Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We Might Already Want to Rethink Our Picks

There was another round of World Cup Qualifiers today. England stayed undefeated having beaten Andorra (they get points for that?).

There was also a friendly in South Africa between Confederations Cup participants New Zealand and Italy.

And it was an absolute destruction holy shit was it a bit dicey for the Azzurri.

New Zealand led 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 (well after the hour mark) before Vincenzo Iaquinta put in goals in the 68th and 73rd to give Italy the 4-3 lead it would hang on to.

But Marcello Lippi had to switch half of his youthful line-up out in favor of veterans in order to avoid being humiliated by the Kiwis. He made six second-half subs bringing on Andrea Pirlo, Luca Toni, Mauro Camoranesi, Iaquinta, and Gianluca Zambrotta. The sixth sub was Riccardo Montolivo who came on for a completely gassed Gennaro Gattuso (who is just off an injury and probably not match fit). So, save for Marco Amelia in goal, it was close to a first choice team for Italy by the time the final whistle blew.

This could mean A) Italy hasn't started to return to form after all, B) Everyone is underestimating the Kiwis, or C) Nothing.

It's possible Italy didn't even care until there were 30 minutes left. Maybe they were all out banging South African hookers until 6 in the morning. In any event, the Confederations Cup is probably slightly more interesting and slightly less predictable after this result. It does make for a good slogan though... The Confederations Cup: Where We're Not Sure What the Fuck Happens.

A couple of notes. New Zealand's last goal came on a 57th minute PK by Christophe Killen. When I found a stream (circa 75th minute), the Italian commentators were still cracking jokes about 'il arbitro' (the official). So it might have been a joke of a call that gave the Kiwis their last goal. Also, just eyeballing from the crowd shots, the announced attendance of 8,000 had to have been padded by a factor of at least two. There was almost nobody watching. Granted it's a pre-Cup friendly, but that's not a happy harbinger. Finally, given how wrapped up in anoraks the bench players were, I'm guessing it was pretty cold (it is winter there after all).


The Fan's Attic said...

I sure hope they weren't banging South African hookers. Although, nobody ever said footballers were smart.

David said...

Considering the British and Irish Lions Rugby tour of South Africa right now, "banging South African hookers" could in fact mean this:

Johnny said...

Ahahaha Mexico, you losers.

Johnny said...

Damn, fine goal there by El Tri.

Kopper said...

Wot Wot Wot? In the words of Kyle's mom... Chris Killen, as in the Chris Killen who was brought in on loan by Norwich this past year but couldn't even crack our bench? Oy vey, we get relegated, and unload players who play/score vs. Italy. How many of our "League One" side we have now can boast that?

ΓΌ75 said...

Yes, the Chris Killen who plays for Celtic's reserve team, having not sniffed the first team in a year or so.