By Jon Meoli
The Baltimore Sun
11:41 AM EDT, June 15, 2014
Yesterday in one sentence: Nobody needs me to remind them life is unfair, but the fact that we are judged as people on the same scale as Andrea Pirlo is terribly unfortunate for us all.
What’s on tap: Switzerland vs. Ecuador, 12 p.m., ABC; France vs. Honduras, 3 p.m.; ABC; Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6 p.m., ESPN.
What you’ll see: On the eve of the United States’ first game, it’s important to note that CONCACAF is 2-0 with a pair of big wins so far in the tournament. Every other continent has lost, and Honduras has a chance to continue that against a young, talented French side. If that sounds improbable to you, it’s because it’s actually improbable, but I said the same thing about Costa Rica yesterday and they dealt Uruguay a sixth-straight loss in Uruguay’s World Cup openers. CONCACAF is always tough to evaluate given the brand of soccer played, but the conditions in Brazil could just be ideal for it.
Honduras will have to do it against a French team missing star Franck Ribery through injury, but with a talented group of World Cup debutantes on the team. Younger teams have had a mixed bag so far — Holland had a young spine but its older stars carried them to a rout of Spain, while England’s young guns weren’t enough to overcome Italy’s.
Switzerland, one of the top teams out of European qualifying, faces an Ecuador team that’s entering the tournament in poor form. But another top qualifier who may have been flattered by an easy group in Europe (Greece) lost, 3-0, Saturday to a passionately supported South American side (Colombia). Switzerland should use that as a lesson entering a game against a relatively unknown Ecuadorian side.
In the day’s finale, Argentina faces Bosnia and Herzegovina in what will likely be the most exciting match of the day. Argentina’s strike force of Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, and Sergio Aguero will look to outgun Bosnian star Eden Dzeko, Bosnia is carrying good form into the tournament, but like Greece and Switzerland, may have been flattered by the ease with which they qualified for the tournament.
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