The fourth day of actions at the World Cup has ended, so far it has been an incredible tournament, full of great football stunning moments and surprises. Overall great first days, and this is just the beginning,
Group E and F made their debut this past Sunday, first it was Switzerland vs Ecuador, then France vs Honduras and we ended the day with the marquee match of the day; Argentina vs Bosnia-Heregovina. And that led us to one of the big questions; Is Messi ready to be the star of this World Cup?
We would find out in the next four weeks! But before talking about Sunday’s games, it’s time to review some of the events of past days…
“Oh My God”, this is the expression that I’ve been using describe the past days. We already covered the Opening ceremony and first day of actions with Brazil wining their game, referee controversy included… So let’s move on.
This is how Day two went down:
If I try to find words that would describe what happen on day two of the World Cup, these are very appropriate to what we witness: Incredible, Unbelievable and Surprising.
Mexico left good vibes in their first match, a lot of people expected them to struggle more base on the awful qualifying process they had, remember they made it to play-off only thanks to that U.S goal, and barely made it to Brazil’s plane. Miguel Herrera Mexico’s head coach has done a great job, the team not only looked good on the pitch but they also score and won their game, even when the referees had a different plan for them. Two disallowed goals for the Mexican team, both were legal and should have counted in the final score. Well the good thing for Mexico was that they didn’t let those bad calls impact their game and concentration, into the second half Oribe Peralta scored the 1-0 for them and somehow fix the embarrassment that were the referees decisions. Final result. Mexico 1-0 Cameroon and the 3 points. They closed Group A actions.
This is how this Group looks after first Matches.
Later that day it was time for the defending champions to take the pitch in the debut of Group B, and Ohh. My. God!!!! You wouldn’t believe what was happening unless you were watching it, it was like being in a parallel world. Spain vs The Netherlands, a rematch of 2010 World Cup final, Holland a chance of revenge from their 2010 final defeat. People say revenge is better served on a cold plate, well that’s how the whole Spanish team and country felt after the final whistle, Frozen, and not we couldn’t Let it Go… 😉
Spain started well, playing like Spain, they were controlling the midfield, the pace and possession, they were awarded with a penalty kick after Costa felt inside the box, a bit controversial nonetheless but anyhow Xabi Alonso scored to put La Roja up 1-0 and at that moment it was business as usual and nobody even imagined what was coming; the Debacle… It all started with Robin Van Persie’s flying header, a play that has earned him a new nickname “The Flying Dutch” 😉 hehe… It was an incredible goal, and so far the best in the tournament, and on top of that it was a game changer for The Netherlands. We went into half time thinking oh boy Van Persie and Van Gaal needed to practice the high-five, or avoid it at all…
Fail High-Five hehe
The teams came back to the pitch to start the second half and then the most surprising thing happened; The Spanish Meltdown, it was hard to watch, first Robben scored a nice goal and left the Spanish defense in confusion, and apparently they couldn’t get out of that stage, what a revenge from Robben, we all remember he missed two good chances in last World Cup final, and one of those misses could have given them the championship, a hard feeling to overcome, but I guess four years kind of give you the time to not only overcome those moments but to come back and crush your rivals.
The third goal was the beginning of Iker Casillas’ nightmare and worst performance in his career, the goal came from a fault that Stefan Vrij finish with a header, he missed it on the air, ok we can argue he was fault by Van Persie which I think he was, but anyway Vrij scored, then the fourth was an awful mistake, those that you never thought Casillas was capable of doing, but he is human…
I meant he made a hugh error in the Champions League final , we all saw it, it was bad but it was kind of bad decision to go on the air, but the fourth goal in this match, he just gave the ball to Van Persie, completely out of focus and bizarre, like one of those football bloopers we have seeing before from other less experience goalkeepers, I felt so bad, I am softy and he has been an incredible goalkeeper, for many years he was the best and his resume is more than impressive, so seeing him in that .situation was so sad and incredible weird. Robben made the fifth goal to kill the Spanish team, Worst lost of a current Champion in World Cup history.
Spain have been in this situation before, they lost their first game on 2010 World Cup, but this time was different, not only they lost the match but they lost it by five goals and the way they play that second half it just impossible to explain, they couldn’t respond when they were down and couldn’t find an answer or a way to come back, awful defense, Ramos and Pique were completely lost, and the whole team was slow and without that hunger to fight until the last-minute.
All the media in Spain are still trying to find out the answer to the million dollar question, what happened?
Some of those answers go from this is the end of an era, it’s time to renew the team and make some big changes, some players already hit their national team clock, or they have won everything that they might not have the same desire to keep wining, to the less football relate answers like it was the climate, training in a cold weather and playing in hot conditions, among other not relate answers.
The truth is that they play bad football (soccer) in that second half, lack concentration, tiredness, less hunger or whatever you want to called it, it was a humiliating lost for them and it would be interesting to see if they can comeback from this defeat, I certainly would like to see it, for the good of their legacy, you can’t end an era in such an awful way.
On the other hand, The Netherlands got their revenge even if they said they didn’t want that, you can see it, they really wanted to change the image they left in that final (I called them ninjas in my 2010 World Cup final post) and well…. Mission accomplished, they left a good impression, very organized, great strategy from Van Gaal and great performance from their team powerful players, Van Persie, Robben, Sneijder and company.
As expected, not so much;
Last match of day two, was Chile vs Australia, the result was according to what people expected but it wasn’t an easy win for Chile, the Socceroos as the Australia national team are known, gave them a good fight, Tim Cahill who plays for the NY Red Bulls scores the goal that equalized the match before Chile took the advantage, not before struggling with some plays from the Australian team. Final score Chile 3-1 Australia, wasn’t as easy as the result might reflect. This match closed the actions of group B.
This is how Group B looks after first match.
Overall it was a day full of emotions, believe me I was exhausted at the end and still in disbelief of what had happened to Spain but happy for an incredible tournament, this is why we love the World Cup, crazy and surprising things can happen at any time, dreams are accomplish and sadly some are crush. To think that these are only the first matches is very promising and we all hope that the level of the competition will only increase…
What do you think about Spain, what can the do to fix this, Del Bosque should bench Iker or what changes he needs to do, if you have any idea let me know in the comments, or on twitter @MonikJHerrera I like to tweet a lot haha. ;0 my secret weakness…
Thanks for reading! I hope you are enjoying this World Cup as much as I am haha, I am loving it so far, a lot of quality, lots of goals, emotional games, celebration and colorful stadiums… we can not ask for more, or maybe 😉
I leave you with some of the curious, funny or weird pictures of the day two of the World Cup!
See you soon!
Pictures thanks to Marca.com, FIFA.com, and random pictures on Twitter and Tumblr.com