Posts Tagged ‘Chile’

Day eighteen is in the books and Brazil and the Netherlands continue to roll.  Should be a good game this weekend when these two teams meet in the Quarter-finals.  Brazil looks too good at this point to say that they won’t win the whole thing.  Argentina is good but can they get past Germany in the Quarters?  Germany also make a case but don’t underestimate how bad England was when you look at the final score.  This weekend is going to be awesome!

On to the games:

Netherlands – Slovakia (2-1)

Goals – Robben (NED) 18’, Sneijder (NED) 84’, Vittek (SVK) 90’+4

Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) gets the start after his performance as a sub in the last group game.  Who did he replace?  You guessed it, Rafael Van Der Vaart (Real Madrid).  I’m pretty sure I said something about that before.  Robben is back in form and that’s dangerous to whoever has to play this Dutch team.

Bad news for Brazil?

Slovakia are just too young and inexperienced to really make a dent in the Netherlands’ hope of advancing.  Midfielder Vladimir Weiss (Manchester City) was back in the lineup for Slovakia.  God knows why?  If this team can stay together, I can see this team making noise in Euro 2012 and Brazil 2014.

On a side note, I was watching CNN International this morning because that’s the only news channel I get that’s not in Korean.  Woe is me.  CNN is terrible and especially terrible when it comes to sports.  CNN probably hasn’t been relevant on the sports scene since the late 80’s.  I wish we could get BBC or SKY but I don’t think it’s happening.  I was watching the highlights and Mark McKay called Arjen Robben, Aryan Robben.  I’m pretty sure it’s not Aryan.  Then you have Pedro Pinto overenunciating all the Latin/Spanish names and also naming those players by their nickname or using their middle name.  Diego Maradona is Diego Armando Maradona and Gonzalo Higuain is Gonzalo Pipito Higuain.  I don’t know what’s worse, CNN’s World Cup coverage or the biased ESPN coverage?  Poor CNN, they try so hard.

Breaking news: No one cares about CNN

Brazil – Chile (3-0)

Goals – Juan (BRA) 35’, Luis Fabiano (BRA) 38’, Robinho (BRA) 59’

Losing defenders Waldo Ponce (Univ. Catolica) and Gary Medel (Boca Juniors) to suspension didn’t help Chile.  The return of Kaka (Real Madrid) was a bad sign too.  Just too much Brazil.  Chile came out in a 4-3-3 and Mark Gonzalez (CSKA Moscow) finally got the start up front but that was short-lived.  Bielsa came to his senses and brought in midfielder Jorge Valdivia (Al Ain) to replace Gonzalez right after halftime and changed back to a 4-4-2.

This Brazil team seems to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want.  That game against North Korea was just an anomaly.  The Netherlands are next but it remains to be seen if midfielders Elano (Galatasaray), Felipe Melo (Juventus) or Julio Baptista (AS Roma) will be back from injury by then.  Brazil went 5-3-2 in this game but if any of those players can be fit before the Netherlands game, there’s no reason they won’t go to a straight 4-4-2 formation.  We’ll see.

Luis Fabiano is the real deal

Tonight it’s Paraguay – Japan and Spain – Portugal.  I don’t have a clue who’s gonna win these games.  Paraguay has been solid but Japan has surprised me with how good they can play and defend.  I like Portugal in the second game but that’s just my gut.  Should be fun.

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Day fifteen brought the last games of round one.  Group G was pretty much set but Group H had everything to play for.  Spain, Chile and Switzerland all had legitimate shots at advancing but only two could make it.  Sorry Switzerland.  The round of sixteen is complete and it only includes one African team, Ghana.  It’s actually one more African team than I thought would make it.  The South Americans did extremely well but the Europeans had a bit of trouble.

On to the games:

Portugal – Brazil (0-0)

The game was very chippy in the first half with both teams picking up a total of seven yellow cards.  It seemed as if both teams really hated each other.  Brazil was in charge in the first half.  They had 63% of the possession and looked like they really wanted to win, even thought they didn’t really need to.  Portugal looked lost in the first half.  They could only chase Brazil around the pitch.

The second half was way different.  Both teams seemed to back off and looked content with a draw.  Portugal had the better of the chances but it wasn’t  very exciting soccer to watch.  I think both teams realized that they couldn’t afford more yellows and to lose players for the next game.

North Korea – Ivory Coast (0-3)

Goals – Yaya Toure (CIV) 14′, Romaric (CIV) 20′, Kalou (CIV) 82′

Ivory Coast knew they technically still had a chance to advance but realistically it wasn’t going to happen.  North Korea only had 39% of the possession and never really threatened.  Nice to see Salomon Kalou (Chelsea) finally do something in this tournament.  Another Sven Goran Eriksson team doesn’t live up to the hype.  Typical!

Chile – Spain (1-2)

Goals – Villa (ESP) 24′, Iniesta (ESP) 37′, Millar (CHI) 47′

Red Card – Estrada (CHI) 37′

This was the game that was probably going to be the most hard-fought of the day.  It was.  The long-range shot by David Villa (Barcelona) was sick.  What was the Chilean goalie thinking?  Spain bounce back from the opening game loss to the Swiss and win the group.  Defenders Waldo Ponce (Univ. Catolica) and Gary Medel (Boca Juniors) will miss Chile’s round of sixteen game against Brazil.  Spain has a meeting with Portugal waiting for them in the next round and Chile meets Brazil.

Switzerland – Honduras (0-0)

Switzerland just couldn’t figure out how to score against a weak Honduras team and that’s why they’re going home.  Not much else to say.

Standings

Team (points)

Group A:

Uruguay (7), Mexico (4),  South Africa (4), France (1) – Uruguay and Mexico advance

Group B:

Argentina (9), South Korea (4), Greece (3), Nigeria (1) – Argentina and South Korea advance

Group C:

USA (5), England (5),  Slovenia (4), Algeria (1) – USA and England advance

Group D:

Germany (6), Ghana (4), Australia (4), Serbia (3) – Germany and Ghana advance

Group E:

Netherlands (9), Japan (6), Denmark (3), Cameroon (0) – Netherlands and Japan advance

Group F:

Paraguay (5), Slovakia (4), New Zealand (3), Italy (2) – Paraguay and Slovakia advance

Group G

Brazil (7), Portugal (5), Ivory Coast (4), North Korea (0) – Brazil and Portugal advance

Group H

Spain (6), Chile (6), Switzerland (4),  Honduras (1) – Spain and Chile advance

Day eleven is in the books and all three winning teams never really looked in danger.  Portugal clobbered North Korea, Chile handled Switzerland and Spain dominated Honduras.  North Korea is eliminated from the tournament and no one would complain if they just packed up and left.

On to the games:

Portugal – North Korea (7-0)

Goals – Raul Meireles (POR) 29’, Simao (POR) 29’, Hugo Almeida (POR) 56’, Tiago (POR) 60’ & 89’, Liedson (POR) 81’, Cristiano Ronaldo (POR) 89’

Yes, Portugal scored seven goals in a World Cup game.  Not much to say about this game.  Portugal did what Brazil should’ve done in their first game against North Korea.  How did Brazil not score ten?

North Korea were the darlings of the soccer world last week for hanging on against Brazil.  This week they’re a farce, just like this game.  It got out of hand at 53’ and I seriously started to feel sorry for North Korea after it was 5-0.  It was as if anything near the North Korean goal was going in.  I thought Benny Hill music was gonna start playing.  The North Korean “fans”….I mean plants…didn’t know what was going on.

From deadspin.com – “I guess 1966 shall remain unavenged. However, the next time North Korea sees a Portuguese battleship they are totally gonna sink it.”

Anyone remember when the Ivory Coast players were sent to a military camp after they were eliminated from the 2000 African Cup of Nations?  I fear for the North Korean players’ safety.  On the other hand, it’s not like anyone in North Korea knows this game even happened.  Actually, North Korea was pleased with their performance against Brazil that they decided to broadcast the game.  OOOPS!!!

7-0? Watch your backs when you get home

Brazil is already through but Portugal and Ivory Coast are still alive for a spot in the next round.  Technically Ivory Coast is still alive.  Brazil has to beat Portugal, possible.  Ivory Coast has to beat North Korea, most likely.  The only problem is that if both those things happen, the Ivory Coast would have to make up a nine goal difference between themselves and Portugal, no f’n way.  Portugal is +7 on goal difference and the Ivory Coast is -2.  Another African team fails to see the next round.

Chile – Switzerland (1-0)

Goal – Gonzalez (CHI) 75’

Red Card – Behrami (SUI) 31’

Both teams came into this game on three points but let’s be honest, Switzerland got lucky and beat Spain while Chile is a solid, dangerous team.  Chile dominated this game in every way.  Having Switzerland down to ten men for about an hour made their life easier.

Mark Gonzalez (CSKA Moscow) scored the winner for Chile but there was one problem.  Esteban Paredes (Colo Colo) was offsides when he received the pass on the right wing before eventually passing it to Gonzalez.  Hello linesman!  I think the refereeing has been better than expected in this World Cup but the linesman have been below average.  I’m constantly seeing linesman running behind the play, catching up and raising the offsides flag.  How do you see the offsides when you’re not even in line with the last defender?  The opposite is that they are in position and they don’t call it when it happens.  Terrible!

Spain – Honduras (2-0)

Goals – Villa (ESP) 17′ & 51′

How did Spain not drop a seven on Honduras?  David Villa (Barcelona) scored two but he also missed and penalty and rattled the post from long-range.  It was all Spain all the time.  Honduras had nine “shots” but none of them were actually on goal.  Spain seems to have bounced back from the shock defeat at the hands of Switzerland.  Spanish coach Vincente Del Bosque finally came to his senses and started the dangerous Fernando Torres (Liverpool).

You really should've scored more goals

Everyone is alive in this group but if I’m Honduras I’m not making any hotel reservations for the next round.  That plane ticket probably doesn’t need to be changed.

Standings

Team (points)

Group A:

Uruguay (4), Mexico (4),  France (1), South Africa (1)

Group B:

Argentina (6), South Korea (3), Greece (3), Nigeria (0)

Group C:

Slovenia (4), USA (2), England (2), Algeria (1)

Group D:

Ghana (4), Germany (3), Serbia (3), Australia (1)

Group E:

Netherlands (6), Japan (3), Denmark (3), Cameroon (0) – Netherlands advance, Cameroon eliminated

Group F:

Paraguay (4), Italy (2), New Zealand (2), Slovakia (1)

Group G

Brazil (6), Portugal (4), Ivory Coast (1), North Korea (0) – Brazil advance, North Korea eliminated

Group H

Chile (6), Spain (3), Switzerland (3),  Honduras (0)

The first round of group games are done and now things start to get interesting.  All the games on tap promised to be good and they delivered.  Spain showed that even though they won Euro 2008, they still know how to fade in big games.  The refereeing continues to be better than expected.  This World Cup has really entertained me and we’re not even a week in.

On to the games:

Honduras – Chile (0-1)

Goals – Beausejour (CHI) 34′

Chile’s Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa continues the odd of coaches sitting one of their best, talented players for someone talented but lesser know players.  Can someone tell me why Mark Gonzalez (CSKA Moscow) was sitting on the bench and only came in at 87′.  He was only in for about six minutes but he was all over the place.  I noticed he was a bit of a ball hog but this is the World Cup, everyone is.  Honduras’ Columbian coach didn’t want to be outdone so he left David Suazo (Genoa) on the bench for the whole game.  Ridiculous!

Good enough to play in Italy but not good enough to play for Honduras

Chile deserved to win this game.  The had the edge in posession, shots and shots on goal.  Honduras played well but they just aren’t as talented as Chile.  I didn’t realize that Chile hasn’t won a World Cup game in about a century.  I thought the Marcelo Salas and Ivan Zamorano teams had some success in World Cups past.

Spain – Switzerland (0-1)

Goal – Fernandes (SUI) 52′

Spain OWNED this game in every way but found a way to lose.  I get that this team wasn’t gonna go 4-3-3 but couldn’t Spanish coach Vincente Del Bosque find a spot for one of Pedro (Barcelona) or Fernando Torres (Liverpool)?  Along with David Villa (Barcelona) one of those two would make the Spanish front line as feared as any in this tournament.  Instead, Spain comes out in a 4-5-1.  Smart!  One goal would have probably gotten Spain at least three in this game against a not so hot Switzerland.  Now Spain are looking up at Chile and Switzerland and wondering why they didn’t win this game.

Good enough to play anywhere in the world, except for Spain

Switzerland didn’t play well but a lucky bounce to Gelson Fernandes (Saint-Etienne) and Switzerland got the only goal they would need.  A shots by Spain, a post by Spain, and Switzerland almost making it two and the game was over and Spain is left pondering what should’ve been.

South Africa – Uruguay (0-3)

Goals – Forlan (URU) 24′ and 80′ penalty, Pereira (URU) 90’+5

Red Card – Khune (RSA) 76′

Uruguay was on fire in this game.  Time of posession was the same, shots were close but Uruguay was just better.  They looked smoother.  Diego Forlan’s (Atletico Madrid) long range shot was off a deflection but it was awesome.

I know I said the refereeing was good but the linesman have not been so good this World Cup and they made another mistake in this game.  At 76′ Luis Suarez (Ajax) was taken down by keeper Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs) and Uruguay were awarded a penalty which they converted.  The referee had no choice but to show Khune the red.  The only problem was that Suarez was offsides when the ball was passed  to him.  He got the ball all alone in front of goal and Khune had to do what he had to do.  Play should’ve never happened if the linesman did his job.  He was in position but he flat missed it.  Uruguay would’ve probably won anyway but instead on 2-0 Uruguay at 80′, it’s still 1-0 and everything to play for.

Khune should have never seen red

Uruguay look the goods and their next game with Mexico should be very interesting.  That game, in my opinion, will be for top spot in the group.  Nice to see that South Africa’s Coach Parreira came to his senses and started Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa) over Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates) in defense.

Standings

Team (points)

Group A:

Uruguay (4), Mexico (1),  France (1), South Africa (1) – Mexico/France still to play second game.

Group B:

South Korea (3), Argentina (3), Nigeria (0), Greece (0)

Group C:

Slovenia (3), USA (1), England (1), Algeria (0)

Group D:

Germany (3), Ghana (3), Serbia (0), Australia (0)

Group E:

Netherlands (3), Japan (3), Cameroon (0), Denmark (0)

Group F:

Paraguay (1), Italy (1), New Zealand (1), Slovakia (1)

Group G

Brazil (3), Ivory Coast (1), Portugal (1), North Korea (0)

Group H

Chile (3), Switzerland (3), Spain (0), Honduras (0)