Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We live for moments of Brazilliance.

After a very timid 0-0 draw between Portugal and Ivory Coast followed by a scoreless first half between Brazil and North Korea, I was starting to think the soccer haters had a point. But the scoring drought was ended by the wonderful Brazilian playmaker Maicon, and Brazil went on to win 2-1 in a very hard fought battle. Here's the goal.

Some English commentators thought he really didn't even try to do that, acting like the goal was a lucky fluke. If an Englishman hit it, it would be a fluke. But Maicon is Brazilian, he did exactly what he meant to do. When you watch Brazil play, there is a very good chance you will see something you have never seen in your life, but that wasn't the case today. Check out the third goal featuring Bebeto and Romario back in World Cup 1994. I was in the crowd in Palo Alto for this one. Pretty much the same angle, just no goalkeeper to beat.

I saw my friend sfmike when I went over to watch England-U.S.A. this weekend, and when I said I was rooting for Brazil, he said it was like rooting for the Yankees. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rooting for Brazil is like rooting for Maria Callas or Sviatoslav Richter. Rooting for Brazil is like rooting for hummingbirds. It's the amazing moments of beauty that make the victories so sweet and the losses so bittersweet.

As for Ivory Coast and Portugal, they better not sleep walk like they did today when they face the North Koreans. These guys are serious.

If you are a football fan, this one month every four years is such a great time.


Abu Scooter said...

This World Cup has had some amazing goalkeeper gaffes. (Robert Green is even being mocked in the form of a Lego cartoon.) Tonight's goal doesn't count among them. The DPRK keeper didn't do anything wrong; Maicon just punked him. It was pur-tee.

I agree that Portugal and Ivory Coast both need to step it up against North Korea. OTOH, I do wonder how the DPRK defense will react to (finally) being broken down by Brazil. We'll see.

Matty Boy said...

Some people were calling this a Group of Death. I thought it was a Group of Cake for Brazil. I now see it as Group of Death, because the North Koreans have every bit as much of a claim to the second spot as Portugal with their single flopping star and Ivory Coast with their star with his arm in a cast.