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|Its one of my biggest pet peeves in football and it happens all over the world and it happens often. Zach Randolph Jersey . Moreover, it makes the game a little less beautiful. I call it the "deliberate handball swindle." A player, believing hes been fouled, grabs the ball while falling to the ground, forcing the referee into making a decision in the players favour. As a long suffering observer of CONCACAF, Ill cynically assume that this technique originated in Central America and spread like a disease to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, FIFA has allowed the plague to fester...until recently it seems. More and more, we are seeing officials make the correct decision, by giving a free kick in the other direction, while brandishing the yellow card that is automatically awarded for intentionally handling the ball. Unfortunately for Whitecaps fans, it was a Vancouver player that fell victim to that modern interpretation and, because Mattias Laba was already in the book, it was an indisputable sending off in the Whitecaps 2-1 loss to Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Was Laba pulled back by Nick Labrocca in the 77th minute and might a foul have been awarded? Yes. But there were a full two steamboats between Laba tumbling to the ground and the Argentine midfielder grabbing the ball. Enough time for the referee to blow his whistle, which he didnt, and enough time for Laba to consider the circumstances - already on a yellow with his team leading by a goal. Perhaps in his home country, in front of a huge crowd, a referee might have caved to the con and we see that all the time. I sympathize with officials who are constantly being put in a position of having to interpret deceit. So for the good of the game, Im glad Ionnis Stavridis construed the law the way he did and I hope his contemporaries in the game consistently follow suit and react the same way in similar circumstances. There is part of me, though, that also wonders whether in this instance, if the referee knew right away that Laba was already on a yellow for a belligerent foul just 23 minutes earlier ,as there seemed to be hesitation between him showing the secnd yellow and then the red. If referees themselves strive for anonymity and the desire to let players decide games, then, upon reflection, perhaps Mr. Stavridis might have secretly wished he had just awarded a foul to Nick Labrocca and not influenced the game to that degree. But it doesnt change the fundamental issue - grabbing the ball to force a referee into a ruling falls under the same category as diving or, as its now known, “simulation." Its cheating plain and simple and if the Whitecaps truly want to live by their slogan “Our All, Our Honour”, maybe they need to learn from this incident and encourage players to think twice about employing one of the games most notorious swindles. Shareef Abdur-Rahim Jersey . The time off didnt slow them down. Tyler Zeller scored a season-high 18 points and grabbed a career-best 15 rebounds, Kyrie Irving added 14 points and the Cavaliers pushed their winning streak to five games Tuesday night with a 114-85 victory over the skidding Philadelphia 76ers. Jarell Martin Jersey . - Nikita Jevpalovs scored 6:22 into the second overtime as the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada edged the visiting Rimouski Oceanic 2-1 on Tuesday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff action. http://www.thegrizzliesofficial.com/Authentic-Wade-Baldwin-Grizzlies-Jersey/ . -- Sami Salo joked that as the shootout went on and on, one thing went through his mind: "Youve got to tie up your skates.There is a fine line that every World Cup gives birth to. A line, if crossed, that can mean so much. A line that can be approached, stared at and almost touched, but come the final whistle, can seem so far away no matter how near a team can get to it. A dream crushed. The right side of the line produces emotions of joy, relief, and satisfaction. The wrong side of the line leaves players in tatters, full of disappointment and despair. In the sport, there is nothing quite like the fine line between success and failure at World Cups. For every nation, the line is different, placed perfectly in tandem with their expectation. For Brazil, the positioning of the line is clear. It is placed at 18:00 hours local time inside the Maracana in Rio de Janiero on Sunday July 13. Win the World Cup and it is a success; anything else and it is a failure. Past World Cups have shown us just how close winners have come to falling on the wrong side of the line as their journey across it takes shape. In 2010, Spain became the first ever champions to lose their first game of the tournament and they had an Iker Casillas penalty save to thank for them not going behind to Paraguay in the quarterfinals. In 2006, Italy flirted with both sides of the line in the knock-out stages, scoring goals in the 95th minute (vs. Australia) and in the 119th and 121st minute against Germany in the semifinal before winning it all on penalties in the final. It is worth remembering this when making predictions of a winner during this upcoming World Cup; Brazil of 1970 and 2002 are the only champions to ever win every game in a World Cup (minimum of five games played). The line, however, is not placed for all at the final stage. For some teams, the difference between success and failure is simply getting out of the group stages and reaching the last 16. For others, it is the next step, winning a knockout game and reaching the quarterfinals; suddenly doing something few expected you could do. At this point, a countrys entire success on the tournament is based around one game. Lose it and you may have underachieved. Win it and you may have overachieved. It is such a small margin, one that has led teams in the past to continue on a run that goes a long way beyond their initial expectations. In South Africa 2010, Uruguay, Paraguay and Ghana all fell into that category. Ukraine surprisingly reached the last eight in Germany 2006 while in 2002, hosts South Korea, Senegal and Turkey all went much further than most predicted. Croatia got to the semifinals in 1998, Sweden did the same in 1994, as well as Bulgaria at USA 94. Cameroon had a memorable run to the quarterfinals at Italy 90. It could very well happen again. There is likely one, or possibly two, teams in the World Cup this year that will make it past their line of success and reach the quarterfinals and, maybe even, the semifinals. Many peoples pick for a dark horse in Brazil is Belgium because a lot of their current crop of players now belong to well-known club teams, particularly in the English Premier League. Belgium, however, were seeded for this World Cup. That meant they were considered as one of the best eight teams. Yes, they have not been to a World Cup since 2002, but that seed, coupled with a much weaker group than others, ensures that this team should not be considered a surprise if they reach, for example, the quarterfinals. The semifinals? Yes. Then two games would have to be won to cross the line. Here is my top five teams that have a chance to go beyoond that line and become a surprise member of the final eight or last four in Brazil. Bryant Reeves Jersey. 5. England - It has been some time since expectations were this low for England heading into a World Cup. In fact, they are so low, you get the feeling something has to happen for them to rise again before, as usual, it all goes up in flames. If England gets to the quarterfinals, it will be a surprise but if they are to achieve it, the biggest hurdle will be getting past one of Uruguay or Italy in Group D. Once through, a game against any team in Group C will seem easier than what they faced in the groups. 4. Switzerland - There are few easier paths to the quarterfinals than winning Group E. Paired in the last 16 with Group F, likely won by Argentina, the group winner would play one of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran or Nigeria for a spot in the last eight. Switzerland hasnt reached that stage since hosting the tournament in 1954 but with a young group, a terrific coach and this path, they may finally do something they should have done in 2006. Yes, like Belgium, they are seeded but this was much more controversial and few expect the Swiss to do something in Brazil that they havent done for 60 years. 3. Chile - No team will be more fun to watch than the one run by the excellent Jorge Sampaoli. Placed in a very difficult group alongside 2010 finalists Spain and Netherlands, Chile has one mission – win the group. They simply cannot beat Brazil and too many World Cups have ended at the feet of the South American powerhouses, so to avoid them this time, they must finish top of Group B. It sounds like a difficult task but this team can do it and after that, the draw really opens up for them, likely playing one of Mexico/Croatia in the last 16 and then, probably, the winner of Group D. This is a breathtaking team to watch and if they start well and complete their first mission, then a semifinals berth would not surprise me. 2. France - Like Switzerland, France also must travel on the same path to the last eight and, after an embarrassing 2010 World Cup, coupled with a late comeback in the playoff game against Ukraine in qualifying, a place in the last eight in Brazil would be a real success for Didier Deschamps team. They are handed a comfortable start, playing Honduras, and then get the familiarity of opponents in Switzerland next. Win the group and they will be favored to reach the last eight and will likely only have the winner of Group G standing in their way of a trip to the semifinals. That would represent a remarkable turnaround following the dismal night in Kiev last October but they have a core group of genuine stars that could carry them deep. 1. Portugal - Speak to fans in the USA and they say Portugal wont get out of the group. The same is being said in Ghana. Thats what happens when you are in a group with Germany. Nobody predicts the Germans will get knocked out at that stage (its never happened, by the way). That leaves one spot between three competitive teams. For me, Portugal are in a different class to the other two and this team will qualify for the last 16. They would then be paired with a team from Group H, none of whom would worry a team that has some proven experience at how to navigate to the late rounds in major tournaments. A quarterfinal berth would be a major success for Paulo Bentos team and, for me, they are the best suited to go even further than that. 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