Sunday, June 25, 2006

Further Musings of a Casual World Cup Fan

Wow, the refs really let the Netherlands/Portugal match get out of hand. 16 yellow cards were called, which ties a World Cup record. The 4 red cards handed out set a new World Cup record. Players frustrations boiled over, and there was plenty of post-whistle pushing and shoving, which As a relatively new fan to soccer, I was impressed with the level of friendly play and sportsmanship displayed earlier in the World Cup, but there has been none of that displayed since the knockout round begun.

The winning goal by scored by Beckham was a thing of beauty. Beckham admitted that he didn't play very well today. After scoring the goal, Beckham was seen throwing up on the field, so he obviously wasn't feeling his best. But, when the game was on the line, Beckham delivered a perfect bending and dipping strike over the wall, catching the bottom right corner of the net.

I was very impressed with the play of Rooney in the second half of England's 1-0 win over Ecuador. Rooney had at least 4 or 5 impressive runs, and was the most the dangerous offensive threat I've seen so far in the World Cup. He was unlucky to not come away with at least an assist in the match.

It's very unfortunate for Portugal that they will be forced to play in the quarterfinals against England without their star player, Deco. It's rather unclear to me why he was kicked out of the game. The Netherlands player was upset because he accused Deco of wasting time by picking up the ball. He ran up, grabbed Deco by the arm, spun him around, and threw him on the ground. And, yet, somehow, Deco picked up his second yellow card and got kicked out of the game.