World Cup: thoughts so far

The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is underway and will continue to keep on rolling until the final game on July 13.

One game has been played. One game is in the second half. But there are still controversy topics to discuss.

Brazil took the field as the host country in the first game of the tournament yesterday against Croatia. The crowd brought a roaring atmosphere into Sao Paulo to cheer on the tournament favorite Brazil. After the players and crowd passionately sang the Brazilian National Anthem, one would have thought it would have been a dominant performance by Brazil. But that was not the case.

Brazil came out flat and underestimated the Croats. They were playing sloppy defense, and Croatia took advantage of it in the 11th minute. A Croatian player whipped the ball into the box, where two players were running into the box. Brazil defender David Luiz missed the ball right before the ball hit off Brazil defender Marcelo. Marcelo scored an own goal, and Croatia was up 1-0.

The crowd was stunned. The soccer fans around the world were stunned. Brazil came into the World Cup as the tournament favorite, and was not playing like it. Brazil came back to beat Croatia 3-1 and the golden boy was the story. Neymar da Silva Santos Junior is the face of Brazil and gives Brazil hope to win the World Cup. He played like it. Neymar scored the first two goals for Brazil, and is on his way to winning the Golden Boot. The Golden Boot Award goes to the top goal scorer of the FIFA World Cup.

Neymar may have scored two goals, but did he get some help from the referees? Yes, yes, yes and yes. The referees in this game were terrible, and allowed Brazil to get back into the match when Croatia really had a chance to walk away from the game with a great result. In the 71st minute, Brazil forward Fred proceeded to flop in the box, and the Japanese ref gave Brazil the penalty kick. It was clearly not a foul, but the ref called it. Neymar took the penalty kick for Brazil, scoring his second goal of the match. Neymar’s goal gave Brazil all the momentum they needed, as they went on to beat Croatia 3-1.

Brazil may have won, but what are these refs doing? These are supposed to be the best refs in the world, and they are ruining the game of soccer. Floppers give soccer a terrible name as it is, and these refs are not making it any better. Refs should start punishing players for flopping and going down easy, rather than rewarding them and giving them a chance to win the game. Brazil dominated the game, and was the better side. But if they continue to play like they did throughout the tournament, they will not be hoisting the cup on July 13.

Even watching the Mexico and Cameroon game as it is happening, the refs are still killing the game. There have been four goals scored, and the score is only 1-0 Mexico. The other three goals have been disallowed due to offside calls by the linesmen. Offside is always a complicated call to make, but as the best refs in the world, it should be easy. The first goal scored by Mexico was clearly onside, but the second goal can go either way.

After day one, it is clearly seen that Brazil needs to play better throughout the tournament. Fans can also say Neymar is on his way to winning the Golden Boot and being the Brazilian hero. As for the refs, they need to do a better job of penalizing floppers and stop giving out yellow cards that are not serious fouls. The yellow cards carry on throughout the group stage, and can really hurt a team.

For the first half of the second day, the refs are not getting much better. They really need to learn what offside is. Mexico fans should be happy with the play of their international team, as they finally scored a goal.

 

  • Matt Lind

    The second goal couldn’t have gone either way. It was clearly offside. But the first was a blown call. Should be 2-0, Mexico. Nice piece.