Argentina

Germany vs. Argentina?

For the English supporter, this is a tough call... who do we want to win? Whenever I've asked someone today who they'd prefer to win, the answer has been 'neither'!

We have a history with both (both on and off the field), so we can't just look at that. I think I'd prefer Germany to win, as assuming that England get through (not a safe bet in my opinion), a final against Germany would be preferable to one against Argentina. This is because Argentina have looked the stronger team, and playing Germany at home (and hopefully beating them) would be sweet.

Admittedly, there's another match before the final, so it's possible both could get knocked out.

... and there are still two major obstacles before England has a chance at seeing the final. If we survive Portugal, the last obstacle is Brazil - although admittedly they're no longer as formidable as they once were, they're still fairly scary.

The laws of narrative suggest that an England/Germany final in Germany would be a good end to this world cup. 40 year of hurt and all that. Does the real world run on narrative?

Argentina and Mexico

Argentina and Mexico was a fantastic game, it had everything, talent, drama, dodgy decisions and a fantastic winning goal. There were a couple of potentially (or actual) game changing decisions. First, the referee gave a yellow card to the wrong guy. Secondly, there was a yellow card awarded for a foul when a red was warranted). The ref pointed to another defender saying that he was the last defender... he could not have reached the attacker in time. Thirdly there was a shot on goal (from Mexico, I think) that grazed an Argentinian's outstretched. A goal kick was given, should this have been a corner? This was very subtle though. Finally there was the Argentinian goal disallowed in the closing minute of normal time, this definitely would have affected the game, it would have meant no extra time.... but no wondergoal in extra time.

That linesman must be breathing a sigh of relief that his decision didn't change the result now he's watched the replays!