Friday, June 09, 2006

Germany 4 Costa Rica 2


Please, please, please, please let it all be so good.

If the World Cup Opener was any indication - and hopefully it is - then the next month is going to be pure bliss. The worst case scenario for any fan without a rooting interest in a game is a dull, low-scoring, defensive affair, and this was anything but that. Hell, maybe Sportcenter will even take notice and show some lengthy highlights instead of putting Owen Wilson on the Budweiser Hot Seat. (Lame!)

For Germany it was a mixed bag. On the one hand, coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who has tried to instill a more atacking spirit in the German side (of course he has; he was a free-roaming striker himself), the four goals serve as a sign that his vision is paying off. And it was all done without star Michael Ballack, who sat out as a precautionary measure. Phillip Lahm opened the German account in just the sixth minute with a beauty that snuck into the upper right hand corner after hitting the post. Miroslav Klose added a second in the 17th and it was clear that Germany may be a fun to watch for a change. Klose added a second in the 61st and, quite amazingly, neither of his goals came via a header. I thought Klose only scored with his head. Whatever. Klose is on my fantasy team so he can score with his left ass cheek for all I care.

On the other hand, the German defense looked a tad shaky while playing its offside trap continually and Costa Rica's speedy Paulo Wanchope was sprung free on a handful of occasions and scored twice. ESPN's Marcelo Balboa, his mullet clearly in mid-tournament form, was beside himself the entire game. He couldn't believe that Germany would continue such a tactic. And he should know. Balboa, by the way, was a defender and played in the World Cup for the United States. Did you know that? Well, he said so. Several times. In fact, he says so, I'm guessing, every game he broadcasts, ever. So there. He's Marcelo Balboa and you should bow and worhip before his mullet, because as far as mullets go it just doesn't get much better than his.

It's too early to say if Germany's defense will be a liability, but it looked as though it could be deeper in the tourney, which is strange as it goes everything German soccer has ever stood for.

But who cares of that for now? We had six goals. Six! May this continue. I beg of the soccer gods. Please! If the rest of the tournament produces such high-scoring games, I'll do anything. Anything. Even bow and worship at the altar of Balboa's mullet.

Hey, did you know that Balboa was a defender for the United States? Just ask him.

Oh, and Diego Maradona was present for the pregame opening ceremonies, looking fit and trim as usual.

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