JLo’s beginner’s guide to World Cup: That was a long day, but totally worth it

Four games, eight hours of exciting, attacking football. There were goals abound, a serious upset, and not a draw to be seen. Even my predictions were a little more on the money this time, though I shorted Italy a goal even as I gave you the guy who would score it. Most of all, yesterday of was about the peerless Andrea Pirlo, the 36 year old midfielder who dominated play in the heat and humidity of Manuas, while players a decade his junior wilted and succumbed to the elements. Pirlo controls the game as much with his mind as he does with his considerable skill, and it can be a beautiful thing to watch indeed, even as his physical gifts erode with age. No single play demonstrated this awareness of field more than the brilliant “dummy,” where Pirlo reacted in a split second and allowed the ball to roll through his legs after a short corner to a waiting Claudio Marchisio, who hammered the ball home for Italy’s opening goal.

Here’s the better version quality version that I can’t embed.

All is not lost for England though, despite the loss. They attacked with a pace and inventiveness not see from an England side in many years, and if they play the same against remaining opponents Uruguay and Costa Rica they may very well still advance to the knockout stages. And huge shout outs to Columbia, Ivory Coast, and especially Costa Rica for impressive wins yesterday.

Man of the Match: Andre Pirlou and his exceptional beard

Three matches on tap for today, which, after yesterday’s football bacchanalia seems like a bit of a letdown somehow. The match I’m looking forward to most is Argentina (my pick to win the whole thing this year) and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Argentina bubbles over with attacking options, with players such as Sergio Aguerooooooooo (as a Manchester City supporter I’m contractually obligated to link to that), Gonzalo Higuain, and Angel Di Maria all supporting that Messi fellow. If there’s one thing I’m looking forward to possibly seeing in this World Cup, it’s an Argentina side attacking in full flow. Another part of me though wishes nothing but success for Bosnia, and I suspect they will be more than a few American’s second favorite team at this tournament after reading this.

I’ve said before, though, that I think this will be the World Cup where Lionel Messi loosens his considerable talents on an international stage at the same level as he routinely does for his club, Barcelona, so my prediction for this afternoon is a 3-1 win for Argentina.

Cheers and happy viewing.

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Posted on June 15, 2014, in The Sporting Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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