WORLD CUP OPEN THREAD, DAY 10: Moving Day In Group F

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 15: Winston Reid of New Zealand celebrates scoring the first goal for his team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group F match between New Zealand and Slovakia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 15, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Hell of a slate of games today. The "prime time" game, in relative terms, features the best team to see action today; all the same, the stakes are highest during the two morning games.

6:30 CT, ESPN: Slovakia v. Paraguay (Group F). People may complain, deservedly or otherwise, that seeing both Group F games end in ties is "boring" or "un-American" or whatever pejorative term they feel like attaching to something they don't instinctively understand. But with Group F featuring two 1-1 ties in the first round of play, we have an even more tense situation today. At this point, nobody has a tiebreaker advantage over anybody else--not even fifth-ranked Italy over cupcake New Zealand (more on that later). And with the Paraguayans and Slovaks both similarly ranked (31st and 34th, respectively), a win in this game has enormous implications. 

9:00 CT, ESPN: Italy v. New Zealand (Group F). Meanwhile, the Azzurri are defending champions, and they've got a rather embarrassing tie with Paraguay to their name as we speak. They need to send a message against a plucky New Zealand side. Will they send that message by sending the ball into the box, then flopping their hair around for theatric effect as soon as a Kiwi so much as breathes on them? Yes, but as Hayden Fry always taught us, dance with the girl that brung you. And if New Zealand manage another tie... look out.

1:30 CT, ABC: Brazil v. Ivory Coast (Group G). CIV aren't a one-trick pony, but normally, it wouldn't bother them very much if they were. Problem: that pony is Didier Drogba, and he's trying valiantly to fight through a broken right arm. And considering what happened to Drogba in Champions League, his side's in a world of trouble. And yet, Brazil needs to deliver on the threat instead of coast on it, and CIV has the gumption to squeeze 90 minutes out of the Brazilians. And if they deliver on that 21% win probability that SPI gives them, well well; the Group of Death will finally live up to its moniker.

Anyhoo, usual rules of game threads apply: no porn, no discussion of piracy; if you can't watch the game on TV, there are legal online streams at ESPN3.com. Beyond that, the topic is verboten.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Black Heart Gold Pants

You must be a member of Black Heart Gold Pants to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black Heart Gold Pants. You should read them.

Join Black Heart Gold Pants

You must be a member of Black Heart Gold Pants to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black Heart Gold Pants. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker