Like most of my other predictions, this one turned out to be wrong as well. But this wasn’t a case where I was JUST wrong, I was COMPLETELY OFF the mark, in fact, I wasn’t even in the ballpark! Spain entirely owned Germany during those 93 minutes, and score could just as easily have been 3:0, rather than my prediction of Germany 1: Spain 0.
Most amazing was the manner in which Germany were beaten into submission, and towards the end, they were not even trying, very happy to be just one goal down. Spain’s one-touch passing simply too precise and tantalizingly close, but always so far from German feet. Spanish offense kept up the pressure ruthlessly and with sadistic patience, their midfield created spaces where they didn’t exist and there defense cleared too strongly for Germany to have crazy ideas. There wasn’t a whole lot left to do except to ponder if Suarez will be back to play against them in the third place playoff.
As I watched soccer with my office mates last Friday, my friend and coworker Joseph (who knows more about sports than I will ever know about anything at all) opined that Suarez is instantly a Uruguyan hero. Later while hearing the TV commentators discussing the “appropriateness” of his actions or whether it was in the spirit of the game, I find myself shaking my head and thinking that it is entirely within the spirit of the game. The guy knew what was the penalty for it (the red card and penalty kick) and in those 50 milliseconds was able to analyze and conclude that it was better to pay the penalty than to lose the game outright, and went for it. The penalty is established within the spirit of the game, and therefore his actions which warrant that penalty must be within the spirit as well.
Oh, and while we are on the topic, I do not think Manuel Neuer’s actions were in the spirit of the game – the goal had already happened, only the conning was left to do.