World Cup Semifinals: Argentina vs. Netherlands
It's inevitable—whenever we're toasting or cheers-ing before a meal, my grandfather slips in the obligatory, "Here's to looking up your record." I can guarantee you that after yesterday, Brazil's hapless team, and the country as a whole for that matter, want no part of a meal with my grandfather.
Everyone from Pôrto Alegre all the way to Boa Vista woke up this morning hoping it was all a bad dream, that they had somehow only imagined Germany destroying [SEE ALSO: obliterated, crushed, steamrolled, smashed, shattered, demolished] their World Cup hopes in a 7-1 rout. It was a beating unlike any the World Cup, or possibly any sport, has ever seen. For a comparison, I found it necessary to turn to fiction. Not since that time Tom Cruise the gaijin was somehow the last samurai has there been such a lopsided defeat.
Seriously, you guys. That game was so terribly sad for the host nation. I've seen a lot of professional fútbol matches in my day, but I have never seen a team roll over and play dead like the Seleção did after Miroslav Klose scored Die Mannschaft's second goal (becoming the highest goalscorer in World Cup history in the process). It was like [Author's note: PETA, avert your eyes] watching a pod of killer whales toying with a seal pup. Hard to stomach, harder to watch.
That being said, props to ze Germans. As bad as Brazil played, Germany played a near-perfect game. They will assuredly be the favorites entering the final against the winner of today's contest. Hellooo, segue..
Match of the Day: THE ONLY ONE ONEurope vs. South America: Take two. Hopefully today's match will be more hotly contested than yesterday's. Magical Messi meets dominant Dutch. Argentina will be looking to impress in their first semifinal in 24 years, while the Oranje are itching to get back to the final for the second consecutive Cup. Both teams had their confidence shaken in their respective quarterfinal matches, so there's really no telling how this turns out. Argentina will be without a major weapon in midfielder Angel Di Maria, so they'll need Messi to flip his superhuman switch and lead them to victory. Like the little engine that could, I think they can. I think they can. My Pick: Argentina 3, Netherlands 1
Player to Watch: La Pulga
Yes, I've featured him here already. But Lionel Messi is IMPOSSIBLE. Literally. Editor Scott Mowbray sent me this link which outlines just how impossible Messi is. Read that, and be amazed. Plain and simple, the little guy from Rosario was put on Earth to make us appreciate The Beautiful Game. Not since Michael Jordan have we been privileged enough to see one man so thoroughly dominant his craft. And Messi wants to win today. Needs to win. He lives ever in Diego Maradona's shadow, and only a World Cup triumph will grant him his place in the sun (at least in Argentina's eyes). Expect him to have the game of his life, or the Dutch will win.
Match Day Dish: Argentine Black Bean Flatbread with Chimichurri Drizzle (Argentina)Chimichurri is divine. This World Cup was actually my first run-in with this Argentinean grilled meat complement, but I can assure you it won't be my last. The flavor is second to none. Cook this recipe up and be amazed. After your amazement subsides, take pictures of your dish and send them into our Instagram account for a chance to win prizes (details here). Have a happy World Cup semifinal day! Cheers.
Argentine Black Bean Flatbread with Chimichurri DrizzleTotal Time: Not too long
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°), divided
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups Black Bean Spread
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic