Posted in Football/Soccer

On to the Final

Can you believe the World Cup is almost over? I can’t, it feels like it just started. The month flew by pretty fast! The final will be on Sunday between Germany and Argentina. Pretty sure most people expected Germany to be there, but not a lot of people expected Argentina. Not that Argentina is a bad team or anything, but based on how they’ve played most of their games during this world cup, they’ve been average. I, along with most people, expected Germany, Brazil, or Spain to be in the final. Spain shocked everyone by getting knocked out in the first round. Brazil lost a couple days (7-1!!!!) to Germany. How did the other teams do? Did they do better or worse than what was expected of them?

Better than Expected

1. USA

2. Mexico

3. Costa Rica

Worse than Expected

1. Spain

2. England

3. Italy

All 3 teams that did better than was expected of them are part of CONCACAF. USA and Costa Rica especially had really tough groups to get out of. Mexico was expected to have some trouble in their group too, but they weren’t in the group of death. The 3 teams that did worse than expected were all former World Cup champions.

Today the 3rd place match will take place. I’ll be rooting for Brazil because I really dislike Netherlands, mostly Robben and Van Persie. As for the final tomorrow, I would like to see Germany win. No I’m not a fan of them, but throughout this whole tournament, they’ve been one of the best teams. Also, I really don’t want Argentina to win.

Posted in Football/Soccer

Group of Death

One of the matches that a lot of people were looking forward to was the Germany-Portugal one. These are two of the teams in Group D aka the “Group of Death”. (The other two teams in this group are USA and Ghana). After all, Germany is one of the best national teams in the world (unfortunately, I am not exactly a fan of their team, honestly) and Portugal has the best player in the world (Cristiano Ronaldo, who helped Real Madrid win La Decima last month when they won the Champions League for the first time in 12 years). Well, it didn’t get of to a good start for Portugal. They gave away a penalty in the first 15 mins. Later on in the game, Pepe was sent off for headbutting Thomas Muller, which was a dumb move by Pepe. Germany was up 3-0 at HT. Portugal ended up losing two defenders to injury so Cristiano Ronaldo, who wasn’t 100% fit, ended up playing the whole 90 mins. It got worse for Portugal, Muller got his hat trick and Germany won 4-0. I know a lot of people will say that this proves Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t such a good player, but 1)he wasn’t completely fit and 2)his teammates weren’t exactly doing such a good job either, esp at defending. Next up for them is USA on Sunday. it’s just my bad luck that I will miss that match thanks to work *sigh*

The US also played today. They played against Ghana, who had beat them in both the 2010 World Cup and the 2006 World Cup. Over the last few weeks, leading up to the World Cup, people have been complaining about Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision to leave off Landon Donovan off the World Cup squad. Many wondered if the US had a chance without him. The US got off to a great start when Clint Dempsey scored within the 1st min. His goal was the fastest in US history and 6th fastest in a world cup. Unfortunately for the US, they ended up losing Jozy Altidore to injury, though they haven’t said how serious his injury is. The US was up 1-0 at half time. In the second half, both teams had more chances. Ghana brought on two very good players, Kevin Prince Boateng and Michael Essien. Ghana scored the equalizer with less than ten minutes to go and it looked like this match would end in a draw, much to the disappointment of USA fans. However, thanks to John Brooks, who was subbed on in the second half and playing in his first World Cup ever, who scored a header, the US finally beat Ghana. Game ended 2-1. Next up for the US is Portugal. Germany is at the top of the group, followed by the US, Ghana, then Portugal in 4th place.

Next match I will be watching is Brazil-Mexico. Looking forward to that. I hope the refs are fair this time and don’t favor Brazil. No, I’m not a Mexico fan, I’m just a football fan that wants to watch a good match.

Posted in Football/Soccer

2014 World Cup

So excited that the World Cup is finally here! I (along with all the diehard football/soccer fans in the world) have waited 4 years for this! Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be able to watch a lot of the games because of work. (Unless the Dish office inside my job shows the games on their tv like they did for the Brazil-Croatia game on Thursday!)

The matches that I’ve watched so far are: Brazil-Croatia (first half and last ten minutes of second half), Mexico-Cameroon (second half), Spain-Netherlands (whole game, unfortunately), and England-Italy (also the whole game).

The view I had for the Brazil-Croatia match wasn’t the greatest. To be honest, I’m not really a Brazil fan, but I like a couple of their players-David Luiz and Marcelo. Despite the fact that I like two of the players, I really don’t want to see them win the World Cup this year, even if it is at their home. I think most people expected much more from Brazil against Croatia. But they got off to a bad start. The first goal of the match was an own goal by Marcelo! I felt bad for him (because he is a Real Madrid player). Neymar scored for Brazil and then later on in the game, Brazil was given a penalty. I didn’t see this part, but I know a lot of people were saying it shouldn’t have been a penalty, that Fred flopped. Well, either way, Neymar scored the penalty and they were up 2-1. A few minutes before the game ended, Oscar scored for Brazil and they won 3-1.

Coming into the World Cup, people didn’t expect much from Mexico. After all, they had trouble qualifying and only made it because the US beat Panama. If it wasn’t for that, Panama would’ve been in the World Cup instead of Mexico. Well, Mexico had to go to play offs, but they played New Zealand, which isn’t exactly a tough team to beat. Mexico surprised a lot of people by playing really well against Cameroon. In the first half, Mexico scored 2 goals but neither counted because they were called offside. Many people, fans, commentators, and journalists, said that those goals were not offside and should’ve counted. It took Mexico a while, but they finally scored in the second half. Cameroon had a big chance to equalize towards the end of the match, but Ochoa made a huge save and denied them. Mexico won 1-0.

The next game after was the Spain-Netherlands match. Everyone, including myself, thought Spain would win. After all, they are the defending champions and many of their players come from Real Madrid or Barcelona. Diego Costa started for Spain and that was a horrible mistake for Del Bosque to start him. I think next time he should go with David Villa (honestly, I think Fernando Llorente should’ve gone to Brazil, he scored so many goals for Juventus last season). Anyways, as I mentioned, Costa was awful. He had so many chances and couldn’t convert any. He did manage to get a penalty for Spain, but some argue that it shouldn’t have been a penalty. Xabi Alonso stepped up and even though the Dutch keeper went the right way, Alonso’s shot was too hard and he scored. Spain was up 1-0. It looked as though Spain would have an easy time beating Netherlands. I don’t think anyone saw Netherlands winning 5-1. I thought Spain would win 2-1 or 2-0. Robin Van Persie scored the equalizer and as much as I hate to admit this, his goal was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. There aren’t many keepers that would’ve been able to stop that. At halftime it was 1-1. I don’t know what happened in the second half, but things took a turn for the worse for Spain. Iker Casillas could’ve done better on a couple goals, but his defense also let him down. I hate saying anything bad about Fernando Torres, but he didn’t do such a good job either. Though he wasn’t a bad as Costa, he should’ve been able to score a goal for Spain. Like I said earlier, I think Villa should start next game and Pique needs to be benched. Ramos spent too much time trying to cover for him. Robben scored a couple goals and Van Persie scored another. Of all the Dutch players to score, it had to be the two players I hate most. Sigh. When the game was over and Netherlands won 5-1, everyone was in shock. Even people that thought Spain would lose didn’t expect that score. I don’t think Casillas will be benched (well he shouldn’t) because I don’t think Reina or De Gea could’ve done better. Their next game will be against Chile who beat Australia 3-1.

England-Italy match is the one I was most looking forward to. I was rooting for Italy because my boyfriend is a huge Italy fan, has been most of his life. Plus I like more Italian players than English players (I only like Joe Hart from England because he plays for Manchester City). The last time these two played was at the Euro 2012. That match ended 0-0 and went to penalties. I was really hoping this match didn’t end that way. They didn’t disappoint. It was a really good match. At first, both teams were attacking but couldn’t seem to score. Italy scored first, thanks to Pirlo. Instead of getting the ball, he let it go and it went to Marchisio who was unmarked and scored from a long distance. Italy fans didn’t get to celebrate for too long because England scored just a few minutes later. It was 1-1 at half time. In the second half, Mario Balotelli had a chance to make it 2-1 for Italy. Hart came out and Balotelli chipped him over him. It was a sure goal, but one of the English defenders headed the ball out. Had it gone in, it would’ve been an amazing goal. Later on in the match, Balotelli would get his goal. Unfortunately, he was subbed out before he could get a hat trick. In the 90th minute or so, Italy had a free kick and Pirlo stepped up to take it. It was an amazing free kick, Joe Hart looked stuck/lost as though he didn’t know what to do. It hit the crossbar and the score remained 2-1 Italy. That would’ve been yet another great goal had it gone in. Next up for England is Uruguay, while Italy will face Costa Rica, who shocked people by beating Uruguay 3-1 earlier in the day.