I should clearly stick to prognosticating NHL results and stop there. First, i figured and hoped that the Netherlands would be victorious in their match against the feisty Russians Saturday afternoon. I was wrong. Dead wrong. The Russian beat the Dutch at their own game by attacking relentlessly in what was a back and forth, and actually exciting game of soccer to watch. The Russians were touted as an upstart and youthful team with the ability to score goal on a porous Dutch defense, but the Dutch, masters of attack and pretty ball control were veterans of this style. They got beat at their own game as they looked to be on their heels for the entire match, especially the 30 minutes of extra time where the Russians scored twice to seal the victory.
On Sunday, in the second leg of World Cup qaulifying, I said that the Americans would face the wrath of an angry and embarassed Barbados team and fan base. Again, I was wrong as the Americans won the match 1-0 (9-0 aggregate) with little to no fan fare as a bigger game, Italy vs. Spain, took place at the same time. This game ended up being just as exciting as watching paint dry because I was hungover and because Italy decided to play the defensive soccer that Americans hate. Rightfully so after being treated to excitement and majesty on Saturday. Instead the Italians tried to play to get to penalties, and when they did, they still lost. As much as I wanted them to win the battle of hair products, they deserved to lose this game as their strategery drained the life out of the game from the opening kickoff. Thankfully they are out of the tournament and may be rethinking their defensive coaching tactics instead of forcing the issue agaisnt the Spaniards. So that's that, and the Germans are probably going to win it all, although those Ruskies are so gosh darned plucky I wouldn't mind seeing them hoist the trophy.