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(June 13, 2002)

well I got one right

Brazil beat Costa Rica (5-2) to win group C and Turkey beat China (3-0) to come in second, just like I said. China now go home without a single goal to reminisce over, just like France and Saudi Arabia, but I bet they'll be better next time, just like France but probably not like Saudi Arabia.

Italy and Mexico drew (1-1), just like I said. Unfortunately, Croatia managed to eliminate themselves rather than Italy by losing 1-0 to lowly Ecuador.

The thing with the Croatians was, well, they didn't look particularly clean, did they? Having been so supercilious to the poor Argentines over their grooming habits it seems unfair to mock the Croatians for the lack of them, but if I was going to be on TV in front of millions of people I'd have a bath or something. Still, who am I to talk?

Perhaps what they need is a makeover. Get the Would Like to Meet team in to teach them some flirting skills and keeping hold of the ball in the midfield.

It was a pretty exciting day's football on the whole, with plenty of rollercoaster action. The Turks and the Brazilians both scored twice in the first ten minutes, and I thought my prediction was already in the bag. However, the Costa Ricans fought back to 3-2, and and that point they were just beating the Turks for second place on goal difference.

Unfortunately they forgot the iron law of playing Brazil, which is never to score, as it just annoys them. Two quick goals duly went in, the Turks got another and that was that.

The Croatians were also edging the Italians out at half-time, until they went behind and the Italians equalised. My predictions have consistently stood better at half-time than full-time, I've noticed. I think they just do it to tease.

It galls me to say it, but the Italians have been very unlucky, and would have won the group if they'd had fair decisions. They should have had 2 goals in the Croatia game which were disallowed, and another one in this game. They still squandered more chances than they were robbed of though.

The 2 host teams learn their fate tomorrow, so fingers crossed for them. After that we move on to knockout on Saturday with Germany-Paraguay, then England-Denmark. So far, there are 12 teams through, and 8 of them are European. Expect more crappy predictions tomorrow.
posted by Jon 19:03
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