whole match and be "only" a "little late" for work!

Boy, I'm having fun this month. That 3-2 score has more than a little to do with it!

Oldplayer
 

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Bruce Arena after rewatching the Korea Poland match ordered our defence 12 Doggie burgers each. He has the thought that the speed of the Koreans must come from our 4 legged friends.Hey its like chicken soup it cant hurt.;)
 

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Well...Oldplayer, Croatia is just doesn't have the magic or the form like they had 4 years ago in France...many of the top players from France 98 have retired, guys like Boban, Bilic, Ladic, Asanovic, just to name a few, while those that remain are a bit old now..guys like Suker, Boksic, Prosinecki, etc. There also seems to be a problem with the coach and his defence first philosphy, which is not the true Croatian style of play. Our style is a mix of Brazilian flair and Italian counter attack which can be very confusing to opponents....this coach basically has his four defenders, and then of the midfield players, 2 of them are guys that were backs..Soldo was a central back and now plays more of a sweeper for the midfield, and Jarni is a fulback who is playing outside midfield. Other players are just not in form, many played with big clubs in England, Italy, Germany, etc. but did not play much during the season thus they are not in form.

Well the Mexico game was a disaster for the team with a 1-0. A game where they had their chances but they did not play well at all. Mexico deserved that win because they came to play, Croatia did not...now its the game vs. Italy at 5am EST Saturday and Croatia closes it out with Equador I think on the 13th of June. So, if they want to go through they are better off winning the next two games, but Italy will be hard to beat (though since Croatia's independence in 1992, Croatia has 1 win, 0 losses, and 2 ties against Italy)....we shall see....
 

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Well in the most aticipated match of the WC Argentina Loses to a much deserved England side. While 2-1/2 Million people in England called in sick today and they were not dissapointed. England stiffled the Argentine attack and ran rings around the Argentine defence. God loves drunks and Englishmen, or was it drunk Englishmen.
 

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Croatia redeemed their loss to Mexico by defeating fav Italy 2-1. A lot of luck and controversies, but a win is a win! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
JureM,

"The Ref giveth,
and the Ref taketh away."

Unbelievable! The Croats got some payback today. There is no way I can see that the first Italian goal was offsides. Not close from the vantage point of my couch.:tongue: I don't really have an opininon on the second Italian goal that was disallowed. Replays were inconclusive. Nonethelss, when one of the pre-tournament favorites like Italy has even one goal disallowed, it is unusual. To get two such calls in one game is a shocker.

The Croats took it to Italy in the first half and deserved to be up by at least one goal. Looked much improved over their performance in the first game. The young striker that was substituted in looked dangerous.

You guys are more than in it now.

Good luck!

England - Argentina? Great!

BTW My server for Xtratime recently has been SOOOOOO slow! Anyone else, or is it just me?

GO NATS! I'm greatly interested in the Turkey Costa Rica game.

GO NATS!

Oldplayer
 

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Thanks Oldplayer...

As I said in the Refs thread, the first one I don't think was offsides, the second one looked like a foul on the Italian player....anyway, Croatia looked much better today than they did against Mexico. They had some life and some pace...though it took a 1-0 deficit for them to pick up their games...I liked the young lineup and just think how much better they would be if they had igor Tudor (who is considered on of the best defenders in the World) in the Croatian lineup at the central back position....

Once again, this game came down to Italy blowing a lead, their midfield was terrible, some great saves by both goalies, and of course a hit post by the Italians....

This is the coach now in me....Croatia still can't seem to be able to put 5 passes together, which is not a good thing. I counted and there was a total of about 4 or 5 times when they were able to put together some great passes...8 was the most....
 

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The worst think about having 2 NT's to cheer for is that this nervous feeling I get before each match will come back again when the US plays Korea.....YUCK....;)
 

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imagine how us portuugese americans felt. Honestly i said it before i wanted portugal to win 110% but if they lose to any team im glad its the US.


Now i have a question for you guys about the game. Who did u think was to blame for the goals. personally most of the peeps on our board are blaming Baia. I blame the defense, who do u guys think was to blame?
 

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Ogolo...I just may have the same problem in the next round as Croatia has a chance to play the USA...I will be rooting for the refs...;)

Anyway, the Portugese defence was not solid in that game. you can't just blame one player, you have to blame the whole team....I agree with you on that Ogolo, blame the defence.
 

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thanx. And if ur 2 teams do play eachother in the first round, that does sux cause it will be the knock out rounds
 

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Ogolo...Croatia could play Portugal in that first round as welll.....;)

or South Korea....but I doubt Poland....:D
 

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What a world cup. Argentina have to win to qualify a draw would put England, and Sweden through reguardless what happens in the England v Nigeria.
France will need to win and help from others to go through. Italy loses and now needs a result to qualify. What a WC Heres the bad news The US could win there group and may still need to play Italy :confused:
 

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JureM, I thought Croatia played very well today!

OGOLO, although Baia was quite shaky at times, the defense is to blame for putting him into such situations in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OGOLO

For my part, I was so excited, I could identify very few of your players during the match. I watch our guys mostly. But, that said, I think either of our goalies would have cut off the cross on the first goal before it was played in the box. Donovan's goal was a bit of luck. There was no stopping McBrides goal once he lost his defender. Their were two ball watching defenders within a couple of yards of him. They can share the blame.

Overall, I don't think Portugal was ready for the attacking team speed we showed. That is the coaches and players fault in equal measure. That's why I agree with the posters above who said to blame it on the entire defense. We had MANY opportunities. Many of these started at midfield. These three just happened to go in and a few others just didn't.

PS, The Portos have been gracious losers on this particular Xtratime board. That's not the case everywhere. Ero flamed Italy this morning on their board. Not nice. I hope I don't have to be a gracious loser soon!

Oldplayer
 

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Oldplayer...

Are you sure the gracious ones aren't just the Americans on Xtratime:D After all they seem to be the Portuguese who talk about a silver lining because it was the US that we lost to.

I haven't yet found a positive from the game, and I have a hard time praising the US because we were just so bad.
The US did some good things which were not unexpected; they were organized in defence, packed the midfield and took away our space.

As far as the goals go, I get very sick to my stomach when I read about great goals or things of the sort. While the US did put our defense under pressure, the actual goals were absolute rubbish, and could have been scored by any team anywhere.

Seeing our keeper tangle with his defender and they end up sprawled for an open crack at goal. This goal shook their confidence in their defense and keeper.
After this goal, our players over-reacted and started to dive for any 50-50 ball, and some that were 25-75. They started to play as if the US could score on any chance they had.

Seeing the ball bounce off J Costa and into the one area that Baia couldn't reach is baffling.
Forget the third goal. That was some serious ball watching.

The best goal of the game was the US own goal. That was a serious piece of skill. To volley into the corner, leaving Friedel flat-footed was pure class

I hope you all taped the game because there is no way we can play any worse. I've seen some scary movies, but this was by far the scariest.

Soccer is a cruel game. Goals are so hard to come by that you can't just give them away easily. If you have a legit goal taken away that can be just as fatal. I'm sure my fellow Italian posters can attest to that today. This is truly a cruel game. It affects us all who love it.

While our attacking midfield is our strength, our defense has never been that bad in a competitive match. We have 2 games to redeem ourselves. Bring it on !!!
 

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Costa Rica had a terrible shooting game, as all their scoring chances all went to the moon except their one tying goal against Turkey. One linesman was atrocious as he made wrong offside calls time after time. Truly clueless!

With Mexico beating Ecuador 2-1, CONCACAF remains undefeated after five games, going 4-0-1! Being the Federation with the best record so far, what do all those CONCACAF bashers have to say now? :D
 
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