03 July 2010 – Day 23

Yesterday saw the most dramatic day of the World Cup to date. Favourites Brazil lost their heads as the Netherlands used theirs to upset the five times winners and progress to the Semi Finals. All looked to be going to plan as Robinho scored from a simple and direct ball through the Dutch defence, a goal that had the quality mark of English defending all over it. Back came the Dutch in the second half and two headed goals later they were in front. Brazil then resorted to their bully-boy tactics of World Cup ‘74 and had Melo sent off for a vicious stamp on Robben. Brazil out now, that’s nuts…

How could the afternoon fixture be topped? Well Uruguay and Ghana did a bloody good job. Africa’s team kept the dream alive as they took the lead, only for one of my players of the Tournament, Forlan to level it up. So Extra Time comes and almost goes. In the last attack of the goal, a scramble, ball pings back and forth and the official spots a handball on the line by Suarez. One penalty and Ghana are through. But we know Gyan misses and Ghana lose 4-2.

What has been a memorable evening to watch is then ruined for me by a ludicrous statement from the ITV “experts”. Suarez is cast as some dastardly “Johnny foreigner” who has “cheated” and got away with it. Hang on, so they are saying he should have let the ball go in and then Uruguay would be out of the World Cup. Suarez paid the price, he got sent-off (misses the Semi Final) and Ghana got a penalty. They are the rules of the competition; he didn’t know Ghana would miss. If the forward from Ghana in the last minute had been fouled in that incident and a penalty awarded, would that have been cheating? Players react in the heat of the moment and as a player, manager or fan I would expect nothing less. Does that make me an unsporting old cynic? Nope, it’s part of the game.

Thank goodness today’s games are on BBC. Adrian Chiles has looked as out of his depth as ITV front-man as much as his beloved Baggies will be in the Premier League in the coming season. His classic moment from last night? With penalties about to start, Chiles informs the nation that he fancies Ghana keeper Kingson to see the Africans through as the Uruguay keeper, Muslera doesn’t look to be a penalty expert. As the coverage switches from studio to stadium, the match commentator tells us that Muslera made his name last season in the Coppa Italia with Lazio saving 4 penalties in his teams Cup triumph, including 2 in the Final. It’s called research Adrian…..

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Posted July 3, 2010 by Editor in category "World Cup 2010 diary

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