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WC 2006 Match Chat: Group C finale, noon PT
2006-06-21 11:24
by Bob Timmermann

Netherlands vs. Argentina in Frankfurt

and for academic purposes

Ivory Coast vs. Serbia et al. in Munich

The Dutch and Argentines are both headed to the second round. Today's match is for first place. Argentina will win the group with a win or tie. This will be the fourth time the two teams have met in the World Cup. The Dutch won in 1974 (4-0) and 1998 (2-1), but Argentina won in 1978 (3-1 in overtime) and that one was in the championship game.

Argentina demolished Serbia et al. 6-0 while the Dutch held off a game Ivory Coast squad 2-1.

As for the undercard, the coaches of Serbia et al. and Ivory Coast are both coaching their last matches with those teams. Ivory Coast could be the best team in the World Cup that won't make the second round. But such are the vagaries of seeding

The winner of the group will play Mexico Saturday in Leipzig. The second place team will take on Portugal Sunday in Nuremberg.

The Serbs currently occupy last place among all 32 teams with 0 pointsts and a -7 in goals. A loss should give them that dubious honor. If not, Costa Rica, 0 points and -6 in goals should bring the title back home to CONCACAF. Saudi Arabia finished last in 2002 with 0 poitts and -12 in goals. In 1998, the USA was last with 0 points and -4 in goals. The last European side to finish last was Greece in 1994 when the tournament had just 24 teams.

Togo has a chance at the last spot as well with 0 points and -3 in goals, but they would need to get clobbered by France.

2006-06-21 11:28:22
1.   Bob Timmermann
The FIFA Matchcast for the CIV-SCG (beats me why Serbia got those initials) has the useless fact of the day:

No first-time African qualifier with a French coach has ever lost its final game in the first round.

2006-06-21 11:30:37
2.   Bob Timmermann
2006-06-21 11:37:54
3.   xaphor
Never one to enjoy an Argentine win, I find myself reluctantly hoping for just such an outcome to ensure England could not meet them until the Semifinals. An unlikely nil - nil draw would be ideal to reconcile the wants of logic and emotion.
2006-06-21 11:41:11
4.   xaphor
SCG are the initials of their country in converted Serbian. Just like the old CCCP was USSR in Russian.
2006-06-21 11:43:43
5.   xaphor
Moron. I mean USSR was CCCP in Russian.
2006-06-21 11:43:57
6.   Greg Brock
Boy, what to watch...Argentina/Netherlands or Serbegro/Cote d'Ivoire. This one's a toughy.
2006-06-21 11:47:38
7.   Bob Timmermann
So will Serbia - Montenegro need a new initial?
2006-06-21 11:52:00
8.   xaphor
I suppose so. Perhaps the split was over the red, white and blue kit which fails to mesh with Montenegro's yellow and red flag.
2006-06-21 11:53:34
9.   Greg Brock
It's been a tough tourney for ampersands...But methinks heading home to Trinidad is a bit more consoling than going home to the Balkans.
2006-06-21 11:54:49
10.   Bob Timmermann
Except maybe for the Serbs who play in Italy, Germany, Turkey, et al.
2006-06-21 11:57:54
11.   Bob Timmermann
It's raining in Munich. I believe they have a retractable roof in Frankfurt.
2006-06-21 11:58:15
12.   Greg Brock
Oh thank the creator, JP and Harkes instead of O'Brien and Balboa. On the downside, we're still going to get 16 shots of Maradona in the stands. Maradona is, apparently Spanish for "Denny McLaine"
2006-06-21 12:03:05
13.   xaphor
The Balkans are not so bad when the bombs are not flying overhead. In fact the west coast of the Black Sea is very popular summer vacation spot. But I suppose it takes European sensibilities to prefer that over the Caribbean.
2006-06-21 12:06:28
14.   Bob Timmermann
I would rather visit Croatia than Serbia. The disputes between those two countries is sort of like "West Side Story" with genocide in place of the dancing.
2006-06-21 12:08:22
15.   Greg Brock
I've heard the Black Sea resorts are very nice. It was more of an ethnic discord/civil war/devastated infrastructure kind of thing I was going for.
2006-06-21 12:10:42
16.   Bob Timmermann
And there's muted joy in the streets of Belgrade tonight!
2006-06-21 12:18:48
17.   Greg Brock
I can't stand Argentina, but they do play beautiful soccer.
2006-06-21 12:20:21
18.   Penarol1916
I don't think anyone can actually stand Argentina.
2006-06-21 12:21:12
19.   Greg Brock
Mother Brock was an exchange student in Brazil, so I learned to hate Argentina long before I knew it was universal and appropriate.
2006-06-21 12:22:01
20.   Bob Timmermann
The Serbs seem determined to not go home in last place.
2006-06-21 12:29:25
21.   Penarol1916
19. The problem with learning to hate the Argentines through the Brasilians is that the Brasilians only hate the Argentines because they are the only people more arrogant and insufferable than the Brasilians.
2006-06-21 12:30:33
22.   xaphor
The Ivory Coast is not the same team without Drogba.
2006-06-21 12:33:44
23.   Greg Brock
21 Yes, that is probably true. Although we love our Brazilian "family," my mother's Brazilian friends have the most needy and self-absorbed children I've ever met. But hey, you don't get to chose family, even when they're not real family.
2006-06-21 12:35:09
24.   Bob Timmermann
I remember eating at a Brazilian steak house in Germany. I'm wondering if I ate a rain forest steak.
2006-06-21 12:37:23
25.   Bob Timmermann
Cote d'Ivoire on track for another 2-1 loss.
2006-06-21 12:37:27
26.   Penarol1916
24. I'm wondering why Brasilian steak houses are so popular, I never remember Brasilian steak being popular growing up, even in Brasil.
2006-06-21 12:38:27
27.   Bob Timmermann
I believe it's because Brazilians serve steaks that are the size of Monaco.
2006-06-21 12:46:36
28.   Bob Timmermann
Mr. Nadj, please leave the pitch.
2006-06-21 13:06:48
29.   Greg Brock
Every coach needs to have a sign...a giant sign...that says, quite simply, "Lean over the ball."
2006-06-21 13:25:40
30.   Bob Timmermann
The Elephant won't die!
2006-06-21 13:37:16
31.   Bob Timmermann
Has anybody come close to scoring in the ARG-NED match?
2006-06-21 13:39:37
32.   Penarol1916
31. From what I've been reading Argentina has a number of times, but can't seem to finish today.
2006-06-21 13:40:07
33.   Greg Brock
Argentina's had a few quasi-chances, but it is very much two teams happy with a scoreless draw.
2006-06-21 13:43:49
34.   Bob Timmermann
PK for the Elephants in Munich.
2006-06-21 13:44:23
35.   Bob Timmermann
Elephants 3, Enemies of the Tablecloth 2
2006-06-21 13:46:39
36.   Bob Timmermann
They're dancing in the streets of Abidjan!
2006-06-21 13:51:14
37.   Bob Timmermann
Argentina vs. Mexico in Leipzig Saturday at noon, PT

Portugal vs. Netherlands in Nuremberg Sunday at noon, PT

2006-06-21 13:53:50
38.   Greg Brock
Great, Mexico and Argentina finally play against each other, and it's in a game where somebody gets to win. Bummer.
2006-06-21 13:54:58
39.   Bob Timmermann
Argentina, 7 pts, +7
Netherlands, 7 pts, +2
Ivory Coast, 3 pts, -1
Serbia et al., 0 pts, -8

That should wrap up 32nd place for the Serbs unless France beats Togo by 5 or more.

2006-06-21 14:36:20
40.   Linkmeister
32nd place for the Serbs? Misha Glenny will be pleased.
2006-06-21 15:55:49
41.   das411
Hey Bob, can this work your way into the next and/or last Team USA preview?

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