Saturday, July 10, 2010

The 2010 World Cup in 30 Easy Minutes

The 2010 World Cup is just about finished.  Tomorrow afternoon, Spain's National Team takes on The Netherlands in the biggest international sporting event in four years (of course, everywhere but the U.S.).  We're attending a different sporting event tomorrow afternoon, and frankly 90+ minutes in front of the TV to watch soccer is little too much to ask of the kids.  Instead of intently watching my phone in our seats to catch a score, we decided to determine the winner of the match the American way - by playing the game on the Wii.

The rules are simple.  Spain vs. the Netherlands in a three game series.  My two boys and I would alternate playing for the same team in a three game match against the other team in 2010 FIFA Soccer (EA's in the Game!).  Spain was rated 85.  The Netherlands was rated 80.  So of course we had to be Spain.  We would play at the medium level in 5 minute halves. 

8pm.  Home.  I thought the comedy involved with having the two boys be teammates would entertain my daughter and me in the first game.  Unfortunately, I had to talk my oldest son in playing with his little brother in the first place.  I alternately had to convince my younger son that the medium level wasn't that hard.  He knew better and started to talk about "not playing."  Oh, you're playing little buddy...  I had to fight their urges to fight one another and complain about one not passing to the other a litlle too much to enjoy this game.

Game 1.  Spain includes G and C.

What a debacle.  Spain, by far the best team in EA Sports (and thus my top pick in reality World Cup soccer), was no match for the computer Dutchmen.  I stopped counting yellow cards and fouls once my 6 year old committed his fourth Red Card offense leaving Spain with a mere 7 men left to play.  11 players on 7 is very difficult (and ridiculous; stop slide tackling little man!); and the score reflected the fact that my boys were playing 4 men down.  Netherlands wins 8-1.  After a good scoring opportunity at the 4th minute, goals were pouring down on my boys.  We could hardly contain our excitement - err - our sadness.

Spain - Goals: David Villa 58';  Red Cards: Cap de Vila 26', Sergio Ramos 35', Marchena 55', Alonso 56'.  Yellow Cards:  Puyol 40'.  Missed Penalty Kick - David Villa; 9 shots.

Netherlands - Goals:  v. Persie 6', Van der Voort 15', 47', 68', 89', de Jong 22', Kuyt 30', 54'; Made Penalty Kick - Van der Voort; 25 shots.

Game 2.  Spain includes JMR and C.

Unlike the first game, this was a real nail biter.  The two of us were playing with real focus, as if our lives depended on it Escobar-style.  Yes, this game was real important to the two of us since my son knew that if Spain loses this one, Spain will lose the big match, too.  After getting out to a 3-1 lead, Spain had some defensive lapses (all right Dad had some defensive lapses) and had to hold on for a 3-2 win as the Dutch robots were attacking at the end of the match.

Spain - Goals:  Torres 2', 50', David Villa 67'; Red Card: Marchena 38'; Yellow Card:  Sergio Ramos 35'; 13 shots.

The Netherlands - Goals:  Van der Voort 35', Kuyt 78'; 8 shots.

Game 3.  Spain includes JMR and G.

I had a little pep talk with my 6 year old.  His older brother was getting in his grill about sliding and tackling too often and leading to inevitable yellow and red cards.  "Just use the B and C buttons" I implored.  "OK Dad, I promise."  Another tight match.  Back and forth.  The groans and screams in exultation were numerous.  Unfortunately, Spain came up short as the Netherlands scored in extra time to win 4-3 and take the three game series 2-1.  We were all a little disappointed.

Spain - Goals:  Xavi 10', Torres 56', David Villa 79'. Red Card: Puyol 22'; 8 shots.

The Netherlands - Goals:  Robben 52', v. Persie 70' Van der Voort 84', Kuyt 90'; 12 shots. 

MVP - Although the Series winning score went to Kuyt, Van derr Voort, with his 6 goals takes home the MVP software.  Unfortunately, our series match demonstrates that the Netherlands is going to win in overtime 2-1.  The boys didn't care though, they just wanted to keep playing Wii Soccer.  I'll join them as soon as the blister on my thumb and my broken wrist heal; I promise.

Photograph courtesy of

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