Five things from….Netherlands 0 Costa Rica 0


The quarter-finals haven’t yet set the competition alight after such a barn-storming group stage.  So far the games have gone to form and there was little chance that the final game would throw up a surprise.  Whilst our hearts may have wanted Costa Rica, the 66/1 outsiders, to progress, it would take a super human effort for them to outwit the Dutch.  They’ve been what has been good and bad in the tournament so far.  Good – the domination over world champions Spain and THAT goal by Van Persie and then the Bad – Robben falling over whenever someone coughs in Brazil.  Say it like it is – irrespective of how talented he may be, he is a cheat.  Cheats never prosper is the saying….try explaining that one to your kids when Robben takes home millions of pounds every year.

1. The Dutch Bench – Surely smartest bench of the World Cup?  Immaculately turned out in their blue jackets and orange ties.  Looking like secret service agents on a dress-down Friday. Two hours after they walked out onto the pitch they still looked as “smart as the Man from Burtons” as my Mum would say. There is no dignity in a pensioner wearing a tracksuit.

2. “Intriguing” – When any commentator says the game is intriguing then it is time to go and make a cup of tea.  Why don’t they simply say it is a shocker – it is what we are all saying and thinking.   And then when it is still goal less with 10 minutes to go it changes to a game with a “Grandstand finish”…what on earth does that mean?  To mean that just conjures up images of Frank Bough and his misdemeanours.  In fairness, he was spot on (Mowbray not Bough) – it was a Grandstand finish to the game in normal time.

image (2)3. World Cup of keepers – The stars of the tournament so far have been the keepers.  Howard, Neuer, Ospina and Costa Rica’s Navas have all been outstanding. In fact every keeper could probably say they have performed on the world’s stage.  Well, Iker Casillas excepted.  Navas once again put in a fantastic shift, although probably felt that he would have had a busier two hours.  In fact for the first hour he could have sat in his goal and caught up on 24 without many problems.

4. Extra-time – Hard to believe that the final 15 minutes were being played by the same two teams that had contested the previous 105.  Absolutely top stuff – end to end, with the Costa Ricans suddenly realising that they could still win this game without penalties.

5. Tactical master stroke or balmy old cack – Van Gaal’s decision to bring on Tim Krul for Cillessen just to face penalties – it’s not a pre-season friendly or a testimonial is it? Is the Newcastle keeper that good? He’s no Paul Cooper is he?  Alan Shearer reminds us that he has only saved 2 penalties from 20 for Newcastle.  Is Cillessen hoping for a win or defeat whilst he sits on the bench? The result? Tactical Genius.

The Beer World Cup

Still no luck in tracking down a Costa Rican number so we substituted in a Fuller’s Honey Dew to compete against a few Oranjebooms.

Netherland 1 Costa Rica 1 – Costa Rica win on penalties because Oranjeboom is actually brewed in Faversham and not Netherlands.

Five things from….Uruguay 1 Costa Rica 3


Game two of Super Saturday and we’ve just had time for some Bacon steaks cooked in maple syrup before we are back on the sofa for a mouth-watering desert of Uruguay v Costa Rica.  So far we have seen the positive side from every team, bar Cameroon with the South Americans having a 100% record – I can’t see that changing for this game.  The media will be fawning over Luis Suarez even though he wasn’t in the starting XI, but this for me would be all about Edinson Cavani.  Him and some beers.  After a dry afternoon I had hoped to be tucking into some Costa Rican and Uruguayan beers.  However, it seems that every off-licence in South London only seems to stock Stella, Foster, Carling and a range of a dozen Polish beers so this would be another bore-draw.

photo (1)1. Different coloured boots – Coloured boots are bad enough but a different coloured boot for each foot? Seriously??? Rodriguez, Stuani and Godin hang your heads in shame. Clough would be turning in his grave at such disrespect for the beautiful game. And don’t get me started on that get up Muslera had on!!! Why not go the whole hog and wear one of those spandex body suits that people think are so funny to wear at the cricket until they need a wee.

2. Uruguayan hair – Come on chaps, what other social situation would you wear an Alice band? Forlan and Cavani – you both earn more in a week than some people earn in a decade – invest in a haircut once in a while. Even Paris has barber shops. And Caeres? Do you seriously have your hair in a bun like a British Airways air hostess???

3. The pitch – As soon as Uruguay kicked off on the brand new turf, Diego Forlan scuffed up the centre circle. In both penalties areas it looked as if a murder of crows had been let loose on some stale chips. Looks like the groundsmen have gone on strike. And what’s with the dull stripes pattern? Surely with technology these days they could have cut the World Cup logo into the pitch?

4. The hands of Diego part 2 – what’s with Lugano and throwing his hands in the air. Yes, there was a little push as he defended at one end, and yes there was some pushing and shuvving in the area at the other end for the penalty, but did the former West Brom player need to act like Tom Daly?  Uruguay were like petulant children for the final hour of the game and there was some inspired words at half-time in the Costa Rica dressing room to lift them.  Uruguay were beaten by their own mentality.

5. The Shock of the Tournament – NO, NO, NO!  When the third Costa Rican goal rolled into the net, the ITV Commentator proudly exclaimed this was the “shock of the tournament so far”.  Of course he had conveniently forgotten the drubbing of the World Champions just 24 hours ago…perhaps because it was on BBC.  I’m not going to have a pop at the ITV coverage yet but I will…

 

Beer World Cup

Unfortunately another A-A….two unclassified results can only mean one thing…a double roll over for the 11pm kick off.  A Fuller’s selection pack at the ready to take on a four pack of Birra Moretti.  Bring. It. ON