Wild World Cup Day

Man, after last weekend, I thought things would settle down, but both games today were kind of crazy.

I did predict the Dutch victory over Brazil, but again, it happened not at all the way I'd expected. The Lusos outplayed the Dutch badly for the first half, but had only one goal to show for it.

And in the second half, they just came unglued. Part of it, I think, was a continuation of their great frustration with the refs (which, incidentally, I don't really understand. The ref called a very good game, I thought, but the South Americans treated every call that went against them as if it were a mortal injustice). After the weird own goal equalized, Brazil just lost it for a while. The second goal was a very interesting one (I'd call it very pretty, but it was really more luck than skill), and the red card was well-deserved.

I probably would have gone crazy while watching the game, except that I watched it after recording it, and a coworker told me (without warning) that the Dutch won, so I knew what the final result was going to be.

Uruguay also moved on, as I expected, but man that was a wild end of the game. My jaw hit the floor after the second goal-line save not by a goalie, but it made a lot more sense after seeing the hand ball. I really can't say that justice was done, there; a deliberate hand ball to save a certain goal should not be a winning play.

I did love the Uruguayan goalie doing everything but kissing the crossbar (I think he would have done that, too, if he'd been a bit taller) in appreciation after that penalty kick.

I was happy to see Gyan somewhat atone for that gaffe with a beautiful shot in the shootout. Ghana really needs to work on its penalty kicks, though; two of them being saved in the shootout is completely inexcusable.

And Abreu's winning penalty kick? That was quite a metagaming shot. I've never seen a little chip shot like that on a penalty shot... The Uruguayan goaltender actually would have saved that, because he was reacting, rather than trying to predict, on the shots.

In any event, I'm now even more looking forward to Germany/Argentina tomorrow. I figured that would be the closest match of the four today and tomorrow, but I can't imagine it being closer than the two today. I just hope that Paraguay/Spain isn't a blowout. Then again, it might be good for my health if it is. If both games tomorrow are as wild as the ones today... I don't know what I'll do.

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