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WORLD CUP OPEN THREAD, DAY 26: The Tactical Foul

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Uruguay vs. Netherlands, 1:30 p.m., ESPN: Last Thursday's match with Ghana and Uruguay may have been one of the most gut-wrenching losses, regardless of sport, that we've ever seen. Ghana, the last remaining representatives of Africa for the continent's first World Cup (a fact lost on nobody over there, rest assured), had battled Uruguay to a tie through over 120 minutes of play. During stoppage time in the second extra period, a sure goal is batted away at the goal line by Uruguay's Luis Suarez--something of a problem, since Suarez is a forward. Automatic red card, automatic suspension, but Uruguay is still alive so long as Ghana's Asamoah Gyan misses the PK. Gyan plunks it off the crossbar, Uruguay wins on PK shootout, and here we are.

How you feel about that play is probably indicative of the amount of respect you have for soccer in general. Hate the sport, and that's another reason why: Ghana was robbed of a sure game-winner, and Uruguay was given the game's ultimate reward after submitting itself to the harshest of possible in-game penalties. Or was it brilliant split-second strategy, placing as much pressure on the Ghanaians as the rules would allow? Let's hear it, sports engineers, which is it? A bug or a feature?

Perhaps we'll have our answer when Uruguay submits itself to the whims of the soccer gods once again as they face the Netherlands today. Game on; y'all know the rules. No typing with your hands.