June 19, 2008

In Bastian we trust

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

So the Germans finally listened to my advice and look what happened. They downed Portugal 3-2 in a game that didn’t even look close for the first 30 minutes. Then, when Portugal stepped it up offensively, the game seemed just on even level. The Germans clearly outclassed the cocky Portuguese squad to advance to the semi-finals.

With their coach Joachim Loew sitting helplessly in the press box, his replacement made the common sense move I have been clamouring for. Namely, benching Mario Gomez and starting Bastian Schweinsteiger — I wouldn’t have taken out Frings or Fritz but those were musts due to injury. And just look at how the adjustments paid off! Schweinsteiger played one of the best games of the tournament, scoring the opener and setting up the two other tallies off of free kicks. He really showed why some pundits were calling him “the German Beckham” during the World Cup. And they were referring to before Becks moved stateside and starting mailing it in.

And how mopey was Cristiano Ronaldo? Geez, the coach should have tossed a pacifier at the poor baby. I’ve never seen someone put on such a pouty, sad, about to cry face while playing a sport ever. I’ve seen guys get upset after a bad pass from a teammate, even shout and yell at them (Kobe), but the way that Ronaldo acted was childish. Every time an ill-fated cross zinged over him, out of reach, the camera would focus on his pout while jogging back to “play some defence,” if that’s what you want to call his attempts in his own end.

Germany now advances to play winner of Croatia-Turkey, meaning there is a very real possibility that the semifinal match on Wednesday will be a Group B rematch and one that didn’t treat Ze Germans kindly.

1 Comment

  1. The Portugals were just too cocky coming in to this game. I had predicted that it would be 2 -0 in the first half. The second half was a very entertaing game.

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