Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quarterfinals here we come!

July 2: Holland vs. Brazil; Uruguay vs. Ghana
July 3: Argentina vs. Germany; Spain vs. Paraguay

Two Galactic quarterfinals! Holland, always one of the favorites, has had a rather quiet World Cup. For a change! No internal quarrels but also no great expectations. This seems to be a magic formula to bring Holland back to its WC glory days of 1970s when they lost the championship games in 1974 and 1978 to Germany and Argentina, respectively (interestingly, both times to host nations). Great news! South Africa is out of the way already! Holland has a fantastic group with Sneijder, Van Persie and Robben as its leaders. Brazil is strong as usual but will not be able to stop them. I take Holland with a strong performance against them.

Uruguay, my dark horse, has not disappointed me. Great defense, dangerous offense. However, if Ghana plays to its full potential (it reminds me of Senegal in 2002 WC, which was a fantastic team playing Brazilian-like soccer!) it can reach semis as the first African nation in WC history. This will be a great game no matter who wins!

Spain looked superbly strong and dominant against Portugal that focused mainly on defense. It was disappointing to see players very capable of instant attack so stagnant. And after finally breaking through a very good Portugese defense Spain did not turn to defense-only strategy! That was a relief to see a team that came out to win without a minimalist mindset! Well deserved victory. Paraguay has no chance.

Argentina, Holland and Spain are the best teams of this WC. Unfortunately only two teams can make the final and I pick the first two. I cast my vote for Spain before the start of WC mainly because I did not know how Diego can screw his time up. He hasn't! Good for us! As for the opponent, once again, England was THAT bad so even 10-1 victory for Germany would not change anything. They are a bump on the road for Argentina. There was no stopping Diego in 1986 as Germans experienced a painful way. There is no stopping them now, either. And Messi hasn't even scored yet!

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