All entries for Tuesday 27 June 2006

June 27, 2006

The World Cup so far

This year's World Cup has been exciting but could have been much much better with some sensible refereeing. As a "neutral" supporter (well I do want England to win) the best matches to me have unquestionably been those where the so called underdogs have given the big guns a lot to think about. Right now I'm watching what has been by far the best game of round two with Brazil playing Ghana and Ghana giving Brazil an excellent game, playing some absolutely brilliant football and giving the spectators something to cheer about.

One of the most disappointing parts of the world cup has been the pathetically dismal refereeing in a lot of games. Yesterday's decision to award Italy the penalty at absolutely the last second was completely unnecessary and a major blow to undoubtedly the most spirited team in the world cup. Australia has played with the passion, skill and technique and once again Guus Hiddik has proved that he is not a one time wonder.
Even in today's match Brazil gets a stupid second goal decision where Adriano is clearly offside. Its hard to iimagine how heartbreaking such stupid refereeing must be to such a skillful and entertaining side. As in 2002, Africa has shown us how crafty and ambitious they are in their game play. Its certainly a hell of a lot more entertaining to watch Ghana or Ivory coast play than it was to watch that long drawn boring football played by Ukraine and Switzerland. Switzerland is officially the most mundane team I have ever seen play football. They should never have gotten through to the world cup finals.
Portugal and Holland a match which would have been undoubtedly spectacular was another decent match fucked up by a pathetic referee. Although I must say the portugese players are really violent in their approach. They do not have the rythm of the south americans or the discipline of the Germans and as a result play okay football, mainly due to a few talented scorers. I really hope England find their form which has been ominously absent throughout the world cup and beat the living daylights out of Portugal.
To me, teams such as Australia Ghana, USA and Ivory Coast should be celebrated for their superb display. I loathe Italy, Switzerland and France for playing defensive and rubbish football in terms of entertainment value anyway. I know its not all about scoring goals but its certainly not all about defense either! One just has to remember the superb football played by USA against Italy where a 9 man USA held Italy to a 1–1 draw, again providing a superb game of football even though it was not high scoring.
Argentina and Germany should provide an excellent quarterfinal match, my money being on Germany who have been superb throughout the tournament. Although as in any world cup game its foolish to rule out Argentina.
For everyone's benefit I hope the remaining games are not decided by referees instead of the players.

June 2006

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