Unsurprisingly Brazil won 4-1 and perhaps less unsurprisingly, Mexico won 3-1.
In the Brazillian match, Neymar's double and Fred's first of the tournament sealed the deal. That being said, the Cameroonians did not give up, in true lionheart style.
In the Mexican match, better goalkeeping from Pletikosa could arguably have prevented Mexico's first, whilst Hernandez's goal for Mexico's third was a true poacher's header, catching all Croatian defenders dreaming. All goals seemed to arrive quite late.
In other news, I really like the Cameroonian jersey.
Comment on Knockout Stages
Interestingly, there was a stage when Brazil was up 3-1 and Croatia was up 3-0. At that moment, both teams were on a goal difference of +4, and Brazil was leading on Goals Scored (6 vs 4).
However, it must be remembered that a couple of good Mexican goals against Cameroon were disallowed; had these goals been allowed, and for the sake of argument let us suppose that Mexico did not concede a goal to Croatia (perhaps because they would have defended more towards the end instead of trying to outscore Brazil) arguably Mexico could be Group A leaders. If that happened, the implications are profound because Mexico would play Chile and Brazil would play the Netherlands.
Mexico is quite a strong team and I think they would be in with a good chance to defeat Chile if they were to meet them (though it's extremely unlikely that meeting will occur now, as they'd both need to reach the finals), on current tournament form.
On that point, one wonders, and indeed reflects upon, how the course of football history could very well have been so different had certain lousy refereeing decisions been corrected. I can't give straightforward examples at this stage, but the penalty awarded in the opening match is perhaps one example. It's just something to bear in mind and makes the imposition of "video challenges" using a "third umpire" even more desirable.
I was surprised that Chile had no answer to the Netherlands, even with Van Persie not being in the team. I didn't watch the match so have nothing else to comment on, apart from the fact that it seems as though Brazil should be able to comfortably deal with Chile in the knockout stages.
I think the commentary on SBS in favour of the Australian team is a bit unwarranted, in the sense that there is an overwhelming and unmerited amount of optimism. Don't get me wrong though: it goes without saying that is absolutely fantastic to support your country; it is a completely different thing altogether though to overhype the quality and skill of your team, especially on live television.
Australia may have had glimmers of passing and speed, but they lacked any kind of killer instinct, control or touch. In my humble opinion, false hope should not be a feature of objective and unbiased commentary. Kudos though to the SBS team for their insight over this World Cup campaign, but I still prefer the English commentators such as Martin Tyler.
The scoreline of 3-0 to Spain was fair, and is an indication of where Australia stand on the world stage without Tim Cahill. Watch this space.
This used to be a site dedicated to Board, Card and Party Game reviews but, in the end, I realised that there are plenty of other things to talk about =)
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
World Cup Observations 10: Improved refereeing could have changed things significantly in Group A; Socceroos commentary is finally at an end
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