Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From Chokers to Winners: Spain Finally Wins the Big One

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It has been a remarkable two years for the Spanish football side. After decades of underachieving they have won both the European and World Championship. Not bad for a side who struggled to get past the World Cup quarter finals.

They lost their first game of the 2010 World Cup and immediately people thought it was the same old Spain but they got through to top their group and then got past the knockout stages with four 1-0 wins. Their victories came against Portugal, Paraguay, Germany and the Netherlands.

None of these teams really challenged the Spanish. They played a defensive style of football and in each case it caught up with them. Spain is too good a team to try and hold out for a draw. With David Villa, Carlos Puyol, Xavi and Andres Iniesta Spain just had too many big guns.

Netherlands had a great tournament and will be kicking themselves for the way they played in the final. Had they tried to play football, they may have won. As it was, they basically threw it away. Making a World Cup final is near on impossible and to have got there and then wasted the chance was pretty poor. Still they are only human and most likely let the occasion get to them.

The two semi-finalists, Uruguay and Germany had really good tournaments, especially Uruguay. No-one would have thought they would have been the last South American team standing especially when all five of them made the knockout stage.

Going down to the quarter-finalists, Brazil will figure that a second successive loss at this stage is simply unacceptable. Maybe they aren’t as good as they thought they were. Likewise Argentina fell as this hurdle to Germany for the second straight World Cup. They were playing fantastic football until Germany demolished them 4-0. Diego Maradona got his structure wrong and this came back to bite him. Live betting was pretty even until the first German goal in the third minute.

Uruguay got past Ghana is very controversial circumstances. People are still talking about the Luis Suarez handball as they will be doing so for another 50 years. At the end of the day, he was punished for it and Ghana missed a penalty. They have no-one to blame for this but themselves.

Paraguay topped their group and then needed penalties to get past Japan. Making the last eight was good but Spain was just too good.

Darren Albert writes for this blog. He also writes about sport betting.

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