Day 2 Recap - Review of Saturday Games

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Day 2 is complete!

Sorry for the delay of this post, still enjoying the World Cup festivities to the fullest.  Story of the day was early goals.......all 3 games had a goal scored in the first 10 minutes of the game.  Prepared but nervous on most occasions but nevertheless if forced some tactics to change and more teams had to really come out and play in order to try to equalize.

South Korea 2, Greece 0
ESPN Recap of this game

Very clear message sent to Group B that South Korea is for real.  Organized in defense, quick and technical all over the pitch, good on the counter, dangerous on restarts......all the makings for good games ahead with Argentina and Nigeria.  They could have beaten Greece by 4 goals today.  As for Greece, long gone are the days of EURO 2004, they looked more like the 1994 Greece team that lost 3 games and gave up 10 goals in their last World Cup appearance.  Playing a 4-3-3 without creating chances left plenty of space wide for South Korea to exploit throughout the day.  Bad giveaway led to second goal but game was never really in doubt.  Begin to think that South Korea will really give Argentina a good game later on so keep your eye on that one cause it will be for the Group B winner.

Argentina 1, Nigeria 0
ESPN Recap of this game

Diego Maradonna gets his first World Cup win as a coach and he still managed to get his hands on the ball several times throughout the game.  Argentina were very entertaining with the ball, good passing and movement, Lionel Messi top class in the final third, especially on and around the ball. Argentina looked like they were in a 4-1-4-1 with both Messi and Tavez with a lot of free reign in midfield to move and find the ball.  Argentina did not put Nigeria away and should have been punished for it, they barely kept their 1-0 margin and conceded several quality chances to Nigeria in transition and late in the game.  They didn't get hurt today but a better team will hurt them later in the tournament if they don't close a team out with a second goal or a defensive stronghold.  For Nigeria, their GK was awesome today.  They are very athletic but not as cohesive and organized, they also lack a pure goal scorer which will be costly in the next games unless they figure it out.

England 1, USA 1
ESPN Recap of this game

Match Highlights

Great result for the USA considering they didn't play their best game.  USA caught in breakdown early leading to Gerrard goal.  Robert Green GK error brought the USA back to level late in the first half.  Overall, USA was less than convincing defending in the wide positions, back 4 not working cleanly enough to play against good teams.   Tim Howard was a star today for the USA, he made several key saves to keep us in the game.  US did decent job on Rooney, but were unable to take command on midfield in that flat 4-4-2 system.  Better possession for parts in the first half, second half mostly defensive as England pressed and had too many restart opportunities.  USA bent but didn't break down the stretch.  Hopefully coaches will reassess starting 11 to see who will give us the best chance to win against Slovenia next 3 points are a must.  For England, just another WC draw.  They will make a change in goal for sure, they got some good minutes from sub Wright-Phillips and Crouch and wide play was solid.  Group C will still be a toss up despite whatever happens tomorrow morning.

Games to see on Sunday!

Slovenia vs. Algeria at 7:30 AM (another Group C game)
Serbia vs. Ghana at 10 AM (Group D game)
Germany vs. Australia at 2:30 PM (Group D game)

Thanks for reading.  Please feel free to chime in and share your thoughts on this tournament.

UC Soccer Staff

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