JLo’s beginner’s guide to the World Cup: Spain goes down, an Aussie stunner, and Cameroon brings the back the People’s Elbow
Really big news coming out of the World Cup yesterday, and no, I do not mean defending champion Spain getting bounced out of the tournament before the group stages ended. I mean of course that my prediction mojo is back and in full swing (and will likely crash and burn now that I have tempted fate and thumbed my nose at the gods – please don’t punish me Zeus/Olivier!). Since I had the good sense to jump off the Spain bandwagon, my daily predictions have gotten a heck of a lot more accurate and…(Hi, this is the 25% of JLo that is full of crushing doubt. I think 75% insufferable arrogance JLo is getting a bit out of hand, so allow me to bring him back down to earth. So big deal, you’re writing these little World Cup missives in your spare time and predicting games pretty well. What has that gotten you? Bupkis, that’s what. Ok, my work is done here. Thanks for reading.)
…Whoa, all of a sudden I’m full of doubt about my eventual predications today. Weird. Anyway, yesterday was another day of ridiculously entertaining games, with Australia giving The Netherlands all they could handle, including Tim Cahill’s wonder strike, Chile dominating Spain in front of their tremendously passionate fans, and Croatia basically sitting back and watching Cameroon implode and then slipping four goals passed them. Seriously, a Cameroon player, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, head-butted one of his own teammates during the match, while teammate Alex Song decided to randomly attempt to land one of The Rock’s People’s Elbow on an unsuspected Croatia player and got himself a red card. Fun bit of trivia: Song’s cousin Rigobert played for Cameroon in both the 1994 and 1998 and was sent off in both of those tournaments. How great is that?
Check out Cahill’s nomination for goal of the tournament here.
Just FYI, that’s an MLS player connecting on that beautiful goal there. Watch it again and ponder the tremendous concentration and skill on Cahill’s part to track the ball in flight and connect with his left foot on the volley. You see players attempt that shot all the time and probably 9 in 10 end up scuffing the shot of missing the ball altogether.
Enjoy some of the Cameroon follies here.
Man of the match: Benoit Assou-Ekotto. Anyone who attacks a teammate during the game wins my award automatically.
So, two big matches loom today with Columbia and Ivory Coast battling for supremacy in Group C and England and Uruguay battling to stay alive in Group D. I might have been talked into picking Ivory Coast in this match before the tournament started, but my Man City rock Yaya Toure looked a few steps off the pace and not nearly 100% fit, which doesn’t bode well for Ivory Coast’s chances. So, give me Columbia 3-1 in the opener. Despite some defensive fragilities and a couple of dodgy performances in the opener (Gerrard, Rooney, I’m looking at you), I thought England played well and showed some real attack promise. My head thinks Uruguay would have edged this one if Louis Suarez had been coming into the tournament, but my heart is easily swayed and is siding with the English, 2-1.
Cheers and happy viewing.