October 20, 2020

2010 World Cup Vignettes: What we know about Group C

General:

• World powerhouse, England, and a scrappy, up-and-coming US team beat up on Slovenia and Algeria and slide easily into the knockout round, right? Nope!

• We have controversy; we have drama; we have The Holy Grail of sports: the World Cup.

Group C:

How tasty is this? Going into the final round of group play, any of the four teams in this group still have an opportunity to advance to the knockout phase. The variables are many; therefore, I won’t elaborate on all scenarios. If I know my audience, however, here’s what most readers of this commentary need to know: the US and England advance if they defeat Algeria and Slovenia respectively (win = in).

I sense England and the U.S. handle business and move forward, but this is the World Cup. Expect the US v. Algeria to be a more open game, with both teams needing goals/points to feel secure about advancement. Slovenia may adapt a defensive strategy and “park the bus” in front of the Slovenia goal knowing they need only tie England to advance.

The hyperbole leading up to the group’s first match between England and the U.S. was insane. Soccer fans around the world filled pubs, hoisted pints and fixated on giant televisions to witness what turned out to be a decent match.

England jumped quickly into the lead when England’s captain, Steven Gerrard, tallied at the four-minute mark. Thirty-six minutes later, U.S. midfielder, Clint Dempsey, found himself with the ball at his feet, just outside England’s penalty area. Dempsey pivoted and struck the ball low and right at English keeper, Robert Green. Green initially appeared to handle the shot easily, and then the unthinkable: Green fumbled the ball and it dribbled across the goal line.

Against the run of play, the US snatched a point from the jaws of defeat and hung on to tie England 1-1. This was a tremendous result for the US as it managed to get a point against the group’s highest ranked team and would, presumably, face lesser competition in its other group matches, right? Not so fast Speed Racer.

Slovenia, the smallest country in the World Cup, scored a late goal against a 10-man Algerian team to secure first place in the group after the first round of games. Unbelievable! I don’t even know where Slovenia and Algeria are on a map.

Commentary:

We’ve heard and read much about England’s struggles to get results and the injustice suffered by the US team by a terrible piece of officiating. That’s yesterday’s news, and I hope both teams can put earlier matches behind them and focus on the task at hand.

I have to say, also, how proud I am of “Team USA” for the fight, maturity and determination exhibited. This team has no quit in them and they are—in my opinion—the best US team fielded at a World Cup final. Good on you guys regardless of what happens tomorrow. Buen suerte.

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  1. […] to know: the US and England advance if they defeat Algeria and Slovenia respectively (win = in). source Topics: Breaking Newsenglandteamup-and-coming us teamworld […]

  2. […] 2010 World Cup Vignettes: What We Know About Group C … I don’t even know where Slovenia and Algeria are on a map . Commentary: We’ve heard and read much about England’s struggles to get results and the injustice suffered by the US team by a terrible piece of officiating. …Page 2 […]

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