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Keystone Kops Football
<img attachment="288515-1186384-317-238.jpg" align="left" class="frame" caption="Angola vs. Mexico">Though there's been some supremely good football in the first week of the world cup, there has also been some disappointing football. And then there's the Angola-Mexico match. Now that was so <i>bad</i>, it was funny. The Angolans outclassed the Mexicans throughout most of the match, mostly due to their ability to string two whole passes together where the Mexicans were managing at most one. Mexico must have gotten the mistaken notion that they were good just because they consistently beat the USA. Mexico was god-awful and couldn't get a single shot on goal (on goal---they shot <i>at</i> goal a couple of times) in the ten minutes during which they had a man advantage at the end of the match. Angola wasn't better at finishing, but showed some more flair when passing, though they have also mastered the art of passing to the wrong team. Possession changes were fast and furious, sometimes as high as four in five seconds. Amazing stuff. The <a href="http://www.eurosport.com/football/worldcup/2006/livefullpage_mtc131146.shtml">official statistics</a> for the game show Mexico with 51 losses of possession to Angola's 40. That's just absurd. Anyone who watched the match knows it was <i>way</i> more. The <a href="http://www.eurosport.com/football/worldcup/2006/livefullpage_mtc131163.shtml">official statistics</a> for Argentina--Serbia Montenegro show 38 lost balls to 41---this in a match that Argentina played as close to perfectly as you can imagine. The best thing about the game was Angola's incredibly acrobatic goalkeeper. One could argue that he would need to be less acrobatic if he was in position more of the time, but that would be spoiling the party. He was a delight to watch and, when Mexico failed to capitalize on a rare miss by him late in the match<fn>, I breathed a sigh of relief. He is also apparently not even playing on a team right now, but Angola called him up for the world cup nevertheless. After this performance, he should have a home soon enough. Neither team deserved to win this match and the 0--0 result was the fairest possible. Since Angola came in the clear underdog, they come out on top having earned a draw. Mexico has earned the right to shut the hell up about being a soccer nation. The commentator on Eurosport said after the match: <iq>Angola hold on for a draw and I think I'm going to cry. Amazing result and Mexico booed off the pitch.</iq> The French commentator on Swiss TV was laughing too hard to say anything. <hr> <ft>Actually, the goaltender missed, two Mexicans whiffed on the ball, it bounced off the crossbar, and an Angolan finally got lucky and cleared it.</ft>