With the exception of the Argentina vs Bosnia-Hervogina match, I didn’t see much of the days games…

Switzerland vs Ecuador

Ecuador with the early lead, but a FANTASTIC late game run and finish in extra time gave Switzerland the victory. That late game run should be viewed by every single youth player on the planet as a lesson in how to play through a tackle.

Video Highlights (

France vs Honduras

I only saw the little bit where the Honduras player made a really dumb challenge and got red carded. Doesn’t seem like I missed much…

Video Highlights (

Argentina vs Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina was crippled by their early own-goal. Honestly, I don’t know what Kolisinac was doing when he knocked the ball in his own net. It looked like he wasn’t even paying attention to the ball and it just bounced off of him. I’ll give Bosnia-Herzegovina some big credit here though… After going down early they didn’t panic, they kept their composure, and they stuck to their game plan. They were organized on defense and countered with speed and precision. Unfortunately, since they were ahead, Argentina left very little room to maneuver since they were not committing numbers forward.

While early pressure kept Messi mostly out of dangerous positions, as the match wore on he found more and more room to run. Later in the game Bosnia-Herzegovina felt the need to push more numbers forward that gave Messi even more room to collect the ball, turn, and run at the defense. Ultimately, this led to the second Argentina goal.

I’ll note that this is perhaps the third or fourth game I’ve watched where one of the teams seems to wilt between the 60-80min. You can tell they’re tired not only because they walk around (they could just be lazy) but also because passes go out of bounds and crosses end up in the stands where they weren’t before. Is it the heat? I didn’t think it was that hot in Brasil right now. This happened to Bosnia-Herzegovina last night and it was also supremely evident in the England/Italy match, but I’ve seen it in a few other matches as well.

Video Highlights ( Commentary (


Germany vs. Portugal

If it wasn’t for the USA game later, this would be my match of the day. I haven’t seen much of Portugal lately, but Germany is definitely a force to be reckoned with. I like their GOGOGO mentality and a surprising amount of creativity has crept into their lineup. Of course, any team with Ronaldo on it (assuming he’s healthy) has a good chance of succeeding. Normally, one would expect these two teams to rise out of the group and therefore maybe “settle” for a tie today since they might count on a win against the other teams in their group… However… this is the Group Of Death. Both Ghana and the USA can give these teams trouble so they can’t count on any wins in this group, which makes it very complicated for these two favored teams. They will need to get the points and therefore they will have to press forward, but they can’t press too much because the opponents may counter on them. What to do, what to do…

If there is an early goal, expect that team to bunker and defend. If it goes tied late into the match there will be a lot of chewed up nails on the stadium floor.

When: Noon. EST
Where: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil
TV: ESPN (English), Univision and ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.)

Iran vs. Nigeria

I haven’t seen Iran play, ever. Nigeria is always trouble in the World Cup with great attacking flair, but generally undisciplined defense. I expect more of the same from them today.

When: 3PM. EST
Where: Arena da Baixada, Curitiba, Brazil
TV: ESPN (English), Univision and ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.)

Ghana vs. United States

MATCH OF THE DAY. $#%#*@&!!!!!!!!

Both of these teams are expected to receive a pat on the head, a “thanks for playing” trophy, and go pack their bags after the first round. I don’t think either will do so. Both of these squads have the capability and the mindset to defeat the other teams in their group.

Ghana has been a thorn in the side of the USA squad for the past 2 World Cups (2010 & 2006), so they have a mental advantage in as much as they may have a physical advantage. Ghana is very creative going forward, but can be exposed on defense. You could also say the same thing about the USA though who will have trouble contending with the speed and size Ghana can bring to the table. Look for set pieces to play a huge role in this match. I look for Altidore to come up big as well. This group will be very tough to get points in. A victory puts the winner in very good position and a loss puts them in a very bad one, just like the Germany/Portugal confrontation.

When: 6PM. EST
Where: Estadio das Dunas, Natal, Brazil
TV: ESPN(English), Univision and ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.)