The third place match is often dismissed as an unnecessary clash. But in recent times these games have been much more exciting than the final itself – usually, with a lot of goals. Just Fontaine put a memorable performance as France beat West Germany in 1958. The 1990 final was awful, but the 3rd place match involved second half drama between Italy & England. There were no goals in 1994 final but Sweden beat Bulgaria 4-1 in the 3rd place match.
Yesterday’s match was one of the (if not the best) match of 2010 world cup. The match was end-to-end with both teams playing freely. Uruguay dominated most of the possession & were guilty of missing a few good chances. Germany took their chances & clinched the match.
Hero of the Day
Diego Forlan: Uruguay have presented world football many heroes in the past, from Ghiggia to Francescoli, Forlan has cemented his place in the same league. He performed heroically throughout the tournament & didn’t’ disappoint yesterday. Despite not being fully fit, he contributed to most of the attacks. He topped off his performance with a well taken goal. He has scored five goals in the world cup. The highest so far, along with Sneijder, Muller & Villa. Jorge Fucile deserves special mention for his solid performance in the Uruguay defence.
Dud of the day
Fernando Muslera, the Lazio shot-stopper, has been overall impressive in this world cup. He carried his club form to South Africa & backed up the solid Uruguay defence. But yesterday was just not his day. The young custodian failed to judge the flight of a Schwinsteiger shot which led to Muller’s goal. He was unsure of what he was doing for Germany’s second goal. He cant be blamed for Germany’s 3rd however. His defence didn’t back him up.
Goal of the Day
Edinson Cavani, the Palermo hit-man, finally put his name on the score-sheet with a delightful finish. The beauty of the goal was in the move which set it up. Perez dispossessed Schwinsteiger in the midfield & found Suarez. With Cavani racing towards the left & Forlan to the right, he had plenty of choices. He chose Cavani & flicked a delightful ball, taking out two German defenders. Cavani repaid the faith shown by his partner with a neat finish.
Hard Tackle of the day
After a typically smooth German setup, Cacau was through on goal. But before he pulled the trigger, Jorge Fucile flew in with a neat last minute challenge to deny a goal. Fucile was immense throughout the game & this tackle was the high point of his performance.
Pondering what might have been
Uruguay dominated the match yesterday. It makes you wonder what would have happened if they had the full team in the semi-final. Such was their predicament that they had to play Martin Caceres, a centre-back or right-back as a left back. Forlan was playing with an injury & they still managed a 3-2 scoreline. With Lugano & Suarez they might have reached their first world cup final in 60 years.