Monday, July 07, 2014

World Cup Semi Finals

It's been a lively first couple rounds of the knockout rounds - that have somehow ended up with all the favorites going through. It took some strange things to happen - from Chile and the US hitting the woodwork at the very end of regulation; a cheap penalty for the Netherlands against Mexico; some close misses and some spectacular goaltending to keep teams out - it's been amazingly tight, and all the more amazing for all the favorites to go through.

So now? it could still happen - Argentina against Belgium looked the best they have in the whole tournament; Holland had to go to penalties (and get some heroics out of Tim Krul, brought in specifically for the penalties) to beat Costa Rica (who were about the best defensive team in the field, when all is said and done.) Brazil is missing Neymar (a result of a bad foul at the end of a horribly reefed game, full of hacks and dives that were called but not carded, which just kept encouraging the violence), and Tiago Silva - they are deep and steering though, and have won the last two on possession and pragmatism as much as talent - which is Germany's plan as well - they could win. But it could also be time for the upsets - if Germany winning can be called an upset. Holland winning might be one, but not a huge one - they have scuffled at times, but Robben might be the second best player in the tourney to date (the best was James Rodriguez, by a significant margin - what a joy he has been to watch!), and Argentina has not been all that dominant - but they have won everything - same as Holland. It is going to be a corker, at least if the refs do their jobs. They have for the most part - the Brazil-Columbia game has been the only real stinker in the knockout stages. Should be fun.

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