Sunday, March 16, 2008

Well... That Was Exciting!

What a crazy pair of games at The HDC tonight. First, Canada scored five goals against Guatemala and was feeling pretty good about their chances to advance with seven goals scored and a +4 goal differential (goal differential is the first tie breaker).

Then the late game just blew wide open. Mexico hit the post twice in the first few minutes, then scored, then went up a man after a Haiti red card. It was 2-1 in the 70th minute, and 3-1 when Mexico earned a PK. They MISSED the penalty kick, then proceeded to have numerous chances saved by the heroics of Haiti goalkeeper Johnny Placide. They did end up scoring a couple more for a 5-1 final, but with everything happening in the game, including Haiti going down to nine men, you got the feeling that it was inches from being 10-1. Winning by four goals leaves Mexico out of the semifinals by a tiebreaker.

Placide may have earned himself some contract offers after tonight's performance. Yes he gave up five, but when highlights of this game turn up on youtube, you'll see why he earned Man of the Match honors from ESPN Deportes, and all the U.S. coaches.

It was difficult to watch the all-important games in an unfamiliar city. But with slingboxes set to ESPN Deportes and computers set to, there were stations of players and staff watching throughout the hotel. The internet connection was a few minutes behind, so there were phone chains and contacts at The HDC on standby, calling with updates every few minutes. During the five and a half minutes of stoppage time there must have been about 30 phone calls between each "viewing station." Ohh.... technology.

No comments: