Tag: World Cup 2010
Uruguay had a very difficult time making it into the World Cup. They did not exactly had the most brilliant qualification stage ever. The team played Costa Rica for the last spot among the North and South American teams. But one thing you can count on. The Uruguayans have a lot of soul and just plain enthusiasm and stamina. They go all out, put their hearts behind each game. And that is how a small country in South America, with no more then 4 million habitants have once again made it to the top of the soccer world.
The Germans have had a long-standing tradition of good World Cup performances. This is the second consecutive tournament in which they finish third. But there is much more to be said about this German squad. They are one of the youngest teams to come in the tournament. With the exception of the Veteran striker Miroslav Klose, the Germans have proved to have made quite an exceptional team. The men guided by Joachim Low had a great run. Perhaps, missing Muller during their semifinal game against the Netherlands proved a very high price, and they could not make it to the final.
Let’s face it. The Germans and the Uruguayans did not make it to the This game played for the third place, was far more interesting and exciting, if not to say, much better played then the final game between Netherlands and Spain.
Uruguay was the last South American team standing in the World Cup. And truth be said, the Charruas had a good chance to complete the upset. And yet much has to be said about Fernando Muslera’s performance at the end of the Uruguayans defense. It is well known that the goalkeeper is one of most thankless jobs ever. But even the young keeper agrees that this was one of his worst games. Sure it was pouring down for most of the game. And sure, many players and keepers have commented on the ball’s poor performance and distorted trajectory. But it was simply not his game. Two of the German goals came basically because of his poor performance.
Thomas Muller opened the scoring for the Germans after 19 minutes of play. Bastian Schweinsteiger made a great shot from over 30 yard. Muslera blocked the first shot but was unable to keep the ball as it bounced and finished close to Muller who finished the play with ease.
Not ten minutes after that, Luis Suarez opened a superb pass thru the left flank and the fast Edinson Cavani crossed the ball to the keepers left and managed a nice goal. This gave the Uruguayan team a new look and some sort of a power boost. They kept on been quite effective on the defensive end. And still, thanks to the lead of Diego Forlan on the midfield, they kept pushing the limits of the German defense. Luis Suarez was not as sharp as his team would have like, and he missed a couple of good chances to finish off the game.
Forlan’s shot from outside the box, gave the Uruguayan team the lead early in the second half. It really seemed as if they could pull it off. But then again, Muslera mismanaged a ball in the penalty box and Marcell Jansen, without missing a beat, finished the play to draw the game.
8 minutes before the end, the Uruguayan defense could not sent off a ball from a corner kick. The Germans managed to head the ball twice and Khedira looped it inside the South American goal to make it 3-2. It seemed as if that was going to be it. But perhaps it was the last play of the game that exemplifies the Uruguayan courage. The team kept on attacking even as time was running down and it seemed there was going to be no hope.
Forlan had a great chance from a 23-meter free kick shot. This was it. He put his soul into the shot as if swerved thru the air and bounced off the top goal post. The Germans took the third spot. Both teams gave us one of the best games in the Tournament.
They barely made it into the South Africa 2010 World Cup, having to play Costa Rica for the last spot between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL to the tournament. And despite not been among the top 15 teams in the odds to win this World Cup, Uruguay is the only South American team still alive in the semifinals.
Both the Netherlands and Uruguay are the only two undefeated teams playing in the tournament. Still, as of press time, and despite the Uruguayan fans, they are a clear underdog for this match.
The Netherlands have made it to the finals twice in two consecutive years, 1974-1978. But have not had such a remarkable success since. Since France 1998, the Netherlands has not made it to the semifinals. Back then, they were facing Brazil, but lost in the penalty shot outs. Ronaldo had scored the first goal, in a nice pass from the right. A couple minutes before the end, Frank de Boer sent a great pass from the right flank to Patrick Kliuvert who made a great header to take it to overtime and then penalties. The Netherlands missed a penalty shot and was sent home.
They then played Croatia for the third place. They lost 2-1 after Dabor Sucker from Croatia scored with little over 5 minutes to play. It was Sucker’s fifth goal in the tournament. The Dutch team finished fourth in the France 98 World Cup.
Uruguay, on the other hand, has won two World Cup Championships, including the first tournament ever held back in 1930, which they also host. They went on again and defeated Brazil in the now famous Maracanazo in 1954. But that seems almost like ancient history for most soccer fans today. Still, the team that was not expected to make it too far, had made it to the semis, that’s more then what can their South American counterparts of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina can say about themselves.
The Dutch team guided by Bert van Marwijk has defeated Denmark, Japan, Cameroon, Slovakia and Brazil in this tournament. With both Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben on the front, this could be their best shot ever to make it again back in the finals, and finally take one World Cup back home. They do have what it takes to defeat the Uruguayans. But there is one thing that those men from Uruguay do count on: courage.
Sure enough, Uruguay has not made it so high into any international soccer tournament since beating Brazil in the 1995 Copa America. Still, they do have some very talented players, and one heck of a defense. Luis Suarez has been just magnificent on the offensive end, scoring against South Korea in the round of 16 while Diego Forlán has made a great goal against Ghana to tie the game and define it by penalty shots.
After Jorge Fucile has been suspended after a double booking, Oscar Tabarez, the Uruguayan head coach has now to decide which of his defenders is going to take over the difficult task of guarding no other then Arjen Robben. Diego Lugano, another defender, has yet to make a full recovery and as of press time it is still unknown if he is going to take part of the semifinal game against Netherlands.
It’s a tough call when it comes to picking sides. As of press time, Online Sportsbook leader BetIAS.com has made Netherlands the favorite on the daily World Cup Odds by ML-175. The Draw sits at ML+265 while the Uruguayan upset comes back with Ml+500. Sure it is a long shot, but heck, they were not suppose to make it this far. They could very well make it the Final game.
Spain is still far from demonstrating they are the best team on the tournament. Perhaps the underachieving Spaniards are waiting for the semifinals to finally show that they deserve to be among the four top teams in the World. Let´s get real with this folks: they were the favorite team before the World Cup started. Once the team plays its first games, there were serious doubts it would make it far. They were missing something in their group tactics, and had it not been by the magnificent striker David Villa, they might not have made it pass the group stages.
Sure, Spain is miles away from being the really dominant team it is expected to be. But with this nerve wrecking 1-0 defeat over Paraguay, the Spaniards have made it were Brazil, Argentina, England and many other top-notch teams have not. And that still says much. Sure, they have had an easier way up to the semifinals. But soon they are going to have to bring on their A-game in order to defeat the Germans, who made absolutely everything right in their last 4-0 smack down of Diego Maradona´s squad.
Paraguay got Spain into real trouble. The Spaniard did not seem to have anything to break pass the South American defenders. Sure, they kept control of the ball 60% of the time. Paraguay’s head coach, Gerardo Martino, made 6 changes to the starting 11 in an attempt to keep both David Villa and Fernando Torres from roaming into their offensive area.
Paraguay could have opened the game with only two minutes of play. That would have changed the game for sure. Oscar Cordazo opened up the Spanish defense wide open after a good run. He found Jonathan Santana wide far in the penalty area. It was a great chance but Santana could not do more then an easy shot that Iker Casillas, the Spanish keeper, kept under control without much effort.
In the second half, Vicente del Bosque decided to make a change. He knew that if things stayed as they were, he was seriously risking his chances of taking Spain into the semis. Fernado Torres, once again, was seriously playing beneath what is expected of the talented striker. As such, after 10 minutes of play in the second half, Cesc Fabregas came in for Torres. The change certainly changed the rhythm of the game.
Gerard Pique, the Spanish defender, pulled down Oscar Cardozo inside the penalty area. The referee granted Paraguay a penalty kick. Cardozo himself took the shot, but Iker Casillas managed to stay low and move to his right to save the shot. Not two minutes later, Antolin Alcaraz made a foul over David Villa inside the Paraguayan penalty box. Xabi Alonso took the penalty shot and scored. Carles Puyol, the Spanish captain, ran inside the box before the shot was kicked, and Xabi Alonso had to take the shot again. Justo Villar, the Paraguayan keeper managed to save Alonso’s second shot and the game remained scoreless.
Spain had managed to complete 14 of 14 penalty shots in the qualifying stages and the friendly games before this tournament. So far in South Africa World Cup 2010, the team has missed two.
With only 10 minutes to go Iniesta made a great run in the flank and gave a great pass to Pedro, who shot but the ball hit the post. David Villa didn’t miss the chance and fired on target. The ball hit the two side posts before wondering inside the goal. But it was enough to bring on the Spanish victory and their qualification into the next round.
The Argentinean people are very proud of their National Soccer Team. There is somewhat of a cult build around it. If the press fills in your T.V. with soccer news during every World Cup in each possible TV station, and you think its either overwhelming or just plain annoying, I got to tell you something. I don’t think any other country is got a single thing to match the way both players and fans, home or abroad cheer and sing and swear and live football like the argentines do. When the team plays the streets are empty, the bars are full, even at the bank the clerks are watching the game. Even at schools, students are cramped into TV equipped classrooms so that they can follow the games.
And then there is playing against Germany. I guess that only playing against Brazil or playing England can bring on such intensity, such a potent and deep-rooted rivalry among fans in the beautiful sport. And we are going to live a bit of that when both Argentina and Germany set foot on the Green Point Stadium soccer field in Cape Town this Saturday.
The expectations outside of Argentina were not particularly high for the team guided by Diego Maradona. They had had quite an irregular and somehow disappointing qualifying stage. Some of their losses were unprecedented (think Bolivia) and other were just painful (Brazil at home), but somehow it seems that despite the somewhat dubious experience of Maradona as head coach, the Argentine team has managed to play wonderfully ever since they landed in South Africa.
The German squad is full of young talented players all of whom play in the German Bundesliga. It is not usual to see a World Cup team of only domestic players, yet Joachim Low’s team has proved to be one of the most competitive teams out there. With Brazil out of the picture, they are certainly going to take on a very promising change on the odds to win the World Cup.
But Argentina is still one heck of a team, and they have to beat the odds if they want to make it to the next round. Now, there are a couple of things you might want to keep an eye out for in this next game. For Argentina, many are wondering if Lionel Messi is finally going to be able to score. He has been close real close on many occasions, yet the best player in the world, according to FIFA, has yet to score on this tournament. He was a bit off on his last game, but heck, if he is as good as they say he is, he is going to want to prove it against the Germans. For better or worse, this is the first real threat to the Argentine hegemony in the tournament.
Now, since Tevez has been a bit overshadowed by Messi and Higuain in the group stage, he had to bring on his A-game against the Mexicans. His second goal was an instant classic, and might be the finest goal scored so far in the tournament.
On the German side, keep an eye out for Mezut Ozil. He has the talent and the ball handling skill to change the rhythm of the German offensive drive at will. And of course, keep an eye out for Thomas Muller. The youngster is on fire. He has scored 3 goals and 3 assists for the squad in this tournament. Truth be said, the young team has been playing so well we don’t even miss Michael Ballack that much. Neither do the German national soccer team.