Once more Belgium play shite for almost the whole game, turn up for a wee bit at the end and jam their way to a win. Did they deserve it? Just. And I mean like 51-49 deserve it. What I said four games ago though still counts, and it shows Belgium just aren’t learning: bigger and better teams are going to rip them to shreds with the boring, predictable and average way they are playing at this tournament as opposed to the wonderful stuff they did in the qualifiers. The way they caved in after USA’s goal was laughable too.
For years the United States Of America have been an anomaly in football terms. They’ve always qualified but never really got it. Not this time. They have what looks like being a good team, some very good youngsters, a manager/overlord who has been there and won it all, the backing of the country finally and proper fans. The desire, commitment and courage they showed was incredible. They gave it their all once again but, like against both Germany and Portugal, they just lack that one special player to make a difference for them. Finding that player is easier said than done, of course, but they’ll get there. Great run and finish by nineteen-year-old Julian Green for their consolation/kitchen sink and all finish. Chants of “USA! USA! USA!” filled the stadium at the end despite the loss and I imagine they will all night. America has arrived. They could be a massive threat soon.
Three of the few poor games at this World Cup have involved Belgium so it’s not a surprise that this game is rather boring. No imagination in their play, just routine, dull and predictable football… *yawn* Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Kevin De Bruyne haven’t done done much and Marouane Fellaini has not broken into a sweat yet. He looks like he’s afraid of the ball.
You have to admire the USA’s work ethic though. The effort and desire to get back and make tackles, they do not hold back. And they do not strike you generally as being dirty, just strong. If anyone is to win this game - it may just run for all eternity - it seems like it will be the American side.
Louis Van Gaal is going to be a perfect fit for United: a jammy bastard manager for a jammy bastard team. They were utterly dreadful in this game. No leadership; no ideas other than boot it up the pitch; the worst diver in the world (if that’s a penalty then I’m a giraffe); big players, bar Robben, haven’t turned up. Even RVP has gone missing since his wonderful header. Since the thrashing they gave Spain they have go rapidly backwards. As soon as they play a team who will finish the chances the Dutch defence gives teams they will get slaughtered.
During the qualifiers for World Cup 2014 Mexico were awful. Dreadful in fact. They went through four coaches and just about qualified after an American win against Panama resulted in Mexico being given a lifeline with a play-off against New Zealand to qualify. Under the gloriously psychotic Migeul Herrera’s guidance they haven’t looked back and I hope they don’t lose heart after this game. They deserved to go through and look a bright prospect.
What on Earth was Jan Vertonghen doing up that far the pitch in nose bleed territory? Shows you how bad the Beligan strikers are playing at this tournament when the Spurs defender is the furthest forward and the only one to react to a pushed-out save. Like all hispters they’ve turned up late for the party with a sixth goal in a row in the last twenty minutes of a game.
They’re still failing to perform but the Belgians have won three from three and are through to play USA, a side they’ll have to turn up against. South Korea, despite playing against ten men for a whole half, just didn’t have the necessary quality to make a go of it sadly.
It wasn’t a great performance by any means (no shots on target whatsoever) but the organisation and the spirit of the Americans means it was a great result as they qualify for the round of sixteen. Portugal (with Best Player In the World Apparent ) are out and USA are not, something which will help the sport grow and grow there. Whether the other big sports will allow that or not is the stumbling block.
The only problem USA have is that they’re always doing lots of build-up play and nice passing but it it just doesn’t anywhere. It’s a problem shared with a lot of improving teams at this World Cup (and England) as they just haven’t been able to find that one special goal scorer. It’s what separates the brilliant from the good. Germany are in a game here but you know if Muller or Klose get a chance in the second half they will score.
Saying all that the exact opposite can also happen if you’re team is full of dross and one outstanding talent. All Portugal are doing is giving it to Ronaldo and if you stop him getting the ball you stop them being a threat. That’s exactly what Ghana are doing but (like the US) they just need the finisher to take them on to the next stage rather than defender John Boye doing Portugal’s job for them.
Another massive advert for the exciting football this World Cup is offering. USA were thirty seconds away from qualifying before Ronaldo finally decided to do something, a wonderful cross to give Silvestre Varela a heading opportunity he couldn’t miss. Hugely harsh on the Yanks as they were as magnificent as Portugal were shit. A draw against Germany sends them through but a win for either in that game gives the Portuguese an undeserved chance to sneak into the round of sixteen.
As players and staff from both sides swarmed on to the pitch to congratulate each other on a wonderful game it will come as a surprise to absolutely no-one that Ronaldo sulked off the moment the whistle was blown for a final time. He’s a wonderful talent but he really needs to pull his head out of his arse. That is the reason why Messi is loved by all and Ronaldo is thought of as a twat.