Jezza’S World Cup Report
Argentina 0 Holland 0 ( a.e.t.) – Argentina win 4-2 on penalties
A match that had everything except goals; tension, excitement, pain, ecstasy, joy, disappointment, tears, extra-time and penalties altho’ after Germany’s demolition of Brazil in the first Semi it was a bit of a let-down, to such an extent in the second half that I dozed off! Overall, Holland played the better and probably deserved to win as they had more possession and more territory but Argentina had the chances. Mascherano was superb, as was Vraal for the Dutch but Messi only flashed in and out of the game, and so to penalties and what a mistake by van Gaal, letting Vraal, a defender, take the first which was saved. Apparently two of the 5 Dutch penalty-takers refused to take the first one and with Argentina scoring 4 it was left to Schneider to keep Holland in it but he fluffed it and the rest is history; Holland go home, van Gaal goes to Man U and my pre-WC tip now face the mighty Germans.
Germany 1 Argentina 0 (a.e.t.)
So, the best team in the tournament won, but my, oh my, it was close! Great Final and a privilege to watch, altho’ I must own up to it, I got my timings completely wrong and missed the first half which made “’er indoors” chuckle a bit. World Cup specialist, you’ve gotta be joking! Anyway, apparently the first half was superb and although Germany had more possession and territory, Argentina had more outright chances, especially the two one-on-ones for Messi and Higuain which, for players of their class, should have both been put away. But, as we all know, if you don’t take your chances, you don’t deserve to win! I must mention here Manuel Neuer, the German ‘keeper, because altho’ he proved once and for all that he’s the best in the world, in my humble opinion, he should have been red-carded for his knee-up assault on the luckless Higuain and what a difference that would have made. And so to extra-time, and in the second period, just as we were thinking “ello, penalties again”, a moment of sheer magic from two unheralded German substitutes; Chelsea’s Schurrle making headway down the left, ghosting past Man City’s hapless Zabaletta and an exquisite chip in to the box for Goetze to take the ball on his chest and thump a superb winner with his left foot past Romero, the Argentina ‘keeper. Sumptious and a winner worthy of any WC Final and a goal that finally broke the record of a European team never having won a WC in South America. As for Argentina, Mascherano was again brilliant and my midfielder of the tourney; Messi was in and out of the game but looked listless and tired, Romero was superb in goal and if they had taken their chances, they would have won. But, take nothing away from Germany as they thoroughly deserved the Cup as they were, by some way, the best team, scored the most goals (18), showed the best temperament and played as a team rather than individuals so congrats to them and, don’t be surprised if they stay top of the tree for the next few years, a la España, as I expect them to walk away with the Euros in 2016 and probably the WC in Russia 2018.
A superb World Cup made even more so by the Brazilian fans, even though their heroes didn’t make it to the Final as hosts. Right from the word go, the Group stages were brilliant, with goals and saves galore, the so-called minnows (Costa Rica, Algeria, Greece, USA, Nigeria) becoming big fish and the big fish (England, Uruguay, Italy, Spain, Portugal) becoming minnows.
High points: Golden Boot winner Colombia’s James Rodriguez’s goal of the Finals, German sportsmanship as they consoled the Argentinians after the Final, Tim Cahill’s goal for Australia against Holland, van Persie’s swallow header against Spain, Ghana’s superb 2-2 draw with eventual winners Germany and Nigeria’s 3-2 loss to Argentina, ITV’s commentary team of Andy Townsend and Clive Tyldesley, and finally, the Beeb’s pundit Alan Hansen in his final appearance.
Low points: My “heart” teams of England, Spain and Nigeria going out, my tip Argentina not winning, England’s demise as “also-rans”, Roy Hodgson’s team selection, Suarez and his Hannibal Lecter impersonation, Brazil proving beyond doubt that they will probably never replicate the teams of the ’70’s and ’80’s, Neymar’s injury, Messi’s inconsistency (how he was voted Player of the Tournament, I still can’t work out!), the fact that FIFA’s Blatter is going to stand as President yet again, and finally, that the best player in the world in my book, Cristiano Ronaldo, didn’t make it thru’ to the knock-out rounds.
So, that’s it for Brazil 2014, hope you enjoyed our coverage and a big thank you to the staff of the Ibiza Sun for getting it right, according to the positive comments from numerous of our readers. Until Euro 2016 then, when, if we’re still around, a repeat could be on the cards!
Jezza´S Sports Report
Well, the WC Brazil is all over, with Germany crowned worthy champs (see my final WC Report) but in other Footie news, just to let you ladies know that the Premier League starts in less than 5 weeks so enjoy him while you can! Lots of transfers taking place now including Adam Lalana to Liverpool; Suarez has gone off to Barça (good riddance!) for nigh on 74m; Gooners will be pleased to know that Barça’s Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez has joined Mnsr Wenger’s All-Stars at the Emirates for nigh on 34m 2 veteran’s have moved on, with Ashley Cole (still a better player than Baines and should have gone to Brazil as first choice, Woy!) signing for Roma on a two year contract and Man U’s Patrice Evra agreeing to join Juventus and finally, Tom Ince, whose father Man U legend Paul, thought he was good enough to join Italian giants Inter Milan, has just signed for Hull City. Oh, how reality must hurt!
Golf and congrats to Justin Rose who won the Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen by 2 strokes. Mind you, after the 1st round it looked as if McIlroy was going to waltz away with it after a stunning course record of 64 but (hoping to copy Novak Djokovic who won Wimbledon this year after a relaxing holiday here in IBZ as Rory wuz ‘ere at the beginning of the week) fell away with a 2nd round 6 over par 78 (must have been all that partying over here!). So, great for Rose who not only won half-a-mil but also climbed to joint 3rd in the world rankings and great practice for this week’s Open that starts in Hoylake on Thursday.
Cricket now and England dug themselves out of a big hole in the 1st Test against India as, chasing an Indian 1st innings of 457, the Red Rose were 202 for 7 and looking down and out on an incredibly docile Nottingham wicket but thanks to a new world record last wicket partnership of 198 between bowler James Anderson (highest ever first class innings of 49) scoring 81 and yet another century from Joe Root (154 no) they saved the day and the match petered out in to a draw. Captain Cook seems to be on a sticky wicket at the mo’, as he hasn’t scored a ton in 11 tests and this result is now 9 winless Tests on the trot, with 3 draws and 6 losses so let’s hope he can pull himself and the team round by Thursday when the 2nd Test starts at Lords.
Cycling and oh no, whatever happened to Chris Froome at the Tour de France! All I can say is that after three crashes in 2 days, resulting in a broken hand, a dislocated shoulder and Gawd knows what else, our hero and title holder has had to withdraw and now leaves the race to Mr Jonny Foreigner! Actually, as it stands at the time of writing, to a Frenchman, Tony Gallopin (sounds as if he should be on a horse at Ascot not a cycle!) who wears the Yellow Jersey, closely followed by Italian Vicenzo Nibali, the previous leader. Bad news also for Spain’s Alberto Contador, who crashed earlier today and looks as if he may be out as well. However, at least some good news for us Brits, as Peter Kennaugh, overlooked by Team Sky for the TdF, won the Tour of Austria.
One of my spies, “Disco” Dave, aka “The Inspector calls”, had the honour of spotting that delectable ex-tennis player, Anna Kournikova, the only female to have amassed a personal fortune without winning a Major. Hmm, wonder what her ex-peers think about that?
Well, Sports Fans, that’ll have to do for this week as I need to get on with my final World Cup Report and time’s running out, so, until next week, ¡hasta luego!