Spain Can “Basque” In Glow of World Cup Victory

After their hard-fought 1-0 win over the Netherlands, getting a goal in the 116th minute and just four minutes shy of it going to penalty kicks.  They used the same formula that had served them well after a 1st game group stage loss to Switzerland; don’t let the other team score and get a goal soemwhere.  Its not exactly that their defense was airtight today; the keeper had to make a couple saves that were either very good and/or very lucky.  But won they did and the people of Madrid and Barcelona can be very proud in their team tonight.

Looking back at the tournament as a whole I think South Africa did a good job hosting the show.  I never got any closer to Johannesburg than Pittsburgh so of course I am basing this largely on media reports, but it seems that things ran rather smoothly.  Unless, of course, the vuvuzuelas were too much for you.  As per usual with a World Cup, sadly, the main story moving forward to Brazil 2014 and beyond is how can the officiating be improved.  Far too many horrible calls of various forms for an event of this magnitude.  As I have blogged previously I don’t think instant replay really fits the game of soccer, the continuous action and so forth.  However I see no reason why we can’t have two on field referees, goal judges, and perhaps technology also judging the goals.  It would also be great to see something resembling consistency on what constitutes a bookable offense and what doesn’t.  Its one thing to have variable strike zones in baseball, quite another variability on what warrants a yellow card considering that 2 yellows in the tournament forces a guy to sit the next match.

Also, a plea to Africans; lay off Suarez of Uruguay; smart play, it was what he had to do, in the 120th minute of a tie game any footballer in the world would have done the same thing.  Maybe the rule in that case should be automatic goal, but it isn’t.  Maybe the Ghana player should’ve made the penalty kick.

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