Spain v Netherlands

Mexico v Cameroon is first, but I can’t imagine Mexico having too much trouble with the Indomitable Lions. The more interesting game is the defending champions beginning their title defense against one of the traditionally second-rate teams of the tournament. If Spain blows the Dutch away, they may have a real shot at toppling Brazil in Brazil, especially after last night’s lackluster performance.

I do enjoy the Spanish style, especially the way they stretch the field horizontally with their wingers. But I’ll be pulling for the Dutch on behalf of our friends and two of my teammates.

UPDATE: Not a bad game by Mexico. Two goals disallowed for offsides, one of them wrongly. The goal that finally won the game was an excellent example of two important attacking principles: 1) put your shots on goal and hit them hard enough to create a rebound if the goalie stops it, and, 2) don’t stand and watch your teammates’ shots, follow them in.

UPDATE 2: TOTAL FREAKING FOOTBALL! That was an EPIC devastation of Spain in the second half. Diego Costa did nothing except win an unmerited penalty (albeit one that was all but impossible for the referee to see was a clever dive) and David Silva was the only Spanish player worth mentioning. First the Dutch successfully attacked through the air, then Robben took over completely as the field opened up. Crushing the defending world champions 5-1 is an impressive start indeed.