Skip to comments.China not in World Cup, still crazy for it
Posted on 06/17/2014 10:58:24 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
Thirty-two of the world's best football teams are now competing for the iconic golden World Cup trophy -- but the planet's most populous nation is not among them.
Team China failed to qualify for the "beautiful game's" showpiece event in Brazil. In fact China's World Cup dream turned into a nightmare as early as 2011, when it was eliminated in a regional qualifying round.
But for all the interest in football in this country of more than one billion people, it is a huge source of frustration that they can't field a competitive national team.
"China's weakness in football is a pain point and there is certainly an ambition to improve," said Scott Kronick, President of Ogilvy Public Relations Asia Pacific. Indeed, a multitude of Chinese -- from the state president, to a Peking University student, to a Beijing taxi driver -- share one Chinese dream: that Team China will one day win in the World Cup finals.
(Excerpt) Read more at ktuu.com ...
Monday night's World Cup match between the U.S. and Ghana drew 15.9 million viewers total between the two channels carrying the game, ESPN and Univision, according to preliminary overnight Nielsen ratings. The figure set World Cup viewership records for both networks.
The ratings trounced the audience for the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup finals on Friday, which attracted 6 million TV viewers. Perhaps more surprising, the viewership numbers for the soccer game had an admirable showing against Sunday's National Basketball Association finals game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, which attracted 17.9 million viewers.
While I've never loved the game, it is easy to see why the appeal is growing. There are very few stoppages of play. No huddles like in football. No continual stopping the clock for free throws. No waiting for something to happen like in baseball.
In my small southern town, football is still king, but baseball is dying. It's hard for Little League to put together enough teams. Soccer, on the other hand, is HUGE. Lots of kids play.
Off topic: when I lived in Maryland, lacrosse was a big sport. I've never understood why that hasn't become a more popular sport in the South.
Poll - FIFA World Cup: Is Guillermo Ochoas save the greatest ever?If you watched the Brazil-Mexico match, one moment stands out.
Guillermo Ochoas magnificent save on Neymar kept Brazil off the scoresheet.
The 28-year-old goalkeeper for Mexicos national team wowed spectators when he made six saves during the match against Brazil, refusing to let star player Neymar - or anyone else on Brazils team for that matter - score.
It was an amazing performance by Ochoa, who came up big time and time again for coach Miguel Herreras team.
More like "the Mexican Tomaszewski".*
*Old school England fans will get it.
Gordie Banks on Pele is the greatest save ever.
Brazil 0:0 Mexico Match Highlights
World Cup 2014: Guillermo Ochoa heroics for Mexico deny Brazil
Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa sensationally kept Brazil at bay to earn Mexico a 0-0 draw in World Cup Group A in Fortaleza on Tuesday.
Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar twice came closest to breaking the deadlock in each half but both times was thwarted by point blank saves by man-of-the-match Ochoa.
World goes berserk for incredible six-fingered goalkeeper Ochoa
Cue praise from the social media brigade:
Ochoa said: "No doubts it was the greatest game of my life, it's not easy to have a performance like this against the home team.
Neymars header was the most complicated save.
"We knew it was going to be a difficult match. Brazil is always tough and in their home stadium," he added.
We knew they would give twice the effort but it is good point for us and good for us in this group."
"What is important now is three points. First we have to recover and then put the focus on the next game against Russia. We will be looking to continue to build on this momentum."
Belgium 2:1 Algeria Match Highlights
(I like Australia, but they have little business being in the World Cup. Holland OTOH, can go far in this tourney)
The Zenit St Petersburg striker was brought on after rival substitute Lee Keun-Ho put South Korea ahead with a shot that Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev disastrously parried over his head into the net.
The result left both countries trailing Belgium who head the Group H table after beating Algeria 2-1 earlier.
Russia, who host the 2018 finals, were looking to make an impact in their landmark return.
Russia 1:1 Korea Republic Match Highlights