Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spain, Paraguay Join Quarterfinal Elite

As I predicted, Paraguay did beat Japan, though it took penalties at the end to decide the match. I only just managed to see the last few spot kicks taken, so I can't say much about the match.

At the end of it all, the match was still scoreless. One interesting thing to note on the penalties was that one of the US announcers talked about Yūichi Komano of Japan missing his opportunity to score his first goal for his national side. I have news for you, dude, scoring during penalty shoot outs does not count towards your goals scored. The game, as noted in FIFA's record books, will go down as a 0-0 tie, with Paraguay going through on penalties 5-3, nothing more.

In the game that I predicted as having a good chance of ending in penalties saw Spain take out Portugal. David Villa scored the lone goal in the 63rd minute in a tense game. Spain had the best of the play, and I'm watching the replay as I write this... from what I've seen so far (Villa's goal was just score a few moments ago) Spain masterfully isolated Cristian Ronaldo.

The problem for Portugal is that they didn't have one man they could concentrate on. Ronaldo may vie for the title of the best player in the game with Lionel Messi, but Spain have been, with out argument, the best national side during the last few years. They won the European Cup in 2008, went on a run of 35 games with out a loss to share honors with Brazil for the longest unbeaten streak by a national team. During that run they also racked up 15 consecutive wins, which is a record only they can boast.

The Quarterfinals will be see Holland vs Brazil and Ghana vs Uruguay on Friday, July 2nd, with Argentina vs Germany and Paraguay vs Spain taking place the next day. (Why they don't start them on Saturday, I can't imagine. Doesn't FIFA realize that some of us have to work on Fridays?)

So we get a small break from the vavuzela madness, and a chance to get back to our normal lives... whatever that maybe, I can't say I remember.

No comments: