World Cup Day 5

Submitted by MGoBender on June 15th, 2010 at 7:22 AM
7:30 New Zealand vs. Slovakia
10:00 Portugal vs. Ivory Coast
2:30 North Korea vs. Brazil


Going to be a fun day.  Also, since the first matchup is less than compelling, here is some reading material to discuss:…

US vs. England was the most-watched first round matchup in 16 years, since 1994.  It averaged a 7.3 rating - approx 8.4 million households - approx 13 million viewers.



June 15th, 2010 at 7:28 AM ^

Two things I can't wait to see today:

1. How much Drogba can contribute with a cast on his arm.

2. If Ronaldo can be the "Master of the Free-kick" that the announcers have been claiming he'll be.

If only my internet connection was better at work, I wouldn't have to wait until tonight to find out for myself...


June 15th, 2010 at 8:20 AM ^

Meh first half.  Seems like Slovakia should have found a way to put one in - New Zealand's keeper is doing his best to continue the trend of poor goal keeping in this World Cup.


June 15th, 2010 at 8:37 AM ^

I didnt look up the odds for this pool, but if either team gets three points in this first game, we'll have another longshot in the first place after one game. Should be a compelling set of second game across the board.

I am debating tracking the IC/Portugal game at work on ESPN 3 or go on Full Spoiler alert and watch it afterwards. I managed a perfect No Spoiler day yesterday and had an awesome late afternoon/evening of soccer watching.

Also: The biggest lock of the tournament is today! Bet it, if you have the capital to spend.


June 15th, 2010 at 8:58 AM ^


No matter the result in the Slovakia - NZ game, I think Italy and Paraguay advance.


I am very excited to see how Drogba looks, that game should be very entertaining.  Brazil should put up plenty of goals on North Korea, but that game is at 3:30am my time, I'll catch the highlights in the morning

Transatlantic Flight

June 15th, 2010 at 9:47 AM ^

Here's to Drogba and Cote d'Ivoire pulling a Remember the Titans-esque upset of Portugal. I have some sort of deep-seeded hatred of Cristiano Ronaldo. Drogba and Yaya all the way.


Sidenote: ever notice that the easiest way to compare C. Ronaldo and Messi as players is to compare their hairstyles? Cristiano is this super sleek Portuguese nightmare, where Messi is this sort of floppy, fun-loving imp that somehow does inexplicably mind-boggling things even though he's about to be plowed into the ground.


June 15th, 2010 at 10:55 AM ^

In the first half we saw exactly what makes Messi the best in the world and why Ronaldo could be if he wanted.  If Ronaldo stays on his feet, doesn't drop when he's merely touched, and powers through people, I think he's the best in the world. 

The guy is something like 6'1" and is built like a race horse.  If he stayed on his feet like Messi, he'd be unstoppable.  Instead, he cries like a baby.  Too bad, as he used to be my favorite player and I think he is the most physically talented player in the world.


June 15th, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

He has more power and pace, he's great in the air (where Messi is basically useless), he's better on free kicks, and I've actually seen him make a tackle at least once.  The team accolades are virtually identical (multiple league titles and a Champions League for each) though I think Ronaldo did it in a tougher league (in that there are more than two teams with a chance to win in England).  Their goal scoring rate in La Liga last year was also basically identical at a sliver under a goal a game.

Cristiano is a little older and infinitely more douchey but I still think he's the better overall player.


June 15th, 2010 at 11:06 AM ^

People complain a lot about Italy, but to me Portugal is much worse. Equally as much diving if not more and even more negative tactics. Think about their last two world cups. Out in the first round (ha ha) with accusations of bribery from South Korea in their last game in 2002. In 2006, get out of a dreadful group (Mexico, Iran, Angola) but then have a dreadfully cynical match with Holland where the ref loses complete control of the game, draw 0-0 with a 10 man England, going through on penalties, and then lose 0-1 to France. They're completely riding a reputation as an entertaining side earned in a couple of European Cups in the early 2000s, but lately, they've been dreadful.


June 15th, 2010 at 12:04 PM ^

Why do the Ivorians take that short corner with time running out?  Apparently Sven still has his magic touch because that was completely idiotic.  They basically said, "No thanks, we don't feel like taking this last chance to win the game."


June 15th, 2010 at 12:17 PM ^

I hate that the announcers were talking up Brazil so much.  Yes there favorite to win the group but the commentators have made it sound like Ivory Coast and Portugal are settling for a loss.  To me, Brazil is like the Lakers, Cowboys, and Yankees--all are crowned and favorites, and I can't stand that.


June 15th, 2010 at 2:14 PM ^

seemed the ivory coast was just trying to bomb it up to drogba .... not that i blame them

i hate the doucheness of ronaldo as much as the next guy, but man he is talented ... i agree with the above poster, he is a more complete player then messi and there is no one better taking free kicks in the world ... aslo that goal he nearly scored in the first half would have been legendary

hopefully brazil will not just play d and insert there will on n. korea here ... i want a beautiful goal

Blue in Yarmouth

June 15th, 2010 at 3:03 PM ^

I have problems with the way Ronaldo play at times (the diving and whining) but IMHE he is a better player than Messi. When he stays on his feet and concentrates on the game instead of his hair he is unstoppable.

Messi is a great offensive talent with the ball at his feet, but he plays no defense and is not good with the ball in the air (not really his fault since he is 5 foot 7 or something). Ronaldo is great in the air, with the ball at his feet and probably the best free kick taker in the game today.

Anyway, both great players, but Ronaldo is better imhe. 


June 15th, 2010 at 3:15 PM ^

I was hoping to see a highlight reel of Brazil goals, but Kim Jong Il's Panthers are doing work on these fools.  I'm now definitely pulling for the commies in the second half.  Can't wait to see the great socialist leader come on as a substitute and score a hat-trick without getting a single hair of is magnificent mane out of place.


June 15th, 2010 at 3:32 PM ^

As crazy as it is to think that the Brazilians are tied at half, I am still confident they come away with a goal or two to put N Korea away 1-0 or 2-0.  They had chances and dominated possession it seems.  I think it's only a matter of time.


June 15th, 2010 at 4:17 PM ^

The PRK pulls one back.  2-1 after a great piece of movement and a class finish.  Could be the goal that knocks out the Brazilians (good chance Portugal or Ivory Coast can take the goal difference comparison).


June 15th, 2010 at 5:12 PM ^

Has the WC always spread out opening games this long?  It's remarkable to me that some teams haven't played their opener yet when others played four days ago (and are going to play their second game soon). 


June 15th, 2010 at 11:04 PM ^

They try to avoid playing games at the same time so you can watch every game live. Only exception is the last round of each group - those are played at the same time so nobody has the advantage of going in knowing exactly what they need to advance (they changed that after 1982, where, thanks to the Algeria-Chile game being played the day before, West Germany and Austria knew that both would advance if the Germans won 1-0 or 2-0, so Germany scored about 10 minutes in and neither team made any serious attempt at a goal after that).