Friday, June 30, 2006

Best game of the World Cup

OK, I saw the marquee matchup this morning in that Argentina/Germany game.  Wow, what a spectacle!  These teams were well matched, it seems, and both played their game for the most part.  Argentina controlled the ball and the midfield, and Germany created quick chances with pinpoint passes through the middle and lofted balls into their big strikers.  Both played great defense, and I just hated hearing Marcelo Balboa make comments to the effect that one team or the other weren't playing up to their usual standards.  There is such a thing as defense, you know.

Two things that could have ruined this game, but only slightly sullied it instead. 
1. The Diving.  Please, players, stop trying your hardest to get penalties called and try your hardest to get the ball in the back of the net.  To be fair, both teams were equally the villains here.  There were at least 4 blatant dives, 2 on each team (there were more on either team that could be argued were great pieces of acting), and one case in each direction of the ref buying it and issuing a yellow to the opposition for the phantom foul.  Only once was a player actually cautioned for diving.

2. Argentina's substitutions.  Heaven knows what Pekerman was doing there.  Perhaps it was a reaction to being up a goal and losing his starting goal keeper to injury, but pulling Requelme out?  And not replacing him with another play maker?  This was an Italy type of thing to do, put in defense specialists and try and bottle up the game and protect your 1-0 lead.  Guess what.  It didn't work.

What would have happened if he had put in Messi instead.  Or Aimar.

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