Germany won’t play England in the last 16. Germany have all but won that group, and England look heavy favorites to win theirs. It’ll be Germany-Sweden and (most likely) England-Ecuador. It’s a very easy draw for both England and Germany.
Poland looked really bad against Germany. I didn’t see their game against Ecuador but I can now see why they lost. On another day Germany would have scored five. What made the match really remarkable was that Poland seemed to be playing for the draw, which is insane. Even a draw would have done them little good, they needed to win. Now they’re all but eliminated.
Germany won?t play England in the last 16. Germany have all but won that group, and England look heavy favorites to win theirs. It?ll be Germany-Sweden and (most likely) England-Ecuador. It?s a very easy draw for both England and Germany.
If Ecuador win by 2 goals tonight vs Costa Rica - not impossible - they will top the group and will need only a draw to finish above the Germans. I don’t think they’ve all but won it.
Remember also that England and Sweden may well play off for the group on 20 June, and england remain incapable of beating them - are Sweden unbeaten for 30 years against them in 8 or 9 games? Sweden coud yet push England to 2nd.
In short, the English pessimism within me predicts England Germany one way or the other. would be amusing if they avoided each other by both finishing runners up, though.
Finally, that penalty in the Spain game edges out allowing Japan’s goal as the worst refereeing decision in the tournament so far. Good job neither decision affected the result. Ukraine ought to qualify anyway. Tunisia and Saudi Arabia were fun, but shouldn’t trouble them.
Poland looked really bad against Germany. I didn’t see their game against Ecuador but I can now see why they lost. On another day Germany would have scored five. What made the match really remarkable was that Poland seemed to be playing for the draw, which is insane.
Poland looked worse against Ecuador. They played with a lot more verve in this one. I don’t think Germany looked like a Grade A side at all, more a B+ one. Efficient defenders, but misfiring on the attack. I’d have to think based on form and what I’ve seen that Ecuador will beat Costa Rica and Germany, and Poland will beat Costa Rica. (I didn’t see the Germany v Costa Rica game.) However, I don’t believe that for a minute. Germany have got to be holding back.
FWIW, Poland were likely to play for the draw, because IIRC a commentator said they have never beaten Germany (or at least not since 1410). That’s a huge psychological barrier to cross; and though all successful teams have to find a way to cross it, it still takes extra effort.
In fact, I’d favour a strongly psychological interpretation for what went wrong with Poland. My pre-tournament reading told me they play the “we’ll score one more than you” attitude. Then what I saw against Ecuador and Germany was a team that seemed nervous about going forward, like they’d been told to play defensively. And maybe weren’t happy about it.
their patchy form coming in and poor performance in Euro 2004 may suggest that they are not. It’s hard to tell. I don’t think the group is much good, and no true gauge of their ability will come until the knockout stages.
One thing to say about Poland is that they were perhaps seen as a better side than they really are coming in. the group they and England qualified from was desperately poor (Wales, N. Ireland, Austria etc).
Ecuador have dominated the last ten minutes. They’re looking a little bit stronger in the midfield. Carlos Tenorio scored the goal, he plays in the Qatar league too, which is why I brought up ex-Fiorentina players.
Costa Rica brought on a substitute, another forward named Saborio, but although he’s looked a little lively, the team has nothing to show for it yet, and still have trouble getting into the box. Ecuador, however, seem happy sitting on a one-goal lead, which is risking points this early in the game, if you ask me.
Half time, still 1-0 Ecuador. Ecuador could be a handful for Germany, although one would have to think Germany have got the strength to break up the pat-a-cake midfield passing that seems important to their rhythm.
That’s all from me for now. I might have some comments here on the Sweden-Paraguay game.
Is the consensus that England pretty much have Group B in the bag after Sweden’s performance on Saturday? I still see Sweden going down to England and finishing second in the group, but I think they have the talent to knock off England.
Obviously, If they don’t get a win over Paraguay today, I retract that statement.