Hello one and all to one of the Semi Finals of the World Cup! Tonight we find out which of the four teams currently left in the World Cup (Germany, Uruguay, Holland or Spain) will become the world champions within football. Can the resilient Germans go all the way? Will it be the unexpected surprise of Uruguay who keep up their fine run of form? Can the bright Dutch bring back a touch of total football to international football? Or can the Spanish Spanish who show why Spanish football may be helping the success of the Spanish team? It all sounds Spanish to me, but tonight's game will surely bring us a step closer to understanding who, as Tina Turner so evidently put it, is Simply The Best. Of course, none of these teams are because they didn't get a chance to
beat play Wales in the World Cup, so at least they will be second best.
Crossing the stream
Now, I really want to say look how proud we are as Formula 1 fans to have these young gentlemen here, Christian Klien, Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld, representing their countries support a few years back but goodness me, what a mismatch in choice this way. BMW must have definitely been enjoying a few drinks before the decision was made to kit these three drivers in something they look so unbelievably awkward in. Klien actually looks like a footballer, whilst poor Bobby has spent more time ironing his top than playing the game as his at-the-time teammate Nick Heidfeld has clearly just gotten up. But hey ho, it's all a bit of fun and they're all smiling! Go football F1!
Which reminds me, what is Formula 1 was a little bit more like football? Of course, we already had the quite catastrophic A1GP where teams were different nationalities all fighting against each other and we all know how that went down the drain. Then we also have Superleague Formula which is actually quite entertaining to watch, albeit if in some people's cases because of Franck Montagny. People do say F1's rules change all the time though so maybe one they'll change into football style rules - for example, if a race winner can't be decided, we go into a pit stop penalty shootout, with the cars having to beat a set time by their opponents onto a leaderboard. Or how about an offside rule where a car is flagged if it tried to pass a car whilst the other car is defending... sure, that would eliminate overtaking but... hmm, OK. Fair enough. Ghostbusters did warn not to cross the streams and now I know why.
Here is your menu for today, Sir
Now to get back on topic a bit. As I've said, today is where the semi finals begin to take place and tonight we just have the one single game to look out for, which is:
- Uruguay vs Netherlands - 1930 BST - Live on ITV
Now you have all the right to slap me if I jinx this but I'm thinking this will be a very good game. I've enjoyed the Uruguayans so far at this tournament and we all know what the Dutch can do. I can't help but feel both teams have quite a weak defence compared to the rest of the team and I can see this being the weak point for either team to capitalise on. Both have a good team though so it'd be interesting to see which team actually prevails as this is the first time Uruguay have been in the semi final in 40 years!
There's definitely at least one star man to watch out in either team too - Diego Forlan has had a fantastic World Cup and constantly shown why his time at Man Utd was a premature blip in his career as he's gone from strength to strength since. Uruguay will want their captain to go out and fight for the Golden Boot (top goalscorer of the tournament) and I can see him adding at least one more to his tally tonight. On the Dutch side of things, their star man for me is Wesley Sneijder, their creative and very talented midfielder who can bring the ball forward and find the exact right pass for what the Dutch forwards will need. If I had to predict a score, my heart says 2-0 to Uruguay but my brain says a win for Netherlands at 2-1.
Make sure you return to the comments at 1930 BST and enjoy the game with us all!
I want him to be the top scorer. gooo forlan.
Should be an alright match, Uruguay are without their poacher Luis Suarez so I fear that could affect them. Dutch to win 2-1.
yay football post!
I've been waiting for this just so I can bust out my fact of the day (thanks twitter)
if Spain or Germany win the cup, New Zealand is the only team to go undefeated through the tournament.
That'd be pretty cool so I want one of those two to win please.
Robben the diver will be in action again ...
I'd like the Dutch to win tonight, as Uruguay don't deserve to be there.
I am going to play Uruguay vs Netherlands on my world cup game right now to see who will win
Oooh, cool :)
I can't support team that includes players like Robben or van Persie ... and Uruguay - they made it to semis so they obviously deserve it :-)
How? They won no?
How comes? I'm confused, I tried to think what they've done wrong
If I can get my phone working I may live stream that game...
Better coverage than ITV.
Well as far as I am concerned, Ghana were denied a winning goal. Besides, I want Holland to win anyway.
You need to be rubbish at punditry between halves Lukeh!
Ahhh, the suarez thingy
Blame FIFA for not having a 'penalty try' not Uruguay
I do. Suarez did exactly the right thing because he was going home anyway. There are 100 good reasons why Uruguay blocked the goal and all of them could have been removed if FIFA awarded a 'penalty goal'.
Ghana were not denied anything. The ball did not cross the line, the player who handled it got sent off and penalty followed... Same would happen if goalkeeper pulled down a striker in a goalscoring chance...
I personally considered much more evil that playacting by Robben before the free kick that lead to Holland equalizer against Brazil... That was a disgrace ...
But it would've had there been no intentional handball.
My dad was clear about it - a handball in the penalty area is like goaltending in basketball. i.e. penalty goal.
Can I just say - Puma's Euro 2008 idea with BMW is... lame. Probably because they don't outfit any of those teams... :D
I agree. Suarez was sent off for handling the ball to stop it going in - which it clearly was, so why not just give Ghana a penalty goal? Works brilliant in Rugby!
Is that working?
Seems so. What game is it?
World cup 2010 :)
well, there is no such thing in the rules, so there is no way anything like that can be applied. the rules say red card and penalty and that was the price Uruguay and Suarez paid. It was a gamble and it paid off. The result however was still in the hands of Mr Gyan (sorry if I spelled him wrong), nobody asked him to miss that penalty ...
why not just give Ghana a penalty goal ? obviously because there is no such thing in the rules ...
That's fine. It may well be within the rules and so on, but it doesn't make it right at all. Ghana were denied a clear winning goal and the cheaters won the game.
Let's make it clear: I'm not blaming Uruguay for what they did. They exploited a rule loophole. It's just... Schumacher-esque, that's all.
You're in the US now? :D Is this AI v. AI?
I'm uruguay :)
If time permits, you should do Ghana vs. Netherlands too, just for kicks. ;)
Holland scored :(
NED AI scores first. :(
Sloppy defending, left a man unmarked at the back...
Did NED score again?
Yes, 2-0. Boo!!
Haf time - 2-0 to Holland... one sided is an understatement
I think by this stage 3.5 million Uruguayans will have turned off their TVs and went back to bed.
This is turning into a mauling!
The streaming has borked my phone, boo. Although you can see where this was going at 5-0 just 60 minutes in...
So yeah, I think Holland will win tonight after this experiment :)
What time does ITV's coverage start?
I'd imagine 7pm BST
I wonder if Marcel Desailly is French again now?
Hello guys! Great to see we have a high-scoring result even before the match has begun! ;)
I like uruguay's tops :)
5-0 and I only got to 60 minutes on the stream. Embarrassing times for Uruguay ;)
This Uruguay anthem is weird. They have a flowery instrumental and then they suddenly start singing. Except that there seems to be too many words for the music...
God I love hearing football players sing!
Hello, long time no see
Completely with you here. And I don't see why Ghana should get a 'penalty try' or anything. Their best striker bottled so they deserve to be out. (plus I have a sneaky feeling we are getting so upset only because it is and African team :P)
The fact is, Suarez's handball is no worse than Ryan Giggs in a certain Man U game last season, or the Nemanja Vidic one earlier. Just because it happens on the last minute shouldn't make it any more important than when it happened at any other time or to any other team.
In other words - Red Card + 1-2 match ban enough. Suarez's celebrations may be that of a dolt, but in a few years' time he may be the next likeable mad Maradona. In football, you never know.
Everyone expecting a good game?
Football (and Die Mannschaft) really took over my life sometime between the England demolition and the Argentinian embarrassment. Was busy with my football pals.
KICK OFF! :D
Sorry, but if you deliberately stop the ball from being a goal and then the other team doesn't get that goal it's just wrong. No wonder Suarez did it, there's little penalty to Uruguay.
AFAIK the only morally correct thing to do in that situation is to give Ghana a win, Else it's just cheating.
Hold on, BBC and ITV are both showing the final... whats the point in that?
*Churchill Dog* Oooooh Yes!!!
BBC are showing it as well?
Ryan Giggs did the exact same thing, he got sent off and only a 1 match ban. But the other team was wayyyy better and scored the penalty and proceeded to stamp on Man U.
In case you did not realise, I think it was Fulham 08/09.
That's like saying Schumacher deserved to win the 94 championship by ramming Hill
Great. Justice was done in that case. This time it wasn't - and the result had a lot more meaning.
That is completely different. 1) it endangered the other driver. 2) he rammed Hill and Hill couldn't get back into the race to finish it, while Ghana had every chance to firstly put away the penalty, or secondly put away 5 other penalties.
They just screwed up both chances.
To be fair, they'd missed that penalty in the 120th minute, I think their confidence was totally shot.
You are too cold. Sometimes just because that's what the rules say should happen does not mean it's the right thing.
It's still cheating to win and people doing it for the simple reason that the penalty for cheating is not proportionate to the potential gain. The risk has to be greater than the reward to stop cheating.
As was Italy's when they had both their goals denied against Slovakia for the right reasons.
No one is calling sympathy for them.
Exactly. Suarez was going home anyway, but now he's a hero because he saved Uruguay.
You mean the nice thing. But sports rarely is nice. Big teams dominate and the only fairy tale ending in recent football history is Spain winning Euro08.
Thats different though, in that case the officials got something wrong and none of the Slovaks cheated in the build up to it.
What about Spurs getting into the Champions League (play offs)? ;)
If the penalty for doing it was a goal and certain elimination he would have tried to head it. The penalty for handling it was a penalty kick with the pressure building on the kicker while he got sent off etc. And of course in the unlikely event his team make the final he is allowed to play. Utterly ridiculous
It usually is (in league games etc.). Only in the WC quarter final is it different. But I don't approve of having double standards for different tournaments.
Not everyone is a Spurs fan. :P Plus they are really becoming a big club anyway, and Liverpool was POOR.
I totally disagree with that. In the last minute of a league game with the scores even most players will still choose to handle the ball to save a point.
Who's talking about double standards? The rule would be wrong no matter what game it happened in. It's just worse because it happened in the world cup...
And if he missed the header? Then we would all be celebrating Ghana's victory and South America would be painting him as the villain who could have but didn't save his country. Is it worse to be put down by people you don't know for people you love and are playing your heart out for?
They have done for a long time now
Marilene, the problem here is the rule, not the player. He did the right thing in a weird way because the penalty didn't fit the crime...
I mean missing a league game can be worse depending on player and length of ban, as compared to a WC at times. I think the rule is good for leagues when accumulated cards mean more as compared to knockout stages.
So it is better to cheat so the right people hate you? To me football is a sport and the team that does the better job should win. Cheating should be stamped out just as it should in F1 and every other sport.
I don't think it is any different. The rule should be the same - if you knowingly and illegally stop a goal from being scored then a penalty goal should be given.
Great goal Gio
GOALLLLL! CAPTAIN AWESOME!
And so 5-0 begins
Oh my word what a hit from van Bronckhorst
I am sure he learned that when he played in Scotland
Why only one commentator?
Beglin was supposed to be their but he was sent to bed ill earlier today.
And they don't have anyone else? They covered two games at once last week.
Schuper Schtrike from the Dutch there!
You have to wonder how hard it would have been to find a qualified replacement at a world cup semi-final. There must be someone in the crowd who has played a bit.
While I wish Jim to get well soon, I must say the commentator is better by himself tonight...
So is a pull on a player on a counter-attack worth the same? Or less? How about if the ball is about to hit the post, but the player reckons it may be a goal?
Far too many ifs and buts. I prefer the current standing of 'any goalscoring opportunity being stopped rewards the other team with a penalty'. Then it just depends on whether the opponents truly want it or not.
As for the 120th minute thing, does it mean we should make goals easier to score the closer we come to penalties? Why not scrape extra time, or even go straight to Mr. C's 5 minute game? Pressure is on the players at every minute on the pitch. Gyan scored 2 and there is no reason why he couldn't do one more. It just seems the keeper did his homework and covered it.
You're taking my quote out of context. I am only referring to situations where a ball is clearly going in and is obstructed in an illegal manner. You cannot use those other examples to back your case up because they are not the same thing at all.
If the player handles it and it is going towards the post that is his fault for not judging it better. He is only handling to prevent a goal so deserves to be penalised.
All that said, I like Ghana more than Uruguay. But I think Gyan is a little too showy and a little like Suarez in his swagger and selfishness in front of goal. That he buckled finally made me happy, though I did want the rest of the team to show him up on the actual penalties.
I think that statement, as clear as it is on black and white, can hardly ever be judged on the battlefield high of the football pitch.
Which may lead to referees doing things wrong, players making more of a fuss, and we changing the rules to compensate much much more.
That was a pretty high foot
More blood. I am sick of football injuries.
In fact, I think dangerous kicks like that deserves a red card more than any cheating. :(
What are you talking about? Are you Sepp Blatter?
If you can look at that suarez handball and say you can't tell it was going in then you need to see an optometrist. What do you think he was being sent off for?
Dangerous tackle innit?
Despite the fact that he wasn't trying to flatten the player and had all eyes on the ball.
Suarez is a clear cut case. Harry Kewell's? Or some even say Philipp Lahm's (in the Ghana game). How will it be as clear cut there?
No doubt, yellow card minimum I'd think, nothing more.
Wasn;t a tackle, just going for the ball. odd to be overheading 20 yards out though
It's up to him to make sure no-one is around him if he is going to try that
It is far more dangerous than gamesmanship. And may cost the opponents much much more than just a game and a gold trophy.
Penalty shout! I may give it. V. Bronckhost gets away with fouls far too easily.
First look looked as if he'd fallen over easily, second look looked like GvB had put his hands up.
His hand was up but the guy went down like he had been shot
I somehow get the feeling that the guys rate 'fair play' and 'getting stuck in' more than just enjoying the experience and appreciating their lucky lives of being a pro footballer. Which isn't necessarily a good thing.
Mrs Goat just reckoned Holland are playing like a guy who wins big at the poker table - he just wants to make sure he doesn't lose all of his chips!
Most competitive sports people are so obsessed with winning that they rarely appreciate the priveleged lifestyle they have until they are not playing any more
Another stunner from Forlan
Forlan equalises and Holland just lost their chips
'Arry sign him up.
Well she knows as much about poker as she does about football... ;)
Is Christine not watching?
I think she is. ;)
Best goal I ever did see.
Forlan man strikes again :)
She's not wrong either!
I tuned in about two minutes ago and was mightily disappointed by the scoreline.
Clearly I am Forlan's lucky charm.
Stekeleneeneneburg probably unlucky about the curl on that ball.
You better watch the rest of the this match then. Or tune in regularly.
I said he would get one tonight, woohoo!
Funny how the teams who made it this far are having no trouble with the ball. You would think the best teams progressed in these tournaments
I swear that works every time
My Dutch mate turned up at Holland vs. Brazil just as Holland equalised the other day :D
THe first goal was better
Not with England though!
Their players just aren't Forlan-quality. :P
You missed seeing daddy Forlan at the 1974 world cup in the build up then. Very similar
There's a daddy Forlan?
Linesmen getting a few calls wrong tonight.
There kind of has to be. But apparently he played for Uruguay in the 74 world cup. I don't remember ever hearing of him before but the similarity between them is incredible
Half time: Uruguay 1 Netherlands 1
I mean, Semi finals and we have Uzbeki referees? Because they are used to such high class football over there?
In fairness to the ref, he's had a good world cup and I don't think nationality makes a difference. There is a lot of money in the Uzbek leagues isn't there?
Though says a lot about the standard of refs in this tournament when Howard Webb has been the best one.
It's not like there were not enough big countries knocked out early so they could plan to use French/Italian etc refs
I guess I would prefer a ref with more experience from a country with a larger league, myself...
van der Vaart on for Holland
Rafael van der Vaart coming on for someone.
De Zeeuf. (did I spell that right?)
De Zeeuw coming off, musta been that whack to the face..
Awww, smiley Forlan.
Despite their speed off the ball, the Dutch attack don't look particularly fast in their counter-attack. Kuyt slowing them down?
Nice defending from the referee
In the weirdo ITV comment board thing, someone says: if Germany go into the final , I want M schumacher to play as he allways wins on hie own
Not this year!
I always thought Ross Brawn helped a bit
And has a big red car...which, I'm not sure of the rules, I don't think can be on the football pitch
I can't believe Kuyt tried to go between two players like that
I think the German coach has better dress sense than Ross TBH...
the doughnuts would be amazing.
Oh come on, what does van Bommel have to do to get booked?
He caught the player on the sole of his boot. The Uruguayan was acting
He was late into the tackle, like he was in the first half too
I wouldn't defend the others but that one was nothing. He could have been hurt kicking a stud but no way could the Uruguayn
Van der Vaart and Robben with best chances of the half
No. He plays tomorrow night
Half way through the half
Holland 2 Uruguay 1
:D That is ker-low-zer.
Tough to call, foot offside, he went for it, offside for me.
Rats. I went away again. My bad.
If Uruguay make the final you need to get Mr C to lock you in the room
3-1 Game over
They better stay in it. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Forlan-man yet.
3-1. Now thats a legal goal
Can't Dutch This! :D
Don't worry, theres that pointless 3rd/4th place playoff on Saturday.
There is a 3rd/4th place match the night before the final. Either that or you are going to have to start watching Spanish league games
They need to fire that goalkeeper, he didn't even move.
They'll be playing in the third place play off on saturday...
Damn it Forlan, I expect more. Without him who will be the girly headband wearing striker we all remember?
I will always remember him.
Dutch now trying to out-Dutch the Germans? :D
Erm, don't manage my team then. Please.
I'm not managing anything. Football sucks.
oooohhh. Chip-penalty guy coming on for Uruguay.
Do you know how many times I have heard that lately?
If you manage the team you get to pick who plays for them so you can see Forlan every day
Not true. You should support the Germans. They always win. ;)
Can I have Forlan and Beckham?
Just I hear a few different people say it.
It's your team you can have whoever you want. You will need about 25 of your favourite players
Oooh. Um. I only have two.
23, I think. Or maybe just 14 for Christine (XI + 3 subs)
Well at least that makes the tactics easier. No 4-2-3-1s to think about. You just play 0-0-2
It seems like every single game has been decided on a big call by a ref in this world cup...
I don't think she is quite ready for a world cup team yet. Not with Beckham and Forlan in the same team
Heikki obviously doesn't care for the world's greatest game:
I thought EVERYONE hated penalties? Except for maybe the old German squad?
I think the colours are too bright on my TV. The Dutch team are a luminous orange...
I don't hate penalties.
But Beckham's WC free kicks!
He was supporting Argentina last week
they are the future. heikki is a smart chap.
Okay. Count me wrong then. I always thought football was 90 minutes on the full pitch, not 5 seconds on a white dot. ;)
He has never scored a world cup free kick with Forlan in the same team
Bye bye Forlan!
Nooooooo, come back!
That's the after party these days...
He will be back on Saturday night
I don't think he ever played with Forlan on the same team in a WC. A small matter of different countries?
In the most pointless match of the year
That's why Christine can't have a world cup team with them in it
Were they at Man Utd together?
True. He may not even play in it. Both teams could play players who have not had a game so far
speed sporting, baby yeaaah!
Must have been
But if Christine wants a team she can have anything she wants. It can be in Sidpodworld where everyone lives under the same flag. Except for those Ghana-killing baddies.
Remind me how you were able to watch Le Mans? :D
And you think introducing the penalty try rule is a big change ;)
i have no idea. i wonder how that could be shortened? just the run to the cars and see who starts it first?
It is in her world. It is not as if I am (or my dose of international football is) going to be affected by it. :P
The 24 meters of Le Mans?
We definitely need a wiki page of these speed-sports, by the way.
Seems kind of pointless spending all that money on cars. They could just run to something else.
Of course Franch would not have been able to run when he broke his leg so he would have been last. :(
24 meters... isn't that going to be less than 24 seconds?
Uruguay goal! What?
3-2...2 minutes left...oooooh
3-2. Is there time for a last second equaliser?
Another minute another goal PLEASE!
Will get onto it at FT
Good goal ... surely it's too late now,..
They think it's all over
Full time: Uruguay 2 Netherlands 3
HOORAY!!!! Van Bommel is booked.
Goodness me. Was that just a yellow card? Bummer.
I am not Paul. :P
Is the ref waiting till Uruguay score?
It is now!
Holland are IN THE FINAL.
I love referees like this. In 45 minutes they manage to find 3 minutes to add on then in those 3 minutes they finad another 2.
I fell aseep and it was 2-1. what.
You predicted 5 goals and you were right
Oh by the way, Paul the psychic octopus picked Spain to beat Germany. Hes been 100% spot on so far.
Looking at these defenses, I call Germany to win it all. :D
What did I say? Uzbeki referee...
Holland - Spain final. Interesting
What a surprise ;9
He is an octopus. And I suspect the Germany National team will be having calamari soon. #isfickle
What a surprise
Weren't you praising his psychic skills earlier? ;)
You guys are so English! ;) But really, I just liked their football. Like the way I called for Spain to win the Euro 08.
Not praising. Just saying I am not psychic. Unlike sea creatures.
Except neither of us are ;)
i'm pretty sure we all decided they were going to win after their first match.
their only blip was the 2nd one.
Anti-German? English are the most anti-German fans other than Argentinians.
You were born there so that qualifies you
Only when I want it too ;)
Not remotely anti-German. I have spent a fair amount of time in German and have no problem whatever with them.
my, what a big brush you have.
I thought their played well without a cutting edge. I suspect the loss of Klose may be worth more than Muller what with Kroos and Marin pushing to be in the XI
Not Anti German either. Was just referring to your support of Germany and my lack of surprise at your assertion they will win;)
What is that moron on about? Southgate reckons the Dutch defence is not up to much and have not been tested yet. They just made the world cup final and he told us the England defence was great.
Anti-German as in their 'effective boring' football, and German teams winning on penalties.
All things I type on this thread refer to football only! (remembers the 'no-political comments' rule)
ITV pundits are rubbish - it's almost a good thing that they quickly cut to James Corden...
I know. Is it any surprise that I like Basti in F1? But really, before Klinnsman revolutionised German football in 2006, I disliked their style. But Jurgen changed my mindset on them completely.
Never said anything like that and I don't believe that.
I have never been anti-German in any way. When I was young and first getting into football they had some of the best players in the world.
Of course, Jurgen is awesome.
and played for Spurs
Good for you.
I do believe in some ways they were like the Greeks. Not everyone on those old German teams were as awesome as Jurgen Klinnsman.
Thats why hes awesome