Wednesday, June 28, 2006

World Cup Predictions - 3

So, 5 teams from my original picks for the quarter-finals made it through. I must say Fayyad was right when he said experience matters. In Holland's case they were a young an inexperienced team to Portugal's Golden Generation, and it showed. The Portuguese were successful in ragging the Dutch and making them lose their composure.

France! France! From my childhood I remember Arabic football commentary where they would go "GOOOOOOOAAAAAL" and repeat it ten times - when the player went near the net (forget scoring the goal) - followed by 'Halwa! Halwa! Halwa!'. Except when France played, they would scream Zidane instead of 'GOAL'. Well yesterday, the French showed the value of experience and history. Spain has never defeated France at a competitive match and it showed. This is why when you have a close cricket ODI game between Australia and England, bet on Australia. When you have penalty kicks between Germany and England, bet on Germany. When you have a close cricket game between South Africa and Australia, DON'T bet on South Africa. History, experience matters. They will show a trend and the same team winning.

So, without any further ado, here are my quarter final predictions.

Germany vs. Argentina
Both have scored lots of goals, but Germany scored them against various teams while Argentina mostly against one. Germany has no wonder goals while Argentina a half a dozen. German defence is organized but weak while Argentina attack is strong. Germany is playing at home and looks better with each outing. Argentina looks jaded. The Mexican game was destined for penalty kicks until the miracle strike. At the end, German's home support and Klose will get them through.
Winner: Germany.

Italy vs. Ukraine
Italy has looked in form. Italy outplayed Australia being a man down. The so-called 'stubborn' Ukraine defence leaked 4 goals against Spain. Italy to take this low scoring snoozefest of a game. Ideally I would like to see both teams lose.
Winner: Italy.

England vs. Portugal
England has continued to play in an ugly but effective manner. Portugal will be muted slightly with the loss of Deco but they will take the challenge to England. However Beckham looks inspired and could be the difference.
Winner: England. *touch wood*

Brazil vs. France
I am going to go out on a limb here and predict a French victory. If they play anywhere close to how they played yesterday against Spain, Brazil is toast. They looked highly unimpressive against Ghana. One goal could have been offside, and had Ghana shown some ruthless finishing, we could have had a game.

And please, that 25-pass move that all Brazil fans are claiming outshone Argentina's 24-pass goal against Serbia? Pmffh! Argentina weaved their way through the Serbian defence in their opponent's half and scored while the game was still in balance. Brazil scored while the game was dead, they passed in their own half before using a lucky long ball.
Winner: France.

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6 comments:

Fayad said...

Gr8 predictions last time around.
Experience and history truly do matter. Atleast in the players' heads in these crucial matches. This time around I agree w Mezba in 3 out of 4 predictions. Speaking of history and experience, I think Brazil will beat France. France has redeemed themselves frm a poor 2002 outing. Bt this shall b the end of the road for them. Speaking of England, I think all England fans know tht Portugal can b a handful. Bt we r all hoping for a famous England win. I think Rooney and Stevie G will hold the key to Englands win. And Lampard has to seriously practice long range shots on GOAL and not above the post.

NAB said...

GGGOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!! yallah yallah! yaaaa GOOOAAALLLLL!!!

"Halwa, halwa, halwa" -- ???

The Bengali Fob said...

LOL nowal! The halwa, halwa, halwa question mark part cracked me up!

Love your predicitons Mezba, but I can't believe you dissed Brazil! I'm going to go crazy now becaus eno, NO ONE, disses Brazil.

Except Argentina fans. (Grrr...)

Yes, I know I'm supporting ARgentina in the Germany game, but that's explained in my post. I have a soft spot for poor countries.

mezba said...

Fayyad you are probably right :-P but I want France to win.

Nowal it was wither Halwa or Helwa which in Arabic means 'Go! Go!' or 'Good! Good!'.

BFob: hehe about Brazil. One of my friends supports the browner countries and support for country increases as 'gora'ness descreases.

Aisha said...

Its a sad day for me.

You and I were on the same age with England. I wanted them to win. :( Alas.

Worse, Brasil lost. I konw you predicted they would but they had such a good winning streak I couldnt imagine they would NOW lose. Plus the fact that they were humiliated last time they played with a 3-0 loss I thougt the adrenaline to vindicate their honor would catapault them.

I was wrong. I couldn't believe how France dominated the ball and kept posession. Go figure. It sucked.

:(

mezba said...

Aisha,

sorry for the loss. I did feel however Brazil, a team of superstars, never really clicked as a team (just like England). They didnt look good against the weaker teams and failed on the first real test.

On the flip side, the teams that played the best football on the World cup are in the semis.