Tuesday, July 8, 2014

World Cup Semi-Finals

The World Cup has reached it’s final four and in the end it’s the usual suspects that are left standing, Germany, Brazil, Holland, and Argentina. For all of the upsets heartbreaks, injuries, and controversial calls when all the rubble has been cleared no country is left that hasn’t won it multiple times (Bra 5, Ger 3, Arg 2) or been to multiple finals (Ned 3). However there’s no denying that despite the traditional names these aren’t your daddy’s behemoths. There has been much more scoring than we have ever seen, more comebacks, extra time goals, and most importantly lack of defense. It seems that despite the individual talents of Neymar, Messi, Ronaldo, etc. the isn’t one great TEAM in this tournament. Everyone has been scored on, and been pressed to the limit by winning matches they should have lost. This is the typical type of tournament that yields a very unexpected final and perhaps winner, but prior to that, we have the semis so let’s take a look at those matchups. Brazil vs. Germany – The clash of the titans of the most storied names in world football, 38 appearances between them, 206 total matches, and 8 titles (BRA 5 Ger 3). Brazil is a wounded Lion trying to fend off a worthy predator that wants to rule the jungle in the form of Germans. At full strength one would think Germany would need a break, get an early goal, then use their tactical skill to keep Brazil from equalizing. However now Brazil will be without their captain and also their leading scorer Neymar, the poster boy for the ’14 cup which changes the dynamic considerably. Germany can win this playing their normal game, frustrating the perhaps more skilled Brazilian side but now not the better cohesive unit. Favoring Brazil is that enormous fervor of home field which will be an eruption waiting to happen. Also coach Luiz felipe scolari has never lost a world cup match while coaching Brazil, including already having a World Cup championship top his credit in 2002. Lastly, the motivation of playing for a fallen teammate that they’ve dedicated the match to. It makes for great theater but when you get to this level one let alone two players can make the difference, it will be interesting to see if the external factors can compensate for the lost talent on the pitch. We don’t think it can and like the Germans to pull the upset and advance.

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