The semis are here

Finally close to the end of a wonderful journey with the top football teams of the world. Today it will be Uruguay taking on Netherlands. Spain will attack Germany tomorrow.

For the first match I will be supporting Uruguay. I think it would be a wonderful for a country like Uruguay if they are in the finals. Could make South America more than just Brazil and Argentina. Also while the Dutch team has been competent I personally have not enjoyed their game (as opposed to say, Germany) Also it will be a long shot for sure (with the way The Dutch are playing + the red card on Suarez). So Uruguay it is for today.

Tomorrow’s match will be my finals. Germany is playing a beautiful game on the offensive and are their normal efficient self defensively. They face Spain who have in their own way been getting better over the course of this cup. The odds being with Germany I will support Spain 😀

Really my choice is the childlike hope of an amateur who wants to see two first time finalists. Let’s see if silly dreams come true 🙂

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Brazil crashes out again

There goes my dream of watching an Argentina-Brazil finals. In fact seeing the debacle of Brazil in the second half I would not be surprised if Germany wins over Argentina tomorrow making it a final of Netherlands v/s Germany. That would makes the stats go for a spin would it not, 4 South American teams in the Quarters and an European team takes the cup.

Coming back to the match what happened there ??? The easy answer would be Felipe Melo – he has the potential for being the fall-guy for this one. Self goal which allowed Netherlands back into the match followed by unnecessary frustration resulting in a red card when Brazil needed all 11 players !!! However that would be too easy would it not? I mean this is the number 1 team we are talking about. We are talking about Kaka the golden boy, who once again could not find the net. We are talking of Fabiano, where was he in this match?  In fact forget all the names and let’s talk of the team. They are 2-1 down with at least 20 more minutes. Time for a world cup winning team to prove their mettle. Sadly this team disintegrated – they never looked like they could equalize. Maicon kept running and Kaka and Robinho kept trying but there was no winning attitude that was visible. In fact the only person who seemed to think they had a chance and who did not waste time with things that could not be changed (like referees decisions) was Lucio. The refereeing was very weak again but that’s no excuse for Brazil’s game. There can never be an excuse for such a game.
‘nyways, football experts and fanatics who are much more knowledgeable than me will surely come up with the reasons in more accurate detail. As a simple fan I am dejected that this team let me down again 😦
And for the record Netherlands defeated Brazil 2-1. Great play by Netherlands (and I guess an Oscar for Robben will be much deserved)

Argentina wins, Hernandez notwithstanding

Again a fun match for the neutrals, again a bad bad decision by the referee (albeit his linesman)

First the result – Argentina wins 3-1. The match was much more fun and closer than the result indicates. Mexico played quite well but were unable to convert their chances in the final yards. The one time they did it was a magnificent move by J. Hernandez. Poetry in motion.

On the Argentine side, the first goal was a refereeing error and the second was a defensive blunder the final goal was a blinder of a shot by Tevez. Could the Mexicans have hauled Argentines over the coals last night if the first goal had been disallowed as an offside? They very well might have. However like the match before I believe that the Argentine’s would have won it any which way.

Any chinks in the armor for Argentine? Hell ya! I felt they will have two chinks going into the game with Germany:

1. Messi. Stop! Before you throw your rotten tomatoes hear me out here!

Messi is a master on the field and brilliant – no doubts about it, But he has not scored yet and the pressure is building on him to put the ball into the net. I fear that pressure could make him act more selfishly than is good for the team. Even yesterday in the beginning quarter there were some chances he took which I felt would have been a sure goal if he had passed to either Higuain or Tevez. Maybe I am wrong about my read of the matter but this is one worry for Argentina, in my opinion.

2. Shifting to a lower gear when ahead

In last night’s match once they were ahead Argentina visibly slowed down and tried to play a containing game. This is a very dangerous strategy for them. I do not think they are that great defensively and playing a containing game when ahead could hurt them against teams like Germany

Finally the refereeing. FIFA needs to get some technology into play and some referral system. I think this is nor more a debatable issue. It is an absolute must unless they want to see a referee dead or badly injured due to a bad decision given. I think a max number of challenges allowed would be good enough, like in American football (and I believe in Hockey too). I personally feel that after the first goal the Mexicans were so frustrated that it showed on their game. They were limp till half time. In fact they dangerously skirted getting multiple cards with their protests and were lucky that the referee understood the situation and did not reach for the cards. Also the shameful scene at half-time could have been avoided if the referee was allowed to change his decision.

Anyaway, all in all it was a fun match. Loved the Mexicans but my heart was with the pint-sized Maradona and his jolly men. Hope today’s matches are as much fun but without the unnecessary stress of bad decisions.