domingo, 13 de junio de 2010
World Cup Analysis Day 3: Ghana vs. Serbia
Group G has been called the group of death, and much it comes from the fact that this group includes 5 times world champions Brazil, along with C.Ronaldo's Portugal and Drogba's Ivory Coast, however, the inclusion of almost unknwown North Korea, seems to lower the groups standards, making, in my opinion, Group D the most balanced of them all. Germany is the only clear favorite for taking the top position, but the second ticket to the eights can go to anyone.
Last World Cup qualifciation, Serbia (as Serbia & Montenegro) qualified to the finals, ahead of Spain, but ended up in the "group of death", and were the worst team, statistically of thw whole competition. This time, Serbia again qualified directly, ahead of a top team (France), and plan to have better results. Ghana on the other side, was the only African team to go past the group stage on Germany, only to be defeated by Brazil, in a 3-0 match which many believed, the African team deserved better. This year, the Africans have also been successful, winning the Under 20 FIFA World Cup, and losing the final of the African Cup against Egypt. So before this match started, it seem hard to point who the winner side might be.
The first half, again proved that most teams consider winning important, but "not losing" is top priority. Serbia and Ghana both practice different styles of play. Serbia playing a smart tactical game, with counter attacks, and waiting for the Ghanan mistake, while the African team seems to be driven more by impulses, and spark of genius from its players. Therefore, it was not surprised that at half time, there still were no goals, and not many of those were promised for the second half.
The game continued pretty much in the same way, and it could go for any of the two teams. Nikola Zigic and Dejan Stankovic struggled at the Serbian offensive, while Ghana was missing the boost generated by their Chelsea star Michael Essien. However the game lost its tightness when yet another stupid sending off, this time for Serbian player Lukovic, came to give Ghana an advantage. Two match days in, and substitutes are apparently claiming for more smart decisions from their coaches, since both Uruguayan Nicolas Lodeiro and Argelian GHessal, came from the bench, only to leave their teams with one player less. To this inefficient, and arguably harmful decisions, we should add that of Swiss born Zdravko Kuzmanovic came from the bench, only to concede the winning penalty to Ghana, by touching the ball with his hand on his own area.
Man of the Match: This time I will have to agree with fifa.com users, who chose goalscorer Asamoah Gyan as the man of the match. Not only did have the steel nerves to put the ball at the back of the net, but he was close of making the score 2-0 near the match ending.
Images from fifa.com and galleries.myjoyonline.com