World Cup: Spain v. The Netherlands

Update (TL): Spain wins.


What a great game this should be. The Netherlands has won 6 straight at the tournament. Spain is the best team in the world. It should be great.

What to expect? Nervous, cautious start. No one wants to give up an early goal. Spain will play its possession style as usual, but with more caution at the back. Sergio Ramos will stay back early. The attacks will build from midfield.


The Neherlands will look for breakouts. A first goal will, as always, change the pattern of the game. For entertainment value, you would want Netherlands to score first. If you are rooting for Spain, like I am, then you want Spain to score first and then put it away when the Netherlands overstretch.

Spain has to decide about Torres again. Pedro played better in his start over Torres against Germany. But his selfish play at the end could have cost Spain dearly. Not sure what del Bosque will do, but I suspect he'll start Pedro. [UPDATE - del Bosque will start Pedro over Torres.]

As for who I think wins, I think Spain is ready and is the better team. I like Spain (and I am rooting for Spain so I probably just jinxed them.)

OT - The Tour de France got very interesting today. More on that tomorrow night. I am out of commission until then.

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    Friggin octopus (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 04:49:18 PM EST

    Paul (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:53:44 AM EST
    for Secretary of State.

    I don't think the Dutch... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 12:45:51 PM EST
    ...could possibly prevail in South Africa. Too much bad historical karma. Not that I believe in that. Ahem. That said, I just want to see a great game. On an unrelated sport note, I just saw the Heat made a pass at Derek Fisher. My Lakers better not lowball Fish. The guy has hit as many big playoff shots as any Laker in history. Lock. Him. Up.

    Several days ago I (none / 0) (#4)
    by brodie on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 01:27:09 PM EST
    suggested the Heat would be helped by bringing in a decent veteran player with playoff leadership experience, like D Fish.  I just didn't expect Pat Riley to be so quick to jump on my idea and take it so seriously.  

    Nor would I recommend the Lakers let Fish swim away -- first, he's a Kobe player favorite, second he comes through during playoff time, and third the Lakers aren't exactly loaded with depth at the guard position.

    Meanwhile, go Espana .


    Incredibly... (none / 0) (#25)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:45:05 AM EST
    from what I heard, the South Africans were in fact rooting for the Dutch. Go figure.

    As to MLB the ball (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 01:15:29 PM EST
    really does fly out of Coors Field--but onlu when hit by a Rockie. Nice park. Not small.

    The Octopus Oracle has reportedly (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 01:19:45 PM EST
    picked Spain and is also reportedly receiving death threats now.  Spain says that they want to rename Octopus Paul....Pablo.

    I suppose she thinks that just she and (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 02:10:42 PM EST
    the twins will selectively and singularly be dining, nobody else invited :)  Josh calls her the lady who screeches "Totmom" all the time until you are crazy.  Sort of like "Headon, apply directly to the forehead".

    But wait, wait! (none / 0) (#13)
    by Zorba on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 03:15:43 PM EST
    "Calamari" are squid, not octopus.  Donald, get your seafood straight, for the love of G-d!

    LOL! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Zorba on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 03:40:55 PM EST
    Well, I can tell the difference between squid and octopus.  But octopus makes a very nice sushi, or a good addition to paella or any other kind of seafood "stew."  And sauteed in olive oil with some garlic and some fresh lemon juice......well, all bets are off.  Just don't call it "calamari."    ;-)

    It's a deal, Donald (none / 0) (#20)
    by Zorba on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 04:46:32 PM EST
    Just make sure it's a nice white wine, not too sweet.

    The Dutch look a little nervous (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 01:27:37 PM EST
    during their anthem, Spain not so much nervous as determined.

    And a ref named Mike Mullarkey (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 01:30:21 PM EST
    It couldn't be more perfect :)

    Go Spain! (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 01:43:34 PM EST
    I would like to see Spain win because I have friends living there, and prefer their cuisine waaay more over Dutch food. Also the Prado is a much better museum that the Stedelijk Museum or the Rijksmuseum, in fact I would venture to say it is the best Museum in the world. And Jamon.,,,  Rioja....  even their cheese is better...

    Go Spain!

    0-0 at the half (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 02:44:51 PM EST
    with a record # of fouls so far.  Ugly game.

    I don't know.... (none / 0) (#11)
    by desertswine on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 02:47:56 PM EST
    but I enjoyed that game yesterday - Germany-Uruguay - better than I'm liking this one.

    Hmm, I wonder (none / 0) (#12)
    by brodie on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 02:53:10 PM EST
    if Nederland didn't just miss its golden opportunity to score -- the Robben breakaway and miss.

    Had he not been so strongly oriented to just his left foot, Robben might have been a greater threat and finished it off.

    Ole! Ole! Ole! (none / 0) (#16)
    by christinep on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 04:02:22 PM EST

    Bill Walton (none / 0) (#17)
    by brodie on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 04:10:41 PM EST
    is right -- not exactly a nailbiter, and a bit of a pig of a game.  Very tightly called game, and not enough offensive firepower for either side to mount many scoring opportunities.

    And in the end, what counts is that the Octopus was right again.  Go figure.

    And, no, I'm never going to even consider eating octopus, ever.

    Squid, too.  Both creatures give me the creeps.  Except I figure my chances swimming in the deep with these two are much better trying to reason with an octopus.

    mmmmm (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 04:27:22 PM EST
    Tapas: Pulpo Al Ajillo, or Pulpo a Feira....with a glass of nice cold white wine..heaven...  you don't know what you are missing..

    The Announcers (none / 0) (#22)
    by PatHat on Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 11:16:50 PM EST
    It's bad enough when the players fall and writhe in pain at non-existent fouls...but the announcers go along with it, even with video evidence showing no foul at all.

    I had no dog in the race, but I thought Holland got jobbed by the referee...especially the missed corner kick right before the Spanish goal.

    I was rooting for the Netherlands (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by desmoinesdem on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 01:11:58 AM EST
    but they were lucky not to have De Jong sent off in the first half. That karate kick to the chest was ridiculous and should have been a red card. No way they'd have had a chance playing with 10 men for most of the game.

    They would have had a chance (none / 0) (#31)
    by Slado on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 11:32:10 AM EST
    Because as they did they would have taken one of only two guys actually on the other half of the field and brought him back into the midfield to bog things down.

    When they finally did issue the red card the Netherlands manager could be seen on the sideline signing 4-4-1.

    As I said in my other thread what's wrong with the game we're supposed to love is it can evolve into a wrestling match instead of a beautiful exhibition of athleticism that it should be.

    Such a shame.   It'd be nice to join the rest of the world and love a game as much as they do.


    They didn't red card Uruguay (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:45:44 PM EST
    for giving Holland a bicycle kick to the face.  Maybe they felt like they owed Holland one :)

    Holland got jobbed a bit by the ref (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:37:33 PM EST
    They were having a hard time dealing with it too at the end.  It did sort of suck.  Spain is a bunch of much rehearsing drama queens.  But Holland is the King of kicking it out of bounds when they can't control possession and are playing a team gathering the momentum. I was starting to get an eye twitch from in bounds outta bounds, in bounds outta bounds, in bounds outta bounds.

    That friggin Spain knows to set up the play in between taking drama dives.


    the only interesting thing (none / 0) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 09:23:42 AM EST
    about this whole episode is this guy

    I (none / 0) (#27)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:52:39 AM EST
    completely agree, Captain H.

    I am so sold on Paul, that I would personally nominate and campaign for this Mollusk for the Presidency of the United States.

    Failing that, perhaps Paulie could pick the winner at the next Miss America pageant in Atlantic CIty.

    Bert Parks eat your heart out.


    I am (none / 0) (#26)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:48:24 AM EST
    now completely convinced about the intuitive intelligence of the Octopus. I believe his name is Paul.

    I would like for him to have his own show.
    Perhaps a late night entertainment variety program.

    Or - better - a program in which Octy gives a daily stock pick.

    The game was good.

    But that Octopus!

    Talk about beating the odds.

    I hope and pray (none / 0) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 10:57:21 AM EST
    it doesnt turn out to be some kind of hoax.  the world needs Paul and his vision.

    Aren't they calling him Pablo now? (none / 0) (#34)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 12:47:53 PM EST
    Ugly game and right now an ugly sport (none / 0) (#30)
    by Slado on Mon Jul 12, 2010 at 11:27:48 AM EST
    I like soccer(football) but until they figure out a way to prevent this kind of snooze fest they will never win American hearts.

    Despite the other issues of arcane use of technology and one official the basics of the game have to be fixed.

    It is too easy for a team to sit back and bog the game down with fouls and a total lack of offensive creativity.  As we saw yesterday.

    Every game Spain played the opposing manager played a theoretical 9 1 formation and bogged the game down in the midfield and in their half hoping for the big breakout and a 1-0 win.

    As in every game with Spain in the knockout round yesterday it almost worked but didn't.   Spain played their game and eventually won with their talent and the other team "almost" got that one goal that would have won it or sent it into PK's.

    Either way the people who lost are the fans that missed out on what could have been exciting games if teams has played with Spain instead of trying to bog them down.

    I compare soccer now to basketball in the 1950's.   A great game in need of some tweeks.   Basketball needed the shot clock, a wider lane and some other tweeks to get scoring up and make it a great game to watch from start to finish.

    Watch the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes of each half in soccer and then TIVO the rest.   Unless I care about the team it's almost unwatchable and you soon learn if these games are going to dissolve into wrestling match or what one comentator said yesterday was "Mixed Martial Arts".

    Like the Olympics Americans will forget about the sport for another 4 years until ESPN tells us we're supposed to care again.  I played soccer 20 years ago and I'd be a big fan of it today if it where a better sport and moved along with the times as the rest of the American sports world has.