Late Run to the WC

6 07 2010

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Awww to bad the Brazilians aren’t in it anymore.  How about those final four teams!!

Uruguay   vs   Holland 

The last South American team has to deal with in-form Dutch.  Uruguay will try and oust the Oranje without two of their main starters.  Defender Jorge Fucile and Striker Luis Suarez are both out due to cards (Suarez for his game-saving red card).  On top of that the Sky Blues will have to deal without young Midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro (broken foot) and their Captain Diego Lugano (knee) due to injuries.  4 important starters to replace may be to tough of a task.  The Dutch will have some missing pieces as well.  Defender Gregory Van Der Wiel and Defensive Midfielder Nigel De Jong are both sidelined because of yellow card accumulation.  They’ve had central defender Joris Mathijsen out due to injury since before the Brazil game.  With all those folks out their is good news in that Uruguay’s defender Diego Godin is returning from an injury that kept him out of the quarterfinal victory over Ghana.

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I know I know Diego – God might be your only hope.  The South Americans do look the worst for wear of all four semi-final teams.  The Dutch pace and control should make this game a very one-sided battle.  The fill-in players for Uruguay are not actually that big of drop offs, but Sebastian Abreu is still not Luis Suarez.

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Vet Mark Van Bommel anchors the Dutch from central midfield and his hard-nose style holds the team together.  I really think the Dutch will come out trying to control possession and find the weakness of Uruguay’s defense.  The first half will be a 0-0 struggle with only Robin Van Persie able to rattle off more then one shot on goal.  The second half will see Uruguay come out firing all cylinders.  A surprising rocket from the blond-haired wonder (Diego Forlan) will give Uruguay a 1-0 lead.  The Dutch will answer almost immediately as Elia and Robben hook up on a nice give and go.  Robben sneaks a cross to the waiting head of Dirk Kuyt.  1-1 going into the extra time pushes both teams to there limits.  Uruguay looks the worse for wear after their epic battle with Ghana.  A late push of Arjen Robben in he box leads to a penalty kick for the Dutch.  Wesley Sneijder smacks home the game-winner and set-ups an ALL EUROPEAN FINAL.

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“Gadi, What does KNVB stand for?”  =  Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond which is Dutch for Royal Netherlands Football Association.

Germany   vs    Spain 

The all-European semi-final pits two teams with VERY DIFFERENT World Cup histories.  The Germans have one the big game three times (1954, 1974, and 1990).  The Spanish are on the other spectrum as this year’s Semi-Final game is the deepest the team has ever been.  The constant underachievers are hoping they can take advantage of Germany’s yellow-card suspensions.  The young striking sensation Thomas Mueller will have to sit out tomorrow’s game due to yellows.  The loss of the goal-scoring youth really hinders a potent offense.  The Germans have been able to push their impressive attack through the speed of Mesut Ozil, the power of Muller, the touch of Podolski and the finishing of Klose.  Muller not only scored against Argentina, his pace (from the “floor”) to Podolski setup the easiest goal of Klose’s career.  Mueller’s blend of size, pace and vision has really opened up the field for the Germans.  Ozil has been the real spark of the offense, but Mueller has been the connection between that spark and the goal-scoring.  Spain’s midfield really needs to show up defensively for the Germans to be upset.

XABI ALONSO
Xabi Alonso’s defensive midfield position is going to be the key to Spain’s success.  Xabi and Sergio Busquets will be the deciding line.  If the Germans can get past them and crack the heart of defense then this game will be ugly for the Spanish.  If Xabi and Sergio can win the battles with Ozil then the counter-attacks from Villa, Torres (god he needs a goal bad!!), Iniesta and Xavi should be true.  This match-up has classic written all over it.  Two quality goalies with well put together defenses.  Both have attack minded wing backs (Germany – Boateng and Lahm / Spain – Ramos) and tough veteran defender (Spain – Captain Puy0l  / Germany – Arne Friedrich).  Both teams have giants back there to hault cross headers (Germany – Per Mertesacker / Spain – Gerard Pique).  The midfielders are a nice mix of size and playmaking attackers.  The strikers are sound in there goal-scoring.  This game really lacks nothing you need for a Quality Semi.  The loss of Mueller will hold the Germans back, but they are still the most dangerous looking team in the 2010 World Cup.  I really like the Spanish squad individually, but I can’t see them lasting through 90 minutes of a tight German squad.  The opening half will end 1-1 as both lead strikers slide in on wonderful runs.  David Villa takes a nice sprint and smacks home a perfect through pass from Xavi.  Klose answers with-in ten minutes as an Ozil run leads to a nice rocket from just outside the box.  Miroslav inches closer to Ronaldo’s 16 goal record.  The second half is a stand still as neither team can gain the advantage.  Xabi is great in holding off Ozil, but his attacking mids can’t crack the German defense.  EXTRA TIME WE GO AGAIN.  An early missile from Lucas Podolski forces the Spanish to go all out.   With Fernando Torres subbed out earlier the offense of Spain has to run through the midfield.  The quiet Andres Iniesta puts on a dribbling show as he schools Friedrich.  His freed up space allows him to see an outside run from Villa.  David nets home the 2-2 goal and forces PENALTIES.  Iker and Neuer TIME!!  The Big German clinches the victory by stopping Torres’s sub Pedro and his soft kick.  The young Barca forward can’t trick the German Giant.
Manuel NEUER
The DUTCH will have to overcome the mighty Germans to win there first ever World Cup.  A hell of a final is set!!  Thomas Mueller back!!!  Spain and Uruguay battle for pride as Luis Suarez returns.  We’ll see you at the end of the week with our Final and 3rd place run downs.
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