World Cup Knockout Round Open Thread

And thus it continues.


Upcoming Schedule:
Saturday, June 26:

Sunday, June 27:

Monday, June 28:

  • Netherlands vs. Slovakia, 10:00AM ET
  • Brazil vs. Chile, 2:30PM ET

Tuesday, June 29:

  • Paraguay vs. Japan, 10:00AM ET
  • Spain vs. Portugal, 2:30PM ET’s Group Stage Honors and Dishonors


  1. Ok, here are my predictions:

    Uruguay over S. Korea

    Argentina over Mexico

    England over Germany

    US over Ghana (yes, we can!)

    Netherlands over Slovakia

    Paraguay over Japan

    Brazil over Chile

    Portugal over Spain

    Let’s hear yours. Best predictor gets to buy the root beer at Hires.

  2. I need to hear Ronan J. Head himself say, “England will beat Germany” before I will believe it, MCQ.

  3. Uruguay defeats South Korea

    Argentina defeats Mexico

    Germany defeats England (sorry man, England has not shown enough consistent play)

    Ghana defeats the United States (I’ll probably be wrong on this one, as Ghana may have too much pressure on them to perform for the local crowd).

    Netherlands defeats Slovakia

    Japan defeats Paraguay

    Brazil defeats Chile

    Portugal defeats Spain

  4. Steve Evans says:

    Honestly, that video? Not that great.

  5. For a video put together by a senior at Purdue, though, it could be a lot worse!

    I am hoping we will be back home in time for the USA-Ghana match tomorrow. Here are my predictions, mostly made with very little knowledge of the teams.

    Uruguay over S. Korea

    Argentina over Mexico

    Germany over England

    USA over Ghana

    Slovakia over Netherlands

    Paraguay over Japan

    Brazil over Chile

    Portugal over Spain

  6. I just need to say that I really hope Spain defeats Portugal because I want to see a permanent pout on Ronaldo’s face.

    And I’m really hoping the U.S. game tomorrow does nearly give me a heart attack like the last game.

  7. We don’t need any more heart attacks. I’m hoping forr a laugher, but I won’t get it. Ghana is a good team.

    Speaking of which , Dan should be banned for picking Ghana, without even an apology. What’s the deal Dan, you apologize for picking Germany over England but you just casually pick Ghana? And then you say you may be wrong because Ghana may have too much pressure? Ghana will have every African in the stadium rooting for them! It’s practically a home game! You suck, sir. And you blow, equally.

  8. Haha. I meant to say does *not* give me a heart attack–I agree that no more heart attacks would be good. But you’re also right that it won’t be an easy match–Ghana is good and will have everyone cheering for them.

  9. Latter-day Guy says:

    “You suck, sir. And you blow, equally.”

    Doesn’t that yield a net result of no sucking or blowing?

    I’m not sure if I want to watch the game tomorrow. I really dislike ulcers.

  10. Antihero says:

    I used to work at Paragon Sports in NYC, which is in the video.

    My picks –
    Uruguay over SK
    US over Ghana (revenge? I hope so)
    Germany over England (as much as I love Rooney, I have been mightily impressed by Mesuet Oezil)
    Argentina over Mexico (Messi!)
    Netherlands over Slovakia (but I could be very wrong. The Dutch are not always clutch players….)
    Brazil over Chile
    Japan over Paraguay
    Spain over Portugal (I think Portugal is the better team, but I believe that they already had their flash of greatness in this tourney with the 7 goal second half.)

  11. Bart Simpson says:

    I didn’t think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows.

  12. Steve,
    The video is indeed cheesy and lame. However, a couple of important considerations must be noted.

    First, we (Americans) have no experience in making soccer-related YouTube videos that don’t involve our side sucking it up on the international stage. Give us time.

    Second, go rain on someone else’s parade, you filthy Canadian.

  13. Antihero–I switched the video to the one I originally wanted, but couldn’t get to work earlier. Sorry to cut out your old stomping grounds!

  14. Scott, don’t worry about it, steve wouldn’t know a good soccer video if it snuck up and bit him on the geoduck. Canadians don’t even play soccer. It takes too long to clear the snow off the field.

  15. MCQ,

    heh, I was torn on the match, because I think they are fairly evenly matched, these two teams. In the end, I think Ghana will win it.

  16. Also, Steve pronounces words like “decal,” “about,” and “geoduck” like he’s got marmalade in his mouth. It just makes me want to punch him all over his delicate little face.

  17. Antihero says:

    That video really does capture the whole minute before the goal. I was watching in Wilkinson Center at BYU before class, and I think that that is about the reaction that came from all of us watching. (And there was quite a group, including a number of professors)

  18. chelseaw says:

    Great video. I was watching by myself and I screamed so loudly that my 5 year old yelled down the stairs “Mom! You scared me!”

  19. Re #10:

    Antihero, I just haven’t been as impressed by Oezil as the announcers and pundits say I should be. Maybe I just miss Michael Ballack, the usual central midfield player.

    My predictions (even though it’s halftime of the Uruguay/S. Korea game):

    Uruguay over S. Korea
    USA over Ghana (but it will be close)
    Argentina over Mexico (and Messi gets his long-awaited WC goal)
    Germany over England (another nail-biter)
    Netherlands over Slovakia
    Brazil over Chile
    Japan over Paraguay
    Spain over Portugal (Cristiano Ronaldo may be gorgeous, but I think Spain’s the better team, especially now that Iniesta is now back)

  20. Antihero says:

    #19 –
    I wasn’t as impressed by him, until the last game, and then I was watching some German team highlights, and I realized that he had been fairly instrumental in almost all of their major plays. But, yes, I think that Germany is REALLY missing Ballack.

  21. chelseaw says:

    Korea are putting up quite the fight!

  22. Uruguay goes up 2-1 in the 80th minute…:-(

  23. Uruguay 2, SK 1 final. Uruguay moves on. SK goes home. :-(

  24. Un-freaking-believable.

  25. Oh good, now we can play our typical comeback game. /sarcasm

  26. Doesn’t the US ever warm up BEFORE the freaking game? Come on!

  27. Aaron Brown says:

    What does any of this have to do with our eternal salvation?

  28. Heh, Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger sitting together. There’s a future Church pamphlet for Elder Cook to write ;)

  29. chelseaw says:

    I agree with the commentator that these games should come with a government health warning. Sheesh.

  30. And 2 quick cards. This is an horrible start.

  31. And most likely an horrible end too, sorry.

  32. “What does any of this have to do with our eternal salvation?”

    Jesus is a soccer fan. Get with it or suffer the consequnces, AB.

  33. I wish I could hear the conversation between Clinton and Jagger. That’s got to be a trip.

    Bill: So there was this girl in a bar in Durban…

  34. Cynthia L. says:

    I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but……..the vuvuzela din is kinda growing on me. Heaven help me!!

    Maybe it was Matsby’s art that softened my heart.

  35. Ha! The Univision announcer singing “No you can’t always get what you want…” Awesome, but not funny.

  36. Ok, how have we NOT been awarded 2 pk’s in the last 30 seconds?!

  37. Ok, on the 3rd one, the ref gives it to us. BOUT FREAKING TIME REF!!!

  38. DONOVAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Cynthia L. says:


  40. This is so freaking cool.

  41. Dempsey deserves credit for that goal. What a stud.

  42. Remember, Donovan is an Evertonian.

  43. Is that a hint of forgiveness I sense for his blown ball at Everton, RJH?

  44. Only on loan, Ronan.

  45. Oh-vur-time…

  46. Anybody’s game.

  47. Ghana scores!

  48. Oh darn.

  49. Cynthia L. says:


  50. Nope. We had to get scored on again, so we could get worked up enough to win. WTH USA…

  51. Pretty sad.

  52. Cynthia L. says:


  53. Let’s go England!!!!!

  54. Alas, the Yanks.

  55. USA fail (though I seriously think we should have been awarded another PK earllier.) At one point, Ghana had 7 shots on goal to our 4, but in the last 15 minutes alone, I think we had 9 or so.Why can’t we play with that intensity from the beginning?

  56. Sucks. I think we had the potential to win but didn’t play a very smart game.

  57. Ronan, what is the forecast for tomorrow’s match?

  58. Germany on paper, but England should be up for it.

  59. This thread is a load of crap.

  60. Wouldn’t it be fun if the semifinals were Uruguay-Brazil, Argentina-Paraguay, all-south,south america?

    Maybe only if Uruguay and Paraguay were in the final. My original predictions are all still alive (URU-NED, ARG-ESP).

  61. “Wouldn’t it be fun if the semifinals were Uruguay-Brazil, Argentina-Paraguay”


  62. so I think FIFA needs to put in replay… just a thought…

  63. Shocking. Absolutely shocking. Losing to Germany is acceptable; losing on an absolute HOWLER of a decision is a disgrace to FIFA.

  64. Rage.

  65. What’s turned into a spanking hides the fact that at 2-2 this would have been a different game. FIFA must act.

  66. Just saw the replay. The rest of the missed calls in the tournament (and there have been lots of them) pale in comparison to that one.

  67. I don’t think it would have changed the ultimate outcome of the game. The Germans just simply moved much better on the field than the English did. But that play certainly warrants a replay function, at the very least, in the high stakes of World Cup Football.

  68. Daniel,

    I won’t claim England necessarily would have won, nor that that have been very good. However, goals change games in football and this would have been a different game at 2-2. I blogged about this when the Irish went out to Henry’s handball. Football is ruined by crap like this. I’m very angry.

  69. I love how FIFA’s official summary of the game describes that GOAL THAT ENGLAND TOTALLY SCORED.

    “Meetings between these two sides often provide talking points and this one’s came 60 seconds after Upson’s goal when Lampard’s shot from the edge of the box struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down, with the referee ruling the ball had not crossed the goalline.”

    I mean, I get standing behind your ref and everything, but come on.

  70. President Uctdorf says:

    I know God answers prayers

  71. I must say I’ve got a bit of schadenfreude over the England affair. Yes, it would be a different game if they were 2-2, but in the end Germany was so much better. They really deserved to win. Maybe now England can move past the Posh Boy and ‘Wazza’ and the rest of the superchavs so there’s an actual team and not individual ‘talents’. Bet Fred Goodwin, Adam Applegarth would qualify as English talents.

  72. Latter-day Guy says:

    June 18, 2010; 11:07 AM:

    “I hate to say it, and I’m probably tempting fate, but one of the things that makes football so delicious is that it is often riddled with injustice. Makes you angry and wanting revenge” (emphasis added).


  73. Latter-day Guy says:

    (Oops. I forgot to say the comment quoted above was by RJH.)

  74. ouch, LDG.

    I have been singularly apalled by the officiating at this WC. I can’t remember seeing this many blown calls before. Something should really be done. If you’re going to take the position that there is something valuable in eschewing replay and making the final call on the field then you must have officials (and perhaps just more of them) for whom seeing eye dogs and drool cups are not a physical requirement.

  75. Latter-day Guy says:

    I honestly didn’t mean it to be mean-spirited, but it was almost prophetic.

  76. As life always seems to go, the fact I want anyone but Argentina just about guarantees they will win this thing easily.

  77. “I want anyone but Argentina”

    Dittto, at this point. I’d take Germany.

  78. I would side heavily with a Brasil-Germany final if they’re not to meet in the Quarter or Semi-finals. I think Argentina will be drawn into third (or hopefully fourth) place.

    One of the reasons why the referees and FIFA are so afraid of technology is that some careers would be shattered. I remember in the 2002 World Cup the referee of South Corea and Spain was thrown out of the FIFA listings as an international referee after several mistakes were replayed. I don’t know what happened to the referee of THAT famous game between Argentina and the UK.

  79. Netherlands are looking good at the half.

  80. I guess with the UK and US out of the World Cup, interest in it will dwindle to nearly zero. Though the UK-US match generated ratings greater than American Idol (is that still a top rated show?)

    Time to press FIFA to adopt some level of technology at the World Cup/Olympic Games level. Organisers could afford it and it would give much needed clarity.

  81. The Dutch move on. Let’s see if they can get past Brazil, who should defeat Chile in their game later today.

  82. Hup Holland hup! I’m hoping for a Chilean upset, mainly because the ref will card Brazil early and often for simulation. Portugal/Netherlands in the final, and a chance to replay the nightmare of ’06.

  83. I have this odd feeling that, despite that goal that just went in, that Chile is going to upset Brazil. It may just be the heavy drilling outside my office window. Oh, what a nice goal off the head, though!

    Glad to see Robben and the Dutch win. They can beat Brazil and Chile. I’d like to see the Dutch v. Brazil, though, just because of the contrast in style and to see which team subjects the other to their style and pace of play.

  84. This second Brazil goal, from the beginning of the possession in the back field, characterizes South Am soccer: short, patient, accurate passes in small areas, walk it up to the keeper, fake the keeper, and tap it in, don’t work too hard. Compare that with the fast and physical Germany attack yesterday. It’s the culture of play that comes through, and it’s beaaauuuuuutiful!!!!! Brazil are never in much of a hurry.

    Looks like it was the drilling outside: Chile have a tough hill to crawl out of already.

  85. yeah, Chile is not gonna win this one.

  86. So quarterfinal match between Brazil and Netherlands. That’s gonna be a fun matchup.

  87. This is how I remember most British football fans

  88. Looking forward to Spain v. Portugal. Brazil v. Netherlands will be awesome next round, as well as Germany v. Argentina. Fun Fun Fun. If only the officials don’t ruin any more games!!!

  89. I have to say that I am skeptical that anyone can stop Brazil. They were impressive to say the least, but perhaps partly because Chile is really not on their level. Netherlands will almost certainly be more of a challenge, but they sure appear to be having an easy time so far.

  90. Jimmy Kimmel just suggested that the goals in World cup soccer be excavated and filled with water and crocodiles. That way, if a ball goes in the goal, there will be no possibility of a missed call as in the England game and also, it would increase the excitement due to the risk of players occasionally falling in.

  91. I’m going for Portugal today, if for no other reason than than that I don’t want to see any more of this hairdo from the Spanish.

  92. I’m guessing Spain 2, Portugal 0. Although we have not see the best of Spain as a team, with it’s overflow of talent, Portugal’s identity is split between playing as a team and trying to find Ronaldo. Spain has gelled more with each game, but Portugal still seems to be missing cohesion. It’s going to be a good one either way.

  93. So, I am currently 5 for 7. And I am noticing that the US is the only group winner to not win in the round of 16 so far.

    Rooting for Portugal, but won’t be surprised by a Spanish win.

  94. Hm… I suppose I should have checked to see how soon the match was over…

    Way to be the only group winner to not advance to the quarter-finals, America!

  95. I’m also 5 for 7. I thought Japan and Portugal would upset. Those were very close games though.

  96. I’m 6 for 8. Here are my predictions for next round:

    Uruguay over Ghana

    Germany over Argentina

    Brazil over Netherlands

    Spain over Paraguay

  97. Oops I mean 5 for 8. I forgot that I predicted Portugal would win.

  98. MCQ – Are you copying my bracket??? :P

    I have the same predictions for the quarter-finals.

    In the semi-finals, I am going Brazil over Uruguay and Germany over Spain, then, in the final match, an awesome showdown between Brazil and Germany, with Brazil the ultimate victors.

  99. You loons who bet against Argentina do so at your own peril.

  100. Germany aren’t that good – England were just really, really bad. They break with speed and could expose an untested Argentina defence, but I have a suspicion that Klose is a flat-track bully, though Ozil looks genuine class. There weakness is a dodgy defence. I fancy Messi and Tevez may make mincemeat of them. If not them then Villa and co will. Having said all that, never bet against the Germans. They made it to the final in 2002 with a very average team.

  101. In the Quarterfinals I predict,

    Netherlands defeats Brazil

    Argentina defeats Germany

    Spain defeats Paraguay

    Uruguay defeats Ghana

  102. Antihero says:

    Since I did so well on the first round…..

    Brazil over Netherlands

    Germany over Argentina (Either in overtime or on PK’s)

    Spain over Paraguay

    Uruguay over Ghana

    Gomez, you could be right, but I think that you are more right when you say “never bet against the Germans” They can take average talent and make a stellar team.

  103. Germany/Argentina and Netherlands/Brazil could both go either way. I just hope they both don’t go the same way.

  104. Dan, that was my original final four

  105. Eric S. says:

    Argentina played Germany in March 2010 in a warm up “friendly”. Argentina beat Germany that day, but both teams were running different squads and still experimenting. I watched the game, and it was either team’s to lose.

    Consider how “friendly” the March 2010 it was with this drama in the background:

    Maradona is a crack up. Check out how, in the middle of this article, it talks about how furious he was to share the podium with the young virgin Muller. He walked off! These “context” stories the media run always add more drama and flavor to the upcoming match. I love it. My heart lies with Messi and Argentina while my ancestry and childhood favorites were Germany. I’m conflicted, but it should be a great game. I hope whoever wins goes on to win the Cup.

  106. we’re of the same mind then, Bill. :)

  107. ArgentinaFan says:

    Ehhhhh whats going on with all the Argentine haters?

  108. Hand of God.

  109. Oh come on Ronan. Yes the Hand of God, but did you see the ‘other’ goal that Maradona scored in that game. That should be enough to make you forget that infamous goal.

    I’ll side with the Germans on the upcoming GER-ARG match. Nothing against Argentina, I just believe that Germany is much more of a team than Argentina.

  110. I’m not as anti-Argentina as I used to be mainly because as a City fan I love Carlito (Fergie, sign him up, Fergie, Fergie, sign him up). In fact if Argentina win it all I’m claiming Tevez won the WC for MCFC.

    However, I would love to see the Netherlands win it. For one, their orange shirts are brilliant. And for two, Dennis Bergkamp is arguably the coolest cat we’ve ever seen in the Premiership. See for example possibly the greatest goal ever scored:

  111. Come on Ronan, we all remember how Maradona robbed us, but he was so cute in that Coke commercial so it is all good.

    As if.

  112. While we are at it, what’s up with all the BP hatred on-line. Don’t you remember when you were going to that important function and we totally had gas at $2.25 a gallon? That should make you forget about the silly oil spill thing.

  113. Bergkamp is godlike.

    Unfortunately, he’s not playing.

  114. I realize I may have made it sound like I want the Netherlands to win because Dennis Bergkamp was playing. I simply meant I have always loved the style with which the Dutch play the game (Cruyf, Gullit, Van Basten, Overmars). For me, Bergkamp is the epitome of Dutch football at its best – brilliant orange. That’s why I’d like to see them win.

  115. The goal at the end of the video in 114 might be more impressive than the one in 111, especially as it came in the 89th minute. Plus, it eliminated Argentina.

  116. Bill, I agree. It’s crazy-awesome.

  117. wow, Bergkamp is pretty amazing. Why isn’t he in the world cup?

  118. I guess I should look him up first and learn that he’s long retired. :P

  119. Just watched the ESPN World cup commentators give their picks for the quartefinal games. Only one picked Germany and I think only one picked Netherlands. Mostly, they think it’s going to be Spain, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina in the semis. Lalas is the lone exception, he thinks all the South American teams will lose. No one picked Paraguay.

  120. Having said what I did about the Dutch I actually think the Netherlands-Brazil game may disappoint. The Dutch will play two defensive midfielders (Van Bommel and De Jong) and I think they will look to spoil rather than create, which is a shame because I think Sneijder is genuinely world class and has the potential to dictate the game if given the chance. Hope I’m wrong.

    I anticipate the Germany-Argentina game will be the tie of the round. Both are attacking minded (Argentina have real talent and Germany break very quickly and have clinical finishers) and both have shaky, untested defences. Could be a goalfest.

  121. Wow, it’s turning into a hockey game… Cards thrown all over, players shouting at each other on the ground…

  122. Fletcher says:

    That was ugly. That’s all I have to say about that.

  123. woohoo! Go Netherlands!

  124. Daniel–We called it, didn’t we? We were saying way back in the first thread that people should fear the Orange.

  125. yep. They should be able to defeat either Uruguay or Ghana to go to the Final. The biggest challenge was always going to be Brazil. The Final will be tough no matter who they play, except perhaps if Paraguay somehow makes it through…if that happens, the Dutch should win their first world cup.

  126. Now that Brazil is out I would rather have Argentina in the semis than Germany.

  127. The Uruguay Ghana match was much better than I thought it would be. Ghana had all kinds of opportunities and that last missed PK in extra time is going to haunt them forever. In the end, not making PKs = doom. Kudos to the Uruguay goalkeeper, though: balls of pure stainless steel.

  128. That Ghana Uruguay match will be remembered for a long time. What an ending! Uruguay definitely took one away from Ghana with that handball in the goal, and there was nothing different that could be done about it.

  129. It looked like the ball actually crossed the line before it was punched out by Suarez. Uruguay should consider themselves extremely lucky. The other thing is that, with Suarez gone on the ensuing red card, Uruguay will be in serious trouble in the next round. He’s a huge part of their offense.

  130. I didn’t think Uruguay had a big chance against the Netherlands to begin with, but having played an overtime game and losing a key defensive guy puts them in a bind against a pretty red hot Dutch team.

  131. ArgentinaFan says:

    Brazil is out as expected. Where they EVER really tested in this world cup? The game they lost was against the FIRST SERIOUS team they have played in this world cup.

    Argentina will defeat Germany 2-1 tomorrow and if not, I will be supporting Uruguay.

  132. Dan, Suarez is not a defensive guy. He’s a striker. He’s been involved in about 80% of the goals that Uruguay has scored or had a chance of scoring. That’s why their offense will be crap without him.

  133. Uruguay will also be without the defender Fucile who picked up a 2nd yellow card. That may be who Dan was referring to. I wouldn’t be too sure about a Netherlands win. I would love to see them win it all but they do have a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. 2 years ago in the European Championship they looked hotter than they do right now but still lost to an unfancied Russia.

  134. sorry MCQ, for some reason I read “defense” in your comment.

  135. 3 minutes in! Deutschland uber alles!

  136. Fletcher says:

    Argentina might as well as just rolled over. This is a disappointing quarterfinal match.

  137. Wow. Total German dominance.

  138. That is an impressive German team.

  139. Fletcher, first Netherlands-Brazil was ugly now Argentina-Germany was disappointing? I think both games were pretty good drama. Not the greatest football but intriguing nonetheless.

    I may have to revise my comment in 101. Germany look a lot better than I gave them credit for. Not great individual talents (Schweinsteiger excluded) but as a team they play very well together. Spain (if they make it) will be a step up though.

  140. gomez,
    I also recall a certain person named MCQ trying to convince me that Germany wasn’t anything great in the previous threads.

  141. Wow! PK drama! Blocked! Scored! Withdrawn and blocked! nil-nil!

  142. Yeah, Scott, but notice that I picked Gemany to win this game. I am disappointed to see both Argentina and Brazil out, but I knew Germany was going to be good. Their previous game showed that.

  143. I predict

    Netherlands will defeat Uruguay

    Germany will defeat Spain

  144. I agree with you on Netherlands, they just scored.

    But I think Spain will find a way to beat Germany.

  145. Forlan ties it for Uruguay! Is there nothing Diego Forlan can’t do?

    I have to say I’m impressed with Uruguay no end. they could have just sat back and played defense this whole game and hoped to win in a shootout, but they have been attacking all game and have really controlled the ball a lot of this game, even without Suarez. Great team. And Forlan is unstoppable.

  146. Netherlands scores again, on a double deflection. Not much of a goal, and it looks like they were offside.

  147. Ok, now that was a great goal! Netherlands up 3-1. Looks bad for Uruguay.

  148. Great match. Netherlands looks capable of winning it all but I think ultimately either Spain or Germany will prevail in the final.

  149. Germany in a lopsided victory over Spain, Netherlands on PKs over the Germans.

    Mark it, Elder McQueue.

  150. You are so wrong.

  151. With Argentina out I feel like I am pushing my luck by making a prediction. I think Germany is going to win it all and I apologize if I just doomed them to a crushing defeat.

  152. That’s one scrappy, tough Uruguayan team! I can see how they made it so far. Those last few minutes were tough to watch.

  153. If Spain beats Germany, I want Scott to come to SLC for Sunstone and host a blogersnacker for all attendees where he personally serves paiella.

    If Germany wins, I will host a bratwerst snacker in San Diego during the San Diego film festival. BYOSauerkraut.

  154. Scoreless at the half, but Spain is by far the better team in terms of time of possession and shots on goal. Germany has never allowed a second-half goal. Let’s see if Spain can disrupt that statistic.

  155. Spain scores!

  156. It’s over. Spain wins! Scott, I like my paiella spicy.

  157. McQueue,
    I don’t know how your terms, without any negotiation or even acknowledgment, would somehow be binding on me.

    In this case, I respectfully decline. I’m a sore loser like that.

  158. I predict Spain will win it all. Sorry Oranje fans.

  159. Come on, Scott, it will be fun! We’ll let you karaoke with Kaimi.

  160. We’ll go double or nothing on the final: If the Dutch win, I come to San Diego in September and we go Dutch at dinner. If Spain wins, you come to SLC in August and we go to Cafe Madrid. What could be more fair?

  161. sorry MCQ, but the Netherlands will win on Sunday. Not only do they have great passing and a good defense, but they’ve shown to be far better at converting scoring opportunities than Spain has. Spain’s offense seems simply incapable of scoring more than 1 goal per game. I don’t think that will be enough against the Netherlands.

  162. We’ll see Dan. And the same bet goes for you, if you want in.

  163. How good were Spain in the second half? Great passing!

  164. if Netherlands win you’ll come to New York and eat Dutch?

  165. Sorry MCQ. I need karaoke at Sunstone like I need a hole in my head.

  166. No, Dan, it’s San Diego for both of you.

    Ronan, I thought the score really should have been about 4-0. Can’t believe Spain only scored once in all those chances, and with the great ball control they showed, but credit the German defense for some of that.

    Scott, you really need to get over your Sunstonephobia sometime, but I never said you had to come to Sunstone, just during it. Cafe Madrid has no affiliation with Sunstone, and we can bring the karaoke machine with us. I know the owner. She won’t mind.

  167. well my wife would be happy about San Diego. She loves it down there. :)

  168. I’m more opposed to the karaoke than I am to Sunstone… :)

  169. That’s only because you know Kaimi.

  170. I actually don’t know him, despite our relatively close geographic residences.

    Wow. I am just shooting you down left and right.

  171. Relatively close? You could borrow sugar.

  172. Daniel (162), your analysis of Spain conveniently ignores the fact that while they haven’t been prolific goal scorers they have only conceded 2 goals all tournament (and one of those was a freak goal totally against the run of play). The reason: everyone who has played them has parked the proverbial bus in front of goal and conceded massive amounts of possession. You are in good company; Franz Beckenbaur made the same mistake when comparing Germany and Spain. But despite having scored 4 goals past 3 different teams Germany barely had a sniff of a chance all night. To think that the Netherlands will do so much better is optimistic, IMO.

    I like the Netherlands (see 111). But I think Spain will be too good. The Netherlands will barely touch the ball. Also, the referee should be well aware by now that Van Bommel is a dirty git and should have him yellow carded early doors. That will stop his spoiling cynical play, which the Dutch game plan is quite dependent on. In spite of a soft spot for the Oranje on reflection I think the Spainish style of play is more deserving of the win. Their passing and movement and ball retention at times is a thing of beauty. As a Spanish journalist said last night, 3 years ago Spain decided to keep the ball and nobody has been able to take it back since. Spain to win 1-0.

  173. Very well said, gomez.

    Meanwhile, Uruguay is giving the Gemans fits. For some reason, I love watching Uruguay, they are just a fun team. Go La Celeste!

  174. it should be a fun finale tomorrow.

  175. Relatively close? You could borrow sugar.

    Really? I figured he was at least an hour away–I honestly don’t know where he lives. SB2 lives closer, and a few of the Ex2 bloggers are in my ward.

    Gomez (173),
    One team was able to take the ball away quite effectively…


    Go Oranje!

  176. A lot of fouls in this final! And now overtime. I can’t believe how many scoring chances have been wasted.

  177. Spain wins! Scott and Dan owe me paiella!

  178. Peter LLC says:

    Spain to win 1-0.

    Gomez for prophet!

  179. Peter, you’ll notice I also called an early yellow card for Van Bommel (20 mins I think it was) which nullified his effectiveness. The Dutch played very cynical anti-football. De Jong should have been sent off in the first half. I think Spain deserved to win.

  180. gomez,

    right, because the Spanish didn’t flop around at all during the match… neither side ‘deserved’ to win and yet both sides ‘deserved’ to win. I’m just glad it ended with some goal and not on penalty kicks.

  181. Dan, Dan, Dan. Give it up, man.

  182. C’mon Dan. The Dutch betrayed their heritage and played ugly, ugly football. Are you seriously trying to argue that De Jong shouldn’t have been sent off in the first half for a karate kick to the chest of Alonso? Down to 10 men it would have been a different game.


    See the picture at the top of the page. Notice where the ball is. Notice where De Jong’s eyes are. Notice where De Jong’s foot is.

  184. gomez,

    I’m not saying the Dutch played beautiful ball. I’m just saying the Spanish did some good old fashioned flopping as well. I’m saying, don’t give me the “the better team deserved to win” stuff, because both sides played dirty.

  185. Wrong, wrong, wrong, Dan. Spain was by far the better and classier team. They deserved to win much more than Netherlands, and though there may have been some flopping, it was no more than usual, and Spain committed none of the dirty fouls that Netherlands did. Stop being a jerk, the facts are against you.

  186. If flopping disqualifies a team from deserving to win then no professional team ever deserves to win. They all do it. I didn’t see Spain doing it more than has been normal in this WC.

    As I saw the game, Spain dominated the first 10 mins in the way they did against Germany. The Dutch, realizing they couldn’t compete with the Spanish brand of football, proceeded to try and kick them off the park. In the latter stages of the second half and in extra time the game opened up basically because the Dutch had all been booked and so had to be careful of fouling for fear of being sent off. As a result Spain began again to dominate possession and territory and the goal was inevitable.

    The Netherlands had one great chance which Robben fluffed but Spain were the only team who tried to play football and therefore I maintain they deserved to win.

  187. Peter LLC says:

    Peter, you’ll notice I also called…

    Indeed, you pretty much called the whole game. Very impressive analysis.

  188. MCQ,

    How am I being a jerk? I’m not in any way upset with Spain winning. I think the Dutch played much more aggressively, but I just don’t buy the “they deserved to win because they played classy” part. In the first two minutes, two Spanish players flopped trying to buy a foul off the ref. The card happy ref caused both sides to playact for him throughout the game. And it should be noted, the Dutch team showed much class in the game as well, such as giving the ball back to Spain on the errant pass to the goalie that became a corner, or meeting the Spanish players to congratulate them on the way to the podium. These guys play on the same teams. I don’t know why you’re calling me a jerk. You’re not making a good argument for me coming to SLC for dinner (especially when I already have a great dislike of Utah and it would take moving mountains to get me to go back there).

  189. gomez,

    The Dutch team was the weaker team and they certainly went into the game with a different strategy to try and disrupt the flow of Spain’s version of Total Football. That doesn’t make their game less “deserving.” If they ended up winning, it would indicate that their strategy worked better.

  190. But they didn’t end up winning. So on a purely results-based argument they were also less deserving.

  191. you’re right. they didn’t end up winning. I think it would have been a more painful sight from all the sports prognosticators if the Dutch won, with all their complaining about the aggressive nature of this Dutch team, whining about taking players down, working the ref, yada yada. I’m glad the Spanish won, and I hope the Dutch go back to Total Football playing. But both teams played well enough to deserve to win.

  192. Peter LLC says:

    How am I being a jerk?

    That’s a term that MCQ plays fast and loose with. When someone calls him a jerk, they’re projecting and/or getting bent out of shape by the facts. When he calls someone a jerk, it’s a totally rational assessment of observed behavior.

  193. That’s not playing fast and loose, Peter, that’s called being accurate.

    Dan, no worries, you can buy me paiella in any city you want.

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