Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Cup Predictions: Part Two

Here are my picks for the games between June 12 and June 14:

June 12 (8 AM, F)- Australia-Japan: The Aussies will try not to ruin their campaign in the first match and thus will play the first half cautiously. Japan will be seeking to prove they weren't just a one-hit wonder. Chances will be there for Viduka and Takahara but in the end nothing will come of it. I expect a rather dour display here. Final score: Australia 0 Japan 0

June 12 (11 AM, E)- Czech Republic-USA: We will come out with a bit of caution going against the Czechs and the first half will be a little bland as each side seeks to feel each other out. Nedved will cause a few problems and Poborsky will make some nice plays but nothing will come of it. The second half will see USA start to move forward and take advantage of the Czech's age. But just as Donovan is linking up with McBride and sub Johnson the US is crushed as BAROS puts the Europeans up on a counter-attack. But as the match moves into the last fifteen minutes age starts to catch up to Czech Republic. Subs Dempsey and Convey will start to push the Czech backline farther and farther towards Cech's goal. Finally the equaliser comes for MCBRIDE in a goalmouth scramble after a Convey shot is deflected. Final Score: Czech Republic 1 USA 1

June 12 (2 PM, E)- Ghana-Italy: The Italians come in with a distracted mentality as the scandal clouding Serie A and Juventus is on their mind. Ghana starts to make daring runs through Appiah, Amoah, and co. Meanwhile Essien in the middle doesn't let Del Piero get a feel for the game. A Ghanian goal through MATTHEW AMOAH after a nice ball in from Muntari always seemed inevitable and the Italians are shaken to the core. They are down by that one goal at half time and in the second half they seek to take control of the middle of the pitch. PIRLO gets the equaliser early in the half on a wonderful free kick, and LUCA TONI finds the winner at 70 minutes. Ghana tries to find their attacking flair of the first half but the Italian defense is much more aware and the Ghanians can't find an equaliser. Final Score: Italy 2 Ghana 1

June 13 (8 AM, G)- South Korea-Togo: Togo begins a shocker early on as ADEBAYOR gets through on the Korean defense and hits one in the first five minutes as Togo announce themselves to the world. Twenty minutes later and the Koreans are still reeling when ADEBAYOR adds a second on a wonderful solo effort. But the Togo defense and midfield cannot hold up all match and the Koreans start to show some of the flair they displayed four years ago. LEE-CHUN SOO puts the Koreans on the board shortly before the half and PARK CHU-YOUNG equalises on the hour mark. Togo doesn't want to lose the precious point and the game gets dirty and ends in a violent but scoreless thirty minutes. Final Score: South Korea 2 Togo 2

June 13 (11 AM, G)- France-Switzerland: These two neighboring sides are used to drawing and throughout the whole match a draw seems inevitable. Chances for Trezeguet and Henry for France and Frei and Cabanas for Switzerland don't fall and the two European sides end in a scoreless draw. Final Score: France 0 Switzerland 0

June 13 (2 PM, F)- Brazil-Croatia: Well finally the hosts take the pitch to defend their title. Croatia wants to be giant-killers but they know its unlikely. Brazil sets the pace early on as Kaka sets up a simple strike for RONALDO after only twenty minutes. Croatia tries to control possession but it only leads to a Ze Roberto led counter attack that ends in a header for ADRIANO that finds the back of the net. At the hour mark DADO PRSO pulls one back for Croatia on a set piece but a LUCIO header off of a corner gives Brazil a two goal lead again. Final Score: Brazil 3 Croatia 1

June 14 (8 AM, H)- Spain-Ukraine: Each team starts off cautiously as Spain take the pitch with the tried, tested, and criticized pair of Torres and Raul at the top. A scoreless and dull first half leads to Raul going off for Villa and play starting to open up. Ukraine however get the opener through the one-and-only SHEVCHENKO. Villa, Torres, and Xavi each have their chances late but Ukraine effectively kill the match. Final score: Ukraine 1 Spain 0

June 14 (11 AM, H)- Saudi Arabia-Tunisia: Tunisia gets three crucial points from the lone strike of the game through ZIAD JAZIRI in the first half-hour. Final Score: Tunisia 1 Saudi Arabia 0

June 14 (2 PM, A)- Germany-Poland: The first half starts off with Germany playing cautiously again against their neighbors. But as the match wears on the Poles don't look up to the task and two second half goals for the Germans through BALLACK and KLOSE go unanswered by the Poles and the Germans are atop the group. Final Score: Germany 2 Poland 0

More to come later!


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