A Defining 90 Minutes Awaits

Argentina v. Netherlands

This will be a fascinating battle (with some interesting World Cup history) that will feature offensive creativity near its height once one team dares to expand its wings and go for it to earn that treasured spot in the World Cup Final against the mighty and goal-exhausted Germans. While defense wins championships, today’s match is not the championship and, therefore, offense will take center stage in what will likely be a showcase of world-class talent courtesy of the likes of Messi, Higuaín, Robben and Sneijder (to name just a few of the headliners). There will be gaps and lanes opened and created throughout, unless both coaches implement über cautious tactics. However, this reality seems unlikely given the personnel and strengths of each squad. A 7-1 final score also seems improbable, but after yesterday and all of what’s transpired in Brazil the past few weeks, who knows anymore?

It’s been beautifully crazy.

For Argentina (and Messi in particular), this is a legacy match that will go a long way towards defining the footballing strength of this South American nation that has played “little brother” to Brazil for longer than they’d wish to concede. Can Messi orchestrate a Barcelona-like performance when they were in their championship-rich years? Understanding the relative inexperience of the mostly youthful Dutch defense, Messi may shine brightest today. Will it lead to a win? That is the question in Buenos Aires today. On the other side, Argentina will have to brace for the Flying Dutchmen of Van Persie (or Huntelaar), Robben, Sneijder and Kuyt and Depay. Once the ball reaches the middle of the pitch, the Dutch love to open it up and run. It’s hard to imagine this game won’t have a few goals. But this is also a legacy math for the Oranje after a disappointing loss in the 2010 World Cup final versus Spain (both the score as well as stylistically). Van Persie, Robben, Sneijder and Huntelaar are all 30 years old, all in their prime and all cognizant of the fact they are two games away from lifting the very first World Cup trophy for their nation. Could this be destiny played out as the ultimate comeback story for the men in orange?

As my club soccer coach used to say, whichever team “let’s the ball do the work” will likely come out on top.

The night sky will either be painted light blue or orange tonight…

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Posted on July 9, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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