by Aldwyn McGill
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – With Germany waiting in the wings for Argentina, winner of yesterday’s semi-final match with Netherlands, I certainly hope that the technical staff of the these two semi-finalists have plenty of footage of Germany dismantling Brazil so we can watch a competitive final on Sunday.
We know for a fact that Argentina has the best player in the world in Lionel Messi but similar to Brazil’s mode of operation, Argentina’s offense has only sparkled when Messi generates the offense and that might not be enough against Germany.
Netherlands on the other hand had shown that they can score with a variety of different players, but the team that demolished Spain 5-1 at the group stage will not get a chance on Sunday to show everyone the team that needed penalty kicks against Costa Rica in their last quarter final game after a scoreless draw.
One thing for certain is that Argentina will have to bring their A-game on Sunday against Germany in the FIFA World Cup final. Argentina is the more dangerous side because they have not played their best game as yet and motivation will be a factor in Rio after beating Netherlands 3-2 on penalty kicks.
There is no doubt that Brazilians will be more engaged to the final with Argentina as it sets up a South America versus Europe scenario. And had Netherlands defeated Argentina to face Germany, it would have been an All European World Cup final on South American soil for the first time, and though it might have been the better final from a playing perspective, it would have struggled to generate additional interest in Brazil.
As the most supported team here in Brazil, it goes without saying that Argentina had additional support at yesterday’s semi-final against Netherlands with Lionel Messi leading the charge. And it was the best test for Argentina in preparation for Germany.
Unfortunate circumstances are the reality of life as Brazilian fans would have loved for their team to play at the same level of competitiveness without Neymar but it was not to be. This is what I was referencing in my earlier article when I mentioned teams toying with destiny and lady luck.
Unfortunately for Brazil, Neymar as their leading scorer suffered a tournament ending injury in the last minutes of their 2-1 quarter final win against Colombia but that is the nature of sports. Some teams can overcome these obstacles but Brazil was hard pressed to compensate against a team like Germany.
Even with the Neymar injury it was surprising that Brazil could have conceded seven unanswered goals after a 5-0 first half deficit. Even in the second half while enjoying play around the penalty area it was obvious that Brazil had no real scorer.
It was an unfortunate set of circumstances when one was hoping for every possible scenario of a Brazil comeback and that was the saddest thing of all against Germany and a tournament which set the record for goals scored.