World Cup Unfiltered Week 1 - Tucson News Now

World Cup Unfiltered Week 1

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World Cup Unfiltered

By Editor Zack

 

First things first we need to talk about Spain. World Cup champions, European champions, synonymous with beautiful football in the last 8 years. They were absolutely demolished by the Dutch 5-1 in a game that never really looked close after the amazing flying header by Robin Van Persie. We have to first look at goalkeeper Iker Casillas. He had limited reps this year with Real Madrid, losing his first team spot and only really playing in cup matches. He looked very bad and was at fault for several goals, included an embarrassing gaffe when he mishandled a pass. Will he continue to start? Backup David De Gae is injured, which means Pepe Reina could take over the net for the Spaniards. The defense also seemed to be really missing their longtime leader, recently retired Carles Puyol. The man is a legend and helped Spain in the last World Cup so much with his intensity, poise, and very timely goals. Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique might be lacking that cohesion that Puyol provided, along with his stamina (the man played almost every minute in 2010) and leadership. Diego Costa is another player who looked very rattled in his Cup debut. Playing for the Spaniards in his home country must be noted, as he made the switch this year. He was booed with every touch of the ball and played timid and scared. He seemed to make several mental errors as well. Spain may go without him as the Brazilian hate really seemed to effect the so called "traitor". Spain has a tough road ahead of them, as they still must play the very tough Chile team, and the high flying Aussies.

 The most shocking game of the weekend however, had to be Costa Rica beating Uruguay 3-1. They pretty much steamrolled them after the first Uruguayan goal. Costa Rica is another team that doesn't get a lot of respect and they seemed to play up to that and relished their underdog role. Their speed and quickness, especially Joel Campbell, really hurt a very highly rated Uruguay team missing their star player, Luis Suarez, from their lineup. Will Suarez make a return sooner than his coaches prefer? He may have to if Uruguay is going to make it out of their group. Edison Cavani must have more of an impact as well.

Lastly, the 2014 edition of this World Cup has really gone off with a huge bang. High scoring affairs, like Germany pounding Portugal 4-0,lots of excitement, like the US winning against Ghana on an 86th minute header from youngster John Brooks, and come from behind victories, like the Ivory Coast coming back from one goal down to beat Japan 2-1, are the standard after a lackadaisical 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Through 11 matches in 2010 there were only 18 goals, this year through 11 there have been a whopping 37. The first goalless draw was Monday, featuring a very defensive Iranian team playing a low scoring Nigerian team. That game seems to be the outlier so far, as several games have had 3 goals or more.

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