June 16, 2010

Switzerland 1, Spain 0: A shocker. After dominating the first half, the world's number one team showed why it may be considered the Cleveland Cavaliers of the Beautiful Game by conceding a goal off a counterattack, which the Swiss performed frequently to perfection in the second half. The final minutes were back-and-forth madness, with the Spanish unlucky not to tie at the end.

In spite of the game, this has been a very disappointing World Cup, at least in terms of the activity on the field. Much of what has passed for offense has been truly wretched, with scoring down more than a third (35.9%, to be exact) from 2oo2, which was itself a near-record low. The thirty-two entrants managed to combine for 25 goals, and 11 of the 16 games were shut-outs; in fact, only one losing team (North Korea) has managed a goal. It will be interesting to see what sort of blame the new ball will receive, especially since many of the shots and crosses have been almost laughably out of control.

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