Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spain or Netherlands?

This is the million-dollar question (literally) at the moment. And probably, by the time you would read this, most of you would know the answer to this big question. But, one thing is certain - we will have a new name on the trophy this time. Here I make another attempt to remember somethings worth remembering about the knockout stage mainly of the biggest sporting event, which reaches climax today (the earlier one is here).

Round of 16:
Germany playing England, and Spain playing Portugal so early in the Cup race were the highlights of this round. While Germany truly slaughtered the English side, Spain stepped ahead quietly with a single-goal victory. While, Argentina and Brazil continued looking good to strengthen their claim for the cup, Ghana ended the American Dream to keep the host continent's hope alive. Two big faults by referees which went against England (for Germany) and Mexico (for Argentina) led to resurfacing of the old debate of inclusion of more technology in the game. Though FIFA President went on to apologise to English and Mexican team, governments and people, the question of the extent of damage these errors caused to the fairness of a tournament as big as FIFA World Cup remains open to debate and discussion.

Quarter Finals:
4 matches, 4 South American teams - 1 in each. And the one team that went through was not expected to reach the Semis before the kick-off of the World Cup. The giants - Brazil and Argentina subsided to let Netherlands and Germany to go through. While the Dutch team impressed with consistent passing and constant attacking to perforate the Brazilian defence, German team continued to crush their worthy opponents mercilessly to rise to the title of World Cup favourites. Ghana failed to become the first African team to end up in the last 4 due to 'Hand of God', first and 'Bar of God', later. Gyan is going to regret that missed penalty all his life for sure. But the early exits of Argentina and Paraguay at this stage denied some naked runs (Paraguan defeat came as a disappointment for many excited males) [1], [2]

Semi Finals:
Diego Forlan led the brave Uruguan side so far with his skilled gameplay, but a short lapse in concentration of defense gave the Dutch team an opportunity to break-in twice in 3 minutes. Many people wished the other semi-finalists (Germany vs Spain) to clash in the Grand Finale instead. The star-studded line-up on both sides raised the expectations to a heated competition. But as the game kicked off, Spain took lead and played their game of passing in the mid-field and waiting for the opportune moment. They never allowed Germans to take control and raise the pace of the game to their advantage. Spaniards succeeded in getting to the Finals with another low-scoring victory.

Third-place Playoff:
I missed the first half of the match as I failed to get back to MSR from Mysore in time, but according to a friend (Apoorv Gupta):
"Yesterday's match was awesome... lots of aggressiveness, and a lot of bad passes etc. combined to make it one of the most entertaining so far." But, surely Uruguay deserved the extra-time, which Forlan had almost won with his almost-perfect free kick as the last shot of the match.

Now, its time to enjoy the colourful closing ceremony put up to mark the culmination of another edition of World Cup! I'm going to miss the World Cup so much, so many memories in the '3rd floor collaboration room' of MSR! My intern experience would remain incomplete without the mention of these football matches. :)

1 comment:

  1. yar seriously itne dhyan se match dkhna nt possible 4 everyone and with these minute details impossible 4 me at least in this birth .........seriously..... m not joking,....


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