World Cup Elimination – Day 2

As we raise a glass to toast some truly abysmal officiating and some amazingly tone deaf officials at FIFA – we stumble upon a very compelling day of futbol, even if it might not have been the most competitive.

Germany 4, England 1: Oh, the Lampard goal.  What a horrible call – it seemed like only the officials seemed to not notice what happened.  Given that England was rallying from 2-0 down and had just scored the goal to make it 2-1, clearly the goal would have made a big difference.  HOWEVER – England’s defense was truly, unusually horrible the entire game.  It was like they had never seen a counterattack before.  Perhaps they were not used to the unusually young and spunky German side – Germany is probably not stout enough defensively to count on organization and clean sheets … so they have used their youth and attacked more.  For coach Fabio Capella to so blatantly lean on the bad call is a bit misguided.  Literally every run Germany had looked dangerous – and the English seemed off kilter.  The call against Lampard was dreadful – but probably just delayed the euthanizing.  Germany deserved the win – England certainly did not.

Argentina 3, Mexico 1: Of the two notable rotten calls, this might have been the one that shattered a game more completely.  Don’t get me wrong – Argentina is a great side and probably had too much firepower for Mexico anyway.  However, the Mexicans came out with good spirit and had a good game plan to clog the middle up.  They looked confident until the goal – which was CLEARLY offsides.  I am usually very forgiving about the offsides rule – such a difficult call especially when “against the run of play” stuff takes place.  But this was CLEAR.  That a replay at the stadium showed the same did not help anybody – FIFA or Mexico, whose youth simply fell to pieces after the crestfalling.  A rotten giveaway in the back created Argentina’s second goal and then Tevez’ scored his 2nd goal of the game on a truly beautiful strike.  Argentina has a great chance to go a long way.

Replay on All Goals!!!! I understand the arguments in football and basketball against replay.  It does interrupt the flow of the game.  However, when the refs are wired for sound – when goals are so infrequent – how they cannot have automatic goal review in all cases is beyond me.  Replay need not be obtrusive – you are looking for a beyond a reasonable doubt evidence of the field ruling being wrong (whether it be on offisdes or a goal crossing the line – a foul is a judgment call) – and it is amazing FIFA puts up with this.  I hear the organization craves the controversy and the interest it creates – but that would imply FIFA wants its sport to be scriped.  I don’t know.

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