Thursday, July 10, 2014

3 On/3 Off: The Semis

A pair of semi-finals as different as night and day, tea-party and hippy, or Lebron and anonymity. What did we learn?

ON: Ball movement--The Germans again showed their utter mastery of how to handle and move the ball. You might have noticed, it worked well.
OFF: Ball Watching--Singapore's Business Insider doesn't seem like a great futbol website, but their chronicle of just how Brazil collapsed is wonderfully detailed and telestrated. The primary culprit: ball watching, the dumbfounded, gobsmacked, ever uncertain Brazilian defense.

ON: Sergio Romero--It's a wonderful thing to see goalkeepers rise to the occasion when thrown against the ever exasperating penalty shoot out, and for all the clamor around Lionel Messi and his fellow shooters--Sergio Romero was perhaps the foremost savior of the club
OFF: Jasper Cillessen-- It's a terrible thing to see a goalkeeper take the blame when thrown against the ever exasperating penalty shootout. Worse still, for Jasper Cillessen, Holland had just won a Penalty Shoot out...but they did it without him between the posts. He did his job for 120 minutes, but got worked by the ruination of those gosh darn penalty kicks.

ON: Attacking-- Clearly Germany took the route to delight the fans, pounding and hammering a goal box until the flood of goals crushed their rivals and floated hopes of continued beautiful football.
OFF: Defensive Control--While Messi might be the star attraction on Sunday for nearly every dreamy-eyed kid in the world (outside of the Rhineland). The passive, delaying, defensive, wait-and-see, Lord-Messi-save-us Argentina style of play was infuriating. If he can invent, inspire and move it forward we would love to watch the final; if he and the team wait and see if they can make it through another penalty shootout it will be a sad end to a tremendous tournament.

What will we know after the finals? We'll see you on Sunday to find out.

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