Look at that, years of punishing practice and all it results in is a goal which can win the game and sometimes the world cup! Soccer and Hockey, they share this similarity. Especially the Soccer, with all that running to do across that wider field for that one ball not to be touched with hands, passing the ball on by keeping in mind the opponents' Jersey colour, it's not anyone's sport! Fitness of the body and alertness of the mind are I think the key parameters that guide every player to do what they have to do. One more interesting fact is, one needs to have the eye on the ball and along with that one must not overlook the opponent team's player whom your body might be colliding in. If they are the last minutes of a tie and if the opponent player is in the penalty area, one must be doubly careful about any unintended movements of his body parts. You never know, on eventual moment of your own leg can defeat you and your team.
The TEN numbered player is the critical. Among Indian cricket fans, this number is pretty famous. There might not be any confusion about it. But when it comes to the jerseys of the two teams and the way they keep changing colours, its definitely difficult firstly to remember which Jersey colour is of which team and secondly, if your favorite team must run towards your left or right to score a goal. We are too much of a cricket watching nation. Every time the ball goes out of the boundary, it's time for the cheer leaders. In Soccer, there are plenty of meanings for the ball going out of the field. It touches the goal net occasionally. Out of all those very less times it touches, there could be the 'off-side' faults too.
Coaches are the busy people in suits and ties. Referees are even busier species. Amidst the louder cheering of the fans and the twenty two players that surround, taking smart decisions especially on Penalties and Red-cards is not as easy job as that appears. Third umpire review is not available unlike cricket where umpires need not be so tough with themselves. Goal keeper's job is incomparable! One moment of failure to estimate the direction and speed of the ball that races towards him can do sufficient damage, correcting which might or might not be possible in the same game. On top of that, the memories of that lost ball do not leave that quickly. Well, that's part of their game and they might handle it easily too, as they grow up in the game.
As I write this, Argentina have played tremendously dominating game out there against Belgium. They are through to the Semi finals and they say that's for the first time ever that Brazil and Argentina both are in semi finals of a world cup. Argentina await the winner of Netherlands vs Costa Rica. The other semi final clash is set up already. Its between the hosts, Brazil, and the visitors from the Europe, Germany. Its going to be tough, I guess and strongly hope. May the best win.