Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spain Advances In Undramatic Fashion

As correctly predicted by Paul the Octopus, Spain will face Netherlands in the final after defeating the Germans, 1-0. It wasn't too pretty, but I've seen uglier. Pau Gasol, for example, is uglier.

Here are five things I learned from today's game:

1. Spain sure can possess the ball - The numbers (Spain 57% and Germany 43%) are more lopsided than they sound. I'd expect a 1-0 game to have a possession distribution very close to 50-50.

2. Spain sure can't finish - Along those lines, any team who dominates possession like Spain did today should be scoring more than 1 goal. Spain took 16 shots, but the shots don't tell all - many promising opportunities broke down before anyone could muster a shot. Like when Pedro got real selfish in minute 82.

3. The German scoring well ran dry - Germany had 4 goals in each of their 2 knockout stage games. And these goals came against formidable opponents (England and Argentina). But it just wasn't there today. They certainly missed Thomas Muller.

4. David Villa needs to shave - I'm not a big fan of the soul patch. Yuck.

5. There will be a first-time World Cup champion - Spain has never been in a final before. Netherlands made it twice (1974, 1978) but lost both. Whoever wins come Sunday, one nation (the Netherlands) will revel in World Cup championship glory for the first time ever.

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