Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Europeans seize back the advantage

Europeans seize back the advantage

Europeans seize back the advantage

When all five South American teams progressed through to the knockout stage of the World Cup, pundits were quick to observe that football was developing a distinctly Latin flavour. A week later and football tastes European again. Four years ago all four semifinalists were from Europe, this time it’s three out of four.

If it were not for Suarez’s last-minute handball against Ghana, there would not be a solitary representative from South America in the semifinals.

Brazil disappeared in the second half against the Dutch, Argentina crumbled against the pace of Germany’s counter-attack and Paraguay failed to maintain the intensity of their “closing down” game for the full 90 minutes against Spain. Only Uruguay survived the trial of the last eight, and that by the most dubious of means.

Unless the Uruguayans manage to upset the odds, South Africa will witness a European nation being crowned world champions outside of Europe for the first time.

With Suarez suspended for tonight’s clash with the Netherlands, the hopes of the non-European world rest with Diego Forlan.

This has been an amazing season for the striker, who while at Manchester United couldn’t find his way to the back of the net with a Sat Nav.
Extra-time goals against both Liverpool (in the semifinals) and Fulham (in the final) won the UEFA Europa League for his club Atletico Madrid. If tomorrow’s game does go to extra time, the Netherlands had better beware Uruguay’s number 10 lurking in the box.

The game could well turn out to be the battle of the two men who orchestrated victory in Europe’s two major club competitions this year.

While Forlan was taking the Europa League back to Madrid, Wesley Sneijder was inspiring Inter Milan to win the Champions League for the first time, in the Spanish capital.

Sneijder’s two goals against Brazil, although the first should have been accredited to Felipe Melo, sent the five-time winners crashing out of the tournament at the quarterfinal stage for the second World Cup running, in the biggest upset of the tournament so far.

Do not expect a fast, flowing game of football tonight. Both teams flood the midfield, leaving just one player up front with three playing behind him, in the modern way. While both teams love to have possession of the ball, the Uruguayans are equally confident sitting back and holding a strong back line.

With Sneijder on fire and Arjen Robben in the form of his life, it might just be time for Forlan’s luck to run out. If Sneijder wins the battle of Cape Town, the Dutch will be heading to their first final since 1978. As for the Uruguayans, they haven’t reached a final since 1950 when they beat Brazil in front of 199,954 spectators, the highest attended game of football in World Cup history.

MOST VIEWED

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent

  • Kingdom’s exports to US mushroom 25.94% in first five months to $2.4B

    Though Cambodia’s exports to other countries have been stalled amid the evolving Covid-19 environment, the Kingdom’s shipments to the US were worth 25.94 per cent more in the first five months of this year than they were in the year-ago period. Bilateral trade between

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was