Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yet another Ivorian debacle

It seemed that Ivory Coast had it all in their hands to follow Colombia to the last-16 of the World Cup. Colombia did their part, defeating any possible Japanese threat 4-1, so everything was up to the Ivorians against a Greek side that had not scored a goal, and had played the kind of football that is easy to forget.
But beware of Greece; they work hard, are solid in the back, and in Georgios Samaras have an experienced and classy striker. And the Greeks did what they had to do against an Ivorian side without pace or commitment. A side that disappointed in 2006, 2010, and were apparently not mentally prepared not to disappoint. 
Cote d'Ivoire are a better team, player for player, than Greece. But that is not what football is about. Greece played as a team, with heart and commitment, and that gave them the 2-1 victory where Georgios Samaras kept his head cool in a last minute penalty.
Against all odds, Greece are in the last-16 where they will face another sensation, Costa Rica.
Either Greece or Costa Rica are among the best eight in the world. Nobody expected that.
In the meantime, one of Africa's hopes has disappointed the world yet again.


Anonymous said...

... and one South American country in the semifinals. It is a bit of a pity that Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay have ended up in the same quater-final leg. But it surely will be interesting matches.

My guess is that we see a quater-final between Brazil and Colombia. But it seems very open.


Soren said...

Hi Erik, you think Ghana will make it out of the group. I think they have been quite good and a bit unfortunate against the US who were really well organized. S.

El Erik said...

For Ghana to go through they need Germany to win and themselves to beat Portugal. The last is not unlikely, the first one is.
I dont think Ghana will make it. I am quite certain Germany and USA will tie, and then both will go through.
I would put money on it.

Jim, indeed, it looks like Brazil-Colombia, although never discount Uruguay. They will be aching to play Brazil in the quarterfinals.

Anonymous said...

Erik, what do you think the Brazilians feel about being matched with South American countries in the next two matches (should they pass Chile)?

To me it looks tough - Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay all know Brazil, and have played many times there. So there will probably be less "ohh it is the host-nation we play", than if it was for example a European team.

How do you see it - are the Brazilians happy or do the fear the next two matches?


El Erik said...

Hi Jim, well, I saw that before the tournament Scolari had said he was more nervous about South American sides. I think that is true; they know Brazil well. The possibility of facing Uruguay in the quarterfinals surely nerves them, and I am sure the Uruguayans are itching to play brazil. Probably the Argentines as well, although I am, also certain they want it to be in the final.
I think most of them prefer and Argentina-Brazil final.