Some teams looked good, other mediocre, and some downright poor. Here is a quick recap of what has been going on the last few days…
Germany vs Sweden – Germany is looking impressive folks. Sweden is a good solid team who had some trouble scoring this world cup, but is very tough to beat. Germany pretty much handled them, although the foolish Swede who got himself ejected needs a good backhand.
Argentina vs Mexico – One of the BEST games of the tournament so far. A classic of epic proportions. Unfortunately, Mexico makes an early exit again even though they really deserve to go on. But honestly I think Argentina is the better team and in the long run has the better chance of succeeding.
England vs Ecuador – Snoozefest. Funny that for all the criticism Beckham has received lately, he is the only one who has stepped up his game. He is directly responsible for 3 of the 6 goals that England has scored so far this tournament.
Portugal vs Netherlands – what should have been a very good game was marred by red cards. Portugal moves on
Italy vs Australia – Bad referree in this match too. Sent off Materrazzi for a tackle that to me wasn’t really all that bad and then made up for it with a very soft (although legit) penalty call with only seconds left in the game. Australia can go home with their head held high. They gave Brazil and Italy, two of the top teams in the world, all they could handle. They were tough on defense and dangerous on offense.
Switzerland vs Ukraine – To me this was one of the top matches in the tournament so far. VERY physical game, this was a true “Man’s” game. Both teams just beat the heck out of each other and were running strong all the way until the end. Unfortunately, this one had to go to PKs and somebody had to go home.
Brazil vs Ghana – The score was 3-0 but it was really closer than that. Ghana suffered just like most of the African teams when they get this far. A lack of discipline and a little bit of polish is what keeps them from the top. Ronaldo cleanly beat an offsides trap and _brutally_ juked the keeper out of the way before rounding him and tapping in from close range. Ghana then took control for most of the rest of the half and came close to scoring a couple times but just couldnt get through. Then of course (as always happens) Brazil scored on a counter and that-was-that.
Spain vs France – Spain had most of the chances and may have been the better team, but didn’t finish their chances. So Henry dives (blatant, read about it here) and France promptly goes on to score the game winning goal. I think they will get some negative karma off of this though, so watch out in the next round…