Friday, 2 July 2010

Quarter-Finals part I

So, we have arrived at the quarter-final stage and what a feast awaits us. The first game up has always produced classic encounters in the past. In 1974, Holland played Brazil in a game which changed world football. Brazil were a side in transition, and as any woman who has given birth will tell you that is the most difficult part of labour. Pele had retired from international football and the team was looking for a new identity. The Dutch came with the new philosophy known as total football, where the players all closed down on the opponents like a swarm of bees, somewhat like a full court press in basketball, denying the playmaker time on the ball. The Dutch were led by Johan Cruyff, arguably one of the best players of all time. The Brazilian response to this method, was just to kick the hell out of the Dutch, check it out on you tube, by the way the Dutch won 2-0.
1994 – Quarter final stage, the Brazilians got their revenge, with an unforgettable 3-2 victory sealed with an outrageous free kick by Branco, after the Dutch had come back from 2-0 down to tie the game. Once again look it up on you tube.
1998, Semi finals Brazil won a penalty shoot out win (4-2) after a 1-1 draw which was a great advert for the game. So this game promises a lot.
The 2nd game today pits Uruguay against Ghana, Uruguay tend to do well in the years ending in zero, they won the tournament in 1930 and 1950 and were losing semi-finalists to Brazil in 1970. This is new territory for Ghana, they prepared for the game by having a party, with lots of singing and dancing, a refreshing approach to the game.
The Ghanaians are very strong and fit and Uruguay have tired in the closing stages of their games, so if they can keep this one tight until the end, Ghana should be in with a good chance of being the first African team to reach a world cup Semi-final.
I will post about tomorrow’s games later today


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