Sadly, today’s version of the World Cup recap will need to be a bit abbreviated due to me being on the road to a “congrats on welcoming somebody that possesses half of your genes into the world” get-together. But, that does not mean that I was unable to take in the entirety of the day’s matches. Thanks to modern technology, I took in every agonizing minute that separated the singular goals in the Argentina and Bosnia games. I also took in every minute of the surprising fixture between Germany and Ghana. Another fantastic day presented by this World Cup.
Argentina vs Iran
Yet another match for a major power where the result means that more questions will be asked of the victor in this World Cup. 90 minutes of struggle for a team that boasts, arguably, the greatest attack force in the entirety of the Cup. If Argentina are meant to do anything meaningful at this competition, this performance is not the way that they would accomplish that. Still, it does not hurt to have Messi as a part of your squad. The player that has every award EXCEPT the World Cup in his cabinet made sure that Argentina would be going through to the next round.
It should be noted that Iran put in an amazing performance and, despite our countries not being on the best of terms, they have represented a very well-organized side. Without the majesty of Messi, this game ends as a draw. Still, as we mentioned, this game will represent three points gained…but, it leaves Argentina with a multitude of questions about what they will do against better sides.
Germany vs Ghana
Anyone expecting a German goal-fest were quickly disappointed in this intriguing fixture. Despite Germany looking like the superior team from the off, Ghana quickly gained their footing and started to show the attacking prowess that they threatened against the USA. Still, much like in their prior game, Ghana was unable to find the back of the net. Then, early in the second half, Germany looked as if they would start to run away from their opponents. A Gotze deflection that started the scoring would soon be answered by Ayew putting Ghana on level terms only a few minutes later. As if stunned by the goal, German captain Lahm would lose the ball that would cost Germany their instant qualification.
Ghana, unable to make countless attacks and impressive pressure play in their first fixture, took full advantage of the gift from Lahm to put one of the early tournament favorites into serious trouble. As Germany pushed for a point from the match, Ghana made several presentable opportunities to truly bury the match. However, since they were unable to put the Germans to the sword, they were made to pay by substitute Klose as he continues his assault on the World Cup scoring charts. Still, the German striker should have been given the opportunity to backflip more than once in the game, but it felt as if this match was destined for a point. How would this change the USA/Portugal fixture? Who knows…but both Germany and Ghana will leave this match with everyone wondering what type of team they are truly looking at.
Nigeria vs Bosnia
After watching a ridiculous number of fixtures at this point (from first whistle to post-match interviews and inevitable Alexis Lalas passive-aggressive comment), this game failed to stand out as it fit too many of the early game cliches from this Cup. A goal for the underdog, a botched goal-call, and a team’s star failing to live up to the pressure that has been placed on his shoulders.
The goal for the underdog? Odemwingie scoring for a Nigeria squad that has looked weak since before the World Cup even started.
The botched goal-call? Dzeko having a goal ruled out because of an assistant decided to wave his flag for no true reason.
The flailing star? Despite having a goal ruled out, Dzeko has seen two matches fly by without becoming the hero that his team has desired him to be.
Another great day of football and another day to add to the drama in Brazil. There is no doubt that FIFA is reveling in the fact that these goals are removing every bit of fury that worldwide fans are feeling towards the shady organization. If the goals dry up, do the issues arise again? For our sake, let us hope that the goals keep coming and that FIFA gets exactly what they have coming to them…surely there is a situation where all of this occurs…right?