What a cracking day to sit on the couch and do nothing except watch footie.
World Cup favourites Brazil lost to the Netherlands… and I’ve desperately tried to write in a Dutch oven joke. No luck, feel free to write in your answer below.
This game was the Felipe Melo show. First he set up Robinho’s goal to send the Samba Kings flying. But in the second half, he collided with his own goalkeeper and headed in a Wesley Sneijder cross. The goal tied the game and rattled Brazil. Then, Melo’s frustration with uber-pest Arjen Robben boils over. He kicks Robben to the ground and then inexplicably stomps on the Dutchman’s thigh. Red card and it was “Boa noite” for the Brazilians.
Here are some interesting facts from the game:
- For the first time in its World Cup history, Brazil loses after leading at halftime (now 35-1-2) and loses for only the third time after scoring first (now 53-3-4). The other two losses were the 1998 group stage versus Norway and the 1950 final versus Uruguay,
- Melo’s own goal was Brazil’s first in its 97-match World Cup history. It’s just the second own goal in a knockout-stage match in the last 40 years,
- Sneijder, who is 5-foot-7, became the shortest player to head a goal in at this year’s World Cup,
- Brazil loses under Dunga for the first time when both Kaka and Robinho play (now 30-1-4),
- Melo’s red card was 11th ever for Brazil, putting them one ahead of Argentina for most in WC history.
I think’s it’s off the mark to call this result an upset. Netherlands have not lost a competitive match since the Russians beat them in extra time in a Euro 2008 quarterfinal. That’s a streak of 13 matches. And they are on a run of 24 games without a defeat, since a friendly loss to Australia two years ago.
Meanwhile, Africa’s dream of a home-grown World Cup winner died after Ghana lost to Uruguay with a bizarre finish. Just before the end of extra-time, Uruguay’s goalkeeper was caught out of position during a goal-mouth scramble. Luis Suarez kicks the ball away, only for Dominic Adiyiah to head the ball back towards the net… where Suarez raises his arms to deflect the shot. Red card for Suarez and a penalty for Ghana.
But then Asamoah Gyan sends the jabulani sailing into the crossbar… and sends the Ghanians home in tears, after Uruguay win a penalty shoot-out.
Now the Uruguayans have to manage the high-flying Dutchmen (ho ho!) without the rambunctious Suarez, who is definitely suspended for the semi-final. They’ll also have to do without Paris Hilton, who was arrested for allegedly passing the Dutchie on the left-hand side.
The build-up to tomorrow’s game between the Argies and Ze Germans has been downright nasty. Somewhere, there are a bunch of old RAF commanders giggling into their Pimm’s…
Late game: Spain plays Paraguay.