Thursday, June 15, 2006

World Cup predictions, Take 2

It would seem that I stopped blogging about the World Cup right around the time that, oh, the United States suffered an embarrassing and crushing defeat at the hands of (granted, the #2 ranked team in the world) the Czech Republic. I am still hoping, of course, that we somehow manage to rally against the Italians to make it out of the first round. But the loss, quite frankly, was deserved. And, given the luck of the draw, the best the United States could manage would be a second-place finish in this group, which means the next team we would play would be… Brazil.

In any case, having now watched all the first-round games (or at least most of them), my brackets have changed a little. I now think that the “surprise” teams won’t come from Africa, but there will be a few Latin American spoilers around. That said, interestingly enough, my original prediction for the final two remains.

Here are my predictions – with potential scores!:

In the Round of 16:
GERMANY d. England, 3-1
NETHERLANDS d. Mexico, 2-1 <--(this should be a good game)
CZECH REPUBLIC d. Australia, 3-1
SWITZERLAND d. Ukraine, 1-0
ECUADOR d. Sweden, 2-1
ARGENTINA d. Portugal, 2-1 (penalty kicks)
BRAZIL d. Italy 2-1
SPAIN d. France

Quarterfinals:
NETHERLANDS d. Germany, 2-1
SWITZERLAND d. Czech Republic, 2-1 (penalty kicks)
ARGENTINA d. Ecuador, 2-1
SPAIN d. Brazil, 2-1

Semifinals:
NETHERLANDS d. Switzerland, 3-1
SPAIN d. Argentina, 2-1

Third Place Game:
ARGENTINA d. Switzerland, 2-1

Final Match:
SPAIN d. Netherlands, 2-1

I must express my utter disappointment at the now-established fact that Germany has qualified to the next round and Poland is out. After playing in such a disorganized fashion against Ecuador (who turn out to be very good), Poland really came back and deserved to win the last game against Germany. That last-minute goal – shot while I was between the two traffic circles on the way to work – was truly agonizing. To make it worse, in the scenario I have set up, Germany will then play the lackluster British team and get a bye to the next round for sure – where, thankfully, they will be crushed by the Dutch. (Of course, nothing would make me happier than to see England fall to Trinidad and Tobago today…)

Meanwhile, Señor Pájaro wanted to know whether Naked Boy Day and watching the World Cup were complementary activities. Xan would reply firmly in the affirmative. I mean, shouldn’t everyone watch the World Cup in the buff?

5 comments:

Rusty said...

The Czech team may be #2 in the world, but those rankings mean squat. Isn't the US ranked in the Top 8?

Lisa PW said...

Also with Koller's hamstring injury he's going to be out for a bit. I predict that the Czech team will not play as well without him and he's out for a minimum of six to 10 days, if not a week or so. Then again, this may be wishful thinking as I want the Azzurri to have some time to sort out their personalities and come together as a team.

The U.S. was ranked fifth.

J.J. said...

The what cup?

Middento said...

JJ, let me explain: this is the thing that is causing most of the blockbuster summer action movies (prime example: Cars) to not open internationally until the second week of July -- and why most movies in the US this month are movies that should play big stateside but not necessarily abroad, such as The Devil Wears Prada, etc.

That should make it clear to you, O US-centric One. ;)

dutch muse said...

loving your predictions for the orange team - except a big boo for the final match.