“Welcome to the jungle, We’ve got fun ‘n’ games”
-Guns N’ Roses, “Welcome To The Jungle”
Opening weekend at the World Cup kicked off (I just couldn’t avoid the pun) with a wonderful display of skill. There was the ultimate embarrassment and discouraging disappointment from losing sides and joyous and raucous crowds celebrating the winning nations. The weekend provided the most combined goals scored to start the tournament in history, and also the furthest point with no pesky ties.
Tournaments are not played to hand out a bunch of participation certificates and honorable mention medals; the teams have come to win.
June 13th, 2014
Mexico 1 Cameroon 0: The Colombian referees were certainly doing their best to keep the African side in the game by calling back two obvious goals scored by the Mexicans. Maybe there were some envious cartel issues between the countries and Cameroon was stuck in the middle. However, the Les Lions Indomptables probably ignored the feud and were happy they had the chance to play in the rain for probably the first time in their lives.
Netherlands 5 Spain 1: Well, that certainly didn’t look like the best team in the world playing out there, but then again, maybe it did. Holland avenged their World Cup final defeat four years ago with a statement claiming there’s more to the European nation than weed and wooden clogs. Spain is old and not as beautiful as they were in South Africa. They are kind of like a cougar though; you still have to give them a shot.
Chile 3 Australia 1: The fighting kangaroos did as much as they could, but the land of tasty fruit and wine prevailed. The Australians pushed the little guys around as if they walked into a pub nestled on the deserted grounds of the outback, but the Chileans eventually wore the tough guys down by running in circles. However, if we learned anything from this game; it’s that latin people are still as short as we thought they were.
June 14th, 2014
Colombia 3 Greece 0: This was supposed to be a much better game, but then the Greeks started complaining towards each other and the ref and the rest of Europe because they need money again. Without their star player, the Colombians managed to stage a great performance and a convincing win. The crowd was loud and came in numbers, and the players shared the adrenaline. Why was there so much energy? Sniff sniff.
Costa Rica 3 Uruguay 1: Perhaps the most eye-opening upset of the tournament so far, the Costa Ricans obviously played with more passion and skill than the heavy favorites. Uruguay is in bad shape, Suarez didn’t play because he was off chewing on someone’s ear or something, and their best scoring opportunities came from flailing arms and dramatic screams that the referees only fell for twice which is pretty good for being in South America.
Italy 2 England 1: The Queen is once again yelling at the television out of frustration. The British have a knack for disappointment lately, and in a game where Buffon was not playing in goal and England clearly dominated the 2nd half, they still managed to lose. Even though Rooney took one of the most awful corner kicks in history, his plugs are getting better. Balotelli headed in the game winner without messing up his Mohawk. It was definitely a good game for hair.
Ivory Coast 2 Japan 1: Quite possibly the least important game of the first round due to the fact that not many people could pronounce any of the players’ names on either side, Cote d’Ivoire scored two quick goals in succession midway through the 2nd half. The team in orange dominated the game, as they should of, karate is hard to execute successfully on an elephant.
June 15th, 2014
Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1: It’s hard to imagine what a buzzer-beater is like in soccer considering its weird time system, but this was as good as it gets. The Ecuadorians almost took a page out of Costa Rica’s book, but the Swiss made a stop in the box, countered, and buried the game winner in stoppage time. However, for most of the game they kept it pretty neutral. Surprise surprise.
France 3 Honduras 0: It’s safe to say that the Honduras red card during the first half changed the dynamic of that game, oh, and also the fact that France is way better at soccer. The most exciting part of the game was the first use of the new goal line technology, but somehow they still messed up the official stats of the game denying Benzema a hat trick saying Honduras scored an own goal. They might as well let them have it because it may be the only one they score in the tournament playing the way they did.
Argentina 2 Bosnia-Hertzegovina 1: What’s with the name? Can’t they just decide on Bosnia or Hertzegovina? It’s like the hyphen a girl puts in her name after marrying someone. Maybe it was for business purposes? Anyway, Messi scored a goal and everyone’s going to be talking about that for a few days instead of the fact that the Argentines played near Bosnia’s level, or Hertezgovina’s level, or whatever. It wasn’t good.
Germany vs. Portugal: 12:00am EST
Iran vs. Nigeria: 3:00pm EST
Ghana vs. United States 6:00pm EST