Yet another entry into the “best goal of the World Cup” competition, and while there’s no real consensus on the best of the bunch — Tevez’ goal, Siphiwe Tshabalala’s opening rocket of the tournament, the Suarez and Maicon goals; all are worthy of recognition — Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s should be right up at the top. Thing is, it wasn’t just an awesome shot from a good player either. There was some significance attached to it.
Van Bronckhorst will retire from professional football after Sunday’s final in Johannesburg, after playing a massive part in getting the Dutch side there.
The 35-year-old not only smashed in what was arguably the best goal of his career to give Holland the lead but also headed a shot off the line to deny Uruguay.
Not only did the goal broke the ice in the game, while providing the Dutch with the winning margin, it’s also a goal that has a great deal of emotional and professional significance as well. All things considered — the skill involved and what the goal meant on a personal level — it’s hard to argue it’s position when it comes to being one of the best goals of the 2010 World Cup.
And then there were eight. The first round of the knockout stage of the World Cup is completed, and thanks to David Villa’s second half goal — courtesy of some fantastic passing in close quarters — Portugal will not be participating in the 2010 World Cup any longer. So long, Cristiano. Sorry there were no nifty eye-winks for you to enjoy this time out.
For what it’s worth, Villa’s finish also deserves a wink, if, for nothing else, just how sublime the passes that freed him to score were. Villa’s sticktoitiveness should also get a great deal of credit, because his first shot attempt was deflected nicely by Eduardo, the Portuguese goalkeeper. The second attempt? Not so much:
Next up for Spain is Paraguay, who beat Japan after winning their penalty shoot-out. If Spain continues their advancement towards the final and beats Paraguay, the winner of the Argentina/Germany game awaits.
The idea of that game, alone, is enough for me to root for Spain over the Paraguayans. On the other hand, however, if the Larissa-Riquelme-will-run-naked rumor is true, perhaps I should change allegiances.
While his first goal remains mired in controversy, there’s no denying the second goal scored by Carlos Tevez was an absolutely amazing goal. In fact, it might just be the goal of the World Cup, with no offense to folks like Siphiwe Tshabalala or Lukas Poldolski.
Now that, friends, was an absolute blast. For as controversial as his first goal was, Tevez’ second goal was just as brilliant.
In other news, Argentina/Germany looks like must-see TV. While that side of the World Cup bracket has teams like Spain and Portugal remaining, it’s hard not to see the winner of Germany/Argentina making it to the World Cup final.
Not only did Landon Donovan put himself in a position to be the leader of the free world, his extra-time World Cup-saving goal also caused such Internet traffic spikes, he single-handedly knocked Yahoo Sports off the air, Internet-wise, anyway.
Reaction to his goal also “fail-whale’d” Twitter, but that’s par for the course with that thing. The reason for these malfunctions? Traffic.
In the minutes following Landon Donovan’s game winning goal in the 91st minute of action (which sent the US to the round of 16), traffic spiked to 11.2 million visitors per minute, which moves the event past the 2008 presidential election as the 2nd highest traffic spike of all-time… The plethora of World Cup breaking news briefly knocked Yahoo Sports offline…
Who says Americans don’t like soccer/football/futbol? Just ask Jack, Evan and Biz about how Twitter handled all the excitement.
By scoring perhaps the most dramatic goal in the history of US Soccer, Landon Donovan, with one touch of his right foot’s instep, secured the US’ World Cup advancement to the knock-out round of 16, vaulted his team to the top of Group C, all while preventing the setback of the US soccer movement by years, if not generations. Yes, Donovan’s game-winner was just that big. After 90-plus minutes of a nerve-racking 0-0 tie, the United States finally broke the seal. Once the goal was confirmed by the referee — not a sure thing by any means for the US so far — you could feel a sense of relief, mixed with exaltation.
Again, Donovan’s game-winner was just that big.
To quote the superior English soccer announcers, “brilliant.”
If the Presidential election was held today, Donovan would be a considerable opponent for any nominee, regardless of the political party they represented.
The rules for a hand ball are pretty simple. If the ball touches a player between his shoulder and his fingers, the ball has been handled. When such an infraction occurs, the referee has one option: Awarding a “Direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick) or penalty kick.”
In many cases, cards are also delivered to the guilty party, including a red card if the offense was deliberate enough.
One thing that shouldn’t happen: A goal being awarded after the ball has been handled by the scoring player. For historical sake, ask Diego Maradona, proud owner of the “Hand of God” goal, which was probably done as payback for the Falklands War. Now, thanks to Luis Fabiano’s second goal against Ivory Coast. While it was a great finish from Fabiano, because he first controlled the ball with his shoulder, the score shouldn’t count.
During Portugal’s absolute 7-0 drubbing of North Korea earlier today, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a goal that would make Homer Simpson happy… Or maybe make him say “D’oh” due the sheer silliness of the goal. Thanks to Will Brinson and FanHouse, we’ve got the video, and from the looks of it, Ronaldo could’ve simply walked the Jabulani into the goal while he was balancing it on his neck.
See for yourself:
To quote folks like Martin Tyler, that goal was awfully cheeky. But then again, when your opponent quits on the field, things like this happen. In fact, North Korea played so poorly, Grant Wahl wonders if the players could be punished by their despotic leader.
Considering the tragic story of Andrés Escobar, I doubt I’d be surprised if this is the last we see of this particular team, especially once their World Cup is over. Take that to mean whatever you think it does.
While we’re all bitching about Koman Coulibaly — rightfully so, mind you; horrible, horrible call — let’s not forget the large amount of bacon Michael Bradley saved with his awesome equalizing goal. If that goal doesn’t go in, no one in the world would be worrying about Couilbaly and in all likelihood, the US wouldn’t even be discussing advancement, either. A loss to Slovenia would have severely damaged, if not outright ruined, such a lofty concept.
But, Bradley’s finish did find the back of the net, and man, what a goal it was.
Although a win would’ve been nice, USA doesn’t even have that chance without Bradley’s huge equalizer.