Up until now, the term of Parking the Bus didn’t infiltrate the World Cup. But after Iran made their debut, Algeria perfected the system and almost got away with it against Belgium. Luckily for those who care about justice within the confines of 90 minutes, they eventually lost.
Iran actually beat Algeria to the punch, but one of the most annoying things about teams that park the bus is actually watching them score. Why? Because they have no intention to find the net. It simply happens because of a mistake by the dominating team. Belgium didn’t exactly play the kind of football that makes you feel they were deeply wronged for conceding from the penalty spot, but it slightly hurt to see Algeria succeed until a certain point in the match.
Algeria had three shots at goal if you include the penalty kick. That’s how defensive they were. Again, Belgium didn’t exactly rip the field apart with scintillating, fast paces and passing football. However, they came to win the match instead of simply trying everything in their power to ruin the match.
Why was Algeria’s performance worse than Iran’s? Maybe it was the end result, or their opponent. Nigeria were just as bad only in a different way in their 0-0 draw. Iran also didn’t win, so no one felt like a team that hardly had any chances for 90 minutes let alone try to create something ran away with something they didn’t deserve. Algeria eventually lost and many thought justice was done.
The level and quality of football in World Cups isn’t always the highest. The Champions League is better. The Euros are much better. We have too many So-So teams compared to the best and even second tier level in European and South American football. However, in this tournament up until the last two days, there was nothing to complain about. As long as there is a good pace to matches and both teams are trying to win the match, even if via defensive tactics, everyone enjoys watching the match.
But Iran and a day later Algeria brought the parking the bus factor into the tournament. That’s not what you want your summer of football to be about. That’s not what this tournament should be about. Even teams without any creative or attacking quality find ways to play some sort of style that isn’t a pain on the eyes. The United States might be a good example of zero creativity but perfectly good intentions. Teams that plan on scoring only if an accident happen? It’s better for us if they’re out of here as soon as possible.