By Mark Vincent Lincir
United States Coach Bob Bradley says that his team is moving past the horrible call that cost them three points yesterday against Slovenia. That is a good thing. We all know, unfortunately, that nothing will come of it. The ref will simply watch the video with FIFA, say that “in his judgement…such and such U.S. player was holding a Slovenian player” and then it’s case closed.
In certain situations, being a referee is nice, because you can always say that in “your opinion” or “from what I saw” and since it’s ultimately their judgement, nothing happens, the bad call stands and we all move on. That is exactly what the United States team is doing and that is a good thing, because as long as they beat Algeria, they advance to the knockout rounds. It won’t be easy (I really liked how Algeria played against England)…but it is doable.
I want to thank Marcelo Balboa for sending me these photos from South Africa. It definitely looks like he’s having a great time, while I SIT AT HOME! I think he sent them to me in order to reinforce the fact that he is there…and I am STUCK HERE, AT HOME! Thanks Chelo…I never thought you’d be one to rub it in, but apparently YOU ARE!
Kidding…check out the cool photos and wish you were there with me. You can resent Balboa for it, I know I do…and there’s nothing wrong with that. Make sure to listen to his weekly show on www.milehighsports.com called From the Pitch. I am a guest on it from time to time (when NOBODY else answers their phone, they call Lincir). It’s informative, funny and sometimes controversial.
TO THE GAMES…the Netherlands looked very good in their 1-0 win over Japan today on a Beautiful Wesley Sneider goal, but I don’t think the Dutch will have enough to win it all. Tough luck to Harry Kewell in Australia’s 1-1 tie with Ghana…but rules are rules and there’s no way the ref couldn’t give him a red card for that goal line save.
How about Denmark? They were one of the least entertaining teams that I’ve seen in this tournament until today. Nice ball movement and what an exciting 2-1 win over Cameroon. If Cameroon didn’t waste so many opportunities, they’d still have a shot at advancing, but this is a cruel game when you don’t capitalize on the chances you get and Cameroon will be going home early this time around.
PREDICTIONS: Hopefully you’ve scheduled your Sunday morning party…I know that I have. It’s an extremely exclusive event and the only people invited are the handful of folks that don’t screen me when I ring them.
How about this for creativity? Paraguay will clean sheet Slovakia 2-0…Italy will waltz all over New Zealand 2-0 and Brazil will combine its way in, around and thru the Ivory Coast for a 2-0 win.
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Mark Vincent Lincir resents everybody who went to South Africa without him. If you are there and want to tell him your story, send words and/or pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org