… OK, so Spain ousted Portugal today on a nice rebound goal by David Villa, advancing Spain to the quarterfinals, where I think we all thought they would be. Portugal, aside from their 7-goal outburst against North Korea (3 in the last 10 minutes, mind you), never seemed to hit their stride in the attack. Portugal didn’t score a single goal in any game other than the North Korea rout, and while they had been unblemished defensively entering today’s game, they were going to need some production to defeat their neighbors and it just wasn’t there.
In today’s other game, Paraguay and Japan played to a scoreless tie after 120 minutes, with Paraguay prevailing in a 5-3 penalty shootout. I’m happy that I called it was going to go to penalties in yesterday’s post, but I should have known better than to go against a South American team, even in tiebreakers apparently. Of the nine kicks taken in the tiebreaker, eight were scored, with only Japan’s Yuichi Komano not finding the back of the net. His blast off the crossbar eventually doomed Japan to an exit from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Paraguay and Spain will meet in the quarterfinals, and with today’s action complete, all those matchups are set:
Friday 10 a.m.: Netherlands vs. Brazil (can this be a best of 7?)
Friday 2:30 p.m.: Uruguay vs. Ghana
Saturday 10 a.m.: Argentina vs. Germany (see comment for Netherlands vs. Brazil)
Saturday 2:30 p.m.: Paraguay vs. Spain
(* all times Eastern)
When I went to Soccernet to review some information a few moments ago, it kind of hit me. Looking to the top right, I see the countdown to the next game ticking:
58 hours, 14 minutes.
I’m quite sure that at 10 a.m. tomorrow, at work, I’m going to launch ESPN Mobile on my phone to watch a game, only to have forgotten that there won’t be one available (it will probably be tennis or some such thing). The strides we’ve made in this country for what soccer we can watch and how we can watch it in just the last 10 years have been astounding. I’ve gone from not being able to get Fox Sports World 7 years ago and having to go to a bar to watch games, to now being able to watch them anywhere on my phone.
This new reality has me dreading the next two days. No games! How can there be no games! It was bad enough when we got into the last round of group play, and the 7:30 a.m. games disappeared. How sweet were those (well, if you live in the East, anyway). Now, we face a 58-hour wait for what has been an intriguing, entertaining, and at times infuriating tournament to begin again.
It will be worth the wait, however. That first match between the Netherlands and Brazil is one I am eagerly anticipating – especially since my tournament pick is riding on it, having gone with the Dutch prior to the tournament. That may not look so smart now with how Brazil is playing, but I’ll stick to my guns.
Hopefully I can survive that long. I’m so hooked, so used to having games each morning and afternoon to help get through the day.
And now, nothing. Seriously? Cold turkey for 2 days? Not being able to attend DC United’s Open Cup match tomorrow night vs. the Richmond Kickers, it will be a long 58 hours before two of the world’s soccer powers take the field for a quarterfinal. Seriously, could you trot Italy and France out there for like a 31st-place game? Maybe the winner gets England? I’ll watch Cameroon play New Zealand if you want to stage the game. Give me something!
Oh well. I’ll make it. I think. But please World Cup, don’t be gone long.
Netherlands 2-1 Brazil
* I don’t know how they’re going to do it, but dammit, they’re my pick, and I have to stick with that.
Uruguay 3-0 Ghana
* Uruguay’s defense > Ghana’s offense. Uruguay’s offense > Ghana’s defense. I really think Uruguay dominates.
Today’s Record: 1-1.
Tournament Record: 31-25.