The World's Blog: Day 23

Sorry for the delay. Our German blogger was in Nairobi for a few days, and he says that place is crazier than jo'burg in terms of getting internet access. With Germany out, a new nation will be crowned world champion for the first time.


Spain 1, Germany 0

What an incredibly tactical game?!? Spain jumped out of the gates to be the possessors and held onto that roll for the entire first half. Germany appeared to be watching the Spaniards play soccer, never quick to stop a ball in the midfield, but holding their defensive line strong as the Spanish tried to break through with unconventional attempts. Much of the forward push by La Furia Roja lacked “la furia” and ended in lightly touched passes and swerving misses at greatness, but none of the trademark front-end spectacles of speed and deceptive footwork were present.

As the first half came to a close I felt as though I had just seen a warm-up and actually almost lost my co-audience back to a painting project because of the slow pace of the game; a very beautifully slow-paced game given Spain’s style of play but nonetheless VERY lethargic in terms of soccer-action. I figured it was a tactic to save energy because if one team got a goal it would be off the races for the rest of the game, and so I decided to just enjoy the flow of the match and the close-ups of some of my favorite players (since there were no close-ups of goals to be seen).

There I sat (no jumping up and down, no dancing and yelling), but happily done with work for the day, enjoying a beverage, and getting geared-up for the 2nd half of play in which I expected to see a completely different game from the first half. 
What happened . . . more of the same; Spain continued their passing game in hopes of confusing their opponents and delaying any German plans for a defense or mid-field generated attack. 

Until ...

PUYOLLLLLLLLLLLLLL breaking through off the “bait and switch” corner tactics of Spain in the 73’. A handful of yards out from the box the 5’10” corkscrew-haired center-back leapt for the header and struck the ball square on while seemingly suspended in midair by nothing but the hopes and dreams of a restless-for-glory nation and fans around the world. It was beautiful, it was theatric, it was ESPANA!!!\

The next 17+ minutes were off to the races, but Spain kept pace. While it would have been nice to see a Torres goal (FINALLY) off of a 2-on-1 square pass from Pedro, that pass never came and any other attempts at a second goal ceased to be completed. World Cup Finals destiny has befallen Espana for the first time in history; it is a glory they have only seen other teams achieve and is now theirs for the taking!

FIRST time in the championship match, FIRST time making it beyond an antiquated 4th place finish, it will be the FIRST time a European team has won not playing on European soil, and now on to being the FIRST team to lose their opening match and WIN the WORLD CUP!!!

As always VAYA (y viva) ESPANA!

And for all the neutral bars, restaurants, and in-home World Cup Finals parties it is time to change the menu . . . no more German potato salad, bratwurst, and “bier” bring on the tapas, serrano, cervezas, and sangria!

Tarun Treon
Username: Tarun Treon

Sorry for the delay. In Nairobi for a few days, this place is crazier than jo'burg in terms of getting internet access.

I find it difficult to write this blog today. Has our dream ended? Where did we go wrong? The answers to these questions are pretty simple. We did not go wrong, we just ended up playing a team that is unquestionably the best in the world right now. Before last nights game, I thought Spain were very lucky to have made it this far, they control the ball better than anyone else but their finishing has been poor. Almost all of David Villa’s goal’s were purely lucky, bounced off the goal post or the goal keeper straight back at him for a clear shot.

All that changed two hours later, we hardly had chances in this game because we weren’t allowed to play our natural game. Once they got the ball it seemed virtually impossible to take it from them. And coach Loew was right; Spain has more than one ‘messi’ in their team. If you have to leave Torres, Fabregas and David Silva on the bench it does show the quality of your team.

There was nothing wrong with the way Germany played, we tried when we could, Toni Kroos had the best chance for Germany and those are the chances we had to take in order for us to win. Once they went ahead, it was all but over. Its strange how some pundits seem to refer to the absence of Thomas Mueller as a reason for Germany’s loss last night. It’s amazing how suddenly this 20 year old has won the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. But this is what I want to touch upon.

Our dream is not over, it’s just started. It was always going to be difficult to beat England, Argentina, Spain and then Holland to win the cup especially since we have such a young squad and many players injured prior to the start of this tournament. Regardless of this defeat, the future looks bright, because these young boys did a fantastic job. Who would have thought we’d make the semis in such style. We have a lot to look forward to, the German youth system is working well especially when I look around me in Europe, the Italians, the English and the French seem to be struggling to find quality youth to replace the old guns, we don’t have such a problem.

I am so proud of the young German team, we did not know what to expect at the start of the World cup, but you've made your self and us proud. The future looks bright with many glorious years to come for German football.