Sunday, June 27, 2010

World Cup Thoughts: Sunday, June 27th

Germany 4, England 1

The better team ended up winning the game, but this contest will forever be known for the would-be goal by Englishmen Frank Lampard that never showed up on the scoreboard. After the Germans took a 2-0 lead, Matthew Upson brought England back to within one in the games 37th minute. Then, not one minute later, Lampard seemed to have tied things up as his shot his the bottom of the crossbar, bounced a good yard or two into the goalmouth, only to come back out onto the field of play. The play was never stopped however as a goal was never given, despite everyone in the world realizing what had just happened. Everyone that is, but the officials. A goal there definitely would have been able to change the pace of this game for the Brits.

"It's incredible," England coach Fabio Capello said. "We played with five referees and they can't decide if it's a goal or no goal. The game was different after this goal. It was the mistake of the linesman and I think the referee because from the bench I saw the ball go (in)."

Nobody really argued with that point, not even the German coach. But FIFA is again being quiet on the issue, as they just seem to revel in controversy like this. With all the problems there have been regarding the officials in this World Cup, I really believe that the discussion of whether or not to have instant replay in soccer is going to be the biggest storyline heading into the 2014 World Cup (which is in Brazil, and I need to figure out how I'm going to get there).

As initially stated though, the better team did win, as this German team was just younger, faster, and more efficient than an aging English side. The Germans did get goals from their usual suspects though - one each from Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski, and two from Thomas Muller. Their victory over England puts them in the quarterfinals for a record 15th straight World Cup, while this was the worst loss England has ever endured at this level.

Argentina 3, Mexico 1

With the Americans out of the Cup, it's time to find a new club to root for, and I believe I have with Argentina. I love everything about this team right now, from the way that Diego Maradona celebrates every goal like they have won the tournament to just how remarkable many of those goals are. They are a very eccentric squad, and have so far cruised through this tournament. They have what should be an incredible game against Germany next Saturday, and I'd love to look forward to it except for the whole working weekends thing.

Despite the win, it was another game mired with controversy as Carlos Tevez was more than just in an offside position when he scored the game's first goal off an assist from Lionel Messi. This goal didn't make quite the difference that I feel the Lampard one would have, but it was still something for the Mexicans to complain about nonetheless. They had good reason too, and it is a shame that so many teams are being sent home with valid reasons to be upset. But I in the World Cup you have not just be good, but a little lucky as well.

1 comments:

Nick said...

I think the Argentina goal that should have been disallowed did affect the Mexicans quite a bit - I honestly do not think they would have given up that second goal otherwise, as the team clearly was rattled. My girlfriend (who has lived in Mexico 24 years) puts it this way: "unfortunately, we Mexicans have a loser's mentality, so that once things go bad, we find ourselves powerless to stop it". I don't think given 1000 trials Mexico comes out ahead more than half of them, but they were playing fairly well and attacking quite a bit. They looked better than I expected and I would have given them a legitimate chance in that game.

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