As is often the case in the World Cup, the matchup that looks least interesting turns out to be a thriller. Saudi Arabia vs. Tunisia was a terrific game. Great goals, great hard work, and lots of excitement. They tied on an extra time goal by Tunisia. 2-2. What a game.
Spain clobbered the Ukraine, 4-0. This was a bit of a surprise, although our Flaco is a happy lad. Spain is always strong, but have a knack for underachieving. The surprise is that Ukraine looked so bad. Shevchenko had an awful day and it turns out that he's the only power Ukraine has.
So... after the first round of matches, having seen all the teams play, it's difficult to say who looks best. Spain certainly looked great today. Brazil looked okay, but they've got to sit Ronaldo. He's dead weight. I've never thought he's as great a player as others say. Ronaldinho was fine. Kaka was the star. But Croatia looked very strong too.
Argentina, Italy, England, and Germany all won but looked mediocre in the process. Holland looked very solid and my favorites, the Czechs, looked strong.
As for France, the team to which Helmut's heart is attached, they tanked. The Swiss, however, sat back and played like Italians: almost all defense. A few changes in the lineup and I think we'll see France get back on track. Only Brazil has a better collection of individual talent. They need to gel as a team.
Other teams that I think are exciting and could pull off serious upsets are Trinidad-Tobago, Ecuador, and Cote d'Ivoire.
So, now, we get to see the next test for Germany. Poland was awful in their first match. They should come back with a stronger game and Germany will have a tougher test than Costa Rica.