Oh look, we might have to try

Hmmm. Well, unlike the response from other, more critical viewers, Croatia impressed the hell out of me. I usually lump them into the category of "thuggish Balkan team without enough subtlety to cheat," but the game against Brazil should be an instructional video on how to play a team that's more skilled than you. As for Brazil, the answer to the question "who ate all the empadinhas" is no longer in doubt.

Croatia held their shape defensively, their sense of position was good, their passing was good, their counter-attacking was pretty impressive, and frankly they were unlucky not to come away with a draw.

I flinched sympathetically when Ivan "Tenpole" Tudor just missed heading a cross to goal, and Brazil looked like they never quite believed that they were getting any kind of a challenge. Robert Kovac was solid in defense and I don't know when Dado Prso discovered he could play but I suspect that Rangers were taking notes. (Prso looks hard enough to play on in Glasgow, anyway.)

And while Kaka's goal was pretty amazing, it doesn't change the fact that he's got a face that's begging for a smack.

Overall, an engaging game to watch, but Brazil's going to have to try harder than that if they want to stay the neutral's favorite and win out. I wonder if the spread among the players of all that evangelical Protestantism over licentious lapsed Catholicism is killing the samba?

Viewing note: I watched this on the Univision replay, and I can't say that I noticed the jiggling orbs of heaving patriotism; I must pay closer attention next time. 

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2 Responses

  1. sah-weet tenpole tudor reference. wunderbar!

    you’re spot on about croatia. they looked good. the game against australia WILL be both entertaining and physical.

  2. I’ve been dying to hit that joke all day.

    Considering that probably half of the Australian team could play for Croatia — well, Viduka anyway, so that’s half by net weight — it should indeed be interesting.

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