By TIM FONTENAULT
As the World Cup enters its tenth day of action, several teams are trying to assert themselves as contenders to escape their groups.
Argentina have a simple task on Saturday. A win against Iran puts them through. That is where the simplicity ends. Iran held African champion Nigeria to a scoreless draw in their opening match and can keep their hopes alive with just a draw in what is considered the biggest game in Iranian history.
In Group G, Germany can do themselves and the United States a favor by defeating Ghana. After rolling over Portugal in their opening match, the Germans are considered one of the primary contenders to win the World Cup. They cannot clinch a spot in the knockout rounds on Saturday, but a win coupled with a U.S. win or draw against Portugal on Sunday sees them through. The U.S. can live with a Germany draw, as that and a win against Portugal puts them through, thanks to a 2-1 win over Ghana in the opener.
Bosnia and Herzegovina put up a fight against Argentina in their first ever World Cup game. Their only downfall was the fact that they were playing against Lionel Messi. The lone team without a point in Group F, Bosnia could really benefit from three points. Nigeria will also be gunning for the three points. They end the Group Stage against Argentina next week.
If you will be watching today’s matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (TV listings after the jump):
TODAY’S WORLD CUP SOCCER ON TV
12 p.m. – Argentina vs. Iran – ESPN
3 p.m. – Germany vs. Ghana – ESPN
6 p.m. – Nigeria vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina – ESPN
Thank You KLOSE!!! Thank you!!!!!
Whoa. Klose to the rescue! Now tied with Ronaldo for most WC goals. Has he scored in 4 WC now or 3?
What a match! What a World Cup! I love this game!
That didn’t take him long
Come in Berlin, the Germans are shell shocked.
Now everybody has to know playing Ghana, is going to be like Rocky and Ali.
Germany bringing in Klose, it got serious
Both of Ghana’s goals chock full of master full like “babyhorse”, on Juneteenth.
I think we have officially found the Group of Death.
Ghana looking like they might get another.
Those haters of USMNT defense and particularly Beasley take note!
of what that ghana actually making there shots?
Well you are obviously a hater. Ghana looks just as good vs Germany as they did against US
Of the fact that our defense gave them fewer chances that the might Germans.
Black Stars. Respect. They have that mental toughness thing down.
Come on seriously Ghana just freaking lose!!!!!!!!!!
This is bad. Portugal is an even bigger must win than ghana was…
Portugal are mid implosion. The Iberians are DONE. Andora have a best chance of anyone on that peninsula of beating the USMNT.
Come on GHANA!!!! Just lay down and lose already!! is that too much to ask for?
scrappy team, just won’t go away
They are clearly a tough team to beat. So despite being outplayed for long stretches, I am very pleased the U.S. beat them without even playing near their potential and after dealing with physical adversity..
No I want everyone to realize how hard it is to beat Ghana. We’re still getting no respect.
USA the Rodney Dangerfield of world football.
i take that game set match back lmao
game set match
What were you saying?
Black stars punch back!
sorry for jinksing guys
What a pass! Goal Germany
I know this probably won’t happen but it would be sweet to eliminate Germany from the world cup. For Jermaine Jones reaction alone.
Ghana doing their best today. Let’s see if Germany can handle it for 90min.
Germany be like Apollo Creed in Rocky I right now… All Awww ish – black stars not messing around.
looks like there could be some second half drama in Fortaleza.
The Black Stars are showing they are no push over
as the lowest ranked team in the “Group of Death”.
If Klose, see’s the pitch he may just have one in him?.
having a keeper such a Neuer, or Howard, Ochoa, and Navas makes a world of difference.
England, not so much.
Hart is decent but never even close to world class let alone consistantly great. Rooney atleast earns his hype on some level.
This Ghana Germany game is just a flat out amazing toe to toe slugfest. Great match at half.
Portugal coach just said Bruno did not practice and will basically be a game time decision for tomorrow. Injury bug hitting them so hard.
Down 2 CBs? That would be very bad for them. Neither of the backups are close to what thw starters are.
Costa is solid but slow…granted so is Bruno. Neto is just inexperienced. It especially hurts because they were already stuck with likely having to play a CB at LB since Fabio is out. Carvalho can maybe play CB?
Their defense isn’t looking great no matter how you slice it!
Portugal was already melting down by now
Ghana is tough
Teams taking turns in each other’s half. Ghana with a good run of possession, some improved distance shooting. They still haven’t figured out how to work the outside of the box though, keep sending crosses well off target.
Anyone hear that Hope Solo was arrested for domestic violence? lol, I think we all knew it was just a matter of time!
The off the field issues for Hope Solo get even more bizarre. First, marrying that football player literally hours after he beats her up? Now she’s beating up her sister and her nephew?
Germany isn’t so good, we scored much faster then this. haha
We’re wanting Germany to demolish Ghana, right?
That’s what I’ve read.
That’s the safest route out of the group, allows us to progress with a tie or win tomorrow. An Irish friend of mine (fwiw) thinks we should expect to beat Portugal and should want Germany to lose so we can finish top in the group, play Russia or South Korea instead of Belgium next round. The flipside though is that Ghana could then beat an eliminated Portugal, and we would have a do-or-die against Germany. I prefer that Germany lock it up for us here, and I think they will.
What about a draw today between Germany and Ghana?
That leaves Ghana alive and makes it a bit more nervy. Ether way, IMO, we just need to beat Portugal and everything else is irrelevant.
Not really, if Ghana beat Germany and Portugal then and we be Portugal and lose by enough goals to Germany then we are out on goal difference. I say we want Germany to win today!
That’s wrong. If we beat portugal tomorrow then all we need is a for between Ghana and German to pass through
That could work, especially if we do in fact beat Portugal by more than a goal. And the game today seems to be going that way *so far*.
We still have more “outs” if Germany wins though, lower risk overall.
IF Germany ties today and we win tomorrow:
US — 6
Germany — 4
Ghana — 1
Portugal – 0
IF Germany ties today and we play to a draw tomorrow:
Germany — 4 (better goal differential)
US — 4
Ghana — 1
Portugal — 1
This sets up a game where a Ghana blowout win against Portugal *could* see them nab 2nd if we lose to Germany on June 26.
There are a lot of ifs here, so also, consider the outs if Germany wins.
Germany wins today, and we win tomorrow:
Germany — 6
US — 6
Ghana — 0
Portugal — 0
Germany wins today, and we *tie* tomorrow:
Germany — 6
US — 4
Portugal — 1
Ghana — 0
Ghana has no chance in this scenario, and while Portugal could beat Ghana, as long as we don’t lose by more than 4 to Germany, or as long as Portugal don’t make up their -4 goal difference, we are still through in 2nd place.
I think that pretty much sums it up. Thanks Quaker
Not that I lost any sleep on this though… really… I do have a life, lol
For all the people hating on Beasley against Ghana, look at what Ghana are doing to Germany. They have been much more threatening. Beasley may have looked shaky but he conceded crosses that seldom threatened because that’s what his job was. People aren’t giving our defense enough credit.
Christian Atsu is no joke. It wasn’t Beasley playing bad. He’s just really good.
I was just going to post something similar. So far, Ghana has had some success against the German left, just like they did against Beasley. It wasn’t necessarily Beasley playing poorly.
I’ve also noticed that Ghana isn’t pressing nearly as high as they were against the US. I wonder how much of that was a result of the early goal. And I wonder if they’ll press higher if Germany scores first.
Early goal certainly played a part but my guess is the fact it’s Germany.
Any idea what the whistling is all about in the first 10 min.? Can’t tell if their mad at a player or something off-screen…
Hot chick walking by
The German fans are whistling when Kevin Prince Boateng has the ball. I assume they’re upset he doesn’t play for Germany.
Nah its because he broke ballack’s leg
Yup its avout Ballack.
Ahh.. I’d forgotten he was the one who did that. So there were probably whistles on the ESPN studio, as well? 🙂
feel so bad for Jozy. had hoped he would have a good tournament. Score some goals. Regain morale. Start off the season wonderfuly for Sunderland
hope he can get a game later in the tournament and score
Interesting article on how much teams have run so far. USA ran more than anyone else. Not ideal. Also, Jones hit the top speed for any USA player.
Cool. How did Howard end up running 3 miles?
I have no idea and now I question the accuracy of this.
I am sad about Iran, they deserved a point; they played very well, the goalie was great, they should’ve had a penalty and Dejagah was so very close to that header…
Argentina can’t go very far if this is all they have to show for it.
Messi was triple teamed. It was like he was walking around saying OK guys, there are three men on me–you do something. When they didn’t after 90 full minutes Messi had to show them how.
What’s up with Aguero? is this the same player who plays for Man City and supposed to be dangerous?
Argentina were unbelievably lucky in that game. Iran should have had a penalty, and were very dangerous on the counter throughout. Also did anyone else notice Argentina waste 2+ minutes in stoppage and only have 30 seconds added back on? I had Argentina winning it all before the WC but I am seriously doubting that, they’ve scored 3 goals so far, 1 own goal and 2 works of art by Messi. You can’t rely on that game in and game out.
Messi scored but I gotta say. Argentina is going to get murdered by like… anyone. France, Costa Rica, they just don’t play well together.
Even Messi did the nothing for most of the game then a goal thing. Great shot though.
wow i was starting to get worried. Thanks Messi
The way they are playing, you should probably still be worried.
that is greatness
The pic chosen for today’s running commentary thread is brilliant foreshadowing (in hindsight). Magnificent strike.
who is writing this stuff
incredible!!! lightning in a bottle
defining moment forever for him, perhaps this team too
Just get the feeling that Iran could steal this one as they are threatening now and the Argys haven’t been precise with their chances. Surely they will create more so looking forward to the final 20+.
seems like their attacks just develop too slowly and the defense then has an extra body defending, maybe two or three if it develops as slowly as some of their attacks. perhaps on a set piece they can break thru
on Argentina, they don’t really defend with 11 players. obviously ridiculously skilled but very few easy chances created through their defense in the middle third to spring counters or other attacks against defenses that are more spread out. when they do actually get one they look dangerous but otherwise against a packed D, of it’s much tougher
Which team is more unwatchable Iran or Greece?
Iran’s counter-attacks have been exciting so far, and as I type this, they almost get a goal.
Match has opened up this half