Unprofessional Foul


June 23, 2010

WC2010 Liveblog: USA v. ALG/ENG v. SLV

Red, white and ooh la la!

Here. We. Go. For a morning as big as this, we’re going with the super-sized unified mega-liveblog. GET IN!

Welcome, friends, as we settle Group C and find out whether England, the USMNT, both or neither will make it to the knockout stage.

We figured you’re all going to have a tough time splitting the liveblogs and the games on TV/Web, so we put them together into this mega-liveblog. I’ll be watching the USMNT with sound up on my big screen while England is running with low sound on my other laptop with this laptop as a backup and my picture-in-picture as a last resort. I love technology.

This liveblog will be in chronological order, with all times EDT (even though I’m in the Pacific time zone). I’ll keep it going and take both games seriously. You all keep the comments coming and let’s have a great time. First, some prep:

Here’s how the group standings are heading into the matches.

Team MP W D L GF GA Points
Slovenia 2 1 1 0 3 2 4
USA 2 0 2 0 3 3 2
England 2 0 2 0 1 1 2
Algeria 2 0 1 1 0 1 1

And here are the scenarios for each team to get through:

USA advances with:
(A) Win vs. Algeria
(B) Tie and Slovenia-England tie IF England does not outscore USA by 2-plus goals
(C) Tie and England loss

Slovenia advances with:
(A) Win or tie vs. England
(B) Loss AND USA tie vs. Algeria
(C) Loss and Algeria win as long as Algeria doesn’t make up tiebreakers

England advances with:
(A) Win versus Slovenia
(B) Tie AND USA-Algeria tie AND outscores USA by 3 goals

Algeria advances with:
(A) Win vs. USA AND Slovenia win/tie vs. England
(B) Win vs. USA AND Slovenia loss vs. England AND makes up tiebreakers on Slovenia

Note: If the U.S. draws with Algeria and England draws with Slovenia, and England scores exactly two more goals than the U.S., the U.S. and England would be even on all tiebreakers for second place. The tie would be broken by drawing lots.

Got that? Good.

I’m not going to give a lot of analysis on this because we all know the score. If you want to hear more about it, listen to the new episode of the Unprofessional Foulcast with me, Precious Roy and James T.

Here’s what most of the UF Crew thinks will happen today. I’ll bold the picks that predict something other than the U.S. and England advancing.

The Stretford End: USA 2-1 Algeria; England 2-0 Slovenia
The Fan’s Attic: USA 3-1 Algeria; England 3-0 Slovenia
Ian: USA 2-1 Algeria; England 1-1 Slovenia
James T: USA 2-1 Algeria; England 1-1 Slovenia (James T proclaims he will kill the blog if this happens)
Spectator: USA 2-0 Algeria; England 3-1 Slovenia
Moonshine Mike: USA 2-0 Algeria; England 2-1 Slovenia
The Likely Lad: USA 2-1 Algeria; England 2-0 Slovenia
The NY Kid: USA 2-0 Algeria; England 1-2 Slovenia (!)
Precious Roy: USA 2-2 Algeria; England 3-1 Slovenia
Norfolk Ned: Refuses to predict
Umlaut 75: “I predict with a 50 percent probability that I will puke out of nervousness before the end of the matches.”

So there you have it. Precious Roy hates America.


USA v. Algeria

United States: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 15-Jay DeMerit, 12-Jonathan Bornstein, 3-Carlos Bocanegra; 10-Landon Donovan, 4-Michael Bradley, 19-Maurice Edu, 8-Clint Dempsey; 17-Jozy Altidore, 9-Hercules Gomez.

Algeria: 23-Rais Ouheb Mbouli; 2-Majid Bougherra, 5-Rafik Halliche, 4-Antar Yahia, 3-Nader Belhadj, 21-Fouad Kadir, 19-Hassan Yebda, 8-Medhi Lacen, 15-Karim Ziani, 11-Rafik Djebbour, 13-Karim Matmour.

Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)

Yes, you saw that right. No Gooch and Gomez in the starting XI. GULP.

England v. Slovenia

Slovenia: 1-Samir Handanovic; 2-Miso Brecko, 4-Marko Suler, 5-Bostjan Cesar, 13-Bojan Jokic; 10-Valter Birsa, 8-Robert Koren, 18-Aleksandar Radosavljevic, 17-Andraz Kirm; 9-Zlatan Ljubijankic, 11-Milivoje Novakovic.

England: 1-David James; 2-Glen Johnson, 15-Matthew Upson, 6-John Terry, 3-Ashley Cole; 16-James Milner, 4-Steven Gerrard, 8-Frank Lampard, 14-Gareth Barry; 19-Jermain Defoe, 10-Wayne Rooney.

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

0942: I like the Justin Timberlake-Peyton Manning Sony commercial, but I refuse to think that 3D TV will truly be the wave of the future. (non sequitur to keep my mind off the USA lineup)

0945: Just for those of you wondering about a delay, ESPN3 is about 4 seconds behind the live TV for me. So I’m watching the England match on a 4-second delay.

0950: Martin Sheen with some narration. Heh. He’s Irish and Mexican just like me!

0952: USA gets Ian Darke/John Harkes, while England gets Martin Tyler. The teams are in the tunnels!

0953: England and Slovenia come onto the pitch first. The crowd looks to have plenty of both country’s supporters.

0954: US and Algeria hit the pitch. Open seats. A lot of them.

0956: England are in all red. Norfolk Ned does not approve.

0957: England and Slovenia are almost ready. US-Algeria still in anthems.

0958: Scared by this lineup for the US. Scared. Maybe Tracksuit wants us to concede early. Handshakes.

1000: AND WE’RE OFF!

1001: Matmour takes a quick shot for Algeria. Meanwhile, Slovenia pushes forward v. England.

1002: Donovan with his first cross, it’s a little too close and easy for the Algerian keeper.

1002: Slovenia has the ball in the England box pretty quickly, and England have 9 players back to fight it.

1002: A ball for Herculez Gomez is too long and easily goes out for a goal kick.

1003: England get their first real possession and are moving it around. Meanwhile, Algeria with the day’s first free kick. It leads to nothing.

1004: USA controlling the ball. Obviously trying to control the pace and not concede early.

1004: A Slovenian player is felled by England’s Johnson (no, not EBJT) Writhing commences.

1005: Edu nearly breaks Donovan free.

1005: Meanwhile, David James gets his first touch and doesn’t screw it up.

1006: SHOCKING CHANCE!!! A simple long ball played in. Cherundolo doesn’t follow his runner, and Algeria hits the crossbar.

1006: USA CHANCE!!! Immediately back with the ball forward, Herc almost puts the USMNT ahead! WOW!!! Donovan’s corner leads to nothing.

1007: Meanwhile, Slovenia made a real push forward. Shot on James, who does well to reel it in.

1007: Free kick for the USMNT. Dangerous spot. Dempsey is on it. He gets it over the wall but it doesn’t drop. Goal kick.

1008: Slovenia are really taking the match to England so far.

1009: Slovenia is in the England box again. This has to be scary for the Three Lions fans. Meanwhile, the USMNT is giving up the longball pretty easily. This is scary.

1009: England earn a corner. Cleared easily and Slovenia are on the break for a second.

1010: Of the two games, Slovenia looks the best of the teams. The USMNT you can see taking advantage eventually. England just haven’t turned it on yet. Will they?

1011: YELLOW CARD ALGERIA -- Yebda trips Altidore as Jozy tries to break after a clear of the corner kick.

1012: Wow. Slovenia are really controlling the possession v. England. Where is the control going to come from.

1013: Yebda stakes a shot from about 45 out but nothing even close.

1013: England earn a free kick about 25 out after Rooney is flat-out tackled. Lampard over it. He gets it on goal for a real CHANCE! But the Slovenian keeper does well to bring it in with no rebound.

1014: A nice ball in for the US, but this Algeria GK loves to come out for the ball. He grabs it about 10 yards from the line.

1015: A nice ball through for England almost gets to Lampard. Almost.

1016: Ziani takes as many shots as possible for Algeria. But nothing has been really good so far.

1017: Nice cross in comes to Gomez, who tries the full side volley. It goes over, but nice chance. Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney takes the ball across the top of the box but can’t get his shot on frame. At the came time, Donovan sends one over the bar on the break.

1018: This USMNT game is really going end to end. Nice stuff, and the US has more possession. Will they break through?

1019: England are starting to impose themselves on the match more. A long shot from Johnson on frame but no trouble.

1020: Just as I type that, Slovenia go on the break and EBJT has to save England.

1020: MASSIVE CHANCES!!! Altidore makes a great run, sends to Bradley who kicks to Gomez, whose shot is saved back to Gomez, who sends across to Deuce for the GOAL, but it’s called off by offside. WERE WE ROBBED AGAIN?!

1021: England trying to move forward, but Slovenia are playing very well here.

1022: GOALL ENGLAND!!!!! A speculative long ball in and Defoe gets right on it to put it in. Nicely done. 1-0 England. As it stands, England and Slovenia would go through.

1023: They show the replay and the USA was ROBBED AGAIN!!! The goal should have counted. Deuce was not offside.

1024: England are definitely taking control here, but Slovenia are still trying to push forward.

1025: A little bit of danger from Algeria, but their shot is blocked. This is amazing.

1026: CHANCE!!!!! Defore is broken in again. The rebound is hit by Lampard but can’t put it on an open net. It should be 2-0.

1027: England are starting to run rampant. Meanwhile, the USMNT is in control of this match. The question is where/when the goal will come. It has to come, doesn’t it?

1028: England are just setting up like a practice drill. They move the ball around nicely, but can’t get past the Slovenian wall.

1028: US keeps the ball for about 65% of the time. Algeria gets a touch or two, bombs forward and hopes. They’ll have to start pushing forward more eventually.

1029: TWO CHANCES!!! England get forward. Defoe plays it in. Nice save. Rebound to Rooney, touch to Gerrard, a nice shot again and VERY nice save.

1030: We’re a half-hour in for both games. Slovenia trying to move forward but starting to rely on long shots.

1031: Algeria gets its first extended possession for a while, but Demerit is playing well today. Nothing happens.

1032: Slovenia with its first possession in a while, but they’re relying on the longball and that’s not their game.

1032: Nice ball in for the USMNT. Deuce heads it, it heads to Donovan, but he shanks the shot.

1033: Donovan down the right again. The US is showing nice patience here with the buildup. You know they have to know the need for a goal now. They’re starting to seen lanes through the Algerian defense but haven’t capitalized yet.

1034: Slovenia swings in a free kick, but eventually it’s cleared. England control this match now.

1035: US with the break again. Deuce has a major CHANCE!!! again but another nice save by Algeria. This is tough to watch, people.

1035: England almost get through again. Corner.

1036: MAJOR CHANCE!!!!! Great ball from Donovan to Bradley back to Donovan. Keeper comes out. The rebound comes free and Donovan and Jozy both try to hit it. and put it over the bar.

1037: England are in total control. Slovenia have stopped really putting quality pressure. Meanwhile, Matmour takes a long shot for Algeria and TIMMAY! does well. Corner and nothing doing.

1038: I’m not ignoring the England match or giving it short shrift. It’s just that the US match has been much more open with a lot more happening. As time goes on, you can see England just imposing its will on Slovenia. Hard to see where an equalizer will come from. And Defoe almost gets free again.

1040: US gets a lucky offside call. Meanwhile, YELLOW CARD SLOVENIA for Jokic.

1041: The man of the match for Algeria is the GK so far. He’s made four excellent saves.

1042: You really can’t have a problem with this US side this half. They’ve played defense well enough, and the offense has been excellent if not scoring yet.

1042: Slovenia get a long free kick, send it in and David James does OK to get it away but is saved by a foul call.

1042: Ziani with a long shot in space in the middle. About 25 out, but it drifts high and wide.

1043: Sorry I’m not keeping up with the comments. I’ll look at halftime. But wow, more than 230 already? well done.

1044: Defoe goes down “hurt.” Pussy.

1044: The US team has so much good possession in this match. Fortunately for them, Algeria has to play for a win, so the space will continue to be there.

1045: HALFTIME for ENGLAND. 1-0. A nice half. After the first 15 minutes of pressure the Three Lions took control.

1046: HALFTIME for USMNT. 0-0. WE WUZ ROBBED!!! But really, this is the US team’s game to win. They will get a goal. I predict it now.

1047: HALFTIME. Easily the best first half so far from the USMNT. As for England, they have some issues at the back, too, but they’re definitely in a different class from Slovenia. Rooney has tried to get in the play, but this half was all about Jermain Defoe. Effing Spuds. I’m gonna rest my typing fingers for 10 minutes and browse the comments. See you in 10 minutes.

1058: I demand at least 550 comments. Demand it. MAKE IT SO!

1100: HERE WE GO AGAIN. No subs in either match.

1100: England are off at least a minute ahead of the USMNT. Rooney gets a throw in against the GK, hurries to take it, the GK gets back, but then a rebound gets to Defoe who chokes an easy chance. Should be 2-0.

1101: Gomez comes off at halftime, replaced by Feilhaber. WTF?! Are they going to move Dempsey up front? They have to.

1102: The ref in the US game was informed that they’re running late and hurried everyone out. Meanwhile YELLOW CARD for Glen Johnson.

1103: The England match is a full 3 minutes ahead of the USMNT now.

1104: First minute and already two crosses in from the US. Algeria tries to break but Matmour is LUCKILY offside on the longball.

1105: Rooney is broken free. He easily pulls the ball back for Defoe who scores but it’s ruled offside. Not sure about that, but still 1-0 England.

1106: The US is playing all-out here. They need to be patient. Still plenty of time. If they start bombing it forward, it’s not going to work.

1107: Ian Darke has learned how to pronounce Feilhaber, I see.

1107: Slovenia with a free kick. Dangerous. They put it on net and James shows safe hands. No rebound either.

1108: Jozy to Edu to Feilhaber, but the ball is just too long.

1108: England move the ball foward, but Rooney runs into six players, and the scrum leads to nothing for the Three Lions.

1109: Corner for Algeria sent back post, headed across, but Yebda sends it easily over the bar.

1110: Slovenia with a free kick, but they can’t do anything with it. England are still controlling this match. It’s a matter of time for 2-0, i think.

1111: The US is trying to be patient, but they need to move the ball wide rather than push through the center there. Jozy is called for a foul.

1111: England are cruising. Moving forward at will and just absorbing the fast runs from Slovenia.

1112: CHANCE!!!! England with the corner, it’s sent nicely back post, and EBJT with a great header saved nicely by the GK.

1112: POST!!!! Rooney is broken free onside, but he puts it past the keeper and hits the post. Should be 2-0. He’s pissed.

1113: Jeepers I’m nervous!

1113: POST!!!!!! Jozy with a cross. It gets through to Deuce. He hits the shot and hits the post. Then he gets the rebound and SHANKS. HOLY EFFING SHIT!

1115: I can’t handle this. I love that Ian Darke is letting Harkes just admit that he’s tortured watching this. Hilarious and honest.

1115: Yebda starts to get a bicycle kick off, but nothing doing. And Harkes rightly points out that Donovan has disappeared. I didn’t think that happened anymore.

1116: Jozy is having a hell of a game. He’s holding up, strong, moving forward. Well done.

1117: SUB SLOVENIA: Dedic on, Ljubijankic off.

1118: Dangerous free kick for England again. Gerrard swings it in.but it ends up with nothing.

1118: YELLOW CARD JOZY. Cheap challenge there.

1119: TIMMAY! Not tough, but he does well coming out to grab the bouncing ball.

1119: What other sub can the US bring on to make the breakthrough? Then Algeria with a nice ball into the middle and a GREAT clear from Charlie Blackmouth.

1120: This is torture. The US is dominating this match but can’t break through. They aren’t getting any help from Slovenia, who try to push forward but can’t do anything.

1121: WHOA!!! SUB: Edu off, Buddle on. So are we going 4-3-3, Tactics Man?

1122: Not sure I’ll agree with this move.

1123: CHANCES!!!! Slovenia gets three shots and two renound, but can’t get the ball in the net. SHIT!!!

1123: Corner for the US ends in another CHANCE!!! but the ball goes wide and Buddle can’t get it. Also, I know I missed a sub for Algeria, but I don’t know who.

1124: So we’re going for it. I like that moxie, but now I’m scared. We have to get a goal from this. England are still in control.

1125: CHANCE!!!!! Great cross from Cherundolo, Buddle hits a tough header RIGHT AT THE KEEPER!!! WHAT THE HELL!!

1126: Joe Cole prepares to come on for England.

1127: At some point, this has to be scaring the US.

1128: WHOA. Rooney off for England for Joe Cole!

1127: Jozy with the tough cross, and almost an OG from Algeria!

1128: This is like a pick-up game now for US and Algeria. Buddle looks slow. 20 minutes to go in this one, and 17 to go in the England match.

1129: I went back and counted. The US has had more than a dozen REAL chances in this match. And no goal. Amazing.

1129: Yebda lets the US off the hook with a long shot.

1131: Dangerous free kick outside the box for the US. Donovan sends to Bradley but he puts it over.

1132: England are holding the lead nicely. They’re in control and happy to see the ball move around the midfield.

1132: Jozy is taken down and a YELLOW for Algeria. Ian Darke keeps mentioning Slovenia equalizing as a possibility, but he’s not watching the match.

1133: Yet again, a nice cross and the header just wide for the US.

1134: Kirm off, for Slovenia, and a YELLOW for Slovenia for Birsa.

1135: 15 minutes left for the US. 10+ for England.

1135: Deuce earns a free kick after chasing down a rebound. Nicely done. This is very dangerous. Meanwhile, another YELLOW for Slovenia on Dedic.

1136: CHANCE!!! Bradley puts the free kick on net but is right at the keeper. Holy hell this sucks.

1137: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Bornstein off, DMB is on!!! Holy hell.

1138: Deuce is down hurt after a scrum in the box. He’s bleeding.He was elbowed in the face. No subs. Holy hell he was PUNCHED!!! That’s just horrible. Horrible. That’s a red card AND a penalty. FIFA’s refs hate the USMNT.

1140: Amazing 60 yard run from Jozy. He’s taken down. YELLOW for Slovenia. Meanwhile, Defoe comes off the England and is replaced by Heskey.

1142: I’m trying to blog more, but obviously, it’s tough right now. Saifi on for Matmour for Algeria.

1142: 85th minute for the US. 88th for England.

1143: Algeria are playing for the effing draw here. You have to be kidding me. The US are trying and tryind and trying. This is horrible. We deserve better. I don’t usually say that, but we deserve better than this. England are holding on in the 90th minute. That’s going to end 1-0 England.

1145: Donovan has completely disappeared in this match. Completely. Horrible game from him.

1146: OOH!! That could have been a penalty against England. Slovenia are at least trying. 1 minute to go there.

1147: BUDDLE! Horrible choice of ball. How much extra time here?

1148: DMB with the YELLOW for a handball. England are stalling. Well done.

1148: Four minutes of extra time. SAVE TIMMAY! US on the break!

1149: DONOVAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1150: England are through, and I’m literally crying now. Literally crying. They went on the break, a ball across, a great save from the keeper and Landon is there to pounce. 1-0 USA!!!!

1152: You guys killed the site, but WE WON!!!!!!! A second yellow for Yahia ends in red, and the game ends 1-0. USA tops the group, England go through in second. HOLY EFFING SHIT!!!

1153: FULL TIME — It has to be said. Amazing stuff. England did very well to do the job against Slovenia. They were never really in trouble. The win was deserved. As for the USMNT, that was just an amazing finish. It was so well deserved, but to see the right result happen was so outstanding.

1155: I hope you all enjoyed it. Now, let’s find out who we all play. Well done to you, the UF readers. And thanks for reading. OOOOO-SAH!!!!

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The Stretford End