Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup
closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as
a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of
the World Cup.
Read earlier columns
Disappointment in Brazil; Mourning in Africa
Holland has always been an orange machine and they deserved to win this game because they wanted more than Brazil. Throughout the tournament, the Brazilians seemed to be a bit arrogant thinking that they could turn it on at anytime. However, we have seen today that they could not turn it on in the second half. In the first half, the Brazilians played very well and kept the Dutch at bay. They could have been 2-0 in the 1st half if it were not for the excellent save of Maarten Stekekelenburg on the bended ball of Kaka. In the first half, Brazil appeared to be the best team and it seemed they were on their ways to bury the Dutch Internationals. Holland did not play well in the first half, but it was great they were down 0-1 at halftime on a goal scored by the talented Robinho in the 10th minute.
In the second half, the Dutch Internationals knew it was now or never. So, Players such as Robben and Sneijder knew they had to step up their game and they had done so. The Brazilians were confused in the second half. Robinho, Fabiano were basically lost on the field and Kaka was not truly at his best but kept trying. While Brazil became a different team in the second half, so did the Netherlands. The Dutch Internationals were determined to win this game in the second half. In the 58th minute, Sneijder sent a cross, the Brazilian keeper, Julius Cesar miscalculated the flight of the ball, and the Dutch scored on an own goal by Felipe Melo. With the game 1-1, the Dutch Internationals took the game to the Brazilians succumbed under the magic of Sneijder who scored the 2nd goal to put the Netherlands up 2-1 against Brazil. It was all the Dutch needed to bury the Brazilians and send them home to Rio de Janeiro. Holland now are in the semi-finals. And I wonder will I again see the Orange Machine in the 2010 World Cup Final game like I first saw them as a little boy in 1978 World Cup Final. There is one thing that I am very sure about is that the Dutch has sent a massive mourning to many Haitian Fans who will die for Brazil. Bravo to the Netherlands despite I predicted Brazil to win the game.
The game of football is cruel at times. And today, the game was cruel to the Ghanaian Internationals and also to the African Continent. It was an excellent quarter final game between Ghana and Uruguay. Both teams played well, and both teams created several occasions. But as I stated in my previous article, Gyan for Ghana and Forlan of Uruguay would have been the stars to step up for their respective national team. And both of them did step up their game. It was a game that either team could have won. Ghana scored at the end of the first half by Muntari and Ghana took a 1-0 lead.
I n the second half, The Uruguayan Internationals knew they have to go for the tying goal. Well, it was Diego Forlan, the conductor of the Uruguayan football orchestra who tied the game on a perfect free kick In the 55th minute. The game became more intense and the fans of both countries were basically suffering because either team could have won the game. After 90 minutes of playing time, the game ended 1-1 and we were heading to overtime. In the second overtime, Ghana kept putting the pressure on Uruguay because they did not want to go to penalty kicks and the Ghanaian Internationals received a golden chance, a penalty kick, in the 120th minute after Suarez touched the ball on the goal line; the referee gave the PK and expelled Suarez from the game. The whole world thought that an African nation had finally reached a World Cup semifinal stage, unfortunately Asamoha Gyan missed the penalty kick by hitting the crossbar, and stunned a country and a whole continent. Ghana lost 4-2 on PKs and Uruguay are in the semi-finals after 40 years. Congratulations to Uruguay!
The game of football is at times cruel, but the same game would always give one’s another opportunity. The people of Ghana are experiencing some painful moments right now. However, they should feel proud of their national team. Gyan has played an excellent world cup and he should feel proud of what he had done. It won’t be easy for him but there are many great players who have missed Penalty kicks in a World Cup, among them we can name: Michel Platini of France against Brazil in 1986; Dr. Socrates of Brazil against France in 1986; Diego Armando Maradona against Yugoslavia in 1990 and Roberto Baggio in 1994 against Brazil. It was a cruel defeat for Ghana and Africa! Indeed, it was! But in football, there will always be another opportunity. On this note , I conclude with this statement from the Olympian Wilma Rudolph:
“Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.”
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