Holland 2-1 Brazil: poor defending from set-plays costs Dunga

July 2, 2010

Wesley Sneijder
“Brazil are out. A dominant first half, a shocking second half – Holland took advantage of their defensive mistakes to record a famous victory. We know the starting line-ups both managers like to field, because both give their first XIs the numbers 1-11. In this match, however, injury to Elano and Joris Mathijsen meant we saw both No 13s from the start – Daniel Alves played on the right of midfield, whilst Andre Ooijer was a late change after Mathijsen was injured in the warm-up.” (Zonal Marking)

Sneijder’s goal in 68th minute decisive; Brazil unravels in second half
“Don’t call the Dutch underachievers anymore, not after the way the Netherlands rallied to upset five-time champion Brazil 2-1 in the World Cup quarterfinals Friday. After waking themselves up at halftime, the title that has eluded the Dutch for all these years is now just two wins away.” (ESPN)

Brazil Betrays Itself
“To be very honest, Brazil’s defeat did not surprise me. From the very beginning, I found the team rigid, overly physical and lacking in authentic creativity. It tells you something abut the Brazilian team that everybody’s been gushing about Lucio and Juan and the rest of Dunga`s defensive set-up.” (TNR)

Brazil vs. Holland – Beauty, Bottom Line, Redux
“So, we’ve had this debate before. Still, the result, Netherlands 2-1 over Brazil, will fuel the fire of the torch wielding “joga bonito acolytes,” screaming about the exclusion of Ronaldinho and Pato and hundreds of other Brazilians that can pull off an elastico with ease. After all, Dunga’s reliance on results and the discourse of efficiency to justify his team selection collapses into one currency by which to measure success – wins. Not goals. Not style. Wins. And today, Brazil lost.” (futfanatico)

World Cup 2010: Netherlands 2-1 Brazil
“Into the quarter-finals then, and now it starts getting serious.This was the first clash between two teams with serious winning credentials – or at least, Brazil’s pedigree was beyond dispute. Maybe there were still some doubts about the Netherlands, coming into this game, for all their long unbeaten run and their hundred percent records both in qualifying and in the group phases it still remained to be seen how they’d fare against top class opposititon. And to be honest, for all that they won this extraodinary match, I’m still not entirely sure. The game was turned on its head by a series of critical Brazilian errors in the second half, in a game they looked to have well in control, and they’ll go home wondering quite how it happened.” (twohundredpercent)

Netherlands 2-1 Brazil – Video Highlights, Recap, Match Stats – World Cup – 2 July 2010
(The 90th Minute)

How to Win the World Cup

July 2, 2010

“Here’s how: Win the World Cup final. If you think that’s a simplification, please browse this more extensive version: 1) Qualify for the World Cup; 2) Successfully reach the World Cup final; 3) Win it. Everyone with a calculator is busy reverse-engineering reality to come up with the formula that explains what it really takes—you know, once you peel away the thin scrim of data represented by an actual game and take a Freakonomic, Don DeLilloish look into the depths behind it. But winning the game is what it really takes.” (Run of Play)

Diego Maradona Is Not Gay

July 2, 2010

Diego Maradona
“The once-great Maradona wants everyone in the world to know, just in case there was any doubt, that he’s not gay. No sirree, he certainly is not. He likes women. He really likes women. He’s fucking pretty Veronica.” (TNR)

Stirling Albion Bought By Fans: A Model Takeover By The Trust (and Ronaldo)

July 2, 2010

“Here’s something to cheer Cristiano Ronaldo up: he is now one of the owners of a soccer team. A landmark agreement has been reached in Scotland: according to the BBC, Stirling Albion, who play in the Scottish First Division, have become the first senior Scottish side owned by its fans through the Supporters’ Trust, one of whose members is, odd as it seems, Ronaldo.” (Pitch Invasion)

Good Luck, Jonathan: Nigeria’s President Calls The Shots

July 2, 2010

“In the immediate aftermath of a disappointing World Cup campaign, it might seem like an appealing idea. Get the team out of all competitive football and force them to rebuild for a couple of years. The edict issued forth by the Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, to dissolve the national football team for two years and to dissolve the Nigerian Football Association, the NFF, beats a highly populist drum and has been greeted with a degree of support from Nigerian football supporters, but he could, in taking such drastic measures, find himself on a collision course with FIFA.” (twohundredpercent)