long way round

2010 World Cup Quarter Finals Review

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Uruguay and Ghana performed a spirited match in which a Sully Muntari strike opened the door for Ghana to advance. But-and how many times have you heard this storyline?-Forlan would drag the team back into contention with a wonderful free kick that led Kingson helplessly flail his arms and the Jabulani in the back of the net. The rest of the match was a stalemate, all the way to extra time. At the end of extra time, a late scramble in front of Uruguay's goal led to a header by Adiyiah, only to be prevented by Luis Suarez's hand (of God, or Diablo, you pick). 

Now, the referee, thankfully, saw it and gave a red card and a penalty. All Asamoah Gyan needed to do was put it in, just like he did twice before in this tournament. But that didn't happen. Instead, he shanked it high above the goal. Did Suarez cheat? He did what he had to, and was punished within the rules of FIFA. Was it considered "beautiful football?" Probably not. Would anyone else do the same thing to help their team? Absolutely. I, for one, wanted to see Ghana advance because it would have made for a great story, this being the first tournament in Africa and all. But, unfortunately when it came time to perform, Gyan simply couldn't. And during penalties, Mensah, out of his arrogance, made a poor penalty that practically gifted it to the keeper. And finally an Adiyiah miss put Uruguay through. So, yes the Suarez handball may not have been the classiest act, but was well within the rules of the game. Suarez' claim that the real hand of God belonged to him was an even more of a douche move. But the fact of the matter is Gyan should have put that penalty in to win the game. But he didn't. The Black Stars had another opportunity to win, but they failed to deliver. And that's where the men are separated from the boys, and the mega million paycheck is separated from the paltry million paycheck. Maybe this calls for changes to the rules, but until then Suarez did what he needed to keep his team alive, and Gyan didn't do what he should've done to put his team through. It's sad, but it is what it is. 

Oranje Crush
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The Dutch have done it. They beat the tournament favorites Brazil. And now, every football fan is rejoicing that Dungaball is over. Let's face it, Brazil without its flair and panache, without its Ronaldo (the fat one), Ronaldinho, and Kaka trifecta is not really the Brazil we want. We want the samba, the dancing, the pass after pass, the nutmeg, the pedalada, and the goals that will be shown in highlight after highlight and immortalized in Youtube. Instead, we were subject to the god-forsaken Dungaball. We were coerced to watch defense and counter attacks over flair and possession. But everyone can now breathe a sigh of relief, as the Dutch have now crowned themselves as the nation with the spirit of jogo bonito

A Felipe Melo error put Julio Cesar out of reach from the ball going in. And not to be outdone by his first error, Melo committed an unnecessary stomp on Robben that got him sent off and Brazil down with ten men.    Sure, even I prognosticated that this tournament would be the era of counter attacks and defense first. I had Julio Cesar as the golden boot winner, and Brazil as the lifter of the Jules Rimet. But, alas, Brazil was left unraveled and all their defense couldn't save them from the tireless Kuyt who provided the engine, and a masterful Sneijder that put in both goals to put them on top. Meanwhile, my favorite, Robin Van Persie was lackluster like all his superstar colleagues, and he's not even a Nike man. By the way, Arsenal released their new jerseys, hot or not?

David Villa's Spain
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There's no doubt anymore that Spain is David Villa's team. It's not Fernando Torres', or Xabi Alonso's, or Xavi Herandez's. And with his lone goal, Spain marched to their first ever semi-final of the World Cup. But let's take a step back here and watch the manner in which Spain has come here. At times in the group stage, their defense was exposed, and all their tiki taka was for naught, but in this crucial quarter final match, it produced a winner. Alas, that's all that I could say about this otherwise lifeless match.

Die Mannschaft!
But what you really wanted to hear about is Germany. Yes, this new youthful, multi-cultural, Germany. The Germans have shown England and the like what happens when you spend millions in your youth setup, instead of on pointless exhibitions to pimp your star players and ungodly salaries to your Italian mob boss. What you get is a successful transition from old to young, from blonds to non-blonds. Team Germany truly reflects this multi-cultural, multi-polar, and multi-ethnic world we live in. Even the Aryan looking Germans are actually from Poland!   How cool is that?  But wait, there's more delicious offerings from the National Mannschaft. Miroslav Klose, the striker that everyone written off, including Bayern fans, have emerged as a Golden Boot contender with four goals to his name. Thomas Müller, is the youngest footballer at the age of 20 to score in the World Cup, and have done it four times already. The average age of the team is 24. And their coach, Joachim Low has the best sartorial taste among all the coaches in the tournament by a landslide. 

And finally, all of the punditry touting this tournament as the death of the old world domination, including from myself, has been made somewhat in haste, now that we have three out of four teams in the quarter-finals represented by European nations.  

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Written by shindz

July 7, 2010 at 6:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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