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Germanic Hegemony Looms

Over the past eight years Spain dominated the international football tournaments in which they took part – though they had a premonitory blip in last year’s Confederations Cup (and what a misleading pointer that final turned out to be.)

After the win by Germany in Rio on Sunday we could be in for a longer period of domination than the Spanish enjoyed as the German players are quite young and will only have gained in confidence from their achievement. I don’t know if I can stand that thought, though.

Still, at least it gives Scotland an early opportunity to claim their scalp as the two countries meet on Sep 7th in the first qualifying game for the 2016 European Championships.

The late World Cup has unified the FIFA and Unofficial Football World Championships. Going into it Uruguay were the holders of the unofficial title but swiftly lost it to Costa Rica.

For historical reasons Scotland is actually at the top of the unofficial football championship rankings. The September game will give Scotland a chance to reclaim the actual title – if Argentina don’t beat the Germans in their friendly a few days before.

Paraguay 0-1 Spain

Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, 3/7/10.

World Cup history was going to be made whoever won this match. In the end it was Spain who got to their first ever semi-final.

For all they played quite well tonight (and might have won but for the penalty save) I couldn’t keep from reminding myself that Paraguay had got this far by virtue of only one victory in the whole tournament – against Slovakia. Spain now have four; but have looked far from convincing. Once again, and like Argentina earlier in the day, their players continually took wrong options, held on to the ball when they should have passed and generally kept running into defensive walls.

The first half was dire, the second (pac̩ the assertions of Hansen and Dixon) not much better Рthough we had the mad three minutes with three penalty attempts and a third award denied.

Four South American sides in the quarters but only one survives to the semis; and that the team that came fifth in the Conmebol qualifiers, and had to beat Costa Rica in a play off, to wit Uruguay.

Puyol again looked vulnerable, as did Piqué. Germany could mince them.

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