While the semi-final matches in a World Cup are usually billed as matches between titans, or at the very least least between teams of comparable quality. However, when Netherlands played Argentina last night, it was not the exciting clash between European and South American giants, and the world’s best players of Arjen Robben, Robin van Persi, and Lionel Messi that people were hoping for.
This was a match that was advertised to be exciting, and it was not at all. There was poor passing, few attempts on goal, and on the night the big names who should have made a difference were almost completely absent, much like Brasil was.
This was not the titanic struggle between Netherlands and Argentina, and even in extra time on the way to penalties, there was very little to celebrate. The Dutch were excited when Louis van Gaal subbed on Klaas Jan Huntelaar, and the two strikers that were on the pitch, but there was still nothing in the game. The advertising sponsors for this match will be depressed, because there was nothing to keep their names on the board excepting the 120 plus minutes of the game.
Argentina had the better chances on the night and they almost exclusively came from spot kicks and not from open play. Jasper Cillessen was spot on in goal, until the penalties, where he came up short and will lose some value momentum come the end of the tournament. In terms of advertising, the third place match is receiving practically no billing, because no Brasilian will be happy with third place, and after a spectacular tournament, to this point, no Dutchman will want to just take home bronze.
Look forward to this spot come Saturday and Sunday to see how these big names in world football will advertise their skills and marketability.