Silent Sunday morning
I can’t remember the last time I came back to a hotel room or my house and didn’t turn the TV on, but I didn’t. Fell asleep about midnight and didn’t really get going until 10. Ready for another day.
Today’s FIFA World Cup fare is Netherlands vs. Mexico and Costa Rica vs. Greece. The Dutch played very well in the group stage in winning all three matches, and they are on the short list of favorites to win it all, and they may be the second favorite behind Germany after Brazil came so close to being knocked out yesterday vs. Chile. The other match features two nice stories, but the loser figures to be the sacrificial lamb for the Dutch in the quarterfinals. Most Americans are rooting hard for Mexico and Costa Rica, since they are part of the same futbol confederation (CONCACAF) as the USA.
Brazil needed penalty kicks to oust Chile yesterday. The match was tied 1-1 after 90 minutes, and neither side scored in the 30 minutes of extra time. In the shootout, each team gets five kicks; if it’s tied after those five kicks are alternated, then it goes to sudden death, with each team alternating. Every member of the team who is on the pitch when extra time ends–including the goalkeepers–must attempt a kick before someone else can go again. The host country won the shootout 3-2, but in the books, it goes down as a 1-1 draw.
The shootout was not adopted in the World Cup finals tournament until 1978, and not needed until 1982. Before 1978, if a match in a knockout stage was tied, the winner would be decided by drawing lots, as in random chance. If the championship match ended up tied after extra time, it would be replayed in its entirety. Fortunately, the championship matches which went to extra time before 1978 all ended in extra time. Two championships, 1994 IBrazil over Italy) and 2006 (Italy over France) were determined by “PKs”.
In the other match Saturday, Colombia knocked out Uruguay 2-0. Good. Uruguay deserved to go after the disgusting actions of Luis Suarez. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock the past week, Suarez bit Italy’s Giorgio Cheillini on the shoulder during the final group match Tuesday. Italy, which was down to 10 men due to a red card against Claudio Marchisio, lost 2-1 and was sent packing, while the South American side moved on, much to the delight of the crowd. FIFA reacted swifty and severely (not severely enough in my opinion) by banning Suarez from Uruguay’s next nine competitive international matches and from all matches for four months. Suarez plays for Liverpool in the English Premier League, the world’s most prestigious club league, so he’ll miss the first 12 matches for that side when the EPL season begins next month.
I believe Suarez should have been banned through the 2018 World Cup for that dastardly action. Biting not only is beyond gross, it is outright dangerous. It can communicate numerous diseases. I also am of the opinion Mike Tyson got off way too easy when he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997. He should have been out of boxing for life for that one.