Sunday, July 02, 2006

Quarterfinal musings

My Cup prediction accuracy keeps going down and down. Just the other day I predicted a Germany-England or Germany-Brazil final. However, as you may well know, neither prediction is now possible. Well, a final with Germany in it is still very likely, and after seeing France play, a final with them in it is also looking very possible. I'll be rooting for both of them in the semis.

My thoughts on the English loss are mixed. I am definitely sad to see them leave. However, at least they left after a good performance. Somehow it is easier for me to accept a team losing after they have played well, than after they have played poorly (hence my prolonged sadness over the USMNT's early exit). Now I realize that this is something that few Americans wuld understand, but it was a good game. Any game where two teams can play for a full 120 and not score one goal is a good one. Why? It means that they are two evenly matched teams. The excitement and intensity that just radiates from that kind of match is completely incomprehensible to the average American fan, yet it drives the average futbol fan. So, while I find that kind of match, played between two evenly-matched teams playing on the highest level known to the sport, intensely exciting, it is still sad that the game had to be decided by PKs. I never consider games decided by shootouts to be accurate representations of the quality of a team's play. (That may very well be due to my years as 'keeper.)

I was completely shocked when I saw that Brazil was out in the quarterfinals. Out of all the World Cups that I've watched ('94, '98, '02, and of course '06), this is the first time that I have not seen Brazil in the final. For that matter, I won't even get to see them in the 3rd place match. Do you have any idea how absolutely huge this is for me? Brazil not in the semis? Who knew?

Note: edited for typos

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