Thursday, July 8, 2010

Semis Review, Finals Preview

Uruguay/Netherlands - This was a fun game to watch. I thought Holland would take it a bit more easily. Again, the second half adjustments were huge. It's not that Van der Vart did so much, but the attacking style really help. I agree with the no offsides call. The late Uruguay goal made it interesting, but the deserving team is going to the final. Congrats to Uruguay for a greatly played tournament.

Spain/Germany - My pre-match analysis was pretty spot on for this one. Great football was played, but this would not be one that would awe the neutrals. Big soccer fans can see how great Spain plays, but they pass too much to be super entertaining. I do enjoy hard fought 1-0 games, but in actuality, neither team had loads of great chances. I wish Germany would have come out more aggressively. They wanted to counter attack, but needed a goal first to be as affective as they were vs. Argentina and England. Ozil has not looked as sharp these last few games, but Schweinsteiger has looked very impressive.

Final Preview

Spain/Netherlands - We will have a first time World Cup winner, that is cool.
I'm thinking this one will be more fun to watch than the Spain/Germany game. The Dutch will keep the two holding midfielders Van Bommel and De Jong in there to contain the amazing midfield of Spain, but are by natural a bit more aggressive than Germany, Paraguay, or Portugal.
I think the two important battles will be Villa against the Dutch central defenders. Mertesaker and Freidrich stayed very close together for Germany. They cut off many through balls and longer crosses. Holland will need to do the same against Spain. The lack of togetherness of the center D can definitely be blamed for the Brazil goal and maybe the first Uruguay one as well.
The other one will be Capdevila and Ramos against Kuyt and Robben. Will Spain's outside backs continue to push forward and exploit the wings or will the be more worried about the counter attack? This is an important question. With Van Persie being relatively ineffective, the best attacking play from the Dutch has come from the outsides. If Robben and Kuyt have to consistently mark Ramos and Capdevila, then they cannot support Van Persie and Sneidjer.
I think these matchups will tell the tale.

Prediction: 1-1 after 90 minutes, 2-1 Netherlands aet.

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