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Latin flavour gone

THE World Cup has lost its spice -- South America. With Brazil and Argentina losing in the quarterfinals, it is a European lineup for the semis. And none of the four teams is known for attacking football, though German supporters would like to differ.

india Updated: Jul 03, 2006 01:38 IST

THE World Cup has lost its spice -- South America. With Brazil and Argentina losing in the quarterfinals, it is a European lineup for the semis. And none of the four teams is known for attacking football, though German supporters would like to differ.

So what led to the downfall of the South Americans? Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said his plan was perfect and he would go with it even if he was given another chance. But anybody with some sense of football would vote against it.

Brazil packed the midfield -- a clear indication of defensive play. It was simply not their style and everybody knew it. France knew it better and it took just one push from Thierry Henry to do the rest. Brazil never recovered from that goal.

Now, all eyes will be on host Germany and France. Germany take on Italy on Wednesday and France clash with Portugal on Thursday. At this Cup, Germany has shown aggression but with so much at stake, one can't say for sure if they would retain it. As for France, Zinedine Zidane will have to come up with an extraordinary show to keep his hopes — of retiring on a high with the Cup —alive.