My Mexican friend was convinced that his country was cursed not to go any farther than the first round of the knockout stage, and he turned out right. SIX best-16 finishes in a row, which also means that they have advanced to the knockout stage six times in a row. Remarkable either way, and I don't know how that's even possible. You surely win at least one out of six given that there is no draw in the knockout stage, unless you are playing teams vastly, vastly superior to you, which hasn't been the case.
Last Edit: Jun 29, 2014 20:30:22 GMT 1 by miscmisc
Well, it's just going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy if that's really what's inside the players heads.
And trust me, we have (or 'had have'?) those too... Which why I hate penalties in the knockout stage. I just HATE them. I just think about 92, 96, 98, 2000...
Not until 2004 that we managed to win a shootout against Sweden. You'd think the curse will have to be lifted, but nonetheless, I have to change my underwear three times during a shootout.
Mexico was well underway to win. But some tactical changes in the second half made the Netherlands a lot better than Mexico. They just didn't know how to handle the new 4-3-3, Mexican players just we're out of their positions. The equalizer was well deserved based on that second half. The penalty, I've seen it dozens of times now, from different angles, and yes, Robben was overacting like the dramaqueen he can be sometimes, but it was clearly a penalty.
I understand you hate the acting, but denying it was a penalty is a bridge too far. The first one in the first half should already have been one, and the second one he tried to claim was a clear dive, for which he apologized after the match.
definitely a penalty. replays show it clearly. its hard to tell watching in standard def in real time. but not during a slow mo. just shows anything can happen in these games. nobodies win is safe until the whistle blows which adds to the excitement.
Colombia vs. Uruguay was probably the only "quiet" last-16 stage game where the clearly superior side more or less breezed through their opponents.
I thought the US was in huge trouble when Fabian Johnson's hamstrings finally gave up, but Yedlin was awesome. His relentless movements livened up the US's right flank perhaps even better than Johnson would've if he had stayed.
The US let Belgium into the dangerous zones way too frequently, so I would actually say their game plan wasn't quite working. Relied way too much on Gonzalez's desperate clearances and the last guardian Howard. I thought they would be able to shut Hazard down much more efficiently, but that would take some cynical tactics. Klinsmann and Co. aren't ones to opt for that, I guess.
But that's just smart-ass talks. It was a great game in the end, and in an event like the World Cup, that's all that matters to the fans.
This World Cup has been skewed heavily, heavily toward fast breaks, and the teams who can't execute them well (think of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Bosnia, etc.) failed to do well. Ironically that's why it's been so visually exciting.
Yeah Belgium was the better side, but you can hold your head up high. Advancing trough that group stage, with thouse teams, that's a big accomplishment on its own. I would have never thought that. Beating Ghana yes, but I would have put no money on drawing/beating with Germany and Portugal. Kudos!