Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic quarterfinals

The first round of the Olympic football tournament is over without major surprises: Brazil and Argentina have lived up to their aspirations with three straight wins each, and are ready to the quarterfinals. It has not been amazing though: Brazil seems to have eased their way through Belgium, New Zealand and China, while Argentina had to fight a bit more against Ivory Coast and Serbia, but looking awfully strong nevertheless.
The three European teams in the quarterfinals, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy, have been efficient, but an absolute bore of the kind that makes one want to watch paint dry rather than them. In their last match, Italy and Cameroun played for the 0-0 draw that would take them both through in some of the worse football ever seen.
Not really Olympic spirit there.
Finally, besides Cameroun, we have two other African teams in the quarterfinals, Ivory Coast and Nigeria, who will in fact each other in an all-African quarterfinal.
As it is now, the four quarterfinals on Saturday are as follows:
  • Argentina-Netherlands
  • Ivory Coast-Nigeria
  • Brazil-Cameroun
  • Italy-Belgium
I make no discrestion that I want an Argentina-Brazil final: it would be best for the Olympics and for football fans in general.

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