Ye Gods! What was that all about? Did I see the worst exposition of poor passing and aimless freekicks. It just looked like the Argentinians were smitten by ennui. If it was not ennui then it was fatigue as deep into the second half many milled around the backfield with their hands on the hips.
In one game, the Argentinians went from the expositors of the beautiful game to the creators of dreck. But we have seen this stumble before from the Argentinians as they also began their 2006 WC campaign in spectacular fashion only to fade away. They have been brittle in that regard and today, the Ayala own goal seemed to deflate them. They looked awful in the second half. Their passing crumbled as the Brazilians bottled up the lanes.
On the other hand, the Brazilians looked sharp in their counter attacks with Dani Alves coming on as a substitute outstanding in his speed and creativity. Elano picked up an injury allowing Alves into the game and he made an instant difference. Ayala turned a wickedly inswinging cross sent in by Alves from the right, into his own goal. The third goal was the result of a nifty little pass bisecting Milito and Ayala as Love picked out Alves and the Sevilla wingback finished off his chance. Baptista's first goal was a nice bit of trap, sidestep, and shoot, all in one smooth sequence as Elano's lofted pass isolated Baptista against Ayala. The Argentinian captain had a nightmare game.
It was not a pretty match as one lost track of the many fouls. Messi was a bowling pin, picking up at least 20 of them. He did not do much but he was not alone. Riquelme's free kicks fell dreadfully short or were badly off target. And he had plenty of chances. His best chance was a stinging shot that carromed off the right post minutes after the Baptista goal.
It was a strange final as immediately after the first half, Doni began time wasting. Luckily, the referee was not going to have any of that and yellow carded him. Minutes later he gave a card to Juan for doing the same thing.
A huge letdown as finals go as one was expecting a well contested, entertaining,and free flowing game but it was Brazil who came out to play.