World Cup gives rise to new order
World Cup Report
The World Cup soccer tournament is really starting to heat up. Favored
teams before the tournament are up for the count, while unthinkable wildcards
like Senegal and the United States are standing tall.
The World Cup is looking for a new king after champion France failed
to defend its throne and was eliminated by Denmark Monday. The
tournament is entering its decisive phase as teams try to position
for Round 16, to be played next week.
Argentina, Italy in trouble
France is not the only past World Cup winner eliminated or facing elimination
as the tournament enters its decisive phase. Argentina and Italy
gear up for Sweden and Mexico, respectively, with the utmost necessity
of a win or a tie to advance to the next round.
Argentina is on the verge of elimination after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss
to England. Despite its imaginative play, Argentina couldn't overcome an
early penalty kick goal by England's soccer idol David Beckham. Argentina
needs a tie or a win to advance.
Three-time World Cup winner Italy is still recovering from its shocking
defeat at the feet of Croatia.
Italy was leading by a goal with 17 minutes remaining in the game when
back-to-back goals by Croatia gave Italy its first defeat in regulation
since the USA '94 tournament. Italy also needs a win or tie against
Mexico to avoid elimination.
Co-organizers on the rise
Not only have Japan and the Republic of South Korea impressed the soccer
world with their majestic cutting-edge stadiums, their national
teams are performing well on the field. Japan collected its first victory
in a World Cup tournament after defeating Russia 1-0. Russia's upset
prompted riots by soccer fans in Moscow, injuring more than a hundred
and leaving two people dead.
South Korea cheered and cheered after their national team's first World
Cup win in its sixth appearance, against Poland. Close to 65,000
chanting, red-clad fans packed Daegu World Cup Stadium to carry Korea
against the United States in match two, early Monday. The U.S.
escaped with a 1-1 tie after the smoke cleared, with a dramatic penalty
kick stop by USA's goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
The Red, white and blue
The U.S started the competition, pulling all the stops in its way to
beat favored Portugal 3-2. Bruce Arena's team lead 3-0 by the 36th minute,
huge advantage that Portugal was unable to overcome.
After its 1-1 tie with South Korea, the US needs only a tie with Poland
this Friday to advance to Round 16.
Odds and ends
Spain was the first team to qualify for the Cup's Round 16 after scoring
three goals against Slovenia for the win.
Sweden-Argentina, Wednesday, 1:30 a.m. CST
Mexico-Italy, Thursday, 6:30 a.m. CST
Poland-USA, Friday, 6:30 a.m. CST