Monday, June 14, 2010
World Cup 2010 Game 9: Netherlands 2, Denmark 0
Everyone, except maybe Monty Python, loves the Dutch. Always a good side but never champions, the Dutch also sport the cool and recognizable orange uniforms. One wonders if they ever actually took the whole shebang whether they would be as popular or whether they would mutate, Boston Red Sox like, into a much less likable team.
The Dutch were in control most of the match, never seriously challenged by Denmark, though not exactly putting the fear into other world class teams, either. We saw the first "own goal" of the tournament--a phrase used when a player on defense inadvertently knocks the ball into his own goal. In this case the Danish player actually had an unlucky break as his clearance was deflected off the back of a teammate and into the net.
Once again, I thought I was goingt ot get bonus points in my pool for correctly predicting the score (1-0), but a second goal in the 85th minute changed the final score.
I was glad to see the Danes playing hard even after the outcome was decided. As I mentioned yesterday in regards to Germany and Australia, the losing team here has to figure that both the other teams in their group--in this case Japan and Cameroon will be heavy underdogs to the Dutch and thus goal differential could matter. So when a Danish player made a spectacular effort to keep out the third goal, it was the sort of play easily forgotten but which could mean all the difference ten days from now (or could mean nothing, but that's the joy of sports, isn't it?)
I chastised the Germans yesterday for taking two dives and earning well deserved yellow cards. That night I watched the NBA finals, game 5. It always amuses me when fans of sports more popular in America try to find things to rip about football and complain about all the diving...like there has never been an NBA player flop to try to draw a charge or an NFL receiver sell a pass interference call. So I realize playing the referees are part of sport, but the cynic in me says that when you are already up by a large marge against a clearly outclassed opponent those sorts of plays only make you look more bush league.