Thanks to a scrambling, surprising goal from Gelson Fernandes, the Switzerland World Cup team shocked, well, the world by beating highly-favored Spain. The Swiss team was powered by a definitive defensive performance; one that allowed the talented Spaniards a huge advantage in terms of possession (63-37 percent) but limited their quality shots on goal. While Spain certainly threatened — they out-shot the Swiss 24-8 — Switzerland took better advantage of their (lone?) scoring chance, which came courtesy of a nifty counter-attack.
The loss was only Spain’s second in their last 50 games, emphasizing just how much of a shock Switzerland provided.
Another good gauge would be the respective FIFA rankings of each team. For what that’s worth, Spain is rated second only to Brazil, while Switzerland is ranked 24th. Yet another indicator is fan reaction. The next image speaks more volumes than mere words can:
So while this may not be on par with “The Miracle on Ice,” it’s still significant; if, for nothing else, the amount of pressure the loss places on Spain, one of the favorites to win the World Cup outright. While advancement is not out of the question, they will have to win their remaining games to ensure their position in the knock-out rounds.
So far, anyway — and that’s no offense to Siphiwe Tshabalala and his brilliant strike that broke the seal on the World Cup scoring sheet, either. Brazil wound up beating North Korea, 2-1, and it was Maicon’s brilliant knuckle/curve thingy that started the festivities off.
Such a brilliant goal is worth breaking out the vuvuzelas for. Hell, it’s even worth downloading the iPhone vuvuzela app, just so you can join in the fun.
Now, why on earth would FIFA officials remove such a lovely group? Because they weren’t really fans. According to the Daily Mail, the ladies in orange, 36 of them in total, were part of a viral marketing attempt by Bavaria, a Dutch beer brewer. This isn’t the first time the Bavaria makers have tried coupling sex, beer and underground marketing techniques; although, perhaps this is the first time their models were summarily rejected.
However, the “failed” viral marketing attempt — I quotes around the word “failed” because, essentially, it worked. We’re talking about it. — doesn’t end with a beer company only getting one half of the exposure they were seeking. There’s also blame to lay, and that, folks, was placed ever so gently at the feet of Robbie Earle, an soccer analyst for ITV. Earle apparently donated his tickets to the Bavaria makers cause and was shown the door for his efforts.
Hopefully, Earle received more from the Bavaria brewers besides their appreciation.
Because the WAG sensation, not to mention attractive fans, goes hand-in-hand with the World Cup, it’s no surprise to see English ad agencies capitalize on the two great tastes that taste great together. Lynx, the European derivative of Axe, has an ad that blends an attractive lady, well, one with a nice body, at least; with the style of the infamous Wayne Rooney/Nike poster from the 2006 World Cup.
While one contains promises of glory for England and her football fans, the other contains the promise of, well, sex. I’d say their both pretty effective in their own right. According to the Copyranter blog (H/t for the image), there are several different versions of the English Lynx ad for other countries. If the ad guys are smart, and if they do an Australian version, they’d use this particular Aussie fan.
World Cup soccer and sex. Is there anything better?
Besides a much-needed non-loss, and all the hand-wringing from the British press, this upcoming gem might be the best thing to come from Clint Dempsey’s goal/Robert Green’s gaffe. Even more awesome? It comes from an England fan, and all things considered, it’s pretty damn accurate:
The incessant buzzing you’ve been hearing? The unending sound resembling the beginning of Norma Jean’s “And There Will Be A Swarm Of Hornets” going on throughout your World Cup viewing pleasure? It’s not going away; at least, not this year. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has defended the, in some cases, hated rubber trumpet-like instruments, via Twitter, of course.
“…I don’t see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country. Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country?”
So if you’re a vuvuzela hater, get used to it. Maybe you can adopt the “FFUUUUUUUU” guy’s mentality:
Webster’s defines luck as: “A: a force that brings good fortune or adversity…” And “B: the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual…” Considering the second definition, perhaps a case could be made, but the idea of Clint Dempsey’s game-tying (winning?) goal was simply a lucky occurrence doesn’t jibe.
Some of us (me) will, instead, call it bad goalie play.
Was Dempsey “lucky” Green misplayed the ball so horribly? Sure, it was good fortune for the US team, but lucky? Dempsey put the shot on goal with a low, knuckling shot that had a little bit of pace — courtesy of some awesome ball-handling to even get in a position to take a shot at goal. Was Dempsey’s shot a cracker like Lukas Podolski’s against Australia? Not quite, but every goal doesn’t have to be the result of a spectacular blast, either.