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South Africa (July 4) – The end draws closer and the games get better. The quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup is the phase where the best teams get to prove why they got this far, naturally the likes of Brazil, Spain, Argentina and Germany are all present.
The most controversial of the games featured the last remaining African team, Ghana, playing against Uruguay. I did not hear too many people supporting Uruguay, I guess their support was limited to inside their borders; they are an impossible team to like. Ghana were the underdogs, and who doesn’t love an underdog story.
The rat-like face of Suarez, the super striker of Uruguay is enough reason to hate this team, throw into the mix that they seem like a horrible bunch of bastards and you have a team worthy of your hatred. Ghana, on the other hand play in the same colours as Melchester Rovers, the comic strip home of Roy Race (Roy of the Rovers), probably the greatest footballer who never really existed. This likeness was enough to see me jumping around my living room when Ghana scored, through Muntari from distance. Joy turned to despair when Diego Forlan did his usual, scored via a freekick, and put a dampener on Ghana.
When the little rat Suarez cleared the ball from his goal line with his hands in the 90th minute he was sent off and Ghana were presented with something every player dreams of… The hero making last gasp penalty kick, tie game, score the kick and become a hero. Miss and it will haunt you for the rest of your life.
I had already begun celebrating Ghana reaching a semi final because they had Gyan in their team, who had already proved he was a levelheaded penalty taker… The moment must have got to him because he ballooned it off the bar and into the history books for the wrong reason. Once they lost the subsequent penalty shootout, the Ghana team and Gyan in particular were inconsolable… And rightfully so. To Gyan’s credit he stood up to take the first Ghana penalty of the shoot-out and with the calmness he was known for he stuck the ball right in the top corner, what he meant to do and probably should have done when he was presented with his hero moment.
Uruguay, who have managed to cheat their way to a semi now face the Netherlands who beat Brazil in what I can only assume was a great game. Sadly, once Brazil took a 1-0 first half lead I changed the channel to watch Andy Murray play Rafa Nadal in their Wimbledon semi final… It didn’t go well, not for Murray anyway. In hindsight, I should have watched the football; Murray received what would best be described as a lesson in how to humiliate your opponent. Murray lost in straight sets… So much for tennis.
Netherlands made a miraculous recovery to knock out Brazil 2-1. I would expect them to demolish Uruguay, but a combination of my inability to predict a single result in this world cup and the likely hood of Uruguay cheating; I’d rather just wait and see.
Of all the games played at this stage, I was most looking forward to Argentina v Germany. Since the start of the tournament, I have been supporting Argentina, based almost completely on my admiration of their manager Diego Maradona and his genius. What happened next no one really saw coming.
Using the word Blitzkrieg seems a little in bad taste, but I mean it in the best possible way, it was a blitzkrieg… The German team have dished out a few lessons in this world cup, the only difference is this time they did it to a team who can actually play football. When they crushed Australia no one gave it much credit, it was only Australia at the end of the day,and far from talent, the only thing they have in abundance is that Ozzy smugness… Then when they beat England only the English were shocked as they were the only people watching who thought they could beat the Germans…
Germany ended up winning the game against Argentina 4-0. That is not a result you should be seeing at the world cup quarterfinals. Sadly, that is the way it ended, and it could have been more… Germany are looking good for the final.
The last quarter final, unfortunately, I did not see. I say unfortunately, but I only mean that from the point of view that I cannot best provide you with a round up, I am happy I missed it really because Spain bore me to tears, and their opponents Paraguay are as bad… They played in the worst game of the tournament against Japan, a game I think FIFA should have made an example of and just thrown both teams out.
The game provided some talking points in the shape of a penalty for each team within minutes of each other… Both missed. Spain ended up winning 1-0… I guess I didn’t miss much.
Netherlands will play Uruguay and Germany will play Spain in their semi finals.