Monday, 7 July 2014

World Cup Observations 19: Quarterfinals Round-up

Brazil v Colombia
  • My worst fears came true; Colombia were simply match-frightened against their larger, heavily-favoured and seeded opponents.
  • Colombia played horribly, just like how Arsenal plays against larger teams like Manchester United. Every team has a bogey team (Colombia had only scored in 2 out of something like 9 encounters with Brazil - I didn't know that coming into the match, otherwise I should have changed my opinion if I did)
  • Colombia only seemed to threaten after they scored the penalty
  • My guess of Colombia winning was clearly very misconceived - I gave them too much credit. 
  • This match is a good example of how a competitor who makes a fairytale run can suddenly lose not only their confidence and but also all their strong points when facing a top seed. Everything at the very top level comes down to mental fortitude/strength and some degree of "luck" (which, ironically, I don't really believe in to be honest). On the other hand, perhaps Colombia just had an easy draw and had not yet faced a top-quality opponent. Could be a mixture of both
  • James Rodríguez was the star player of Colombia though, but he still didn't play as well as he could have. When it mattered most he made some semi-poor decisions; however, I am quite clearly adjudging him against the very high standard he demonstrated to us in previous matches (hence such criticism probably would not have arisen had I not known what he had done in the previous matches).


Germany v France
  • Woke up at 2am and watched the first-half. 
  • For some reason I had the feeling that nothing would happen after this so I went to sleep; sure enough when I woke up for Brazil-Colombia, the score had remained 1-0. A fluke of a guess really; either that or I was just really sleepy.
  • Slow tempo match for me, with France quite disappointing
  • A friend of mine pointed out to me that in both the matches played that day, all goals were scored by defenders


Argentina v Belgium
  • Didn't watch this one as I was too tired from the previous day's matches. Coincidentally (unintentionally) I woke up to drink some water and realised the match was still on. I turned on the TV and the match had about 15 minutes left on the clock
  • Belgium looked desperate nd frantic at the time I turned the TV on
  • I can't really say anything else
  • Perhaps Argentina have the best chance of winning now as their defence appears to be quite good? But I hope I'm wrong.


Netherlands v Costa Rica
  • I was yet again proven wrong - the match that I thought would be the easiest for the heavily-favoured team was in fact the closest contested match
  • I cannot believe Costa Rica held the Netherlands to a goalless draw
  • Robben with his dribbling antics was quite effective, and for some reason Netherlands did not make use of their chances
  • HOWEVER Navas the Costa Rican goalkeeper kept Costa Rica in the match!! What great goalkeeping.
  • Costa Rica had a chance to take all the glory; if only they had one Tim Cahill spearheading their attack!!

If I'm not mistaken, in all knockout stage matches thus far, the favoured team (as measured by the betting agencies) always won.

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