And then there were 4. That’s right, only four squads left in this solar system (unless Saturn has a team we don’t know about) can still win the 2010 World Cup after the Quarterfinals Round provided us with more drama than TNT during a 22 hour Law & Order stretch (or as they call it, a Wednesday). Some tournament favorites’ dreams of winning the World Cup became nightmares, and now we will have 4 fine sides of fellows competing in this week’s Semifinals.
NED 2 – 1 over BRA: The Dutch disbanded the Brazilian team by being more lucky than good. Brazil was clearly the top technical team in the tournament, but the Orange got a very judicious bounce off a Brazil defender for their first goal and then took the lead on a legendary laser. Brazil had several opportunities to level the score, but Kaka simply couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net (or onto anyone’s head so they could do the same). So, NED moves on.
URU 1 – 1 (4 – 2 PK) over GHA: Ghana’s dream of winning a World Cup on their home continent ended on Friday after defensively dominant Uruguay beat them on PKs in one of the most controversial games of the tournament. This one had it all, from questionable PK calls to a spine-tingling shootout. In the end, the boys who play in baby blue were simply better from the spot than the Black Stars. Now, URU must prepare for their toughest opponent yet, NED.
GER 4 – 0 over ARG: The Germans didn’t just beat Argentina. No, they embarassed them. Maradona had to be dragged from the field by his family because his ego had been so bruised he found himself screaming at be-wigged German fans behind his bench. Yes, his actions were shameful, but really Messi, Tevez & Co. have even more reason to be ashamed. They played like a bunch of individuals instead of a team, and that is why they lost to the German unit.
ESP 1 – 0 over PAR: Spain just keeps scraping by, and their win over Paraguay was symbolic of their play throughout this entire tournament. It seems like they always just do enough to win, but no more and no less. Against the Germans, they will obviously need to step it up considerably, as they honestly could have (and perhaps should have) lost to a team from Paraguay that had skill, determination, and a nothing to lose attitude (well, except the Jules Rimet).