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2014 World Cup: Group G


Goondal

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Germany 2-1-0 (+5) 7

United States 1-1-1 (EV) 4

Portugal 1-1-1 (-3) 4

Ghana 0-1-2 (-2) 1

 

Well, this one is likely the one that we are most interested in so I figured I would get an early start.  The Group of Death.  From 1-3 it is may not be as tough as B or D, but the difference is that all four of these teams are a legitimate threat to make it out of the group.  Germany is one of the tournament favorites, and the one (along with the US) that I will be rooting for.  Second, third, and third are the last three World Cup finishes for the German squad and many feel that this is the one to get over the hump and raise the trophy.  Anything short of at least reaching the semi-finals against Brazil will be seen as a disappointment and even that would be a tough pill to swallow.  Winning Group G is a good start and while they start in the Group of Death, the winner of said group likely has a favorable draw to reach the semis at that point.

 

Portugal qualified from the Group of Death four years ago and will be looking to do the same in Brazil.  The are highly ranked coming into the tournament and are led by arguably the best player in the world.  They also seem to disappoint a lot in major competitions, so there will be a lot of pressure to at least reach the knockout stage.  Should the finish second and win their Round of 16 match-up a possible Ronaldo-Messi match-up would await in the quarters.  Talk about must see TV.

 

We all know Ghana's history with the USA and how avenging that history in the opener is seen as a must for the Red, White, and Blue.  Should Ghana have any chance of repeating their success of '10, when they were oh so close to a semi-final date with the Dutch, then the match Monday is basically a must win for them as well.  The loser of this match will likely need at least a win and a draw against Germany and Portugal, as well as some luck to qualify.

 

Finally you have the USMNT.  Again, we have heard over and over that the Ghana match is a must win and the beat Ghana, tie Portugal, nick a point from the already qualified Germans Roadmap to the Knockout Stage has been talked about since the draw.  I have actually been saying (perhaps foolishly) since that day that the USMNT will beat Portugal.  I just do not know if we will beat Ghana.  With a tie on Monday we could still qualify by beating Portugal, in fact it may be easier that way than the other way around.  One thing is for sure though, Germany winning their first two is incredibly important for our chances and having at least four points going into that final match is essentially a must.

 

I actually had the USMNT finishing fourth in South Africa.  I successfully predicted 7/8 of the quarters and 3/4 of the semis so it was basically homerism that kept me from being perfect on knockout stage predictions.  That being said, my homer rating is typically very low.  I am typically pretty close and at times underrate my teams and on the rare occasions that I actually expect success from them they generally deliver.  That being said, what good is being a sports fan if you cannot have homeristic expectations every four years or so?  I have Germany winning the group, knocking out the host in the semis and taking care of Uruguay (too late to change to Argentina or Italy) in the finals.  Meanwhile the USMNT qualifies out of Group G before falling to Belgium.

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Is Germany due a colossal collapse? The French do it. The Portugese do it. The English do it. Argentina does it. The Germans never do it. They are consistent and unwavering. I cannot imagine a scenario where the Germans leave after three games.

 

That puts us in competition with the Ghanians and the Portugese. I really think the Ghanians can play well. They have pace and conditioning. They can take advantage of exhausted defenders.

 

Our only shot in my mind is to score goals. To defend is folly. Eventually your body and mind will tire and the attacker already knows where he is going. In my mind you play an open game, go for goal. If you don't score them, so be it.

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Today is the day.

 

I’ve read a few outlets estimating about 20,000 US supporters and around 1,000 Ghanaian in Natal. That’s leaves about half the stadium as “neutral” fans that could be leftover supporters from earlier matches in Natal (uhhhh...Mexico) or truly neutral fans from Brazil. 

 

If you've been following the news you know that rain could be a big factor. Nine inches (nine fugging inches...TWSS) of rain fell in Natal yesterday over a twelve hour period.

 

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I wonder what the field conditions will be for Monday with all this rain they have been getting.  I think bad weather would be advantage USMNT

 

Why do you think so? I was actually thinking the other way around. 

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Why do you think so? I was actually thinking the other way around. 

 

Weather can help curb the speed of a team with Ghana's pace and counter-attacking ability, but it can also see a few defenders lose footing or positioning. Our back 4 is definitely our biggest weakness, so I think it's a disadvantage to us. Might see defenders flailing about in the box trying to regain positioning. As we've seen, it doesn't take weather for us to commit fouls down there either...

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