Friday, 25 June 2010

World Cup - The Last 16

Compared to the real World Cup, there have been few real shocks in my parallel tournament. That said, there are a few teams that may rue their poor group stage form, in particular the USA and Brazil have tough ties against Australia and Spain respectively. There are no second chances with meals level after 90 minutes going to extra time, and possibly penalties.

France 3 Argentina 1
Argentina scores early to take a surprise lead. However steak and empanadas prove a tad one-dimensional and the superior French team reply twice in quick succession. In the second half, the French start taking the piss but they nearly pay for their impudence as dulce du leche nearly equalises before tarte tatin scores a third for the French.

S.Africa 1 S.Korea 2
The host nation bows out at this stage, as they were no match for the Koreans. Like the Argentines, the South Africans rely too much on meat but despite nicking an early goal the braai is marked out of the game by Korea’s bulgogi. In the end, the superior technique of the Koreans prevails.

England 3 Germany 0
I'll be honest the scoreline bears no reflection to the actual game – I just like the sound of it. In truth, this encounter was a bit turgid and many of the more sophisticated teams turned their noses up at this attritional stodge based affair. Goals by potted shrimp, fish & chips, and apple crumble settle this tie for the English. I'll be happy if the football follows this scoreline !

USA 3 Australia 4 (extra time)
This was the tie of the round and I doubt that there will be many better games in the whole tournament. Both sides have a similar approach as they feature barbecue, steaks, seafood, and ethnic influences mixed in with an arrogant swagger and a belief that they are the best. The Aussies win in extra time on the basis that their Chinese food is superior to that found in the States.

Japan 4 New Zealand 1
Japan was one of the pre-tournament favourites and New Zealand should feel no shame in being beaten by such a convincing scoreline. It could have been a lot worse as the best modern fusion chefs from New Zealand were obliterated by the traditional approach undertaken by specialist Japanese artists.

Denmark 0 Italy 1
In sporting parlance, Italy is a tournament team who peak in the latter stages. Before the business end of the tournament, they struggle and it's no exception against the foraging Danes. However, the Danish can find no way past the Italian back line of ciabatta, risotto, spaghetti and gnocchi. As we see all too often the desserts nick it at the end for the Italians.

Portugal 2 Switzerland 0
This is a battle between two differing food ideologies, the land locked Swiss against the seafaring Portuguese. For me, there's only one winner and the fish batter the Swiss into submission. The Portuguese should have won by a wider margin and pastel de nata squandered many chances before scoring late on in this game.

Brazil 0 Spain 3
This would be a worthy final in the real World Cup but in my eyes, the heavyweight Brazilian churrascria is outpaced by the lighter tapas and fish based dishes. Whilst at the other end, the jamon stop the Brazilians from launching attacks of their own. On this kind of form, we could well have seen the future champions.

Next Time
Next Friday sees the quarter-finals and there are four great ties. Can the underdogs, England overcome France ? Who will win the battle of the Med, Italy or Spain ? Will the Portuguese be able to upset the seemingly unstoppable Japanese ? And how will the Aussies cope with South Korea ?


  1. LOL your blog has turned into a football blogggg! NOOOOOOoooOOoOoo :) But at least it's just temporary. Bring the noodles back. and I love Nandos too!

  2. Is there a football match on?! I had no idea...

  3. To be honest, although i cant disagree with your results, I was a bit disappointed in the underperforming Cajun Creole in the USA vs Aus game.

    And it was a shame that the genius Noma was let down by uninspired teammates in Den-Italy, although, to fair, they didn't have much of a chance against old primi-secundi of the Italians.

    Am loving this far more than the actual world cup. Football is so boring compared to food...

    *ducks the flying bowl of noodles* ;-)

  4. Catty - don't worry, interspersed amongst the footy posts, there will be proper write-ups involving real food!

    GG - surrender to the footy!

    Gworm - you're taking the defeat of the US well and rest assured Louisiana held up well for the Americans. The Danes are an example of how one star player doesn't make a team. I know I can never change your mind on the beautiful game but for me the two are great companions.