This World Cup keeps getting better and better for Germany. Their latest four-goal romp was over Argentina, sending Lionel Messi and loudmouth Maradona crashing out in despair. Looking at Maradona in the second half, he really looked like he was on the point of tears. Crushing England 4-1 was good, but a shutout of Argentina is spectacular. I really feel this could be Germany’s year, but they have to get past Spain first. Germany lost in the final in 2002 and came third in 2006 so it’s time for them to take the next step and win it all.
Ghana’s loss to Uruguay was exceptionally cruel, as they first saw a certain goal in the last minute of extra-time stopped by a hand, that of Luis Suarez, on the goalline, then the ensuing penalty saved, and finally two weak penalty attempts saved by Uruguay’s keeper in the penalty shootout. The players seemed to lack confidence in taking the shots. Many here in South Africa, and I’m sure most of Africa, were rooting for Ghana, with their new nickname on Friday being “BaGhana BaGhana” after “Bafana Bafana,” the nickname for SA’s team. The support was genuine for “Africa’s team” and not just rhetoric or restricted to any one segment of the population, because I saw many local whites and Indians cheering on Ghana at a sports bar and a casino in Durban last Saturday when they beat the US. It would have been glorious if Ghana had won and gone on to the semifinal but I feel their team can do better and go further in the future. It’s a young team and very experienced and as long as they don’t get hit by infighting or organizational mismanagement, then things look positive.