Brazil’s fierce rivals, Argentina, are through to their first Fifa World Cup Final since 1990. In this morning’s ‘snooze-inducing’ football match with few chances created, both Argentina and the Netherlands appeared to be very happy to take it all the way to penalties.
And indeed, the game certainly did go all the way to the shoot-out, with not a single shot hitting the net throughout all 120 minutes of football – 90 minutes of regulation time plus 30 minutes of extra-time.
The football match ended with a 0-0 score-line, with La Albiceleste going through 4-2 on penalties.
A sharp contrast to yesterday’s goal fest
It had been such a sharp contrast to yesterday’s thrilling match between the Brazilians and Germans, where the Europeans had gone on a goal rampage and brutally stuffed seven goals into the back of the hapless host nation’s net.
Said 64-year-old retiree, Bjorn Olesen, on why the game had been such a ‘snooze-inducer’, “Compared to yesterday, this was definitely a very tactical game, so it was not nearly as exciting. I think both teams were playing very carefully and tactically. Argentina is playing more skilfully, though.”
Tactical mastermind Louis Van Gaal blew it
But in the deciding shoot-out, Dutch mastermind Louis Van Gaal got his tactics wrong this time round, and could only watch helplessly as the Oranje completely blew it – thus granting La Albiceleste a comfortable spot in the World Cup’s showpiece game at the Maracana.
Olesen, from Denmark but now living in Singapore, had been hoping for the Dutch to triumph. So he was understandably a bit upset at the Oranje’s elimination in the penalty lottery.
Argentina’s win was justified
But many other football fans though, felt that the result of the game was justified and that La Albiceleste definitely deserved to progress.
Said 16-year-old Teo Nian Kai, a Secondary Four student from Dunman High, “The Argentina players did a good job in both attacking and defending. Their dribbling and passing was very good.
“As well, the Argentina team’s defence was so good that whenever the Netherlands tried to attack, they could not get through.”
Added 21-year-old Timotty Tay, an Arts and Social Sciences student from the National University of Singapore (NUS), “Argentina had the upper hand, but they lacked the penetration in the final third. The Netherlands was hoping to attack on the counter.”
But the Dutch did not succeed in their counter-attacks.
Argentina has no chance against Germany
So now that the Argentina team is through, do these fans think that La Albiceleste stand a chance against the mighty Germans at the Maracana, then?
It will be an easy German victory, according to 16-year-old Alexandre Binet, a French student currently on vacation in Singapore. He said, “Germany will win, of course. Germany plays as a team, but Argentina relies too much on Messi. It won’t be enough against the Germans.”
Agreed Teo, “Germany has a very strong team. So I think they will win the World Cup and become the first European team to win on South American soil. I think it is a 60-40 per cent chance of a German victory.”
Added Olesen, “Germany is definitely more skilful than Argentina, who wasted a lot of good chances during this morning’s game. I think it will be much harder for them to play against the Germans, than the Dutch.”
Messi can produce that moment of magic
However, some other fans are still backing the underdogs and think that Messi can produce that moment of magic that will give La Albiceleste the trophy.
Said 30-year-old Ho Thi Thon Suong, a housekeeper from Vietnam, “The Germans are very strong and they thrashed Brazil, but as an Argentina fan, I think the team has a chance in the final.
“I am hoping Messi can produce that moment of magic as I think it’s quite boring to support the heavyweights and always seeing them win.”