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Egypt v USA


Kick off is at 19:30 (BST), 12:30 (EDT), 09:30 (PDT), 14:30 (EDT), 11:30 (PDT) [see comments for explanation], and a bunch of other times depending on your time zone.  The math isn’t that difficult.  Usually — but then the love of my life lives eight time zones away, so I’m fairly adept at this sort of math.  

I am going to try to watch this one, so might have something erudite to say about it tomorrow.  It looks like striker Mohamed Zidan may not be fit, which is the extent of the good news.  He’s probably Egypt’s best player (and yes, I’m inviting arguments about the absent Mido), plus a) looked damned good against Brazil in the opening match, and b) is one of only two players on the current Egypt squad who plays in one of the big five leagues (Zidan plays for Borussia Dortmund in Bundesliga 1; the other is Middlesbrough midfielder Mohamad Shawky, who technically will be playing for a second tier side next season as Middlesbrough were relegated hence on their way to Plymouth for a match, suckers).
The US counters with a well-rested Ricardo Clark, so anticipate mayhem.  In light of Egypt’s defeat of Italy in the previous match, the US are not, technically, eliminated.  So here’s what has to happen for the US to proceed on to a losing date in the knock-out round: we have to win, and Italy lose to Brazil.  But wait, there’s more!  We’d require a six goal change in goal differential.  In other words, if the full time result is Egypt 0 – 3 USA, and Italy 0 – 3 Brazil, the US are through.  Or any set of results that add up to at least a six goal swing.
Northern Ireland’s chances of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup are better.  So rather than waste your time watching this match, read Rob’s latest Sunday Book Review below.  Or better, read Rob while “watching” the match.  Me, I’m heading down to the bookies to put some precious cash on “first American player sent off” in this match . . . 
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