The young miss and I mostly dozed through this morning matchup in the World Cup. It’s been cool to have an offspring who likes sports. When we were at the doc yesterday, we excused ourselves to the car to pick up news of the last ninety second of the Italy-Slovakia. It’s good to have a daughter who’s not a girly-girl. Some of the time, at least.
As for the Brazil-Portugal walk-in-the-park, not sure what to say. I like group play at the World Cup. A team can lose one game (or mathematically even two) and still qualify for the knockout stage. I get that soccer is a low-scoring sport–that’s never bothered me. The quantity of ties doesn’t annoy me either–not nearly as much as four-number records of hockey (wins, losses, overtime losses, and ties). I think awarding one point for ties and three for wins makes sense.
The drawback to group play, of course, is the third round if two teams have played themselves into the stage two and two teams are going home. It doesn’t appear to me that teams have any particular advantage to finishing first or second in group play. Sure, by winning their group, the US avoided Germany and get the lone African team in the knockout then the winner of Uruguay-South Korea next. But if teams are only aiming for second place, then it’s all pretty much a crapshoot anyway.
I wonder if FIFA would consider sweetening the pot for group winners. Maybe it should be worth something in the qualifying for the next cycle. I’d say two wins in confederation qualifying for a clear-first place team, and one win for a team that wins a tiebreaker for first place.
Still, not much to complain about in the games. Many have been very entertaining. I’ll have to miss the live coverage of the US game on Saturday–away at an all-day workshop without media. Interesting about our parish’s Saturday choir that many members and families are cheering for their home nations: Australia, South Korea, and Italy, and nations of national origin: Greece. We also have a priest-in-residence from Ghana, and who knows how many others in our parish.
Enjoy the games.