With the tournament drawing to its close let us all have a look at some of the key features of this year’s World Cup,20th version of the most coveted Football tournament in the world with 32 teams across the Continent battling it out for Glory.
Brazil,Argentina,Netherlands,Germany-BANG as they are calling it have the stage set for the clash of the Titans
Well now the real fight remains between the Germans and the Albicelestes….
Let us also spare a moment for the “underdogs” of the competition,if you can call them.
Who would have thought when the tournament started that Costa Rica and Colombia would make it all the way through to the Quarter Finals of the World Cup? Atleast I did not.But they did make it there and are going home with their heads held high.
Here are some interesting things that we noticed in the ongoing tournament.
- Cooling Breaks– The heat of the tournament and certainly the heat of Brazil saw the introduction of cooling breaks(3 minute long) in the middle of a few matches when the mercury touched 32 degrees inside the tournament.Mexico vs Netherlands was one such match at Fortaleza,in the Northeast of Brazil. A surprise yet effective introduction on the part of FIFA.
- Referees– Referees have certainly been a hot topic of discussion in the South American country this tournament.The standard have not been the best that you expect in such a frentic tournament.Some decisions have been thoroughly repelled by the media and countries.From controversial penalty decisions to letting go with just a warning/Yellow Card for a Red Card offence,this tournament has seen it all.It is not worth mentioning the names of the offenders in these cases.
- UNDERDOGS/Dark horse– Whatever term may be appropriate for you,this tournament has certainly been captured and made memorable by some of the small teams to play this beautiful game as I said earlier.
They made sure that they did not come in only to fill the numbers.
Colombia,Costa Rica,Nigeria,Chile,Mexico have been right up there competing with the best.
They have played some beautiful football and made the stage even grandeur.
Some notable players to make a mark include “Hamez” Rodriguez of Colombia,Alexis Sanchez of Chile,Giovani Dos Santos of Mexico and the goalies too as mentioned below.Rafael Marquez and Mario Yepes has shown that age is just a number.
- Goalkeeping Heroics– A tournament marred by a set of unbeatable and unbaffled goalkeepers has certainly been the pick of this tournament.
Who can forgets the heroics of Guillermo Ochoa in the match against Brazil and Netherlands?
The Chilean Claudio Bravo also made a series of ‘Bravo’ saves in his stint during the tournament.
Keylor Navas of Costa Rica also can hold his head high and so can the supersub Tim Krul with his mindgames in the Quarters.
Tim Howard of the United States,Vincent Enyeama of Nigeria,Thibaut Courtois of Belgium have flexed their muscles to make some incredible saves.
Apart from ‘Saint Iker’ almost all the Goalies have stood tall in the Last Line Of Defence.
Let us all hope that the best team makes it through this intense tournament,forgettable for some and unforgettable for others.