If the group stage of the World Cup was less exciting than we would have hoped, the knockout stage sure is making up for that. And today we were treated to another thriller, as the Netherlands defeated Uruguay 3-2 in Cape Town.
Here are 5 things I learned watching this game:
1. Uruguay belonged here - I had my doubts. Uruguay snagged the final qualifying spot for South America/CONCACAF (and the last remaining bid for the World Cup) by ousting Costa Rica. And on paper, their schedule was among the easiest in the whole tourney. In the group stage, they tied a lackluster French team, beat South Africa, and eked one out against Mexico. Then they barely beat South Korea (2-1) and pulled an escape act against Ghana. But they played a great game today, and I think they'll beat Spain in the 3rd place game, for what it's worth (not much).
2. The definition of irony - As time wound down late in the 2nd half, Uruguay trailed by a goal. The ball struck a Dutchman in the box and Uruguay players shouted for a handball. Ha ha.
3. Short guys can play - Wesley Sneijder has scored in each of the last two games. And he's 5'7". It's Messi-esque, you know, if Messi scored in the World Cup.
4. Shoot from far out - The much-discussed ball was dancing all over the field today, as the first two goals came from distance. Look for another goal from 20+ yards out tomorrow.
5. All-orange uniforms look so damn cool - The Dutch have been wearing orange jerseys with black shorts, and it looked like they were paying homage to Halloween. But today, they replaced the black shorts with even more orange, and it looked badass. I want more orange in sports.