Daily Archives: July 9, 2014
I can remember when I, a 15-year-old lad in S.S. 1, was watching the 2002 FIFA World Cup final match between Germany and Brazil.
Their road to the final was that easy though – Germany defeated Paraguay in the Round of 16 courtesy of a late goal from Oliver Neuville. The quarterfinal clash against USA was a bore but Michael Ballack fired in the vital strike that sent the Germans to the semis. Ballack turned up the show with the only goal in the win against Korea but he earned himself a needless booking that ruled him out of the final. Brazil on the other hand, under the guidance of current coach, Felipao, beat Belgium with strikes from Rivaldo and eventual top scorer, Ronaldo before easing past England in the quarterfinals in a match fondly remembered for Ronaldinho’s improvised free kick that disgraced David Seaman. Ronaldo also scored the only goal against Turkey and the stage was set for the biggest game of all.
Prior to the final, Germany’s captain, Oliver Kahn, was in the form of his life, keeping five clean sheets in the six games the Germans had played. The only goal he had conceded was in the 1-1 draw against Ireland. Robbie Keane was the player that tarnished his clean sheet records. After a rather intense match, Ronaldo got the goals that broke German hearts and the Brazilians went on to lift their fifth World Cup title.
Twelve years on, both nations locked horns to earn the right to play in the final. Brazil’s run to the semis wasn’t really convincing as they had hinged their hopes on Neymar but with the star injured and Thiago Silva suspended, many were skeptical about their chances against an efficient German side that had blown hot and cold in the tournament.
While I was still trying to check the food I warmed so that I could settle down to watch the game, I saw the Germans cuddled up celebrating a goal Thomas Mueller had scored. Watching the replay could never be like the real moment but I asked myself ‘where the hell was the Brazilian defense?’. 12 minutes after, Miroslav Klose was afforded the chance to make history and even though his initial effort was parried by Julio Cesar, he was given a chance to have a second bite at the cherry to put Germany two up.
More erratic defending saw the Germans tee up a pass that evaded everyone before it was blasted with a one-timed shot from Toni Kroos. Right from the restart, Fernandinho was caught ball watching and he was robbed by Toni Kroos that interchanged passes with Sami Khedira before slotting the ball past a hapless Julio Cesar. The Germans were not finished yet as Khedira drifted forward to get into the scoring act after receiving a perfectly-cushioned pass from Mesut Ozil.
Five goals conceded with just 29 minutes gone!!!!
The German’s eased things up and went into the dressing room feeling very satisfied with their performance. The hosts on the other hand were greeted with some boos from the angry crowd and one wondered what Felipao was going to tell the lads to motivate them.
The Brazilians began the second half with more urgency but they lacked the quality to find that killer ball. Joachim Low added to Brazil’s misery when he brought on Andre Schurrle and a couple of minutes after his arrival, the Chelsea forward latched onto to Lahm’s pass to make it six. Late on, Schurrle controlled Muller’s dinked pass before blasting the ball past Julio Cesar to make it seven!! Yes, seven! Oscar managed to get a consolation right at the death.
I never for once rated this Brazilian team. Fine, they were the hosts and a lot was expected of them but their performances weren’t good enough collectively as they clearly laid all their eggs in a Neymar basket. Neyamr always stepped for them but in the games he struggled, Brazil struggled. It was seeing him suffer such a horrific injury that would sideline him for weeks but Felipao will have to take the blame for the squad he assembled.
Hulk is an overrated washed up player that is a clear waste of matter and as for Fred, I can’t believe how Casillas he has become. Whether Felipao remains at the helm of affairs or not, I don’t really care but I must say that I enjoyed watching Germany exert their sweet revenge on the Brazilians.
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