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Liverpool at the World Cup: Saturday Round-Up

As expected, a busy day for Liverpool internationals in South Africa.

Something I missed the other day, though---Greece took on South Korea this morning, meaning that Sotirios Kyrgiakos was in the mix for the Greeks. Unfortunately things didn't turn out so well for Kyrgiakos or the Greeks---South Korea more or less had their way with Greece, winning 2-0 through goals from Lee Jung-Soo and Park Ji Sung. The Greeks didn't pose any threat until it was too late, looking tame for most of the match and casting their prospects for the knockout round in great doubt. Kyrgiakos didn't feature , and you've got to worry about their chances.

Greece face Nigeria in their next match, and while Nigeria weren't exactly worldbeaters, they certainly looked to have more ideas than Greece. Of course, this could have been a result of having faced Diego Maradona's Argentina, who, despite all their attacking talent, might as well have been told to run in circles for 90 minutes. It's not a stretch to say that the Argentineans could use a bit of direction.

But you can't blame either of Liverpool's Argentineans, or any Argentinean for that matter, for Maradona's ignorance. Both Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez had decent showings, with the former playing a full 90 and the latter coming on for Juan Sebastian Veron in the 74th minute. Argentina is undoubtedly one of the more talented sides in the World Cup, but their lack of actual tactics and general disorganization doesn't bode well for their survival beyond the group stage.

The match of the day came in the form of the 1-1 draw between England and the USA, and all three of Liverpool's English internationals had a part to play. Steven Gerrard captained the side and got on the score sheet in the 4th minute, looking about as good as he has all year. I got numerous text messages asking where this Gerrard was during the league campaign, and it's a fair question---he put in one of the more inspired performances I've seen from him all year.

Glen Johnson looked similarly inspired, bombing forward at will from right back. Much was made of the gap that he'd leave by doing so, but the US was unable to exploit the space he left and had quite a bit of trouble marking him when he got forward. Unfortunately for Johnson and England, there was nothing to be made of his forward runs, and the number of questions he asked went unanswered.

The last of Liverpool's England triumvirate, Jamie Carragher, came on at the half for the apparently injured Ledley King. Carra looked off the pace at times and struggled to deal with Jozy Altidore, but nonetheless managed a decent performance and helped keep a second half clean sheet for the Three Lions.

It was a packed day for Liverpool internationals, and it only gets better from here. Three matches again tomorrow and for the next week and a half, at which point we ratchet up to four. You could argue that the football hasn't been of the highest quality so far, but it's still the World Cup, and there's still plenty of action left.

And just a reminder (along with shameless self-promotion) that there's all the World Cup info you'll need over at the World Cup Blog. I'd say pace yourself, but there's no point---dive in headfirst if you haven't already.

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