Ouf, those Portuguese.

Germany 4 Portugal 0 · Readers who followed my commentary on the last two World Cups know that I have an attitude problem about Portugal, because whenever I watch them it seems like there’s a whole lot of hacking and diving.

There’s a word for that: Cheating. And hey, the New Yorker found someone with the numbers: Portugal tied for the cheating lead in 2010 (with Chile and Italy); Ronaldo was third overall among individuals.

Which is to say, this result was OK by me. Both the initial penalty shot and the red card were fair calls. I stopped watching around halftime because really, who needed it.

I was impressed by the potency of the German attack, and unimpressed by their defense in the period before Portugal gave up. But yeah, they’re contenders all right.

Iran 0 Nigeria 0 · The first draw of the tournament! Which made me sad because it was a fast, attacking, lighthearted game, and it’d have been nice to have a winner. I thought Nigeria was the stronger team but still, the result wasn’t terribly unfair: neither side really produced any attacking magic, what professional commentators refer to as “quality”.

No contenders here, but good entertainment.

Ghana 1 USA 2 · Also a little saddening; the first match of the tournament where I thought the result didn’t necessarily reflect the teams’ play. But you have to admit that even if the first level of US defense was pretty porous, its back didn’t break even under sustained intense assault.

And it’s good for football when the US is good.



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From: Joao (Jun 17 2014, at 00:20)

It's a bit sad that you reduce the portuguese to hacking and diving but it's also funny that after that you talk about two plays where german were hacking and diving...

https://mtc.cdn.vine.co/r/videos/7BF2BB3B8B1090355323199713280_2971ea0e6e8.0.3.1337210548198753084.mp4?versionId=vSpm6w.4amXckhnYBoWs5WjCwgclTIOZ

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June 16, 2014
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