Posted by Jack @ 8:25 pm on June 23rd 2010

World Cup Groups E and F Discussion

Continuing a series of posts…

Group E: Finally! Finally we have a set of matches where the outcome is clearly determined merely by winning or loosing, rather multiple possible paths based upon complex scenarios involving games in which you are not even playing. This is a group where one team (Netherlands) has already locked in a spot in the knock off round, and another (Cameroon) is already eliminated. Making this group even simpler, those two will face each other in a largely pointless match whose primary purpose will be to establish if Clockwork Orange’s dominating performance to date is a true pattern and sign of things to come. Are they the best European team in the Cup? Cameroon plays for pride, I guess. The real game to watch is for second place, where the winner between Japan and Denmark advances and the looser goes home. In the event of a tie, Japan takes the two spot on goal differential criteria.

Group F: For every ounce of clarity in Group E, we find a pound of confusion in F, with nearly any combinaton of advancers possible, a strong likelyhood that qualification will be determined by dipping deep into the well of tertiary and beyond tie breaker criteria, and perhaps the highest possiblity in the tournement of invocation of the “pull it out of a hat” method to determine the number two position. Seriously. I have trouble understanding how this could be an actual rule, it seems so amatuerish. Breaking it down: Paraguay leads with four points, Italy and New Zealand have two, and Slovakia brings up the rear with one.
Paraguay: They face the All Whites, a team performing above expectations but still hardly a powerhouse. If Paraguay wins, they advance with the top position in the group. If they draw, they still qualify, but position will depend on the outcome of the Italy-Slovakia match, i.e, an Italian win would put them tied with Paraguay on points, though Paraguay has a two goal advantage in goal differential leading in for the tie breaker. If Paraguay looses then they are hoping for the two spot with an Italy – Slovakia draw, or a Slovakia win but not by enough to make up Paraguay’s goal differential advantage.
Italy: Another underperforming European team. If they win, they qualify. If they loose, they are out. If they tie, then their fate rests with the outcome of the other game: Paraguay wins, they are in, New Zealand wins, they are out, Paraguay New Zealand also tie, then I think, if I read the rules correctly, then we would we would be at the “draw it out of a hat” point to determine if Italy or New Zealand takes the second spot.
New Zeland: The All Whites need a win to qualify, or a tie with an Italy Slovakia tie as well, and then luck with the hat drawing.
Slovakia must win to stay in, but even that might not do it if New Zealand pulls an upset victory against Paraguay. In this case, goal differential would determine if Slovakia or Paraguay earns the number two position, and Paraguay enters the matches with a four goal advantage on this criteria.
There: Clear as mud.


  1. I know the New Zealand team name is a play on that of their famous rugby team, but still…

    Netherlands 2:1 Cameroon
    Japan 2:2 Denmark
    Paraguay 2:0 New Zealand
    Italy 2:0 Slovakia

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 12:25 am

  2. Those are good bets, but the group F games are ripe with surprise potential.

    Paraguay 1:1 NZ
    Italy 0:1 Slovakia

    Japan 1:4 Denmark

    Comment by fred — 6/24/2010 @ 7:33 am

  3. Everybody likes Denmark in that game.

    Netherlands 2:0 Cameroon
    Japan 2:1 Denmark

    No clue on the F games, but I suspect low scoring and at least one draw.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 9:37 am

  4. As the games get underway, I just cannot get excited about Italy-Slovakia. I know Paraguay-New Zealand is in all likelihood the less competitive game, I think that’s the stream I’ll have going this morning.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 9:59 am

  5. The all whites are in black today.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 10:03 am

  6. Slovakia up one.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 10:25 am

  7. No clue on the F games, but I suspect low scoring and at least one draw.

    Paraguay 0:0 New Zealand
    Italy 0:1 Slovakia

    Although NZ-Par I bet opens up.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 10:50 am

  8. The all whites are in black today.

    There are some teams which should ALWAYS wear the same uniform. Brazil should always be in the green/gold tops with the blue shorts. The Italians should always be the azurri. Argentina should always wear the sky blue/white stripes. And, yeah…there’s not as much tradition associated with New Zealand, but if yer gonna be the “all whites”, you probably ought to be in white.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:29 am

  9. Amazing goal line block in the Slovakia game. Brad’s streaming the wrong one. :)

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:29 am

  10. Slovakia now up two.

    Both of last year’s finalists are going out in the group stage.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:31 am

  11. 2-0 Slovakia-Italy. I guess that was the game to watch. Still nil-nil New Zealand-Paraguay.

    Weird to see a tournament where the USA team is clearly better than Italy and France.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 11:33 am

  12. By the way, Webb’s refereeing in the Slovakia-Italy game has been inspirational. A couple of players tried diving early on, and he did everything but physically drag them to their feet. There’s been a lot less of that since…and when it’s an Italy game, that’s really saying something.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:33 am

  13. Paraguay is definitely better on the attack, but they’re either shooting from too far out, falling prey to players being greedy with shots, or losing some amazing chances in the box (at least two so far with three rebounds, all missed). Still, with defense, New Zealand does not look appreciably worse here. On the whole, Paraguay is more likely to get lucky, but you never know, and one goal will be enough here.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 11:35 am

  14. Although as I say that, NZ’s defense is starting to wear down. Paraguay playing the US game now – lots of setups and shots, just haven’t been able to convert a damn one.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 11:36 am

  15. Italy not done yet, it looks like. 2-1.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 11:39 am

  16. Italy denied the equalizer by…a bad offside call.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:43 am

  17. New Zealand starting to take chances, and they’re starting to pay off.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 11:45 am

  18. Yeah, Italy’s playing the USA game for sure now.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 11:45 am

  19. Slovakia 3:1 Italy.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:47 am

  20. Damn. I picked the wrong game indeed.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 11:48 am

  21. Looks like the offsides call may have been correct, but if so, only barely.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:48 am

  22. Paraguay don’t look very good, incidentally. Just really undisciplined striking. But New Zealand, while very coherent on defense, just aren’t making many chances for themselves. This’ll end 0-0, methinks.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 11:48 am

  23. Amazing stat. Italy have surrendered six shots on goal in this World Cup…and five goals.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:48 am

  24. Slovakia 3:2 Italy.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:50 am

  25. Two minutes of extra time left.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:51 am

  26. New Zealand remains unbeaten. :)

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 11:52 am

  27. Webb doing a terrific job of not letting the Slovakians waste time. He’s been exemplary.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:53 am

  28. Slovakia 3:2 Italy FT. Congrats to fred for being about the only person I know of to call that result right.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:55 am

  29. “What sound does an Italian make when hitting the floor as he crashes out of the World Cup?”

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 11:56 am

  30. These Japanese players are fast.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 2:43 pm

  31. Danes looking the more disciplined, but every time they try to slow the play, the Japanese swoop in and swarm. They’re great on the sneak attack.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 2:44 pm

  32. And Denmark right back creating a great opportunity out of seemingly nowhere with a windmill kick.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 2:45 pm

  33. These little Japanese players swarming about with the vuvuzelas playing gives a weird flight of the bumblebees effect.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 2:46 pm

  34. Meanwhile, the Danish defenders are clodding around like they’ve got wooden shoes on or something.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 2:46 pm

  35. And Japan nips one in the corner!!!!

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 2:47 pm

  36. Man, that penalty kick was awesome. These Asian countries are great with the happy endings.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 2:50 pm

  37. /sits at keyboard racking his brain for more racist things to say about the Danish

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 2:55 pm

  38. Japan gets another penalty kick. Just beautiful. Two-nil Japan. They look fantastic.

    And these penalty kicks are textbook. Seriously, if you don’t catch this game, catch the replays of these Japan goals. Gorgeous.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 3:01 pm

  39. Japan barely misses on, I shit you not, a flying scissor kick. These guys are fucking ninjas.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 3:13 pm

  40. Cameroon ties it 1-1.

    Japan still looking fantastic.

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 3:57 pm

  41. FT

    Japan 3:1 Denmark
    Netherlands 2:1 Cameroon

    Comment by Brad — 6/24/2010 @ 4:24 pm

  42. Those are free kicks, not penalty kicks. Just saying, is all. It’s actually much more impressive that they scored with the wall in front of them.

    Comment by Rojas — 6/24/2010 @ 6:04 pm

  43. Gaah, let that be a lesson not to let patriotism cloud your judgment. The Japanese were just better, as hard as that is to accept.

    Comment by fred — 6/24/2010 @ 7:17 pm

  44. Yeah they were. Seriously, check the replays on those penalty kicks (corrected). Awesome stuff.

    Comment by Brad — 6/25/2010 @ 9:07 am

  45. The goalie should have had the first and the wall seemed misplaced on the second. Still, to profit from that takes some skill indeed.

    Comment by fred — 6/25/2010 @ 12:02 pm

  46. The second wall was prepared for an Endo power bomb up the middle, which is what he’s known for (I hear). Watch the goalie; his first step is even that way. Only, instead he almost daintily arcs one right in the upper right corner, catching everyone flat-footed and off guard. Thing of beauty.

    Comment by Brad — 6/25/2010 @ 12:59 pm

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