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With Hockey and Basketball Finals over, the World’s attention shifts to Brazil…

July 4th, 2014 · No Comments

As stated before, Senior Sportyblog Scribe “Touchdown Tommy” isn’t a real big fan ‘O the NHL or NBA, etc, although I did watch the clinching moments of the two finals final game’s, just the right way. First having tuned-in to Game-5 of the Stanley Cup at the start of the third period and watching all of the way thru to the LA Kings crushing double overtime defeat of the New York Rangers, who’s goalie should have been awarded the Con Smythe trophy for his exemplary play throughout the finals.

Then I dropped in for the majority of the fourth quarter of Game-5 upon learning that San Antonio was giving the Miami Heat another good ‘Ol Fashion Smack-down en route to the Spurs claiming their fifth NBA championship!

thus, my Attenzione has now been focused for the last few weeks upon this year’s world cup Football in Brazil, as in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, albeit I haven’t been watching all of the games, nor paying extreme focus to the round-robin group play, to see who advances out of the first stage, although I did catch a bit of Brazil’s somewhat controversial win vs. Croatia, which now seems like such a long time ago.

And have since watched the first half of Germany pummeling Portugal, who simply melted down, while naturally having to watch the entire USA v Gauna match, which was ‘Uber exciting! Hey, how ’bout that Seattle Sounders FC star player named Clint Dempsey’s Blitzkrieg goal in just an astounding 34-seconds; Ja Volt! And have since been dropping in daily to catch bits ‘N pieces of the first round matches, as I’ll try summing up my most unscientific thoughts upon the group play en route to the single elimination rounds…

GROUP A
Brazil, Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico.
Group Winner: Brazil; 2nd: Mexico.

Was very happy to tune-in to the latter portion of the second half of the match whilst rooting for Mexico to score a Draw vs. Brazil, which is exactly what happened. Then Brazil’s “Poster Boy” Neymar’ flexed his muscles with two goals in Brazil’s final game rout vs. Cameroon 4-1, as Neymar’ has scored four goals to date, yet their next opponent Chile will surely be a tougher match, while Mexico gets the daunting task of taking on Netherlands…

GROUP B
Australia, Chile, Netherlands and Spain.
Group Winner: Netherlands; 2nd: Chile.

Was quite happy to see that the reigning World Champions Spain were eliminated from advancing out of the Group stage after their second loss vs. Chile Two-Nil’, (2-0) after being pummeled by the Dutchies’ 5-1! As Netherlands advanced quite easily with their two victories over Espana and the Aussies’ (Australia) 3-2, with their next opponent being Mexico, who played to a draw vs. tournament darlings Brasilia, as how far can the Dutchies’ go?

GROUP C
Columbia, Greece, Japan and Ivory Coast.
Group Winner: Columbia; 2nd: Greece.

Expected Columbia and Ivory Coast to advance to the knockout stage of 16, which isn’t exactly what happened, although Columbia easily advanced to the Round-of-16 for their first time since 1990, Ivory Coast fell to Greece on a final minute PK, enabling Greece to move on after a stunning One-Nil’ (1-0) victory.

Thus, I’m not sure how far either can go from there? Having not watched any of this group’s matches, but I’d expect Columbia to have a better shot at advancing since I’ve heard they’ve got quality depth on their squad, whilst Greece is playing in unfamiliar territory…

GROUP D
Costa Rica, England, Italy and Uruguay.
Group Winner: Costa Rica; 2nd: Uruguay.

Really haven’t paid any Attenzione to this group other than hearing that Bloody England got defeated by Italy 2-1, and then eliminated from advancing with an identical defeat against Uruguay. While for Mwah, Costa Rica is the surprise of this group (and tournament so far) as Italy and Uruguay scrapped over who else would advance, with Uruguay moving on after edging Italy, who played one man down One-Nil’ (1-0) with Uruguay’s Captain scoring the lone goal in the match’s 81st minute.

Having discovered this after the match, as now I definitely wish for Uruguay to be eliminated immediately, after its Mike Tyson “impersonator” has struck again… C’mon FIFA, this dude should be thrown out!

Luis Suarez bites Italian defender at the World Cup, Uruguay advances

GROUP E
Ecuador, France, Honduras and Switzerland.
Group Winner: France; 2nd: Switzerland.

The biggest noise about this group seems to be over France having finally turned the page upon their disastrous 2010 debacle, when the players pulled a mutiny against their coach en route to their swift departure from group play, with France defeating Honduras Three-Nil’ (3-0) in their first match this year before trouncing Switzerland 5-2 in their second match.

Thus France easily advanced to the Knockout round-of-16, albeit not sure why they’re not already listed as advancing, as apparently I’m jumping the gun; Huh?

Meanwhile, as I type this riveting story, I’m awaiting learning who’ll be advancing as the runner-up of this group, as I’d guess that the honours would go to Switzerland?

Thus I made a pretty good guess on Switzerland, right? As I only caught the final moments of the Group E finale’s, choosing to listen to Casey Kellar’s call of the Switzerland v Honduras game, where the Swiss’s player Xherdan Shaqiri scored a Hat-trick to advance Switzerland to the Round-of-16 by defeating Honduras Three-Nil’, (3-0) while France clinched winning the group by playing to a Nil-Nil’ (0-0) draw vs. Ecuador. With Shaqiri’s Hat-trick being the 50th scored in world cup history…

GROUP F
Argentina, Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria.
Group Winner: Argentina; 2nd: Nigeria.

Arguably one of the world’s greatest current Footballers is none other than Lionel Messi, who’s naturally leading Argentina’s attack, as Messi, also known as “The Flea,” for his frenetic playing style and diminutive body stature has taken his country’s squad upon his back, advancing Argentina to the round-of-16 with two goals, the latter being a stoppage time One-Nil’ (1-0) winner vs. Iran, albeit Argentina hasn’t looked overpowering to date.

Only greatness at the World Cup will end Messi argument

Meanwhile Nigeria also advances as the runner-up of Group F, although somewhat quietly since they’ve been somewhat overshadowed by Messi and Argentina naturally, not to mention I didn’t catch any of this group’s matches, with just Group’s E, G and H waiting to be decided when I typed this…

“GROUP ‘O DEATH”
(GROUP G) Gauna, Germany, Portugal and USA.
Group Winner: Germany; 2nd: USA.

Obviously with TEAM USA in this group, it’d be my main focus of the world cup’s Group-stages play, as although the furor over the USA’s Football Squad is well deserved, nevertheless, putting their soccer prowess into context whas the tidbit doled out during their most riveting first match of Group-play against their arch nemesis Gauna, where the statistic regarding the US Men’s National Team’s success since continuous involvement in world cup play from 1990 onwards; have won only 4-of-22 matches, (prior to Game-2 v Portugal) while Group of Death opponent Germany has won 26 in the same time period.

Germany crushes Portugal Four-Nil’ (4-0) leading Three-Nil’ at halftime, having scored its first goal at the eleven minute mark on a PK (Penalty Kick) taken by Thomas Mueller, who’d eventually finish the match with a Hat-trick, scoring the second of his three goals in the first half - with Germany going into the lockeroom ahead by three goals, as Portugal’s meltdown was complete when they’d go down one man after receiving a red-card in the first half, which should benefit Team USA who’s second match was against Portugal.

Y’all know ’bout USA finally defeating Gauna, as another trivial stat was tossed out ’bout how no team has lost three times in-a-row to the same team in world cup play. As I’ve already noted Sounders FC and USA Captain Clint Dempsey’s amazingly quick goal, with the game being very nerve wracking as Gauna tied the match with just eight minutes remaining before USA’s memorable 2-1 victory over their rivals with a late game goal, the first ever scored for a U.S. substitute player.

Cristiano Renaldo, one of the sport’s other best current players who was locked out in the opening match vs. Germany, and his health being questioned throughout the USA match, as apparently his knee wasn’t 100%, nevertheless showed why he’s such a valuable player upon making a brilliant assist to level Portugal 2-2 in the dying moments of the extricably long five-minute stoppage time play; SHEISA!

And after USA licked their self-inflicted wounds of allowing to be scored on in the first five-minutes of the game for a record sixth time, the U.S. Men’s National Team settled down, along with the brilliant goalkeeping of Tim Howard, who’ll eclipse ex-Seattle Sounders FC original goalkeeper and home grown product Casey Keller’s 102-Caps when he steps onto the pitch vs. Germany.

Already have extolled the virtues of Stud Sounders FC and USA Captain Clint Dempsey, who the announcer triumphantly chortled “Captain Marvel!” upon Dempsey’s go-ahead goal vs. Portugal in the 81st minute, which I believe was from an assist from the talented youngster DeAndre Yedlin, the 20yr old also being another home grown Sounder FC player!

Went to a local Pub that I like calling “George & The Dragon,” although its real name is Georgian Dragon, and the place was absolutely PACKED at 7:30AM when we arrived “Just-in-Time” to grab one of the final remaining tables; YIKES! As I’d have NO idea of the monstrous crowd standing the entire match outside in the parking lot until we left at the end of the game.

And while the Seattle crowd was naturally Pro-USA, as I got a little tired of the USA-USA-USA chanting, having decided to wear an ‘Ol Michael Schumacher black Ferrari racing T-Shirt in support of Germany, as I’m told my smile was quite broad upon Thomas Mueller’s game winning score, as it was enjoyable hearing the entire crowd go deafly silent for a few minutes time! As it all worked out fine, as Germany and USA both advanced, thanks to Gauna’s 2-1 defeat of Portugal…

GROUP H
Algeria, Belgium, Korea and Russia.
Group Winner: Belgium; 2nd: Algeria.

While apparently Belgium is being called a “Dark Horse” in this year’s world cup tournament, having done itself no shame by quietly winning the Group, also haven’t managed to catch any of this group’s matches, whilst I’d assume that Russia should be the other team advancing?

Thus, after reveling in Germany defeating the U.S. One-Nil’, (1-0) I didn’t pay any further Attenzione to the day’s final matches, only having discovered after the second day of Knockout play, that Algeria advanced, and will hope to seek revenge upon its round-of-16 opponent…

FIRST “KNOCKOUT” STAGE
(Round of 16: Single Elimination)

Prior to the A-L-L important “Group ‘O Death’s” rubber-matches, with then Group G co-leader’s Germany and USA tied at four points apiece, with Gauna and Portugal fighting off possible elimination tied at 1-point apiece; eight teams had advanced to the first Knockout stage, as it appears the brackets are weighted with the winners of the groups playing the second place teams and visa-versa.

As home country Brazil will take on Chile, while Mexico faces an uphill battle vs. Netherlands. Argentina somewhat scraped by and now awaits playing the Group E runner-up, while upstart Costa Rica takes on Group D’s second place team.

and then a further two team’s advanced, as France made a mockery out of its Group F opponents, but will potentially be tested vs. Nigeria, while its second place counterpart Switzerland will square off against Argentina.

Belgium has been patiently awaiting the second place team of Group G, while the previously unknown Group ‘O Death winner Germany advances along with USA.

As the final Group match play, saw the clinching of the runner-up spot in Group H, also taking place on Thursday, June 26th when Algeria won its spot in the Knockout stage during the finale of Group match play. As Algeria gets the daunting task of playing Germany, while USA takes on Belgium. Costa Rica takes on surprise Group C runner-up Greece, while Columbia squares off vs. Uruguay, albeit minus Luis Suarez, whom FIFA rightly banned from all further world cup play, amongst other disciplinary actions resulting in a further nine matches play and $100,000 Swiss Francs fine.

Meanwhile, on a more entertaining note, Brazil fans are quickly mocking Rolling Stones Front-man Mick Jagger over his supposed “curse” of picking teams in this year’s World Cup, who then quickly afterwards make their exodus…

Tags: soccer


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