WC 2014 Column


Day 12 - Neymardependency

By Gabriel Cazotto

    In the early afternoon, in a group already defined, the Netherlands and Chile fought for the first place for theoretically "avoid" Brazil. In a quiet game, Holland was better, mainly because of their best player and the best player of the World Cup so far, Arjen Robben, who decided in favor of the OranJe.

    The melancholy farewell of La Roja in the second game saw David Villa said goodbye from the National Team with one of the best goals in World Cup history, with a fantastic backheel (please correct if I’m wrong, but this is the first backheel goal in the history of the tournament), and he cried. A cry who probably describes the end of the Tiki-Taka possession of La Roja who might turn back to a more vertical game style of old the Fúria. The question is whether this return of the Fúria will put Spain again in the ostracism of yore.

    Chile will have, now, the “burden” of facing the hosts Brazil for the fourth time in a playoff for the World Cup, having already been eliminated in all 3 (4x2 in 1962, 4-1 in 1998 and 3-0 in 2010).

    Brazil, which showed on the field that they indeed might fear the swift Chilean team. Again against Cameroon the side defenders were badly once more, Daniel Alves continues to be an avenue on the right, while Marcelo has not played the same football that he made this season at Real Madrid. In the goal of Cameroon, perhaps the worst squad of this tournament happened in the left side of Marcelo in one touch to the goal from Matip.

    But if Brazil plays poorly on the sides and especially has no creation whatsoever, with Paulinho again awful, and Oscar off his game, Brazil relied on his Golden boy of only 22 years old, who called by himself the responsibility to change the score. Neymar. Now the top scorer of the tournament secured the tranquility of a Brazilian team totally dependent of Neymar. Fernandinho was a glimmer of hope for the place in Midfielder instead of Paulinho. But if Scolari does not fix the team against Chile, perhaps the genius of this Neymardependency in the playmaker together with Alexis and Vargas running through the back sidelines of Marcelo and Daniel Alves, the Brazilian party may terminate this Saturday already.

    Mexico and Croatia were playing for the second place in the Group. Mexico that was virtually eliminated from the World Cup Qualifiers for 2 minutes to Panama, and only got the result after two U.S. goals in injury time and the victory over New Zealand in the playoffs should be up today thanking Uncle Sam, and especially its Exotic Coach Miguel Herrera, the Lion Heart in person.

    The Bravery of the Mexicans was enough to control the Croatian technique. Rafa Márquez header opened the score and made him the first Mexican to score in three World Cups, while captaining 4. Guardado and Chicharito still marked the second and third in the 3x1 which puts Mexico in the next round. Mexico, together with Brazil and Germany are the only teams to always move from the first stage in World Cups since 1994. A worthy achievement for a team that faces the Netherlands and wants to expunge the curse of the quarterfinals, which they have never reached since 1986, at home.

Man of the Matches:

Arjen Robben - NED
David Villa - ESP
Neymar - BRA
Rafa Marquez - MEX



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