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Holland 2, Brazil 1.
In my last post, I noted that soccer is impossible to predict because so much depends on who scores the first goal, luck and poise.
Brazil got the first goal, Holland had a bit of luck (the botched own goal by Felipe Melo to tie the score), but most of all Brazil lost its poise. Felipe Melo got tossed — he “shouldn’t spend his vacation in Brazil,” Ronaldo said on Twitter — and the team generally fell apart. On Holland’s second goal, several Brazilian defenders stood flat-footed and watched Wesley Sneijder score an easy header.
The New York Times said it was “a matchup that was good enough to be the World Cup final.” Really? It didn’t have the look of a classic to me. Brazil never generated any offense in the second half, Kaka was invisible, and Holland never seemed threatened. It looked like a repeat of Brazil’s poor performance against France when it was eliminated in 2006.
All that said, Brazil is my team and I’ll be rooting for it in 2014. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be making excuses now. The better team won, it was as simple as that.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Chance that an American would give up at least one week of life to avoid taking a pill every day:
Iowa urologists reported that only a minor portion of locker-room teasing arises from “the presence of excess foreskin”; most teasing targets small penises.
A pair of Russian film directors asked President Vladimir Putin to invest $18 million in a new restaurant chain intended to drive McDonald’s out of the Russian market. “Every project these days,” a Russian television personality said of the proposal, “must be smothered in patriotic sauce.”
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”