Monday, July 5, 2010

World Cup Madness

Hello there again folks. This is your favorite blogger Andy again! Sorry for the long delay between posts but there have been many things going on. Let start with what has been happening since we last left the World Cup.

What has to be one of the most dramatic US soccer victories ever happened in their last game of their group play. Thanks to the English victory, the United States needed a victory to advance to the round of 16. But hope was diminishing as they hit the 2nd half stoppage time tied with Algeria 0-0. Then came a quick sequence that defined this US team. With quick thinking, American goalkeeper, Tim Howard, stopped a dangerous header and started the fast break pitching the ball out to streaking American Landon Donovan who pushed the ball into Algeria territory before passing it to the wing for Altidore who placed it with a small 1-2 to a streaking Dempesey. He tried to tap the ball in but was denied by a brilliant save by the Algerian goalkeeper. The ball bounce back into the box and before anybody knew what happened, Donovan came streaking in to tap the ball into the left side of the goal. That goal literally put the United States out of elimination and into first place into there group. Fantastic and dramatic play. Although they played well enough in the Round of 16, they couldn't get past the speedsters of Ghana, falling 2-1 in extra time although they were given many chances. Great tourney for the Americans and I hope they come back stronger in the next World Cup finals.

With these beautiful games of course comes aspects of the beautiful game that mar it. Of course, I am talking about the officiating. First off are the bad calls in a few of the US' group play matches including two disallowed goals costing the US one game and nearly eliminating the US in the other. Then came the non offside call on Tevez of Argentina who was clearly behind the Mexican defenders when he scored Argentina's first goal in their round of 16. Followed swiftly after that was the non goal call that would've equalize England and Germany at 2. Instead England couldn't refocus and got MULLERED 4-1. The ball clearly hit woodwork and bounce in before the goalkeeper grabbed it. Horrible, horrible officiating. But what does this mean for futbol in general? Well, it has FIFA reeling and going back on their word of never implementing an instant replay mechanic in the "beautiful game". I agree with them in that it would slow down this really fluid and dynamic game but I think they NEED to have some kind of replay mechanic just so these obvious blatant mistakes don't happen. What I think they could do is have a replay system within the box with the very controversial plays (diving, hand balls, etc) and add that time back in shortage time. I can see that working but you can never know with futbol. Anyways have fun guys!

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