Argentina Beats Holland, 0-0; Sorta, but Really
One day, the World Cup makes news so dynamic that the Twitterverse explodes.
No sporting event anywhere else -- not the Super Bowl, World Series, or celebrity dwarf tossing -- has ever matched in 140 characters or less what the German pulverization of Brazil did on Tue 8 Jul 2014.
That would include the Argentine doze-off with the Netherlands. Drama depended on your point of view.
With matching game plans -- Argentina shuts down Robben; Holland shuts down Messi -- the other 20 alleged elites on the pitch couldn't seem bothered to muster much alternative creativity.
There was this, when it appeared the 75th minute would wake up those in attendance:
And there was this in the waning moments of regulation when Robben cut through the two-hole for an apparent first down before being tackled from behind:
But the match mostly featured this:
Until the inevitable penalty-kick shootout confirmed that the afternoon's proceedings made the Dutch attack so rusty, the large expanse of net before them wasn't large enough:
It's a toss-up who felt worse with the result, the Netherlands nation or Manchester United fans.
This was the inauspicious exit of Louis van Gaal as head honcho of the Oranje, who will now assume the reins at Manchester United. His exasperating pack-the-back tactics did more to stifle a loaded side than La Albiceleste could have on its own. If this is how he's going to respond in vital matches, Red Devil Nation may soon be longing for David Moyes.
As to game management, didn't van Gaal consider that Robin van Persie would be gassed at the end? After all, he'd been subbed out in previous matches. So how does the Dutch master then burn his third and final move on the struggling striker? it kept PK saver extrordinaire Tim Krul on the sidelines, leaving Jasper Cillessen to maintain his record of never saving a penalty.
Incredible. It was enough to give existentialism a bad name.
Argentina will open up against Germany because it has no choice. Die Mannschaft's roster isn't any more talented than the Netherlands, but it won't be satisfied to sit back and let an opportunity that only arises every four years be decided by football's version of Russian roulette.
And after all, the Dutch already found the loaded chamber.