World Cup Opening Day

Don’t worry, kids, I’m not going to give a rundown of all sixty-four games of the tournament. I did watch the first two, however, and the game between Poland and Ecuador held my attention (although by then my laptop battery was dead). Also remember that I don’t know crap about this game. My observations could be so far off base that soccer (they call it fotbal here) fans will laugh uproariously.

The difference in style between the two teams was apparent from the beginning, and is what made the game interesting to me. Poland’s snappy short passes and ball-control philosophy were effective early on in each period, and at first I thought the game was going to be lopsided. Somehow, though, one of the Ecuadorians managed to get back in time to break up the opportunity every time. The Ecuadorians, meanwhile, were playing a flow game, with big, looping passes that their teammates would leg out. The tactics seemed to give the cameramen difficulty as well; many times I could not tell what was happening where the ball was going to land, until at the last inistant a player would come into the frame. Perhaps European-style cameramen are not well-suited for the South American-style game.

As the game progressed, Ecuador looked more and more in control. The difference, I think, was conditioning. Once Ecuador established the open running game Poland couldn’t keep up. Ecuador held off a charge late in the game to win, 2-0.

Poland had the feet, but Ecuador had the legs.

Edited to add impression from day two: Argentina is a bunch of whiny dive artists. Get up and play, you babies!

4 thoughts on “World Cup Opening Day

  1. Correct on argentina. I think if you are on the ground and crying, there should be blood and broken bones.

    Poland waited for the perfect shot and didn’t adapt when their passes were not connecting. And they just started making bad passes with out any pressure.

  2. USA plays today at noon EDT.

    From :
    begin quote
    “… the origin of this odd word soccer lies in a bit of British public schoolboy slang of the end of last century. There were then two forms of football. One was rugby football, the one that uses the oval ball that you were allowed to pick up and run with, named after the public school where it originated. In short rugby, it was informally termed rugger, the -er ending then being a common way to form slangy terms. The other kind, under the rules of the Football Association, was formally named association football. A short form of this was obviously essential, and it was shortened in imitation of rugger by taking the second syllable of association and adding the -er ending to form soccer. No doubt the apparent association with the verb sock, “to hit”, helped it to become popular.”

  3. Eagerly looking forward to your analysis of CR’s romp over US. No, I didn’t watch the game. I will rely entirely on your sagacious commentary to form my loud and oft-disseminated opinions.

  4. I did not watch the game neighter, but I know… I have been down Town that time, and through the Prague’s street sounds echo of three GOOOLS… Czech fans was aloud of celebration 8ish pm (CZ), so… Yes, we won!

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