World Cup 2010: A USA-Algeria Preview (Hint: The Good Guys Win)
Time to get your morning drink on again
How can you not think about the goal that was disallowed during last Friday's game? Had it not been for referee Koman Coulibaly giving the United States the shaft, they be sitting on top of the Group C table going into tomorrow's game against Algeria. Now, the Americans are in a win-or-go-home situation tomorrow.
Although there are scenarios where the US can advance with a tie, a win would guarantee the Yanks a spot in the knockout stage. But they must focus on Algeria, which also needs a win to advance to the next round.
Because both teams need a victory, viewers can expect plenty of goals in tomorrow's 9 a.m. game. It's a trend that has occurred in this World Cup. Most of the games in the first week were low-scoring affairs, with plenty of ties; it appeared that most teams were playing more defensively and didn't want to lose that first match.
In the second go-around of games, teams opened up more get wins. What that means is that teams spread out to create more offense, but their defense becomes vulnerable to counterattacks, which is exactly what happened to the US in their last match against Slovenia. The US defense was nowhere to be seen in Slovenia's first goal, and were caught in a counterattack for the second goal. Then in the second half, they were able to score their two goals.
Against Algeria, the US will have to spread out again. Only Algeria probably won't capitalize with goals; heck, they've yet to score in their first two games.
Their defense, on the hand, is a very good unit. They're disciplined, organized, and difficult to penetrate. England found out the hard way in a 0-0 draw with Algeria, and Slovenia only scored because of an error from their goalkeeper. The US doesn't have to win by multiple goals, a 1-0 score will do the trick.
England and Slovenia also play tomorrow, simultaneously with the US-Algeria match. If Slovenia wins, they win the group; if they tie and the US wins, they both move on and the goal differential will be the tiebreaker.
If England and the US win, they both move on and goal differential will determine the group winner. If the US ties and England-Slovenia tie, then Slovenia wins the group and second place will be decided between which team scored more goals, the US or England -- which at the moment is USA.
It gets confusing, so that's why the US should just save themselves a headache and just win tomorrow. I predict the US will win over Algeria 2-0.
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