After a good first match and a dull second match I was hoping for better on the second day of the tournament. And I’m happy to say that my hopes became reality. At the start of the day I wasn’t really sure of what to expect for South Korea v Greece as I haven’t seen much of either team recently. I was just hoping that South Korea would do poorly as I have a few bets with my Korean buddies, sadly that didn’t really workout. For the Argentina v Nigeria match I was just hoping for a good, entertaining match, and that didn’t workout. And finally for the last match of the day I was hoping for the US to show the world they can compete with its better teams and I’m very pleased to say that did workout!

South Korea vs Greece

Dominance

At the 45,000 seated Nelson Mendela stadium in which this match was played, only 31,000 were in the crowd. And I can only feel bad for all the people who had a chance to see this match and let the oppurtunity slip. I think its time for us to really start to consider South Korea as Dark Horses as they put on a very fluid, organized, and disciplined performance. I chose the word “dominance” for this match because thats exactly what it was like from the opening whistle. Greece, defending in their traditional defensive style, broke down when Korea’s Lee Jung Soo opened the scoring on a free kick into the box in only the 7th minute. The free kick was crossed in by Manchester United’s Ji Sung Park and it was flicked on accidently by a Greece player who deflected the ball right at the feet of Soo who took the shot first time and sent the ball into the back of the net opening the scoring with the Koreans ahead 1-0.

South Korea v Greece Park Ji Sung celeb

After the goal the Greeks looked to press a little bit more, but without the quality to work the ball into the box, they gave the ball away to a hard working Korean side numerous times. The Koreans brilliantly counter-attacked with numbers and could’ve had more then a 1-0 lead going into half-time. After the break the Greeks didn’t make any substitutions to attack and continued to struggle not having a shot at the Korean goal until the 66th minute. In the meantime, Greece gave up the ball cheaply in the 52nd minute to Captain Park Ji Sung who brilliantly beat 2 Greeks to score a magnifecent goal.

Park Ji-sung

Now it was 2-0 with Greece looking as if they wouldn’t score in a World Cup match for the 4th straight time out of 4 attempts. And after some decent chances missed by Gekas, what looked to be the inevitable turned out to be that way. South Korea win in a match in which they dominated from the start.

Match Result: South Korea 2 Greece 0

I was really impressed with South Korea during this match. Every player was working hard and was well disciplined. They kept their shape and moved together almost to perfectinon as a team. Although many of their players impressed during the match I was mostly impressed with Cha Du-Ri and Lee Young-Pyo, the outside backs for the Red Devils. The went well forward and defended well enough for Greece to never really threat from the wing positions. As for Greece, I can only wish them the best as they are in pursuit of their first World Cup goal.

Argentina vs Nigeria

Respect

This match was being looked forward to by many people who was excited to see the best player in the world, Messi and Argentina’s unpredictable coach and legend Diego Maradona. I was sure this match would have more then 2 goals in it but it wasn’t to be. I used the word respect for this match as Nigeria sat back and treated Argentina as if they were soccer Gods whom they had to be cautious with and couldn’t attack. Nigeria have some really good players to you know, and they didn’t use them. They sat back from the start of the match and sure enough in the 7th minute from a corner kick, an unmarked Gabriel Heinze scored with a fantastic header from the penalty spot.

Argentina v Nigeria

The Argentines continued to press for about another 20 minutes and if it wasn’t for Nigeria’s keeper Enyeama’s tremendous efforts to keep Argentina out of his net then the match could of got out of hand. After pressing for a reasonable amount of time, the Argentines kept possession and kind of played around with the ball as the nigerians continued to sit back. In the second half the Nigerians finally looked to create at least a few chances. Most of their chances were long range efforts but one of them came at about the 85th minute when substitute Kalu Uche had a crossed ball fall to him about 5 yards away from the goal. The ball wasn’t easy to hit and as a result Uche hit the ball just over the goal with his stronger right foot. That was Nigeria’s golden chance to level up the match and against stronger opposition you need to make those golden chances count to get anything from the match.

Final Result: Argentina 1 Nigeria 0

I was really disappointed by this match as  both teams have quality up front to score plenty of goals. The man of the match for me was easily Enyeama who was simply spectacular for the Nigerians and kept the game respectable. I hope to see better from Argentina as I’m sure they will play better when they are tested against better opposition and have to press to get a goal for the full 90 minutes. As for Nigeria, if they can beat Greece, whom they should be able to beat, they will be playing South Korea to see who goes through to the next round assuming South Korea don’t beat Argentina.

At the end of the day

South Korea is on top of the group after putting out a tremendous performance versus Greece. After today I can’t see Greece getting any points from the WC. Lets just hope they can score! It’ll be interesting to see if South Korea can beat Argentina cause if not it will be a fantastic showdown between them and Nigeria to see who goes through to the second round! But for now, South Korea v Argentina is a match I am very much looking forward to in 5 days time.

After all the advertisements, anticipation, and hype that has been brought upon the World Cup over the past few months, the tournament is finally underway! I myself ended up reading 3 World Cup guides, a 300-page history of the event, and also watched 5 hours of coverage on the eve of the tournament leaving me blue in the face with how much analysis and opinion I received. So with the tournament starting there was not only excitement but almost relief as well as a match was finally being played!

South Africa vs Mexico

South Africa's Siphiwe Tshabalala celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Mexico

As the 94,000 at Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg were flying their flags and blowing their vuvuzelas, (which gave me a headache) the scene was set. As the South African players sung their national anthem it looked as if every player was set to seize the moment of kicking off the World Cup for the the first time in not just their country but also on African soil. So it was somewhat of a suprise to see Mexico have a great chance within the first minute of the match! And the Mexicans continued to have great chances and the majority of the possession in the first half. A bit of luck and some great blocks and eventful clearances from the South Africans kept the match level at half time what could of so easily been 2-0 or 3-0 to the Mexicans. But the second half was a different story. After some great ball movement through the middle and a pass out to Tshabalala on the left flank it lead into a breakaway for Bafana Bafana who suprisingly were out to a 1-0 lead sending the crowd into a frenzy!

REUTERS/Henry Romero

The goal was a scorching one from the wonderfully named player (Tshabalala). He was dribbling the ball at a rapid pace and still managed to strike the ball with fury into the top right corner of the goal, nearly ripping the back of the net! This goal must’ve ment so much to Tshabalala who grew up just a few miles away from the stadium! But the goal was cancelled out 24 minutes after a mistake by the team captain Aaron Mokoena kept 3 of the Mexican players onside and clean through on goal. With only the keeper to beat, former Mexican captain and Barcelona player Rafael Marquez miss-hit the shot but thankfully for him it went in anyways tying the game at 1-1.

Marquez equaliser frustrates South Africa

Up to that point it looked as if the South Africans were going to go on and win the match as they were in control, but it wasn’t to be after the Mexicans unlucky first half brought them a bit of luck at that point in the second half. Not too long after, in the dying minutes of the game, Katlego Mphela was clean through on goal after running onto a chipped pass over the slow Mexican center backs. The striker was about 5 yards from the goal, but had to take the shot with his weaker left foot, off balanced, and was slightly put off by the Mexican defender who was right next to him. The shot ended up hitting the post! He maybe should’ve done better and if he was a top class striker he would have but he missed it leading the match ending in a 1-1 draw. With Bafana Bafana being ranked 49th going into the match and playing the 17th ranked Mexicans it wasn’t too bad of a result for them but they would have really liked the win as it isn’t going to get easier playing Uruguay and France. The South Africans kept the streak going of the home nation never losing in the first match but they are in danger of the being the first home nation ever to not qualify for the second round.

Match Result: South Africa 1 Mexico 1

It was an interesting match with both sides having their dominant moments throughout the match and both teams scoring while the other team was dominating. I was really pulling for Bafana Bafana to beat El Tri as they were the underdogs and being American I like to see our neighbors do poorly. I thought Giovanni Dos Santos and (I love saying this name!) Tshablala were the two best players in the match today. Dos Santos often drove his team forward in the South African final third and Tshabalala of course had that fantastic goal (early candidate for goal of the tournament) but also had many touches on the ball without losing it and he held possession and went forward well.

Uruguay vs France

Going in to this match I was very excited to see it. Uruguay having a tremendous attack pairing with Forlan and Suarez, and France having world class players all over the pitch. But after about the first 20 minutes I realized this match wasn’t going to be a classic, or even a good match. This picture I’m going to put up sums up the entire match.

Uruguay v France

There were fouls and hard tackles all over the pitch and there wasn’t much beauty in the match. From the first whistle the Uruguayans sat back and defended. They tried defending and then counter-attacking with their two great forwards, but whenever they got the ball up to them, they had no support besides themselves so it was always two on four and of course against the world class defenders France has it doesn’t matter how good your strikers are, your not going to score. Uruguays defending led to the French getting frustrated and shooting long range shots that were never going to go in. Perhaps the best chance of the match was in the first few minutes when Ribery played a fantastic ball across goal to find Sidney Govou open to just tap the ball past the keeper but he failed to make enough contact with the ball, resulting in the shot to go far wide. It really was a dull match with the keepers hardly having any work to do throughout. Perhaps the most interesting part of the match came when Nicolas Lodiero came on as a substitute and it only took him 16 minutes to get 2 yellow cards resulting in a red card. His second yellow card happened when he came in late on a challenge on France’s right back Bakary Sagna studs up and right to the ankle. The match ended with a dull free kick from the legendary Thierry Henry that bounced off the Uruguayan wall and sealed the point that Los Charruas (Uruguay) had been looking for, quite clearly, from the start of the match.

Match Result: Uruguay 0 France 0

It really was a shame that Uruguay didn’t take advantage and attack France who had just lost to the 89th ranked China less than a week ago. And it really is a shame that France didn’t perform better with the quality that they have. I would have at least liked to see them use the wings more where they have Ribery and Govou who really have bags of ability. For me it seemed that neither team could really produce that killer ball to break down the other teams defense when they were in the opposing teams final third. I hope to see better matches from both teams in their next two matches.

At the end of the day

Everyone in Group A is tied at one point apeice and there is no inclination of how this group is going to pan out. Its a tough one to navigate. If I had to pick the two teams going through after today it would be Mexico and South Africa. France looks too easy to frustrate and they don’t seem to be a force that they have been in years past, but maybe they can turn things around next match verse Mexico which is a key match for both teams. And we’ll see how Uruguay will play when they are not playing for a draw and they could possibly win their next 2 matches and go through to the next round. But then maybe the South Africans can push their side through to round 2 with their vuvuzelas. Its an interesting group and it will be exciting to see how it will turn out!

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow we have Group B starting up with South Korea facing Greece and Argentina playing Nigeria. And of course, the big one, we have USA playing England tomorrow. I am so nervous for the match and can only hope for the best. I’m going to an Englanders house to watch the match tomorrow and with me in my US Scarf and chanting throughout the match it should be interesting. Come on YANKS!!!!!!

For the first day in about 2 weeks the sun is shining! Not that I’m not used to rain knowing where I’m from, but I was getting sick of it and am so excited for sunny days so I can play soccer, throw the frisbee around, and just be outside in general.

This is the first day I’ve blogged in 2 days cause I got places to be and people to see. 😀 Actually, the lounge where I blog from was closed on wednesday and yesterday I was busy. But now I’m planning on blogging almost everyday so keep coming back to check it out!

I’ve been thinking about my future posts and what I’m going to start posting about and what will keep the readers interested. There’ll be some random posts of craziness which if everything falls through, you’ll be able to see later in the day. And then I want to start blogging about sports a little more as that is without a doubt my biggest hobby. Since the world cup is coming up here on June 11th I’ll be posting up some random news about that and I was thinking I could post up information about a new US player each day as you probably don’t know whose representing the stars and stripes this summer to the rest of the world.

Yesterday as many of you probably know LeBron James, my question is weather my dreams will come true and he will be a Knick! The Knicks haven’t been good for a decade now and if he came he would surely change that as he’s the best basketball player in the NBA. Please LeBron, come to the mecca of basketball!

Some other sports news of note yesterday is that Ronaldinho, one of the best players of the past decade will not be in the world cup. The organizers of the world cup are furious but he has become a very inconsistent performer this past season as he gets older, and Brazil has about 15 good players for each position. So if you don’t bring your best week in week out you probably won’t be representing them.

Can somebody please teach me how to fold my clothes? I’m walking out of the dorms with wrinkles in places I didn’t think was possible!

Hope you all have a nice day! God Bless!

Its around 9pm and its pouring rain outside as I await Carl to come back from his workout. As I’m wating in the lounge I’m entertaining myself with baseball on ESPN. At about 9:15pm Carl walks in drenched with a mixture of sweat and rain smothered all over him. I ask him if he wants to be interviewed tonight and with a big smile he says “yes.” We then go to his room and right away we get started.

What is your hometown?

Carl: Bergen, Norway

Lived there your whole life? And in the same house?

C: Yes

 What are you interests?

C: Soccer, blogging, writing random stuff, hanging out with friends, reading, and ping pong.

Favorite Movies?

C: The Inside Man, Castaway, and Shawn Shank Redemption.

Favorite Band?

C: Coldplay

Favorite Norweigen Band?

C: Donkey Boy

Vacation Spot?

C: Study Hall. (laughs) Denmark at a place by the sea.

Place you’d most like to visit?

C: Ends of the world and Australia.

Book?

C: (Thinks for a while) I’m gonna have to say the Harry Potter Series. Those books opened my eyes to reading and writing.

Favorite Author?

C: Stephen King and Don Miller.

Resturaunt?

C: Starbucks.

Candy?

C: Peanut Butter M&M’s

Favorite Sport?

C: Underwater Polo

Store?

C: Barnes and Noble

What are the first 5 things that you think about when I say the word America?

C: My brother, sister, hillcrest, soccer, and hamburgers.

What are your opinions of the US?

C: Its basically a huge mix of different cultures and its like a bunch of small countries, I think its more of a continent then one country. Its a charming country but it has its weaknesses.

What do you think the weaknesses are?

C: I don’t like the death penalty. Everything seems to consist of politics such as in law, the school books, regulations, there always seems to be a rich man behind it.

What is your opinion of socialism?

C: I think it sounds bad to a lot of Americans because they look at it as a way to communism because of the cold war. Socialism does have a lot of weaknesses as it is a system which benefits the lazy, but it works well in a country like Norway much because of the oil.

What is your favorite Bible verse?

C: I know its kind of gay to say it but I have to say its John 3:16. Whenever I’m in doubt i turn to that verse.

Have you grown in your faith while at Hillcrest?

C: Yes. Hillcrest has helped me realize that Christianity cannot be contained to one aspect of life. Its should be used in all aspects of life, not just in church, such as politics, work, ethics,etc. Living in the dorm has also taught me that we are to be hard working people.

When you go back to Norway what changes will you make to yourself?

C: I will appreciate my mom doing the laundry, food, freedom, no curfew, and just all the little things in general.

If you could meet one person in the world who you it be?

C: Eve so i can give her a smack in the face! (laughs) Of course Jesus Christ. If i had to choose a living person then J.K. Rowling.

When do you plan on cutting your hair?

C: The plan is to cut it in December.  I made a deal with Thomas not to cut my hair until then and even though he’s cut his I gonna stick to the plan. I’ve reaceived various comments about my hair suchs as, “Whats with the hobo look?” and, “You need a haircut dude!”

What are your plans for life?

C: I want to travel, maybe pick up the special someone along the way, and for work I want to do something involved with writing such as journalism, blogging,etc.

Do you want to stay in Norway?

C: Not sure. I don’t know what the future holds for me.

Anything else you would like to add?

C: Yes. When I was in 11th grade I lost a really good Christian friend. And the day I got back home from the funeral I got a letter that said I was accepted into Hillcrest. I remember in worldview class Mr. Isaac said that God gives us problems, but he promises to help us out of those problems and I guess that letter was God helping me get through the hard time.

For the last part of the interview were going to play a game of “This or That.” Are you ready?

C: Sure

Hot or Cold?

C: Hot

Salt or Pepper?

C: Pepper

Peanut Butter or Jelly?

C: Peanut Butter

Black or White?

C: Black

Boxers or Briefs

C: Briefs

Shorts or Jeans?

C: Shorts

Day or Night?

C: Night

Burn to death or Freeze to death?

C: wow! umm freeze to death.

Blonde or Brunette?

C: Blonde

Sand or Snow?

C: Sand

Watching or Playing a Sport

C: Playing

Circumsized or Uncircumisized?

C: (laughing) uncircumsized.

And that concludes our interview. As I leave the room to thank Carl for the interview, I give him a hug and can still smell and feel the sweat on his body even after coming back from his workout an hour and a half earlier. He wants to tell every girl that he’s single and has yet to kiss an American girl. You can check his blog here.

They say the best things in life come free. Well I spent quite a good amount for JS and had an absolutely fantastic night!  The day started at about 4pm for me where I took pictures with my beautiful date Malin Knudsen and countless other people so we could capture the memories that would soon be made! “The Grand March” then happened at around 5:15pm. After that we had pretty good food and listened to Cl. Shaun Stroud speak. The banquet was decent but then afterwards the party really kicked off! Once the banquet was over we were greeted outside to a stretch hummer limo! And after 8 champagne glasses of monster and some ice cream I suprised some people with how crazy I can be. Singing my heart out to “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Chasing Cars” were particular highlights. And then we got to a recreation center where we swam, went down waterslides, played basketball, soccer, and rollerskated! After that mental period we had a nice time in worship where we reflected on our great night with God. By the time that was over we were all shattered as we went back to the dorms on the school bus, and were ready to crash on our beds at around 3am. The next day we all slept in and when I woke up at 12:30 I put my hand over my heart to find that it was still beating fast from all the caffeine I had consumed from the previous night! All in all it was a night that I will never forget!

After being inspired by Carl here at the Hillcrest Boys Dorm I started a blog! I don’t really know what I’m doing and my header and presentation are shocking to say the least at the moment, but Rome wasn’t built in a day!

I plan on posting things about my life, politics, my beliefs, opinion, sports, music, movies, etc. Just about anything and everything that pops up into my head that I think should go on here will be on here!

I made this blog primarily for friends and family so they can see whats happening in my life. I hope I will be able to update this blog frequently and that you will read it frequently! 🙂

Not the most exciting opening post but I’m thinking about some ideas that I can put in this blog. So far I’ve thought about a “song of the day” idea so whenever I hear a new song thats good I’ll post it up here for your opinion on it. And then I thought about a profiling idea where I’ll put up some pics of the person I’m profiling and interview them so you can see who i hangout with at Hillcrest! Any other suggestions?