Friday, July 2, 2010

Are you ready for some...WC 2010 QF#2

Bokolis is proud of having the guts to pick the Netherlands to clip Brazil. I had my doubts and, literally a minute after I clicked publish, Brazil carved up the Dutch defense and scored. Just like I feared, I was thinking. But, the Dutch, while being dominated in the first half, rode out the storm and went to the dressig room off their best movement of the half.

They returned with more to offer. As it never fails, if you force Brazil to play defense, they lose structure. The Dutch had halted Brazil's momentum, but certainly didn't have the momentum at the time of the equalizer. Felipe Melo, the only non-stud on Brazil's back line, got in his 'keeper's way and flicked past Julio Cesar's attempt at a punch.

That picture belongs to Reuters...please don't hurt me.

This shook up the Brazilians and paved the way for the winner. Kuyt, pretty much useless for skill but a tireless worker, flicked on the corner, which Sneijder headed home for the winner. By then, the Brazilians had clearly lost their concentration and were further punished when Melo was sent off for kind of stomping Arjen Robben. It was more over-exuberance than malice and a little harsh from the referee, but it was also on the back of two leg clips...that's what happens when you play like that.

The Jackie Chan lookalike referee didn't do the Brazilians any favors and they repeatedly took issue. The Dutch capitalized on this and baited the Brazilians into numerous fouls. However, Chan must have developed a fondless for van Bommel, as Chan let him slide for cynical foul after cynical foul.

But the main reason Brazil lost is because they didn't have a worthy striker and Kaka is not what he used to be. There was a play, late, when, after getting a fortunate bounce, he was walking in on the keeper. He let himself be closed down and his shot was blocked. The top-form Kaka finishes or provides there.

URU over GHA - There is no sound reason why Ghana should win this game. They've looked shyte all tournament and, even though they were able to control the midfield for the entire first half, scored two flukish goals against the US. A more concentrated Uruguay defense should effectively bottle up the Ghanians and their strike force should have enough to close the ledger on Africa.

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