Daily Cup Check: Day 13
It would be great to talk about the games and only their results today, wouldn’t it? But I guess we can’t do that. Let’s dive in, and we’ll have a good shower afterwards.
England 0 – Costa Rica 0
Well, that was as forgettable as can be? Did anything happen? Why were so many of the English wearing long sleeves? Costa Rica really didn’t have much on the line, as only a resounding win from either Uruguay or Italy would have seen them not win the group combined with a loss that England was never going to hand them.
And once it became clear that neither Italy or Uruguay would score more than one goal this week, they just rode it out. Total snooze. England go home so that they can flatter to deceive in qualifying for France 2016.
As for Costa Rica, they’ll get a sweetheart matchup in the next round against Greece, which I’m sure like three people on Earth had predicted. Be interesting to see what they do against a team that has no intention of attacking them, as they picked both Italy and Uruguay off short at the back.
Uruguay 1 – Italy 0
Let’s get this out of the way the best we can. As a Liverpool supporter, I’ve basically had to bend over backwards to justify to myself and others being able to enjoy Luis Suarez. Luckily for us this year, he was just about the best out-and-out striker in the world this past season, which made it easier. But after today, the justifications seem beyond me.
There are a large list of transgressions you can excuse as a fan. If he had a habit of bad and mis-timed tackles, you’d say he just wants to win so badly he loses his discipline sometimes. If he checks out of matches after five minutes, like his counterpart Mario Balotelli today (and regularly), you’d accept an enigmatic-ness as just part of his personality. If he yelled at refs far too much, you’d just say he’s doing what everyone else is doing.
I gave him a half-pass on the whole Patrice Evra affair. He deserved to be suspended of course, but it always felt like the FA gleefully piling on a player it would be popular to pile on. We even excused his desire to go to Arsenal even though he claimed he wanted to leave England. The 31 goals certainly helped. We thought he’d changed. We thought he was past this. We thought.
He deserves to go for a long time. He deserves his ban from FIFA also applying to domestic competitions, which it can. He deserves whatever. Because biting an opponent has nothing to do with football.
It’s not an element of the game that boils over, like a bad tackle or an elbow while going for a header or even his handball on the line against Ghana, which every single one of us would have done. Gyan didn’t have to miss the penalty. This is just… well, it’s being an utter fuckwit. There’s no other way to describe it.
As for the match, it was another utter bore. All we heard before the tournament was how this was the new Italy and they would attack now. Still waiting.
Only in flashes, against an England squad that couldn’t figure out to close down either Pirlo or the entire left side, did Italy look spicy. But the last two matches, after Balotelli decided he couldn’t give an airborne fornication and gave up, they looked absolutely toothless. So they tried to catenaccio it out of the group, and it didn’t work. They’ll hardly be missed.
Colombia 4 – Japan 1
Remember when I said that James Rodriguez was auditioning to be the Mesut Ozil, breakout star of this tournament? We can probably give him that award now.
He completely transformed this game when he came on at halftime, setting up one goal and scoring another. And everyone should be terrified of Colombia, because they have a striker scoring again, which they didn’t before, in Jackson Martinez. Because that’s all they needed. I’m sure Uruguay is thrilled to be seeing them next.
Greece 2 – Ivory Coast 1
Greece are the guy who keeps showing up to the parties you’re at that no one likes but no one will tell to go away. And they’re always there until closing time. And they just never get the hint.
You hint, you prod, you suggest but they just never leave. Only this outfit could manage to advance while scoring one goal from open play in three games.
And they should have never been allowed to. Once Ivory Coast got their equalizer, they simply allowed the Greeks to march right up into their penalty area. It was asking for trouble, and they got it.
Yaya Toure blew their one chance at a second to seal it, and that was all they created after tying the game. They could have so easily seen this out, and they didn’t.
So we’re left picking up Greece’s tab again as they had off to the 4am with a group of girls that doesn’t want them around. Ouzo for two-zo indeed.
Mandatory Colombian goal celebration gif
OTF Player Of The Day
James Rodriguez: Godin from Uruguay would be another candidate, as he once again came up with a monumental goal as well as being the Angel of Death at the back, but we’ll give it to the guy who’s just lighting up this tournament.