Saturday, June 24, 2006

First day done

Germany goes through after two lightening quick strikes in the first 15 minutes. They will face Argentina - an amazing strike from Maxi Rodriguez in Extra Time.

Argentina showed why they should be viewed as favorites. After giving up a quick early goal they rapidly leveled the score. Mexico played well but you could see Argentina begin to dominate the game, carrying the game to El Tri.

The insertion of Messi and Tevez was scarey, by themselves up front they were running at tired Mexican legs, at some points you would see 2-3 Mexican defenders try to clamp down one of the stikers. Heading into the game versus Germany I think we are in for a great match of young guns - Podolski, Tevez and Messi - 20, 22, 19 years old.

I think that Germany will have the home field advantage as well as Argentina having played a full extra time (and why did Riquelme play all 90 minutes of a meaningless game versus Holland?). However I think that if Argentina can avoid the fast German starts (Germany has been lightening quick against Costa Rica, Equador and Sweden, scoring very quickly in all those matches) Argentina will have the advantage as the game wears on. Even with 10 players Sweden was dangerous at times and gave the back line for Germany fits. What will Crespo, Saviola, Tevez and Messi do?

Early prediction: Argentina 2 - Germany 1. Germany is playing well but people forget how much trouble they have against world class teams (apologies to Sweden, but the nordics are a solid team but not in the class of Argentina, especially down to 10 players second half). The home field keeps this game close but in the end, the dangerous Messi/Tevez late game combo seals the fate of the Germans.

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