Just when I was about to lose faith in the world cup and start wondering whether the greatest show on earth is really so, my faith is restored by a side which had forgotten to win, forgotten to score and as termed by mosy represented an "old age" home. Spain vs France was all what we want in a world cup match and was without doubt the best match of round 2. After four successive matches ending with 1-0, 1-0, 1-0 and a forgettable 0-0, Monday provided the much needed boost.
It started off with Ronaldo's record breaking 15th goal which was a typical Brazil-special and continued with countless Ghana attacks, a busy day for Dida, smart moves from Brazil, controversial goals, no off-side call when there should have been and hold on.... Just ONE red card.
If Brazil and Ghana set the tempo for the day, Spain and France raised it to the highest levels. This was undoubtedly billed as the match of round 2 along with the Portugal-Holland match but unlike the latter this was a proper hard-fought football match (and not a boxing match or a card game). As the game kicked off, it was youth Vs experiece at its best. The young Spanish legs were fast, held possession for most of the time, attacked non-stop but never looked like finding the back of the net. The French used all the experience, played to their strength and tactically out-smarted their opponents. The Ribery-equalizer was ample proof of that. At 1-1 it was absolutely even-stevens in teh 2nd half but only one side looked likely to score. With all their talent and pace, the inexperinced Spanish could not match up to their experienced rivals. The battle-hardened French could find just that extra bit in a big match like this. As for the Spanish, their inability to lift their game in a big match once again showed and the under-achiever tag remains for another 2 years till Euro2008.