Nigeria freaking dominated. I don't care about them being a man down...the U.S. wasn't even close to competitive in that game.
Shots on goal in the first half was 11-0. Wha wha what?!?!
A draw still gets you there and your defense is getting beaten horribly on pretty much every other attack and you don't adjust and give them more help.
Even before Nigeria scored their first goal it was obvious the U.S. was in pretty big trouble trying to defend those guys.
Congratulations to Nigeria because they definitely deserve it.
Would have been nice if the U.S. could have played 11x11 without a potentially bogus red card (seemed a bit strong to call a red on that) but the way that game went I'm not sure it would have made any difference.
U.S. scores 3 in the top of the 9 to take a 7-6 lead.
The go ahead hit came with 2 strikes and 2 outs.
South Korea scores 2 in the bottom of the 9th to win it 8-7.
South Korea has a good team but the U.S. was a clear favorite for that game.
Top 4 teams out of the 8 team round-robin advance which are expected to be Cuba, US, Japan, South Korea.
Canada maybe has an outside chance to sneak in there. I doubt Taiwan does but you never know.
Regardless, the U.S. losing to South Korea makes their road to the semi-finals a bit tougher with much less wiggle room.
Beating either Japan or Cuba now is kind of necessary or else they COULD actually conceivably run the risk of not advancing I believe. 4-3 should still be good enough most likely though (if they win against Canada, Taiwan, China, Netherlands) but not a guarantee.
Canada and Taiwan could still be sneaky and perhaps force a 2 or 3 way tie at 4 wins each (if one of them knocks of s. Korea or Japan perhaps).
4-3 record SOUNDS like it should be good enough to finish 4th out of 8 teams.
But China and Netherlands at the bottom could end up losing every game (except against each other) so only 4 wins is not a lock.
Anyway, that was a pretty bad start for the U.S. and the pressure just got turned up a notch for them in this prelim round stuff.
U.S. plays Netherlands tonight at 10:30pm eastern which is pretty much a gimmie. They are the worst team in the field.
U.S. versus Cuba Thursday night at 11:30pm eastern could be quite good.
Normally I would be rooting for Canada against the powerhouses like Cuba, etc (Canada vs. Cuba tomorrow morning) just because I like them. But a Canada win against one of the top 4 (US, CUB, JAP, S. KOR) means they could replace the U.S. in the semi's possibly. So it actually means fans of the U.S. should be rooting for teams like Cuba and Japan to take care of business against teams like Korea, Canada, Taiwan. That's just looking at the most likely scenarios though.
Weird things can happen in single-elim baseball tourneys (example: Canada in the World Baseball Classic in 2006...as well as Mexico).
the rationale of the IOC doesn't make much sense to me in removing the sports. Also basketball is highly entertaining especially when 2 good teams go at it. I can't wait for Spain-USA and maybe USA-Argentina if it happens.
Chinese weightlifters are ridiculous, they are easily doing lifts that most other countries struggle immensely with, and I think it really is due to better training and better technique than the others...