World Cup 2010

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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by tubeguru » 07 Jul 2010, 17:54

Yes, I completely forgot that Uruguay are actually ranked quite highly.
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by Sam » 07 Jul 2010, 18:07

They've also won it more times than England!!
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by Root » 09 Jul 2010, 11:05

Here's the (slightly abbreviated) semi-final round-up.

Holland overcame Uruguay by three goals to two in an exciting game, which looked beyond Uruguay's reach at 3-1 but which got very frantic after they pulled it back to 3-2 in injury time at the end of 90 minutes. The game ended in a bizarre fashion, with the referee blowing his whistle for a free kick, but which the players and the TV producers thought was the end of the game! They began to walk off, only to be told to carry on playing. The game carried on until about 95 minutes, but Holland managed to hold on to reach the final.

I had been anticipating an exciting Spain against Germany match, but it turned out to be one of the least interesting games of the knock-out stages. Spain were completely comfortable in possession, with Germany trying to counter-attack but not producing many chances of note. After seventy-odd minutes of tiki-taka short passing, Spain's winning goal came from a corner, headed in by their captain Carles Puyol. Germany rallied a little in the final fifteen minutes, but it made me wonder why they didn't play like that from the beginning. Spain progressed 1-0.

I think it's a shame Germany went out, because they had been the best team at the tournament so far. Spain haven't really excelled in any match by comparison, and Holland have only really faced one top-class opponent, Brazil, who they were fortunate to beat. One of those two nations will now win the World Cup for the first time in their history, and end a record of continuous underachievement on the biggest stage in football. Surprisingly (to me, at least) Spain had never even got to a semi-final before this World Cup.

>> The teams contesting the final are... wait for it...:
Netherlands (Sam) - Spain (RichieG)

>> Additionally, the teams contesting the irrelevant third-place play-off match are:
Germany (Root) - Uruguay (tubeguru)

So it's between Sam and Richie now, with a pint, and not to forget immeasurable pride and satisfaction, on the line. To briefly preview the final, I think it will be another dull game, at least for the first half, with both teams desperate not to concede in the early stages. The triumvirates of Robben-van Persie-Sneijder and Iniesta-Villa-Xavi will be key for their respective teams. I fancy the latter to emerge victorious in a low-scoring game, perhaps 2-1. I'm going to try to remain impartial in terms of support, though.

Edited to correct a typo.
Last edited by Root on 10 Jul 2010, 14:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by Sam » 09 Jul 2010, 11:11

Come on The Netherlands!!! :D :D

I've always been very fanatical about Holland so it was odd to get them in the sweepstake, pleasing though!! :P
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by Root » 12 Jul 2010, 22:54

So, it's all over, and all that remains is to write the final stages round-up.

The thirds/fourth place playoff match was entertaining, but as I mentioned before, totally irrelevant. I think the biggest demonstration of that is the awarding of "bronze medals" to both teams, even the one that loses the match and comes fourth! FIFA...

Anyway, I don't need to write too much more about that, except that Thomas Müller of Germany won the Golden Shoe and Diego Forlan of Uruguay won the Golden Ball, both prizes thoroughly deserved. They were possibly my two favourite players of the tournament.

Onto the final. What a shocker! I have never been quite so appalled at a football match as I was with that. The Dutch were quite disgraceful (sorry Sam), and should probably have had many more players sent off than the one they did have, John Heitinga, very late in the game. Their fouls were cynical and dangerous, they were arguing with the referee the whole time, they were kicking or throwing the ball away in disgust at decisions that didn't go their way. Spain were bad, too, with Iniesta's retaliatory shove on van Bommel not gathering the yellow card it deserved (he was booked later on for taking his shirt off, so you could argue he should have been sent off after that), but by and large they tried to stick to their gameplan and, thankfully, they triumphed. It wasn't anything like their best, but their short-passing game was more effective than anything their opponents could muster, until extra time when the game opened up and both teams missed excellent chances. I would have been utterly ashamed of the entire sport if the Netherlands had become World Champions last night.

So, of course, we have a winner! Well done to RichieG for, er, being lucky in the draw... next time I see you, which could be a long time in the future, I owe you a drink.

Commiserations to everyone else that "took part". I hope that it is clear now that this could quite easily have worked as a proper, paid-up sweepstake, and so next time around there'll be more people signing up. I've had fun doing these reports... so much fun, in fact, that I've started a blog about international football, focussing on Finland but with other commentary as well. But perhaps someone else can organise the sweepstake in two or four years' time.

Cheers.

Edited to correct link (thanks perky).
Last edited by Root on 13 Jul 2010, 10:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by perkyperky » 13 Jul 2010, 05:43

There's a problem with the link to your blog Root. Can be solved by deleting the j in front of the http!!

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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by Sam » 13 Jul 2010, 07:00

Well, overall I felt that Spain were deserved winners. I was less than impressed with the antics that the Dutch were displaying, clearly just trying to rattle Spain and it nearly paid off. I said to Matt before the match had even kicked off that I could see Van Bommel being sent off just by the way he has been in the previous matches and he was lucky not to!

The high foot/karate kick by De Jong on Alonso was well worthy of a red, as was Robben kicking the ball away in frustration, I was quite appaled that Webb did not send him off even more so when he booked a Spain player for doing the same not long after; if you are going to be leniant then at least be consistent.

However, I still say that if Robben had finished the one on one opportunity that he had (on any other day he would have buried it(!)), then the result could have been very very different.

Congratulations Richie :)
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by Steeevooo » 13 Jul 2010, 10:08

Sam wrote:Well, overall I felt that Spain were deserved winners. I was less than impressed with the antics that the Dutch were displaying, clearly just trying to rattle Spain and it nearly paid off. I said to Matt before the match had even kicked off that I could see Van Bommel being sent off just by the way he has been in the previous matches and he was lucky not to!

The high foot/karate kick by De Jong on Alonso was well worthy of a red, as was Robben kicking the ball away in frustration, I was quite appaled that Webb did not send him off even more so when he booked a Spain player for doing the same not long after; if you are going to be leniant then at least be consistent.

However, I still say that if Robben had finished the one on one opportunity that he had (on any other day he would have buried it(!)), then the result could have been very very different.

Congratulations Richie :)
Agreed - and I don't think that I have ever fumed so much at a TV screen as I did during that game, but then I suppose having the small matter of winning £130 from our World Cup prediction competition if the Netherlands were to win slightly had an effect on which way I wanted the game to go. Was a very poor World Cup final though.

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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by Root » 13 Jul 2010, 10:24

Thanks, Perky.

I'm glad to see you summarise the game so rationally, Sam! I agree with what you wrote.

And that's unlucky, Stevo... you must have been going bananas when Robben missed those two nearly identical one-on-ones.
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by Steeevooo » 13 Jul 2010, 10:29

I think saying that I was "going bananas" is somewhat of an understatement Ollie lol, was very frustrating! Cheers for organising this competition though, even though I did get knocked out rather early on, glad some impetus was given to the idea eventually :)

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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by RichieG » 13 Jul 2010, 12:39

I love the irony in that the person in this 'sweepstake' who has probably the least interest in football won!

I'd like to thank my mum, my dog, my goldfish...........
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by tubeguru » 13 Jul 2010, 12:47

Let's be honest, it was hardly the competition of the century was it? Just randomly assign some people some teams and see who wins.
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by RichieG » 13 Jul 2010, 13:03

Sshhh...

I've won a Tube Challenge Forum event... don't take that away from me :p
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by tubeguru » 13 Jul 2010, 13:10

OK, well done for winning. You played it very well.
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Re: World Cup 2010

Post by Root » 13 Jul 2010, 13:37

tubeguru wrote:Let's be honest, it was hardly the competition of the century was it? Just randomly assign some people some teams and see who wins.
True, true... but I still think this was better than abandoning it completely!
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