Today marked the tournaments’ first exits, notably including the champs’. Things are starting to take shape.
Australia 2 Netherlands 3 · Good on the Aussies for making a game of it! I was working with the match on an outboard computer screen, initially not giving it much attention, but saw both Robben’s one-man run and Cahill’s one-foot one-timer. Good football!
When the Australians got ahead of the Dutch, it reminded me of what they used to say back in the Joe Montana days: “If you’re up on the 49ers by a touchdown, it’s tied; if you’re up by a field goal, you’re behind.” And so it was. But that was fun to watch.
Spain 0 Chile 2 · Spain clearly isn’t what they once were, but they’re not that bad; Chile might actually be that good. Their first goal was the best combo-effort goal I’ve seen in the tournament so far; four passes to get there and each hard-won.
I can’t help noticing that Chile’s wins have been team efforts with everyone pitching in, and that they’ve yielded a single goal over the course of two games. Clearly one to watch. In theory, the Netherlands-Chile game on the 23rd should be a marquee match-up, but if they’re already both through to the round of 16, I suppose that takes the edge off.
Cameroon 0 Croatia 4 · Didn’t catch this one, but I was happy that Croatia got a win; that first game with the stinky officiating had probably left a bad taste in their mouths. I don’t see them getting past Mexico though.