Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Netherlands, Uruguay Produce A Semifinal To Remember

Netherlands make their way into the Final at a World Cup for the first time sense 1978, defeating Uruguay in a 3-2 thriller.

That isn't to say that Uruguay came away as losers. Down 1-0, they came fighting back to even the score. When they fell behind 3-1, they could have folded, but instead pressed on, earning their second goal in injury time, and they were still pressing for the equalizer right up until the referee blew his whistle for the final time. They may have lost the Semifinal, but they don't deserve the "Loser" tag because a) they made it to the Semifinal, and b) they went down fighting right up until the end.

Don't ask me why, but, between the four Semifinalist, it was the two team that played today that I'd like to see win it all. Perhaps for Uruguay it's because they were the last South American team in the tournament. The Netherlands? I don't know, maybe it's just that they've been so close, so many times, with so many great teams that could have, perhaps should have won.

As for the match tomorrow, I'm hoping that Spain and Germany play a strenuous, physically grueling match. Even better if it goes all the way to penalties. That way, no matter which team gets through, they'll be ripe for the boys in Oranje.

Now, some might argue that my reasons for wanting the Netherlands to win the Final should also apply to Spain. All I can say is, hey, I can't explain it, other than to say that Spain came in to the tournament as favorites. They are considered by many to be the greatest national team going. Some might argue that they might even stand up to some of the greatest national teams ever assembled. That will make the Netherlands underdogs, provided Spain gets past the Germans.

As for the Germans, they're always deceptive. Between major tournaments they can look weak, but once they are involved in matches that matter, look out. The bigger the tournament, the more difficult they are to knock off.

Tomorrow, things could get very interesting, indeed.

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