Much like the last World Cup, the best team of the tournament won. #Germany proved throughout #WC2014 that they were the most consistent team that played entertaining football and scored a lot of goals. Today’s finale had no goals for 116 minutes but very few of them were boring or laborious in any way. It was a very fun 0-0 to watch, until #Goetze scored that peach of a goal to give #Nationalelf their 4th #WorldCup! For 116 minutes, Germany dominated possession and played some fun intricate football, while #Argentina sat back and defended and played some attractive counter-attacking football. #Higuain’s stunning miss from a shocking back pass from #Kroos cost Argentina the finale. He should be kicking himself now. #Messi had a good game in general but did not deserve the Player of the tournament award. That should have gone to #ArjenRobben – frustrating as his theatrics are, he’s been the best player this entire World Cup. For now though, the experience of celebrating the Weltmeister with thousands of German fans on the main streets of #Munich has been an experience like no other!
After yesterday’s stunning entertainment, both #Netherlands and #Argentina served up a ho-hum 120 minutes that failed to entertain anywhere near what #Germany did to #Brazil (or what Brazil did to themselves). But in what was a relatively mediocre game, the Dutch were definitely the better of the two teams and seemed to be playing a lot more than the very poor Argentinians, who should consider themselves very very lucky to have won on penalties, a game that they should have lost, based on their performance today. But that is football. If they have any hopes of getting past the now-peaking Mannschaft, they will need to up their game about 4 levels or the #WorldCup #Brazil2014 is going to #Deutschland in a hurry! From what we’ve seen, #Messi and co just don’t have the right balance to beat the Germans – for now.
Yes, the final scoreline of 7-1 will go down in the annals of #WorldCup history as one of the most amazing results to have been played out in a semi-final, that too between two powerhouses of World Football, #Brazil and #Germany but scoreline aside (sure, that’s a hard ‘aside’) no one should truly be surprised that this Brazilian side lost – and lost rather easily to the first side of genuine Champion quality. (Well, aside from Colombia and there are few non-Brazilians who would argue that they didn’t deserve to beat the Colombians either and many who now wish they hadn’t!) They have been lucky throughout the tournament and have had dollops of help along the way with many refereeing decisions in their favor. But you could see the lack of balance and quality from that first game against #Croatia and #Neymar or no Neymar, #Silva or no Silva, the Germans (who seem to be peaking at the right time) were going to waltz their way into the Finals, not because they are playing unbelievably well, or because they now have the highest scorer in World Cups in #Klose but largely because this Brazilian team is mediocre at best and poor at most other times. From pre-tournament favorites in their home country to a side that shouldn’t have been playing today’s game, Hans Christian Anderson would agree, the Emperor truly has no clothes! The Germans on the other hand now have recent history on their side – This is almost the same team that thrashed #Barcelona in the semi-finals of the #ChampionsLeague2013 with a similar scoreline and went on to beat a close neighbor (#Dortmund) in a super close tie in the final. The only difference then, #ArjenRobben was on the German side! If the Dutch can find their way past #Messi and his 10 supporting staff, we’ll get to see 2 great football rivalries between the European superpowers for the title and the South American enemies for 3rd place!
In the end, it took penalties for the #Oranje to finally breach the goal of #Navas and the battling #Ticos but this was one of those times where penalties ended up picking the right winner. The Dutch were superior to #CostaRica for a vast majority of 120 minutes and had it not been for the goal post/cross bar, some lion-hearted defending and the brilliant goalkeeping of Navas (he’s got to be on his way to a bigger European club), penalties wouldn’t have come into play. When they did though, 3 things really stood out: 1. #LVG’s decision to bring #TimKrul on in the last minute of extra time as his specialist penalty-saving goalkeeper (he guessed right most of the time); 2. The 4 penalties taken by #RVP, #Robben, #Sneijder and #Kuyt were near perfect and 3. When the last Tico put the ball down on the spot, his hands were shaking – a sure shot sign that he’s missing it and he did.
We are all set for 2 huge semi-finals: #Brazil vs #Germany and #Argentina vs #Netherlands – 200million Brazilians are praying for only 2 things in this order: that Argentina do not win #WorldCup in Brazil (heaven forbid) and that Brazil do win the whole shebang. We are a week from finding out!
A battling #Belgium, especially in the last quarter of the game and the brilliance of the best world-keeper in the world currently, #Courtois could not keep #Argentina from going through to the semi-finals of the #WorldCup. With #Brazil and #Germany already through, if the Dutch can get past the #CostaRicans, the semi line up will look like this: Brazil vs Germany and Argentina vs #Netherlands – say what you will, on paper, that’s an incredible match-up. At the start of #Brazil2014, Brazil vs Germany and Argentina vs #Spain/Holland would probably have been top 4 for most.
The margins for the games between the last 8 have been so close – 1-0 wins show just how close the top teams are to each other. Anyone could win on any given day. That’s what’s oh-so-cool about the beautiful game!
The game was ill-tempered and laced with more South-American theatrics rather than the incredible skill we have come to expect from these teams and in the end, #Brazil snuck past #Colombia with the help of some terribly one-sided refereeing, so blatant at times that even hardcore supporters of the #Seleção were left to sigh more than a few times at the calls being made in their favor, none more decisive than the non-existent free-kick (#CristianoRonaldo would have been proud of that dipping beauty from #DavidLuiz) that made it 2-0 for Brazil.
A mouth watering semi-final against #Germany is going to be made even harder for the Brazilians with #Neymar reportedly out with a back injury and #Silva suspended for one game (yellow accumulation).
Record-setters #Germany have now reached their 4th #WorldCup semi-final in a row (and absolutely incredible feat in consistency) thanks to a 13th minute goal by arguably the best central defender in the world today, #MatsHummels and a date with either of favorites #Brazil or the super exciting #Colombia. #France were far more impressive in the run up than today’s game and this so typifies this beautiful game – judge the performance of a team in the context of it’s of it’s opponent and not in isolation.
We could well be looking at a Germany v Brazil and Holland v Argentina but the Colombians, Costa Ricans and Belgians might still have something to say about that. We’ll find out just how much soon!