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England and the US slog through
Maybe one of these days i should pick more than a functional international side to support. But i guess you can't help where you've lived in your life.
While it took 24 more hours than anyone thought, England and Poland finally got on with the 1-1 draw pretty much everyone assumed was coming. Instead of postponing from yesterday when the Polish FA couldn't figure out how to close a roof to a stadium with a retractable roof (the jokes are too easy here), they should have just declared it a 1-1 draw and saved us all the trouble.
It was a typical Hodgson side performance, with dogged being the nicest word you could use. But it was hardly inventive or attractive, and it's probably never going to be with the backwoods marriage of England's talent and Hodgson's style. No matter what England do, they'll always be this side that's just kind of there. They're always likely to qualify for major tournaments and they're always likely to not do much when they get there. They might as well join the Concacaf region.
So England sit atop their group by a point but having played a game more. But one of their two toughest away fixtures is now out of the way, and other than the trip to Ukraine their qualification should be straight-forward. But you can totally see them biffing that home game with Poland, can't you?
Speaking of the Concacaf region, my homeland got the win that we all asked for against Guatemala after more hilarious defending. "Hilarious defending" being the definition of "Bocanegra", as it's always been, It's funny how in the stars and stripes Tim Howard gets so much more jittery. In an Everton shirt, he comes for that hopeless long ball that Carlos Ruiz converted and it's never a chance. He doesn't flap at crosses or spill shots. Sure, he gets all the pub for performances like the one in Azteca in August, but the errors are far more prevalent.
While Clint Dempsey will get the plaudits for scoring twice, he still couldn't be bothered for most of the match and only showed effort when presented with a chance he couldn't miss. Even though he tried his hardest to miss the second of those. Once again, Michael Bradley was far and away the best player the US had and the most interested. At home against Guatemala, that's usually enough.