Besides Ghana, the other big winners from the pair of afternoon results are -- you guessed it -- the United States of America. Just this morning, after Clint Dempsey's bogusly disallowed goal, I was wondering if, as John Hill says, "the goddess of goals" was against us. Between Koman Coulibaly's goal-theft, Dempsey's phantom offsides, and all sorts of smaller opportunities that added up to nothing against Algeria, the USA had slipped from 7 points to (it seemed) 3, and from a group victory to a first round exit. I thought the Americans had a decent claim to be the unluckiest team in the tournament.
But, O, Fortuna! Like the moon you are changeable!
Now, after today's action, it seems closer to the reverse. All the injustice above did not, it turns out, damage the cause a bit: 5 points (and 4 goals) did just as well as 7 points (and 6 goals) to top the group. Thinking about it again, Robert Green's Hand of Clod moment was pretty damn lucky -- if he'd corralled that and England won the first game, no end of goals vs. Slovenia and Algeria would have leapfrogged the Three Lions.
And this afternoon, the Americans get just the right scores to avoid Germany. The honor of playing the team that never loses in the first round, in the first round, goes to England. It's only just, of course, based on both teams' form in group matches, but soccer is so rarely just that even a fair result feels like luck.
What do you guys think?