Saturday, 12 July 2014
FIFA World Cup 3/4 Final and Championship
Once again I had a split decision with my FIFA World Cup semi final predictionns. I was tempted to say that Germany would run away with it against Brazil in my prediction but I used more discretion. Turns out a bolder prediction would have probably even fallen short of the anihalation that Germany pulled off against the home favorites.
I do feel for the Brazilian fans. I remember wanting the United States to do better than they did back when the World Cup was held here in 1994 I believe. I did not expect a championship but I hoped for a deep run into the tournament that never came to be. I know that my disapointment for the U.S.A. back then and even now does not even compare to what the Brazilian people must feel. With that said, as a die hard Mets/Chargers and Islanders fan my entire life I have a little bit better sense for the heart break that comes with losing. The perspective I do not have even with my fandom in those sports is that of a fan who is used to his team being dominant or used to his team having a storied history and the expectation that comes with that kind of sustained success. I imagine when you're used to disapointment you have to mitigate the sting a bit or you would be in perpetual depression. When you're not used to disapointment then I think the sting of defeat might feel sharper to those people.
As I type Brazil is competing against Holland for the 3/4th place finish. I want Brazil to win because the Holland coach supposedly made some kind of comment playing down the importance of the 3/4 match up. I say supposedly because I heard about his comment from a third party and have not looked into them myself as of yet. IF something like what I was told is true than I would definitely support Brazil. Plus it would be nice for them to save some face anyway after the difficult and embarrassing lose to Germany.
I predicted the Netherlands would make the finals against Germany in an all Euro FIFA final. Argentina however held up their end of the bargin in the originally favored final of Brazil v. Argentina. I think that both the Netherlands and Argentina played a defensive minded game and were evenly matched. I still hate the penalty kick as a deciding factor in this sport. As much as I've come to enjoy football I do not know if I'll ever feel comfortable with excepting the penalty kick as a deciding factor in important games. Even though I expected the Netherlands to come out on top I am happy that Argentina won. Messi has been my favorite player in the tournament and I wanted to see him win a title once the U.S. was eliminated.
Semi Final Prediction: the Netherlands 2 Brazil 1. I think that Brazil will show much better in the 3/4 place final then they did against Germany. I believe though that without Neymar and after the difficulties and stresses of the loss to Germany that a more talented Netherlands team takes it. I HOPE though that Brazil is able to prove me wrong and give their fans at least a small sense of redemption and pride for a team they had such great expectations for.
Finals Prediction: Germany 4 Argentina 2. I think that the final will be a wide open contest with both teams showing off their offensive chops. I was extremely impressed though by Argentina's goal tender during the penalty portion of their match against Holland. The German goal tender has impressed me a lot during the entire tournament and I believe should another penalty kick situation arise that he would be much more up to the test than the Dutch goalie was. I have hopes for both Argentina and Germany in the final. I would like to see Argentina win because I think that Messi deserves to have a World Cup title on his already impressive resume. I also have made some online friends from Argentina over the years. I would like to see Germany win because from a team stand point they have impressed me the most of any team in the tournament. I also have online friends from Germany who I would be happy for should the German side win. Not to mention that it would be kind of nice to see the top team from the U.S. group take the title, with the knowledge that the U.S.A. played a close 1-0 contest agains the eventual World Champion. My biggest hope is that the final will not come down to penalty kicks. I would like to see one team or the other win it in either regulation or extra time.
After the Championship match tommorrow I hope to give my final thoughts on this year's FIFA World Cup.