Monday, June 28, 2010

World Cup Thoughts: Monday, June 28th

Netherlands 2, Slovakia 1

The Unofficial Football World Championship stays in possession of the Netherlands, as the Dutch cruised to a 2-1 victory over Slovakia on Tuesday morning. Even if you don't care about me pushing this fake title down your throat, what you should take away from that fact is that the Oranje have won their last eight games and are unbeaten in their last 23. As we'll see in a minute though, that streak is about to be tested in the toughest possible way.

The Dutch actually got a pretty good test from Slovakia, although Maarten Stekelenburg kept the Slovaks scoreless until a Vittek penalty kick in the 90th minute. But by that time the game was already in possession of the Dutchmen, as they picked up goals of their own in both the 18th and 84th minutes. Even though they might be predicted to lose in their next matchup, I think they are one of the four best teams right now (Brazil, Germany, Argentina, with Spain just missing the cut). Oddly enough, the teams I think are the four best will all be playing each other next weekend because...

Brazil 3, Chile 0

I thought Chile would be able to put up a fight against Brazil because of their familiarity with them, but that couldn't have been more of a falsehood. Chile dropped a 3-0 decision to the mighty Brazilians, which means that in their last eight games against Brazil they have been outscored 29-3. So much for getting better against a team the more you play them.

What can you say about Brazil though, they are the world's soccer power. Other teams come and go (cough cough France), but any time you play Brazil you know you have to bring your best, if not more. Brazil got on the board first in the 34th minute with a great header by Juan, something I've been waiting to see this whole Cup. We've been seeing a lot of players try to cross it in to the mob of people awaiting in the box, either on a corner or a free kick, but nobody ever seems to get their head on the ball. Juan did so though, and beautifully, and the Brazilians ran away with this from there. I can not wait to see them go up against the Netherlands on Friday morning.

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