[Washington Babylon ]World Cup: Holland deserved it | Harper's Magazine

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[Washington Babylon]

World Cup: Holland deserved it


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.

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