World Cup: Germany Puts Uruguay, Luis Suarez Away

<b>South Korea vs. Uruguay</b><br> Uruguay's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Uruguay and South Korea at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Saturday, June 26, 2010. Uruguay won 2-1. <br><br><a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2718-500290_162-675.html" class="linkIcon read"><b>CBSNews.com Special Section: 2010 World Cup</b></a> AP Photo/Roberto Candia

Uruguay's Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Uruguay and South Korea.
AP Photo/Roberto Candia

This was a very difficult game for the fans at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Should they blow their vuvuzelas for the whole of the 3rd place game between Germany and Uruguay?

Or should they break every time Uruguay's Luis Suarez touched the ball to boo their lungs empty in disapproval of his very presence?

In what seemed like a unanimous decision, they chose the latter option.

They will have gone home hoarse and happy, on behalf of Ghana and their own sense of righteousness, that Uruguay lost 3-2.

In a game that was largely played with an open spirit, there seemed to be a considerable difference in the two teams' motivations.

While Uruguay was clearly desperate to go home as, miraculously, the third best team in the world, Germany seemed just slightly more interested in going on vacation.

The difference seemed evident when it came to goal celebrations.

The Uruguayans, who scored two excellent goals through Cavani and Forlan, celebrated with feeling.

The Germans, when it came to goals from Muller, Janssen and Khedira, slightly more resembled a guys' night out that had finally received the attention of the bar staff at a crowded club.

They tried to fake it, but it wasn't quite convincing.

It was heartening, however, to get one more look at Thomas Muller, whose sharp incisiveness Germany sorely missed during the semi-final against Spain.

Muller was the most imposing young player of this World Cup and he opened the scoring after 18 minutes, anticipating that Uruguay's goalkeeper, Fernando Muslera, might just fail to handle Bastian Schweinsteiger's highly speculative effort.

While the defense stood and stared, Muller moved and scored.

Uruguayan heads dropped in disappointment, as their arms craved an offside flag. But just for 10 minutes.

A rare moment of ponderous play from Schweinsteiger let in Cavani and he slid the ball gracefully past Butt.

The crowd hadn't even had time to boo Suarez before he slid the ball through to Cavani.

But Suarez' involvement in the goal seemed to remind them that his ears must suffer to the bitter end.

To them he was Boo-arez and that he must stay.

Early in the second half, Diego Forlan, a player of considerable intelligence whom Manchester United regrets it sold, put Uruguay ahead.

A controlled volley from the edge of the box bounced high into the net as Butt seemed stuck in the uncertain wet turf.

This was a remarkable recovery by Forlan, who was said by his coach Oscar Tabarez to have been injured in the very first minute of the semi-final against Holland.

This was a game that enjoyed 32 shots on goal and at least that many minutes of entertainment.

Some of the entertainment was, however, of the slapstick variety.

The man who was supposed to make the saves for Uruguay had saved the worst for last.

Who might have guessed that Muslera might make the great Uruguayan goalkeeper, Ladislao Mazurkiewicz, wonder whether the world had spun away from its axis?

Just five minutes after Forlan had caused champagne orders to increase in Uruguayan bars, Muslera went to meet a cross from Jerome Boateng.

He might as well have gone to meet Paris Hilton for a beer and a smoke.

He flailed like a drunken Cirque du Soleil auditioner, leaving Janssen with the simplest of headers into an unguarded net.

From then on, much of the entertainment came from the German substitute Stefan Kiessling, whose sweeping forays through the Uruguayan defense might have resulted in a couple of goals.

Still, Muslera was on hand to help. Or, more accurately, on his line.

As Ozil's cross came over in the 82nd minute, Muslera was more nervous than an octopus in a shark tank.

He stood, rooted to his insecurity, as Khedira headed the winning goal to his left.

Uruguay will rue Forlan hitting the crossbar with the very last kick, but Germany has provided far more entertainment, far more verve, far more invention and far more hope during this World Cup.

They offered no controversy either, save for the excellent and, after this game, still accurate predictions of Paul the Octopus.

Uruguay for all its tough defense, resolute team togetherness and greater success than any other South American nation, will not be remembered fondly by many.

One can admire a small nation offering such a large effort. Especially when the greater South American teams like Brazil and Argentina disappeared with little more than a whimper.

However, the glorification of Suarez, when a wiser head might have told him, and his coach, to merely apologize and shut up, instead of referencing the hands of God and the Virgin Mary, will remain as a more lasting memory than any of Uruguay's play.

That is why the crowd eschewed their vuvuzelas to make their voices heard.

And that is the one sadness on a day in which entertainment was, for once, very much on show.

  • Chris Matyszczyk

    Chris has been a multi award-winning executive creative director with some of the most celebrated advertising agencies in the world. His creative work has been recognized at the Cannes Advertising Festival, the New York Festivals, Clio, the One Show, as well as many other festivals around the world. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Financial Times, the European, the Sacramento Bee and The Singapore Press Holdings Group.

    He currently advises major global companies about content creation and marketing, through his company Howard Raucous LLC.

    He brings an irreverent, sarcastic, and sometimes ironic voice to the tech world.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.