World Cup 2010 (The Semifinals): CHOMP!!! …

… Well, I had a nice piece all written up to give Spain their due for beating Germany in Wednesday’s World Cup semifinal, 1-0. A game some said was boring and while I wouldn’t go that far, it wasn’t the most exciting thing I’ve seen in this World Cup. Though, granted, I watched the game more than 48 hours later, so the in-the-moment anticipation of something happening wasn’t there.

But, either my computer or BigSoccer or both conspired to eat the post before I could get it finalized, so it’s lost to history.

Congrats to Spain. Good job.

Now run along, nothing more to see here.

Off ya go.

So, let’s talk the always exciting third-place game, shall we? It is, to me, actually a very interesting matchup. On the surface, I think most folks would look at a matchup between Germany and Uruguay and automatically pick Germany without giving it much thought. I can see the reasoning, if based on nothing more than pedigree alone, but today, I’d disagree.

Uruguay have had a great tournament, sparked by Diego Forlán’s goals and his ability to seemingly lift up his team (and his nation) just about every time they’ve needed it. While they were surely heartbroken not to make the final, a third-place finish for Uruguay in the current soccer climate is nothing at all to sneeze at. It’d be a wonderful result for Uruguay and something I think they might cherish and strive for a bit more than Germany will. It bugged me how little Germany showed against Spain – a team who I had thought Germany’s counter tactics would have worked well against. But they sputtered to just five shots overall and two on target for the entire game.

Germany will probably have more of the ball today, but with Uruguay hopefully having a healthy Forlán and the returning Luis Suárez, there will be no shortage of danger from the underdogs. There are also questions about whether German leading scorer Miroslav Klose will play. It’d be a shame if he didn’t, given that just 2 goals today would leave him the World Cup’s all-time leading goal scorer with 16, passing Ronaldo.

It’s not as if Germany lacks for firepower if Klose doesn’t play, but more so than anyone else in the side, he seems to be the one that always in the right place at the right time in front of goal to take advantage of the opportunities his teammates create. If Germany are without that, and Uruguay can benefit from having Forlán and Suárez, it might be enough to give them the edge, when combined with the thought that there might be more to this match for Uruguay than there is for Germany.

It’s not the final, and traditionally, third-place matches don’t often get remembered in the overall history of the World Cup. But I think it will be fun to watch, and I’m going to go with Uruguay, by a 2-1 score.

Wednesday’s Record: 0-1.
Tournament Record: 35-27.