12
Jul

World Cup Day 24: Best tweets from Brazil vs. Netherlands

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Oh, the dreaded third-place playoff match.

Dismissed by many and craved by few, the “consolation final” actually took on more importance this time around. It offered Brazil a chance to pick up the remnants of their dignity which was so brutally smashed into pieces by Germany in Belo Horizonte. An opportunity to apply some balm and gauze to the nation’s wound, and finish the World Cup with their heads held high.

It wasn’t to be. Instead, the Netherlands poured gasoline on the fire, beating the hosts 3-0. Brazil’s second capitulation in a week’s time — the first time they’ve lost consecutive home matches since 1940 — seemed all but a forgone conclusion by thetime Thiago Silva took down Arjen Robben in the second minute for a Dutch penalty (Silva was more than lucky not to be sent off, though he probably would have preferred watching the rest from the locker room).

If you have schadenfreude or no heart and would like to recount Brazil’s latest disaster, here are the best tweets from Saturday’s third-place match:

2nd minute:  Robin van Persie converts the penalty; Brazil’s defense picks up where it left off on Tuesday:

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16th minute: David Luiz with a “clearing” header back into the center of the eighteen. Daley Blind is there. 2-0 to the “bad guys.”

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Look away Brazil fans! Some halftime stats:

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Second half: Brazil should be awarded a penalty after a clear foul on Oscar. Instead, Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi shows Oscar a yellow card for diving! 

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FT: Georginio Wijnaldum scores a third for the Dutch in injury time. Shortly after the referee puts Brazil out of their World Cup misery:

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Hey, we’ve gotta use Arsenal jokes while we still can!

Images provided by Getty and Action.

9
Jul

World Cup Day 23: Netherlands vs. Argentina

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In case you haven’t heard, the 2014 World Cup final is set: Germany vs. Argentina. Or, Lionel Messi vs. THE MACHINE, as Jon Champion so eloquently put it.

Mmm, tasty!

One thing immediately became clear: Just 24 hours after Germany handed Brazil its most humiliating defeat of all time, the hosts couldn’t jump on Germany’s bandwagon quick enough. Funny how this game goes sometimes:

Speaking of, Wednesday’s semifinal (or should I say, zzzzzz-emifinal) between Argentina and the Netherlands was NOTHING like Germany’s rout.

All you really need to know is that the Dutch and Albiceleste combined for five shots on goal for the entire 90 minutes and extra-time, the same number of goals Germany scored in 19 minutes of the first half on Tuesday. Yeah…

So how did we get to this World Cup final rematch of 1990 and 1986, the “rubber match” if you will between Germany and Argentina? Check out the best tweets:

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The big story of the first half was Javier Mascherano visibly seeing stars after a head-to-head collision, then being allowed to play on. Yet another concussion controversy in soccer. Ho-hum:

Somehow, that was literally the only talking point of the first half

Half time!

Alas, the second 45 minutes were much like the first:

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30
Jun

World Cup Day 18: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Two European heavyweights knocked the last two African sides out of the tournament on Monday. First, France danced past valiant Nigeria with two late goals in the second half. A couple hours later, Germany needed extra-time versus Algeria but advanced to their 16th straight World Cup quarterfinal, a remarkable streak to say the least:

What stood out from Monday’s action, on and off the field? We’ve got you covered here in our daily World Cup social roundup:

THE GOOD

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We already knew Germany played with a false No. 9 in Brazil, but how about Manuel Neuer as a false No.1?

Germany’s “sweeper keeper” stole the show on Monday with his repeated heroics as a fullback in disguise. According to Opta, Neuer had 19 touches outside the box, frustrating Algeria with timely tackles and making past German “liberos” such as Franz Beckenbauer and Lothar Matthäus proud:

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29
Jun

World Cup Day 17: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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What’s worse? The fact we won’t be seeing Mexico coach Miguel Herrera in action anymore, or the brutal way his side crashed out of the World Cup? Probably the former. 

The controversial call leading to El Tri’s elimination dominated the news cycle on Sunday, and for good reason. What else caught your eye on the second day of knockout round play? Check it out:

THE GOOD

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Costa Rica’s amazing Cinderella story continued with a penalty shootout victory against Greece, handing them their first-ever place in the World Cup quarterfinals. Los Ticos also became the first CONCACAF side to reach this stage since the United States in 2002. Not too shabby for a tiny country that Mike Tirico mistook for an island on ESPN’s live broadcast.

Not impressed? What if we put it this way:

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