Saturday, June 2, 2012

For no one

The second stage of African World Cup Qualifying kicked off Friday with Ghana pounding Lesotho 7-0. 

Of more concern to Americans though, Bob Bradley's Egypt beat Mozambique 2-0 in Alexandria. They played in an empty stadium after training in Lebanon ahead of the match. 

I was able to catch a little bit of the match, including the first goal, and Bradley's stamp on the team was evident. They played a tidy, but simple possession game when they could while mixing in the odd long and/or diagonal ball. In defense, the team was clearly well-drilled in keeping its shape, winning the numbers battles and letting their superior talent do the rest. 
Mozambique weren't half bad, but they weren't all that good either. The visitors would have fit in in CONCACAF just fine though they'd be lucky to make the Hex if this match was any indication. The game-winning goal came after Mozambique failed to clear a corner, Egypt knocked the ball around the outside of the area before an early-range cross was spilled by the keeper, Kapango, for Mahmoud Fathallah to scissor home from point-blank range. Apparently, Kapango also put one into his own net less than 10 minutes later to end the scoring. 

Bradley's team continues Group G play next Thursday when it travels to Zimbabwe. Only the winners of each of the 10 groups in CAF qualifying advance to the final playoff stage. Guinea, who narrowly missed out on the knockout rounds at this year's African Cup of Nations, look likely to be Egypt's chief rivals for that coveted spot. 

The Pharaohs have not played in the World Cup Finals since 1990 where they were narrowly eliminated in one of the tightest groups ever. So it's pretty easy to picture Bradley telling FIFA.com the following: 

"Our goal, our mission is to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This is something that drives all of us -- players, coaches and supporters." 

- Jacob Klinger

9 comments:

dikranovich said...

bob bradley is going to qualify his team for the world cup and hopefully, we can save a usa egypt matchup for the knockout stages.

jacob, i know im a pain in da ass, but its trademarked, its called the world cup finals. i mean, WCQ is world cup proper too, isnt it? i sure hope we treat it as such.

Jacob Klinger said...

That'd be as good a R16 matchup as any.

Ya dig it now?

dikranovich said...

yes, much better, but you understand my point too, right?

dikranovich said...

i guess it just stuck out to me a little, because we always hear that english vernacular, the term, proper football and it is such a big deal now with this regime to play up to a certain standard.

cant you just imagine coach klinsmann picking up the term during his time at tottenham, and then it just sticks with him. i wonder what the translation is in german.

RM said...

its actually possible that it could be a group stage match since boths teams are in differents pots.

much more likely then R16....its actually very possible to happen.

Jacob Klinger said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. I find AP style and the English vernacular that pervades all things soccer clashing all the time. Drives me nuts.

RM said...

its actually possible that it could be a group stage match since boths teams are in differents pots.

much more likely then R16....its actually very possible to happen.

dikranovich said...

interesting postulation rm2. i guess if both teams can qualify, thats 32 teams, four teams to a group, eight groups. is that a one in eight chance that usa and egypt are drawn in the same group? could we call that a 13% chance of getting drawn together.

if this is true, ill suggest that there is also a 13% chance that usa and egypt get drawn into corrisponding groups for a possible second round meeting. if that happens, look out.

so if it does, then we call it a one in four chance that usa finish across from egypt. does that make sense? 25%

maybe we can take that 13% number and take a quarter of that and come away with 3%, rounding to the nearest whole number.

13% to play in group stages, and 3% to meet in the round of 16. three, is the magic number!!!!

dikranovich said...

check that, its the same one in eight chance, that if they get drawn into corrisponding groups, they then meet in the second round, sorry. 13% of 13% = 1.5% chance of meeting in the second round. i think. well, everyone knows i did not go to MIT now.