What is up readers and welcome back to Post Up. In today’s article we will be looking at the first match-up’s of the 2014 World Cup. We had some shockers in there which is why this article is dedicated to telling you if these teams are for real or if they are fake in terms of being able to advance out of their groups.
Spain 1-5 Netherlands:
So Spain getting absolutely demolished is a pretty big shocker for everyone. Spain came in as the second favorite to win the World Cup this year, behind Brazil, and there was some pretty high, but reachable expectations that they could possibly repeat this year and win the first back-to-back in 20 some years. Spain started out on a very good note. They played their game by controlling possession, working through the midfield, and looking to lull their opponents to sleep. It worked in the beginning very well because they were able to draw a penalty inside the box and score the opening goal. However, after that it was all down hill. Right before the end of the first half, the Oranje were able to tie it up off of RVP’s goal (shown above) that still stands as the goal of the tournament. The second half allowed for the Dutch to show their amazing counterattack skills and they were able to add-on 4 more goals. So is this team for real or fake?
Yes, the Netherlands are very much a real contender to advance, as well as win the World Cup. Many seem to forget that the Dutch were in the final against Spain in 2010 and had a very good chance of winning it, if they had capitalized on their chances. This year people are also thinking that they are going through a “transition period” and therefore were not going to be as good. However, due to the genius of Louis Van Gaal, their manager, he has found a way to get everyone ready and fighting for this year’s World Cup. Not only should the Oranje be expected to win Group B now, but do not be shocked if they make a very deep run at the World Cup.
Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica
Costa Rica taking Uruguay to the cleaners has to be THE biggest shock so far in this year’s World Cup. Sure the Netherlands beat the crap out of Spain, but the Dutch are a good team that could do that. Not many people thought that Costa Rica could walk out with at least three points this year, and yet here they are. Much like in the Spain game, the team that we thought would win was, early on. Due to a penalty given in favor of Uruguay, they were up 1-0 at half. However, just like the Spain game, it all came apart in the second half. Costa Rica was able to add 3 goals in favor of their side, and have the funniest celebration of the year so far after scoring their third goal (shown above). So is this Costa Rice team real or fake?
In my World Cup preview this year, I made mention to not sleeping on Costa Rica. While they were not my dark horse for Group D, I did mention that this Costa Rica team is no push over and they are a much better team than anyone is giving them credit for. Sure enough, I was right about this team. They seem to have decent talent all over, but most importantly they play for each other. This team realizes that they need to work together and stick to the game plan in order to move on. That being said, they maybe REAL in their talent, but they are FAKE contenders. I still do not think they have enough talent to beat Italy and England (their remaining two games). However, England was not that impressive and Italy was not either. Weirder things have happened, so do not be surprised if we see the baby celebration again, but for right now Costa Rica are fake contenders.
Portugal 0-4 Germany
Another heavy weight shocker is that of Germany over Portugal. Coming into this match-up Germany was very banged up, and no one knew just how bad everything was. Two of their big injuries, Neuer and Lahm, ended up on the field Monday and they both were instrumental in the trashing that took place. Germany was able to put one on the board early, due to a penalty, and then another one from a corner. Portugal were looking good though as time went on, and even though it was 2-0, it looked like they could possibly get back in this. However, the most boneheaded move of the World Cup happened (catching the trend?) and Pepe head butted Muller to be given a red and sent off. Being a man down and having issues working together led to Germany stomping Portugal left and right and leading to this score line. So is Germany real or fake?
This one should be obvious to anyone that has knowledge of the World Cup. The reason why Germany was not expected to win was because of injuries and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, with CR7 dealing with injury issues of his own, and getting frustrated by the lack of ball he was seeing, then to add that Germany was not as banged up as we all though led to a bad night for Portugal. Germany showed that they are not only healthier than everyone though, but they are deeper. No one knew what to expect with the young, but very talent players that they had, and those guys stepped up. They all looked like seasoned veterans out there and that is why Germany is a very real contender.
Ghana 1-2 United States
Here we are, last but not least the United States winning over Ghana. The United States were looking to finally top Ghana and beat them, and therefore they came out with tons of energy and looking to attack. They accomplished this by scoring the quickest goal of the World Cup so far, with Dempsey scoring in the first minute of play. The United States looked okay with defending and holding the lead the rest of the night, which is why for the next 80 minutes, nothing happened. Then in the 82nd minute Ghana was able to score and it looked like the United States was not going to get their win that they desperately wanted. Then a few minutes later, in the 86th minute, a corner was taken by the United States and young talent and first World Cup gamer John Brooks stepped up and scored. His celebration was easily the most beautiful of the World Cup so far (there it is), because you could just see the emotion pouring out of him and his teammates because of how badly they wanted this. As great of a win as this was for the United States, are they real or fake?
Here’s the thing, while the United States got their win that they wanted, they got it against the weakest of their opponents. The United States is still in the Group of Death and will still need to play against Portugal and Germany, respectively. The other issue with the United States is that they played well against Ghana for only 10 minutes of the entire game, the rest of the time they were extremely passive and happy with 1-0. Now the reason that I say they are fakeish is because they actually have a chance. There is literally zero chance of them beating Germany, but Portugal is another story. Portugal looked very bad on Monday, and they will also be without their best defender, Pepe, against the United States. While I would still favor Portugal in this game, there is a chance that the Untied States could win. The United States need to come out attacking and looking to score the entire time if they want to get out of the group stages. USA fans be happy, because of what they did against Ghana, there is actually a glimmer of hope for them to get out of the Group of Death.
Thanks for reading!
All stats and information courtesy of espn.com