Tuesday, July 1, 2014

France and Germay Prevail

Germany finally broke through in added time to set up a
quarterfinal clash with France.
Africa is out of the World Cup as Nigeria and Algeria couldn't overcome their European rivals.  Nigeria and Algeria had plenty of the attack in the early going of their matches and each saw goals called back due to offsides calls.  In the first match, a tactical switch halfway through the second half turned France into the dominant side.  Still, their attacks were turned away by brilliant goal keeping and the woodwork until their goalie misplayed a corner kick and Paul Pogba easily headed home the first goal.  France scored a second to seal the victory as their continued pressure force Nigeria into an unfortunate own goal.  Algeria gave Germany a scare from the outset and both goal keepers were called into action again and again.  Germany took firm control of the match in the second half, but were unable to score and at the end of regulation time the score was 0 - 0.  Early in the overtime Germany broke through as Andre Schurrle brilliantly dragged low cross into the net using his trailing foot.  As Algeria committed numbers forward to rescue their World Cup dreams, Germany struck again.  Algeria managed a very late consolation goal, but the Germans ended up 2 - 1 winners.  The result sets up another thrilling World Cup quarterfinal between France and Germany the day after Brazil and Colombia square off.

The prevailing wisdom throughout the tournament has been that the European teams would struggle in the heat and humidity of Brazil, especially late in matches.  The Netherlands, Germany and France have all proven that wrong in the round of 16, scoring either in the extra time or late in regulation to knock out Mexico, Algeria and Nigeria.  Even Greece managed to score in the 90th minute to force the extra period against Costa Rica, although Costa Rica went on to win the match.  Currently two South American teams, one Central American team and three European teams have spots in the quarterfinals with the final two round of 16 matchups still to come.

The German victory puts Rodrigo firmly in control of the BISERGS with a five point lead over second place Greg.  He has three teams into the next round (Germany, the Netherlands and Costa Rica).  France's victory lifted Annika back into the top 10.  The Nigeria loss adds Derek to the list of BISERGSers who have had their third team eliminated.  Sorry Derek for not getting your name on the Nigeria flag graphic this summer.  I just noticed that now. 

1 comment:

  1. So all the #1 teams in their groups passed. We could have skipped octavos de final (knockout stage). Too bad that great burst of energy on the part of the US team in the last 15 minutes couldn't have come sooner and lasted longer.