Category - World Cup

Argentina v Germany World Cup Final History

Argentina and Germany will meet in a World Cup Final for a record breaking third time on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro at the Maracanã. The two sides have split their two head to head finals thus far and this third final will act as the rubber match of the series. Both sides are looking to make history, a German win would mark the first time a non South American country has won the World Cup on South American soil and an Argentina win would give them a world title on the soil of their bitter rivals Brazil. Here is a quick look at the past two finals these countries have contested:

1986, Estadio Azteca, Mexico City

Argentina 3 West Germany 2









Manager Carlos Bilardo set out Argentina in a 3-5-2 formation featuring some guy named Maradona as captain and a second striker. Germany also utilized a 3-5-2 formation (the hot formation at the time) under the direction of manager Franz Beckenbauer. The star player at the time for Germany was striker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge the current chairman at Bayern Munich.

Argentina took the lead in the first half on a goal in the twenty-third minute from sweeper Jose Luis Brown on a free-kick to the right of goal. That goal held until halftime and Argentina doubled their lead in the fifty-sixth minute courtesy of a Jorge Valdano side-footed strike. Germany made things interesting though scoring two goals off corners in the seventy-fourth minute and in the eighty-first minute from Rummenigge and Voller. The score did not stay level for long though and Argentina scored the third and winning goal just minutes later at the eighty-four minute mark off the boot of Jorge Burruchaga from a pass into open space from Diego Maradona.

The German loss was a history making moment as Franz Beckenbauer became the first person to lose a World Cup final as a player and a manager.

Watch highlights of this match here: Argentina v Germany World Cup Final


1990, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

West Germany 1 Argentina 0








Germany got revenge against Argentina for the loss in the previous World Cup final in Mexico. Bilardo and Beckenbauer were still the managers for each side and they both set-up (again) in a 3-5-2 formation. The 1990 final was the first World Cup final for current USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann who started the game at striker.

This match ended up being a more cagey affair than the previous final with just one goal scored and featured the first red cards in World Cup final history with two Argentine players being sent off at the sixty-fifth and eighty-seventh minute marks. The lone goal of the match was scored via penalty in the eighty-fifth minute by Andreas Brehme who was a defender for Inter Milan at the time. 

This World Cup win was Germany’s third World Cup title, a number they haven’t added to since.

Watch highlights of this match here: 1990 Argentina v Germany World Cup Final

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Even The Big Boys Are Naive At Times

There’s been a lot of talk since the US’ elimination from the World Cup in every corner of US soccer circles it seems about how we should progress further in the future. Every excuse has been mentioned from the same old ones such as “need to work harder; need better athletes; if only our best athletes played; etc.” to the more subtle and insightful such as “need more technical players; need to be more tactically astute; less situational naivete, etc.”

This last excuse is something I’ve called the USMNT a lot recently (most notably at the end of the 2-2 draw against the Portuguese and our defensive effort versus Belgium) but after watching a soccer superpower such as Brazil  yesterday completely capitulate on home soil in a supposed effort to right the wrongs of 1950 (in their minds), I’d be remiss not to hammer Brazil for the same thing.

Let’s be clear about this, I’m not saying Brazil needs to reassess how they play soccer/football or that they necessarily should revamp their national team setup (though Germany did this very thing following their underachieving [in their eyes] sides of ’98 and ’02) but let’s be clear about Brazil’s performance yesterday- They played completely naively.

Signs were there from the opening kickoff that there were holes in Brazil’s defending lines and massive ones at that. Brazil’s setup yesterday looked all the world to me that they just felt that intangible things (such as home field and crowd advantage) and some misguided sense of destiny (revenge for 1950 and “do it for Neymar”) would be all that was needed to beat Germany, a country who historically has shown they are arguably the best in the world when it comes to the psychology of big matches. You can beat a German side but you’ll never be able to intimidate one, in my opinion.

But “Big Phil” Scolari’s setup yesterday was completely amateurish at the outset as Brazil’s midfield went seemingly on holiday for the entire first half leaving an overly aggressive central defense pairing (and arguably questionable pairing to begin with) isolated in two v ones and three v twos for seemingly the entire half. German goals two through five were variations on the same theme- Brazil loses ball deep in own territory; Brazilian centerback already out of position presses even higher trying to win the ball back, then leaves his partner exposed when Germany passes around him; Germany’s poise and patience picks apart Brazil’s remaining overloaded defenders.

It was both astonishing and embarrassing and for a nation that prides itself on being one of the high elders or “keepers of the game,” so to speak, it was utterly pathetic.

I only bring it up because it shows that the process to becoming successful on the world stage isn’t necessarily cyclical, it isn’t necessarily linear but all the pitfalls that can befall a team can happen to anyone and that the task ahead for the US is a partly daunting one. It won’t necessarily be able to easily measured in further progression in tournaments compared to previous ones Also, don’t mistake yesterday’s result compared to ours versus Germany as anything other than what they are- two totally different results against the same opponent that aren’t related at all. But if a country like Brazil can be amateurishly naive on the world stage you can bet the US has been and even will be again in the future.

Conversely, Germany’s recent success (though to be fair they have yet to win a major tournament since ’96) has come following a major soul-searching and revamping of the national team and youth national team setups following ’02. Brazil will likely do something similar (at least in part if not in whole) following this monumental defeat. Surely the US can look at ways to help overhaul their system beyond the tired old things like “run harder, run faster, be stronger” or the ignorantly clichéd and flat out wrong, “if only our best athletes played soccer.”

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USMNT Stars Must Shine In Order To Defeat Belgium

With one CONCACAF side out (sorry Mexico, actually I’m not that sorry) and another side through into the quarterfinals (Congratulations Costa Rica!). US Soccer is the third and final vote in CONCACAF knockout round success. If the Yanks are to beat Belgium it will require a team effort of course but their three best players (Tim Howard, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey) must play to the level that has boosted them to American star status in the past. Here is a breakdown of those three USMNT stars so far in the 2014 World Cup.

Tim Howard

The Everton keeper has played outstanding so far coming into this match as the seventh highest rated keeper in the World Cup for those keepers making three or more starts with a 7.16 rating from He was hung out to dry by his defense on the two goals Portugal scored and the goal by Muller in the Germany match was one I don’t think any keeper on Earth could have saved. Howard always finds a way to make one or two saves that keeps the USA level or ahead and he will have to play at that level again if the USA is to defeat the Red Devils. Out of all the USA players he is the one I worry about the least and I am confident he will have a strong game come Tuesday.

Michael Bradley

The former Roma man and current Toronto FC player has found his more advanced position to be sort of a struggle at the World Cup level. Bradley comes into the Belgium match as the lowest rated US player who has started all three group stage matches with a rating of  6.53 according to If the USA are to beat Belgium they will need Bradley to be at his best and completing passes in the attacking half of the field. He has failed to do this so far on a consistent basis and in my opinion it will be nearly impossible for the US to beat Belgium without Bradley either scoring a goal or setting one up for somebody else. If Bradley can score a goal or provide the spark to create one I put the USA’s chances at winning at over 60%, that’s how important I think he is. Out of position or not this is one of the biggest games in Bradley’s career and he needs to come through with a performance because his nation needs him to do so.

Clint Dempsey

The rough and tough Texan leads the US with two goals scored and has generally played well even with a broken nose suffered in the Ghana match. He was the lowest rated USA player in the most recent Germany match (an abysmal 5.67 according to mainly because he was left severely isolated for long stretches at a time. Belgium has not pressed as hard defensively as Germany or Ghana in this World Cup and the USA should see more of the ball. That should allow Michael Bradley, Graham Zusi and Alejandro Bedoya to provide Dempsey service to do what he does best, score goals. Deuce’s flair and confidence is back all he needs is support from his teammates to find the back of the net versus Belgium.

What do you think? What would you like to see from the three USMNT stars above in the match versus Belgium? Let us know in the comments section or on Twitter! (@TwoDaftYanks).

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USMNT Group Review and Belgium Look Ahead


With knockout round qualification fron the ‘Group of Death’ secure there is just one goal left for Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT: survive and advance. The Two Daft Yanks are here to break it all down to provide a USMNT group review as the knockout stages begin for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. On this week’s episode:

– A quick review of our USMNT predictions versus the actual results.

– Some of the USA media have become experts in verbal gymnastics.

– Observations from the USMNT group stage games.

– Is there something wrong with Michael Bradley?

– USMNT vs Belguim, what to look for.

-And more!

Listen to or download the podcast below, or listen on your mobile device via StitcherTuneIn or iTunes

Two Daft Yanks: USMNT Group Review and Belgium Look Ahead  

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Luis Suarez Completes Biting Hat Trick

WTF, Suárez? Like any good, manipulative psychopath Luis Suárez had us fooled all year long that he had cleaned up his act and was on a more mature and well-grounded footing. Well, that is until Monday when Suárez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in the seventy-ninth minute of Uruguay’s 1-0 win that sent Italy packing from the World Cup.

Make no mistake about it, it was a definite bite. Granted there will always be people who will try and take up for even the most offensive sporting characters like Suárez but for all the doubters here’s the second camera angle that emerged later Monday evening:



Haters gonna haters and biters gonna bite, I guess. Now, you can clearly see not only does Suárez open his mouth and make a clear movement towards Chiellini but a definite, secondary biting motion as well. Still doubting? Then you’re clueless, a complete Uruguay or Liverpool homer or you’re also a member of the Cannibal Resurgence Society of which Suárez is apparently worldwide spokesperson for.

Now, you bite once, I’ll concede, hey, you went mental for a moment and maybe you were provoked. Bite twice, you’re at best a childish, idiot. However, to bite a third time, especially after fooling us all year long that he had cleaned up his act, Suárez is a psychopathic lunatic.

His casual dismissal of the offenses also belies a psychopathic mindset as well. Having psychopathic tendencies doesn’t imply he’s going to turn into some vicious off the field criminal or a murderer or anything of that sort. However, to commit such a barbaric and animalistic attack such as biting someone is psychopathic in the sense that it is clearly an abnormal and recurrent behavior that shows a legitimate mental health issue, in my opinion, especially as Suárez continually seeks to justify this behavior (on top of showing little or no remorse for his other loathsome behavior such as playacting, diving and oh yeah, his prior racism. In fact, he’s taken to painting himself as the victim in many of these situations.

Some people will see the phrase “mental health issue” and immediately jump to Suárez’s defense and say he’s not actually crazy but that’s not what having a mental health issue necessarily means by any means. Biting is what an aggressive child or an animal would do. It makes Suárez, at best, a cowardly imbecile; at worst, a psychopathic, aggressive offender.

Bring back the cheaty, diving Suárez. That guy was just massively unlikable as a football player. The psychopathic, biting Suárez is just an insufferable, loathsome human being. Especially after he gave all that spiel throughout the year how he realized how his actions makes himself look in his families’ eyes.

But this time FIFA, who has said they are fast tracking the investigation, looks to be coming down heavy on Suárez with the maximum possible ban of two years apparently on the table. My guess is at the very least, Suárez will be immediately banned from the rest of the World Cup and will probably get a worldwide ban of anywhere for six months to a year. I’ll be fairly shocked if FIFA hands him the maximum two year ban.

At the very least this throws his club situation into complete chaos as the Uruguayan had already started playing the agitation to seek a move game with Liverpool with Barcelona said to be hot on his trail along with supposed long-time suitors Real Madrid. At least now we know what that extra £1 was in Arsenal’s £40 million + £1 bid last summer for the striker was – bus fare to the mental health clinic!

Clearly he is one of the best strikers in the game today but would you have the Uruguayan troublemaker at your club?

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