From the start I’ve been predicting a final with Germany and the Netherlands, and I’ve got to say I was terribly disappointed by the Dutch performance in the semifinals game against Argentina.
Vlaar was so good in defending Messi, but in the attack Robben was ineffective and Robin van Persie was asleep offsides.
Both defenses played a strong game, resulting in no goals scored in 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time.
I was not surprised that Germany beat Brazil. I’ve felt all through the tournament that Brazil wasn’t playing that well. I never saw a 7-1 defeat, though. I thought maybe 3-0. Even with Neymar and Thiago Silva, I don’t think Brazil would have performed much better against the Germans.
So that gives us Germany and Argentina in the final and Brazil and the Netherlands playing for third place.
Brazil v. Netherlands
I’ve thought since the group stage that Brazil was not performing well in this World Cup. They’ve been lucky in some instances. Neymar carried them in others. For all the talent and passion Brazil had coming into each game, the passion seemed to carry them through while the talent let them down.
Oscar seems reluctant to take the lead on the field. Neymar is an individual threat, but without him a defense playing against Brazil is able to relax a little.
The Netherlands are the most successful country to never win a World Cup. Playing for third place means something to them. Meanwhile, for the Brazilians who have allowed emotion to overcome them, I think if they give up the first goal they will lose, possibly significantly. The Dutch may well win this thing 4-0 and send Brazil back to the drawing board.
Germany v. Argentina
I’ve been as disappointed in Argentina as I have Brazil. I have seen them possibly going out at any point in the knockout stages. But Argentina has proved me wrong each time. In every match, they’ve not been good but they’ve been good enough. Probably the best game they played was against the Netherlands.
Germany, meanwhile, have only a couple of times really played like you would expect them to, but after playing like you would expect them to against Brazil and winning 7-1, I have to think they will come into the final firing on all cylinders.
Expect a strong German team. Expect the same kind of Germany that played against Brazil.
I see Germany winning 2-0, maybe more. Because Messi is on the field, you might have to expect him to score or create a goal, so maybe it’s 3-1 to Germany. Anyway, I don’t believe Argentina will win this game.
2014 World Cup goes to Germany.