Thursday, June 24, 2010

Whose World? What Cup? (Day 13a)

It's half-time, as Germany battle it out with Ghana and Serbia grapple with Australia. No goals have been scored. To be honest, all four sides are looking nervy and lacking in assurance.

That puts me in mind of the steady compression of time. All the first 45 minutes of each of the two matches has done is force the action into the next 45 minutes or so. If things remain as they are until the very end, then Ghana will top the group and Germany will follow them. If Germany score a last-minute goal, then Ghana will be runner-up — unless somehow the other match has gone to 1-1. It is all very... fraught.

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Özil scored for Germany to set up a tense last few minutes. Serbia had to draw, and looked like it. Then Australia scored two, the Serbs pulled one back — and had an appeal against Tim Cahill for handball turned down. A handy man, that. 2-1 to the Socceroos, and both they and the Serbs fly home. Ghana scrapes through, and Germany top their group. Business as usual.

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In the next round, Germany will face England. This time, I think they will try the ground assault, not the air raid.

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