Wednesday, July 02, 2014

UEFA 2-Concacaf 1

Another UEFA-Concacaf tie when Belgium played USA. USA were not convincing, but played with heart and spirit, and that always wins friends. I do think they need to take more risks; go more forward, instead of relying so much on defense. That said, great defense, and not least a fantastic Tim Howard! The first round of this tournament has been all about the strikers, but these knock-out stages have been largely about the goalkeepers, with some incredible performances. In my view, Tim Howard's was the best.
Belgium are now in the quarterfinals where they face and Argentinean side they should hardly fear and barely respect.
In the meantime one UEFA-Concacaf match remains, where Netherlands and Costa Rica will clash. UEFA will likely make it 3-1 to complete the routing of Concacaf.


Anonymous said...

hi E

Just looked a bit in the history book - since 1986 when 32 countries first time was present at the world cup.

I think in the discussion of "does Europe or South America have too many spots?" it is interesting to see how the teams have done at the present stage of the tournaments - the quaterfinals.

In the eigth tournaments with 32 teams - only 7 non-european/south american teams have made it to the quater-finals. (Mexico '86, Cameroon '90, Korea, Senegal and USA '02, Ghana '06, and now Costa Rica). This equals the number of times Brazil in the same period have made it to the quater-finals - Germany is alway there.
Argentina, Spain, Italy, England, Holland and France are almost also always there.

Looking at the South American contries in addition Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Colombia have made it to quater-finals.
And among the European teams other than the above mentioned "big countries" - 12 different countries have made the quater-finals one or two times.

I find it hard to see any argument based on actual results supporting that e.g. Asian should have one of the European spots.

That doesn't mean that I do not support Costa Rica against the Netherlands - I do, but not because of Costa Rica, but because I prefer the Netherlands not to be world champions the way they play this time.
(I am sure that Man U fans are eager to get Mr. van Gaals tactics onto Old Trafford giving the ball to the away-team - that is truly the type of football they usually prefer at that stadium).

El Erik said...

Hi Jim,
32 teams has been since 1998.
But your point is good. Asia should NOT, CERTAINLY NOT, have a place instead of Europe, but I am questioning the play-offs between continents:
In this qualification number 6 in South America (Uruguay) utterly destroyed number 5 in Asia (Jordan) and number 4 in Concacaf (Mexico) destroyed New Zealand.
With Australia now playing in Asia it is ridiculous that Oceania has 0,5 place (one play off). Consider Tahiti were recently Oceania champions!
It would perhaps have been more logical if New Zealand had played Jordan for the right to have one play-off match against either: number 6 in Africa, or, number 13 in Europe.
I think COncacaf should have 4 spots and not 3.5 and South America 5 and not 4.5 (this time they had 5.5 because of Brazil hosting).
Either Europe could have 12,5 or Africa 5.5.
Oceania and Asia have too much with 0.5 and 4.5 respectively.