#1 – Netherlands v. Brazil: For a moment after the first goal of the game it looked as if the Brazilians would run away with the game but this was not the case. The game was pretty even and then the Dutch began to show their resilience. A sudden goal off a Wesley Sneijder free kick made it 1-1, and then a second, gorgeous goal from Sneijder put the Dutch ahead. Felipe Melo then conceded a dumb red card which ultimately put the Brazilian side in disarray. Despite the troubles, Brazil continued with their anxious attacks but it just wasn’t enough. Final score: Netherlands 2, Brazil 1.
Lasting impressions: 1) Sneijder’s impact on the game and his rise as one of the world’s best players as a result of this World Cup. 2) Maarten Stekelenburg’s beautiful save on Kaka in the 31st minute, est. him as one of the best goalies of this tourney.
#2 – Uruguay v. Ghana: Wow. Wow. Wowww. I was so pissed at myself that I didn’t watch this game and instead chose to lay on the beach. We take away a couple of things from this game. First off, watch EVERY World Cup game in 2014. Yes, occasionally there will be a boring ass game (such as Uruguay – France, which is one reason why I didn’t bother to watch this game), but you’ll be absolutely mezmerized when you see a game like this one. Secondly, theme of this World Cup (aside from a poor showing from FIFA): believe, believe, pray, believe. The world thought that the game was over when Luis Suarez made the last minute hand ball save in the penalty box. Instead, he gave Uruguay a chance, and ultimately the win. Unfortunately for Ghana, they miss out on becoming the first African country to reach the semis of a WC and unfortunately for Asamoah Gyan, he won’t be able to sleep at night despite having a pretty solid WC. Not to mention, he’ll miss out on making history by not tying Roger Milla as Africa’s all-time WC leading goal scorer. Final score: Uruguay (4) 1, Ghana (2) 1 PSO, AET.
Lasting impressions: 1) Why did Sulley Muntari not play a bigger role for Ghana this WC? 2) Luis Suarez’s hand ball & the events after that (+ the way Sebastian Abreu won it). Absolutely amazing. 3) Asamoah Gyan is a good player despite missing that penalty. 4) If it wasn’t for Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez, Uruguay would be terrible to watch.
#3 – Germany v. Argentina: Not gonna lie, I expected Maradona’s chicos to pull through. But damn, I was impressed by them Aryans (not quite, with guys like Ozil, Cacau, etc. on the team haha). The German’s got an early goal which allowed them to play their game and their style. They played this game the exact same way they played England and Australia (and in all three of those games they managed to knock in 4 goals). Their defense was absolute top class (ask Tevez and Messi), while the rest of the team kept chipping away at Argentina until they finally made them crumble in the second half (just as they did with England and Australia). Final score: Germany 4, Argentina 0.
Lasting impressions: 1) The German composure. 2) Miroslav Klose ties compatriot Gerd Muller as the WC’s second all-time leading goal scorer with 14 goals. 3) Unfortunately Leo Messi is no Diego Maradona. At least not yet. 4) Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller.
#4 – Spain v. Paraguay: Absolute madness. Another poor call by the referees and world-class players just not being able to take penalties. Not to mention, stay outside the box before the penalty is taken. And even then, it took three saves from the post before Spain finally broke through. This was another match that I missed as a result of my mini beach vacation this weekend, but I did luck out and got to see the penalties and the goal live haha! Finals score: Spain 1, Paraguay 0.
Lasting impressions: 1) Early dominance by South America, but in the end 3 European teams in the semis haha. 2) David Villa. 3) The referees just continue to do their job… suck.
#5 – Personally now I would love to see the arch rivals Netherlands-Germany in the final. But really I don’t care who wins. As long as it’s not boring ass Uruguay.
#6 – Food for thought: USA could’ve really had their first World Cup medal since 1930 this year, but they choked. Wow.
#7 – Vuvuzela hero.
#8 – How to get Americans to watch soccer hahaha. (disclaimer: this video may have been made before the WC; but after the US performance, maybe more Americans will hop on board and this video won’t be as true?).
#10 – NY Red Bulls 1, Colorado Rapids 1 + World Cup contenders return to MLS.
#11 – Keep reading! My stuff is now appearing on search engines (and even on the front page of Yahoo!) This next week as the World Cup comes to a close I’m going to have some really good, fun reads for y’all.
Other: Seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd live in concert is one thing every American needs to experience.