Monday, June 26, 2006

World Cup '06 -- where have all the goals gone?

Through the first six matches of the Round of 16 in this World Cup, the teams have scored all of 8 goals. The highest scoring match was Argentina 2, Mexico 1 -- and that one went to overtime.

The Italy 1990 Cup is widely recognized as the worst ever: low-scoring, dull, drab and ultimately living up (or down) to every American criticism of how soccer is simply a boring game. In that Cup, the Round of Sixteen had 18 goals (the supposedly exciting 2002 Cup had 17). Thus, to beat the pace of the sonambulent 1990 Cup, Spain-France and Brazil-Ghana need to combine for 11 goals tomorrow.

Today's entries into the American encyclopedia of why soccer sucks: Italy 1-0 over the Soccerroos and Ukraine advancing on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw with the Swiss. Not one player on any of these teams could score from anywhere other than the penalty spot.

Yuck. Somehow Eric Cantona's repeated exhortations in those Nike ads to "play beautiful" have been ignored.

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