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Old 2014-06-23, 00:23   #12
ewmayer
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Heavyweight slugout between Portugal and USA just now ... Por took early 1-0 lead on defender's goof, US scored at 64' and 81' and looked to have it wrapped, but Portugal scored beautiful goal with just seconds remaining in 5` extra time to make it 2-2. Oof - so close to going up 2 wins.

I only get basic cable (no ESPN, which is where most games are shown in US) but watched it on Spanish-language TV. Screw you, ESPN!

US striker Clint Dempsey -with crewcut, black eye and 3-day beard stubble - was looking and playing more like Jack Dempsey. Clint scored the go-ahead goal at 81' when he used his stomach to redirect a teammate's lateral shot into the net. No guts, no glory.
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Old 2014-06-23, 00:39   #13
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USA deserved the win, without a question. Poor game from both sides despite USA played better than Portugal.
Portugal won't pass the first stage group, USA and Germany will.
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Old 2014-06-23, 00:43   #14
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The US has serious midfield problems to solve...cost them the game today.

Depending on your internet provider you can stream the games. I don't have cable, but my IP is Charter cable, so I can stream ESPN 3, which is carrying all the games of the WC, to my TV or computer.
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Old 2014-06-23, 04:14   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
Depending on your internet provider you can stream the games.
I actually very much enjoy the Spanish-language coverage - somehow seems less annoying when the comentaristas get excited, and as Spanish is not my 1st language (nor my 2nd) I find it easier to focus on the game the rest of the time, while still being able to pick out the useful nuggets in the commentary.

BTW, are the initial groups of 4 chosen at random? Because with any kind of sensible seeding system as in most sports one would never such a disproportionately stacked round-robin group as Germany/Ghana/Portugal/USA. The aforementioned comentaristas were calling it el grupo de la muerte. :o
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Old 2014-06-23, 10:44   #16
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Random? Well, in theory, yes, or sort of, or well--it's complicated. The constant evidence of FIFA corruption aside--the system is not a terrible one on paper, it just always leads to one or two really tough groups and one or two really easy groups.

Basically the breakdown is by 1) who FIFA has ranked best in the world (plus the host team) and 2) regional groups (where possible)

So the top 7 teams in the world (plus the host nation) will be split up among the groups. Then three broad regions world-wide will be split among the groups.

The problem is that there isn't much difference in talent/skill level between say team 7 and team 10. And the list is fluid (and is subject to bias like any such ranking) at the time of the seeding Germany was number two in the world and Portugal number 14. The US was 13th and Ghana 23. (Portugal is now ranked 4th showing one problem of basing the schedule on last years performance.)

The good? well in general all the South American teams won't be stacked in one or two groups to eliminate each other, because of the regional rankings. And in theory the talent pool will be spread out.

There are two really tough groups in this tourney (group G and group D) and two easy groups (group H and group F) and one group unintentionally easy because of the collapse of highly ranked Spain (group B) based merely on the ranking system.

But overall ranking of the groups is skewed by the ranking of the worst team. So Group G's worst team, Ghana, is actually pretty good on the world stage (as Germany learned) contributing to the idea that G is the group of death.
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Old 2014-06-25, 04:45   #17
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http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/84168709/

In case you are still confused about how Association football works, Mike explains it here.
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Old 2014-06-26, 02:06   #18
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Thanks for that ... Wikipedia has detailed articles on both the initial seeding/grouping and seedings at start of the tourney. I did a bit of number crunching based on those:
Code:
Group A:      Oct2013   Pre-WC          Group E:      Oct2013   Pre-WC
Brazil             11        3          France             21       17
Mexico             24       20          Ecuador            22       26
Croatia            18       18          Switzerland         7        6
Cameroon           59       56          Honduras           34       33
                  ---      ---                            ---      ---
          Totals: 113       99                    Totals:  84       82

Group B:      Oct2013   Pre-WC          Group F:      Oct2013   Pre-WC
Netherlands         8       15          Argentina           3        5
Chile              12       14          Nigeria            33       44
Spain               1        1          Iran               49       43
Australia          57       62          Bosnia=Herzeg.     16       21
                  ---      ---                            ---      ---
          Totals:  78       92                    Totals: 101      113
               
Group C:      Oct2013   Pre-WC          Group G:      Oct2013   Pre-WC
Colombia            4        8          Germany             2        2
Ivory Coast        17       23          United States      13       13
Japan              44       46          Ghana              23       37
Greece             15       12          Portugal           14        4
                  ---      ---                            ---      ---
          Totals:  80       89                    Totals:  52       56

Group D:      Oct2013   Pre-WC          Group H:      Oct2013   Pre-WC
Costa Rica         31       28          Belgium             5       11
Italy               9        9          Algeria            32       22
Uruguay             6        7          Russia             19       19
England            10       10          South Korea        56       57
                  ---      ---                            ---      ---
          Totals:  56       54                    Totals: 112      109
Were one using a more-typical tournament seeding system, one would expect the group-summed rankings at time of the initial grouping to be roughly the same for each group. One can see why the other criteria used by FIFA (e.g. geography) make this unrealistic, but already in October 2013 there is more than a factor-of-2 disparity between the ranking sums of the lowest-sum group (G, sum = 52) and the highest (A, 113). At start of the tourney the disparity is similarly large and there are 2 "killer" groups based on this metric, D (56) and G (54). Of these 2, G is the only one with two top-5-ranked teams, one of which (Portugal) opened by losing to the other (Germany) by a lopsided score of 4-0 and only avoiding a loss to the US by a last-seconds-of-extra-time goal, which of course casts doubt on its high ranking.

Interesting nugget about the results of the nearly-completed group play round: "The teams from the Americas (CONCACAF and CONMEBOL) have performed well at the Cup thus far, achieving 51 out of a possible 63 points against non-Americas competition in their games through 25 June"

"Home-continent advantage", perhaps? (Treating "the Americas" as a single extended continent). Time zone effects on players' body clocks?

Re. tomorrow's Germany-US game, I'm gonna predict that not only does US lose, but that it's failure to secure what should have been a 2-1 win vs Portugal in game 2 is gonna end up costing it advancement to the round of 16. NYTimes has preview and some history here, including the infamous "Hand von Gott" play in 2002.
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Old 2014-06-26, 04:35   #19
LaurV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinhodecarlos View Post
USA deserved the win, without a question. Poor game from both sides despite USA played better than Portugal.
Portugal won't pass the first stage group, USA and Germany will.
I may doubt that, in fact US chances are quite small, they can qualify only if they win, or the other match is a draw. I don't see them winning against Germany, and I don't see the other match a draw... Germany may not fight hard for a win, in fact getting second position may make their path easier in the semifinals, but they will not risk to "play for a draw" and then lose by mistake... So, I see Germany beating US, and the winning team from the other two qualifying...

Cassandra...

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2014-06-26 at 04:39
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Old 2014-06-26, 05:37   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
I may doubt that, in fact US chances are quite small, they can qualify only if they win, or the other match is a draw.
Both US & Germany have 4 points each. Portugal and Ghana have 1 point each. If US-Germany is a draw, they'll both have 5 points each. The winner of Portugal-Ghana will only have 4 points.

So, in the case of US-Germany draw, they both qualify unconditionally. Even if US loses to Germany, they can still qualify (depends on who wins, margin of victory etc.)
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Old 2014-06-26, 05:49   #21
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That is what I said, they will not play "for a draw", because in that case they risk to lose. They will start strong, mounted moral to win, and they will beat US hard...

[somehow in my calculus 1+3 was equal to 5, i don't know why hehe]

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2014-06-26 at 05:51
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Old 2014-06-26, 10:57   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
But overall ranking of the groups is skewed by the ranking of the worst team. So Group G's worst team, Ghana, is actually pretty good on the world stage (as Germany learned) contributing to the idea that G is the group of death.
Group D was also a group of death with 3 former World Champions. But then the 4th team won the group and 2 former world champions are going home :)
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