Italy's opponent in the final Sunday will be decided in this one. The loser plays Germany in the 3rd place game Saturday.
France has seemingly risen from the dead in this tournament. After opening the tournament with a scoreless draw against Switzerland, France got a tie with Korea. This left France needing to beat Togo by at least two and hoping that Korea or Switzerland did not tie. And that's what happened. France beat Togo 2-0 and Switzerland did the same to Korea.
Portugal has made it to the semifinals for the first time since 1966, when they lost to England 2-1. Portugal went 3-0 in group play, defeating Angola, Iran, and Mexico. Then the Portuguese won a yellow card filled match over the Netherlands in the Round of 16 and then got past England on penalties in the quaterfinals.
And if you think the Portuguese got a lot of yellow cards before, keep in mind that the man in the middle today is Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda, a man who red carded three players in the USA-Italy match.
For those curious, FIFA rules strongly suggest that teams stop playing if they can't put out more than seven players.
1) Penarol1916 - 15
2) yankee23 - 11
3t) minxtscore, Phil Birnbaum - 10
5t) Los Longhorns, ddger - 9
7t) Abreck, humma kuvala, John Matthew - 8
10t) adg, Sam DC - 7
12t) jen, Ken Arneson, ravenscar, Suffering Bruin - 6
16) Mr. Customer - 5
minxtscore has Italy winning the final which is worth 8 points. Nobody else can earn any more points. So the Team Togo t-shirt (it's a lovely green) is either headed to Chicago or to wherever minxtscore lives. And I really hopes it's within the U.S. so I don't have to pay more for shipping.
There were 32 possible points in the contest and it looks like, at best, only one person will get over 50% of them.
If you don't wish to scroll down, I had this post earlier linking to a WSJ article about Dave O'Brien and company.
JP Dellacamera and John Harkes are calling the action today.