Slovenia (1-0-1, 4 pts.) — Certainly the surprise leader. Deserved the win against Algeria in the opener, but were very fortunate to salvage a point in this most recent game after taking a two-goal lead.
U.S.A. (0-0-2, 2 pts.) — The deserved group leaders have suffered from slow starts. And Oguchi Onyewu has had a hand in all three goals allowed. Shown the resiliency to come back twice.
England (0-0-2, 2 pt.) — Arguably one of the most disappointing teams in the field so far. Had the frustrated look of the French after a scoreless draw with Algeria. Chemistry, especially on offense, is awful.
Algeria (0-1-1, 1 pt.) — Were considered the walk-over team of the group, but battled well for 90 minutes against the group favorite. Still alive to advance and have something to play for against the U.S.
What stands out so far
1. That awful call — Still shaking my head over that disallowed Edu winner. Looked like the U.S. suffered several fouls on the play, and didn’t nearly commit one.
2. What’s up with England? — This team was an unstoppable force in qualifying. Now the Three Lions can’t buy a goal. It’s been 176 minutes now.
3. Everyone is alive — The final day of this group is going to be nuts. Each team is still in contention and I’m sure they’re all hopeful of moving on.
Three stars (has anyone stood out?)
1. M Landon Donovan, United States
2. M Ryad Boudebouz, Algeria
3. GK Tim Howard/M Michael Bradley, United States
It’s all there to play for. Simply, if the U.S. wins, it advances. If that call hadn’t been made, I’m pretty the U.S. would just need a tie to advance and could win the group with a win. The final day group-stage play in this one might be the best of all the groups in the tournament. I still think the hometown team and England advance.
Some people are a little confused about the flags come World Cup time. England is represented with this flag, not the flag of the United Kingdom, since Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales each have their own national soccer teams.