And then we had the Netherlands versus Argentina.
It wasn’t exactly a classic, was it? I guess it was made to look even worse by what went on yesterday. Maybe the teams made it worse themselves having seen what happened. I dunno.
Technically, it wasn’t a bad game of football. It’s just that the stars were the defensive players or rather the coaching staff who got their systems right to the point where each team cancelled the other out. The excitement was strangled out of the game. That’s always likely to happen in a knock-out game, particularly a game just one step from the most important prize in world sport.
My sporting focus shifted a bit today to the 5th stage of the Tour De France. We lost the defending champ, Chris Froome, after he crashed twice in the wet before even getting on to the madness that was the cobbled sections of the stage. Froome crashed yesterday too and you could just see how broken his body was.
Guys were crashing all over the place. On the straights, at the round-a-bouts, on the cobbles. It was an epic, race defining stage at a point in the race where such things almost never happen.
It just illustrates how fine the lines are in top level sport. A slip here or there and you’re out. That’s what the two teams in today’s World Cup semi-final were ultra-cautiously guarding against so I can understand it even if I didn’t particularly like it.
I’m pretty much out of words already, to be honest. Just under 300 words is enough to describe a game of football with limited attacking intent.
We’re left with the prospect of a decent final, though. The best player in the world against the best team. That’ll do nicely.