Dec 17, 2008

南米サッカーも落ちたもんだ - Fallen South American Football







Thanks to Teruko's friend, we went to the National Stadium to see FIFA Club World Cup Semi-finals between Pachuca and Liga de Quito in rainy weather. I have never seen such a big game at a roof-less venue.

This game was a classic example of how brutal football can be. Pachuca attacked one-sided with quick pass and move. Liga de Quito, on the other hand, was happy to put everyone behind the ball in 4-4-2 formation and to go for a counter. Liga opened the scoreline from a quick counter attack 4 minutes after kick-off. Number 23 was the man to orchestrate the counter-attacking football with small numbers. The second goal from a controversial free kick pretty much killed the game.

Today's talking points were the referee and South American football.

The referee was awful. I question how on earth this kind of dreadful referee can officiate an international match like this. If you see the free kick that led to the second goal for Liga, we could tell it was not deliberate handball from the other side of the pitch. Having said that, it may be difficult to bring good referees to this event since December is such an important month in a league in Europe. And after all, this event is seen as annoyance to European clubs anyway.

I have never seen such a defensive South American side before. As soon as I saw the style of play that is unusual for a South American side, I instinctively decided to support Pachuca. No star players, old players coming back to finish off their career after their peak in Europe. There's so much to worry about for South American football.

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