Holland looked good against Slovakia, although until the second went in, you had to wander if they would be punished for squandering their chances. RVP was active; Sneijder looked up for it; Robben did well on the wings; Elia came on to great effect. You have to wonder if the defense will hold up though. Slovakia was pounding them at the end and Brazil will do far better with the chances.
Brazil finally found an opponent who would come on to them and punished them. Juan got things started and Fabiano’s goal came from a move of real quality. It took them a while to get going again and they really should have had more. Their win sets up a match up with Holland, their opponents in the knock out in 94 and 98.
Tuesday (the day the goals disappeared)
Paraguay and Japan was dire, probably one of the worst games of the tournament. Very little edge to the game due to a combination of nerves and lack of quality. In the end Paraguay prevailed on penalties, which, to be fair, were very well taken except for Komano who hit the crossbar.
Before the tournament I took Spain to beat Brazil in the finals. After the group stage, I had a rethink. Yesterday, I predicted a Portugal victory but from the opening minute, I knew I was wrong. Spain were firing from all angles and it was only a matter of time. Villa broke through (offside?) and scored the only goal of the match. Spain have yet to hit the high notes, while Portugal continue to prove that they can’t score against anyone beside North Korea. They may be lucky to qualify in four years time.