Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup 2010

Note that I number the matches in the order they are played (and I watch).  Why would you play match 4 before match 3 starts? That makes no sense.
Opening Ceremonies:
What were they thinking with the giant dung beetle pushing a soccer ball?
Match 1 RSA 1 vs MEX 1
A surprising result considering how much Mexico dominated.  One absolutely brilliant goal by South Africa the difference in this one.
Match 2 FRA 0 vs URU 0
I think France was concentrating on not losing this game.  They do tend to start slow, but I think they missed an opportunity here.  Seven yellows in the match.  Two draws in the first two games will make for an interesting Group A.
Match 3 KOR 2 vs GRE 0
Greece was very disorganized.  Their tactic was to send long/high balls down the field - unfortunately, there was very often no Greek player there to receive.  Korea was very fast on the counterattack.
Match 4 ARG 1 vs NIG 0
Again with the playing not to lose.  Messi didn't manage to capitalize on any of his numerous chances, making it a closer game than it should have been.  Argentina had much more possession, more shots, more corner kicks, but until the very end Nigeria was only a chance goal away from the tie.
Match 5 ENG 1 vs USA 1
England scored early, USA tied late in the first half with a goal you'd normally see in a recreational U12 game.  On paper, England better, but US had plenty of chances for the upset.
Match 6 SVN 1 vs ALG 0
A snooze-fest only broken up by another goalkeeping blunder.
Match 7 SRB 0 vs GHA 1
First PK of the World Cup decides this one.  Otherwise fairly dull  I suck at picking WC results.
Match 8 GER 4 vs AUS 0
I really enjoyed this game.  Germany dominated in a way no other team has managed so far.  The first goal was a perfect little teaching moment -  'Play to the whistle' instead of raising your arm in the air and stopping because you don't understand "It is not an offence to be in an offside position".  A couple of yellows for diving - glad to see, there usually aren't enough.  A yellow for dissent - also glad to see, also usually not enough.
Match 9 NED 2 vs DEN 0
The first own-goal of the tournament opened the scoring in this one.
Match 10 JPN 1 vs CMR 0
I think the biggest upset so far.
Match 11 ITA 1 vs PAR 1
Italy came back to tie.  Not a fan of Italy.
Match 12 NZL 1 vs SVK 1
Slovakia's goal was offside.  It normally bugs we when commentators constantly question (95% wrongly) offside calls.  Replay shows Slovakian forward offside, and the AR out of position.  Big and very late 93rd minute goal from New Zealand to get a point and make group F interesting with everybody tied.
Match 13 POR 0 vs CIV 0
Picked Portugal to win, cheering for Ivory Coast, so lost on both counts.  Why is it that Ivory Coast is called Côte d'Ivoire on an english broadcast?  We don't hear Germany called Deutschland or Japan called Nippon.  Ronaldo is a diving pansy.
Match 14 BRA 2 vs PRK 1
Korea looked good in the first half.  Great first goal by Brazil, Korea scores late consolation that could be a factor in tie-breaks later on.
Match 15 HON 0 vs CHI 1
This is starting out as a very low scoring World Cup.  Half a goal less per game than the lowest of all time in 1990.  While I enjoy the tactical side of play, I can see why low scoring games makes soccer relatively unpopular in North America.  I missed about 20 minutes of this match, including the goal.
Match 16 ESP 0 vs SUI 1
The shock of the tournament!  Spain one of the favourites & had never lost to Switzerland before.
Match 17  RSA 0 vs URU 3
Goodbye Bafana Bafana.  Have to say I disagree with the red for DOGSO(F).  He was already diving when he got clipped, and the ball was too far away.
Match 18 ARG 4 vs KOR 1
Now we see Argentina in form.  Could have been more goals but Korean gk made some excellent saves.  From body language and behaviour, it seems to me that Maradona is not universally well liked by his players.
Match 19 GRE 2 vs NGA 1
A stupid and selfish red card has virtually eliminated Nigera from the World Cup.  They were leading at the time, fell apart immediately after, allowing Greece to score first WC goal ever, then get first WC win ever.

Match 20 FRA 0 vs MEX 2
Glad to see France lose, since they didn't deserve to be here anyway.
Match 21 GER 0 vs SRB 1
Another shocker.  A yellow card-fest with 9, IMO some were weak, including Klose's second.  I saw up to the missed PK! then had to head to the Doctor's for Mars 'flower fell up the nose' followup.
Match 22 SVN 2 vs USA 2
US not out of it, but expected better.  Still, they achieved the comeback from 0-2 and probably should have won on that disallowed goal.  Never did see a convincing replay showing a foul.
Match 23 ENG 0 vs ALG 0
England played like crap.  The only difference between this and the game they will play if they make the knockout round is that then I will have to add "... and goes out on penalties."  No teamwork.
Match 24 NED 1 vs JAP 0
Should have stayed in bed for more comfortable snoozing.
Match 25 GHA 1 vs AUS 1
Australia not the entertaining team they were last WC.
Match 26 CMR 1 vs DEN 2
And Cameroon is the first to 'officially' go.  African nations not doing so well.
Match 27 SVK 0 vs PAR 2
Paraguay looks strong again.
Match 28 NZL 1 vs ITA 1
Bogus penalty allowed Italy to get the draw.  Bunch of divers again.  Glad they didn't get the win, but unfortunately, I think they will still advance.  They have a better chance against Slovakia than NZ do against Paraguay.
Match 29 BRA 3 vs CIV 1
Not a good match for the referee.  Missed handling twice on the second goal, suspect red for Kaka.
Match 30 POR 7 vs PRK
After such a good showing vs Brazil, Korea flubs this one big time.  It was still close after the half, then they fell giving up three goals in seven minutes early in the half, and three more in the last ten minutes.  Has ramifications for advancement goal difference could be the difference between Portugal and Ivory Coast advancing.  I'm sad, I don't like Portugal.  Missed the last 10 minutes of this one at the doctor's office.
Match 31 CHI 1 vs SWI 0
A close one, Switzerland missing a golden opportunity right at the end to tie.  Another card-fest.  
Switzerland has played surprisingly well.
Match 32 SPA 2 vs HON 0
Spain finds better form, but still closer than it should have been.
Match 33 MEX 0 vs URU 1
Uruguay wins the group, the other group A match to decide who joins them in the next round.
Match 34 FRA 1 vs RSA 2
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!  I knew they wouldn't advance, but a loss to South Africa was the icing on the FU France cake.  Nothing will make it up to Ireland, but at least this is some small solace.
Match 35 GRE 0 vs ARG 2
Greece hung on for ages, but eventually Argentina got the goals.  Some brilliant save from Greek GK.
Match 36 NGA 2 vs  KOR 2
Back and forth.  One of the worst misses I've ever seen cost Nigeria!  A dead person lying on the ground could have scored that goal! Korea advances.
Match 37 ENG 1 vs SVN
England certainly had enough chances to put this one away.  Should of could of will hurt them later on.
Match 38 USA 1 vs ALG 0
It literally took a last minute goal for the US to win this and advance.  They looked much stronger last year at Confederations Cup.
Match 39 GER 1 vs GHA 0
Too close for comfort.

Match 40 AUS  2 vs SRB 1
"They are going potty", says the announcer after Australia's second goal.  Not enough after their drubbing by Germany - they are out on goal differential.
Match 41 ITA 2 vs SVK 3
WOOHOO!  Byebye to the undeserving (except maybe World Cup of Diving) winners from 2006.  Startled the boys by jumping and cheering Slovakia's third goal.  Italy did make it a very exciting finish, twice coming back from 2 goals down, with a number of chances to tie.
Match 42 PAR vs NZL
Both teams have employed a curious strategy.  Play the most boring game possible and hope the other team falls asleep.  Only one shot on net in the first half, NZ didn't get any on net all game.  Paraguay advances.
Match 43 DEN 1 vs JAP 3
A surprise for me.
Match 44 NED 2 vs CAM 1
Haven't watched this one - yet.  My mum is visiting, so missing some games.
Match 45 POR 0 vs BRA 0
Haven't watched this one - yet.  My mum is visiting, so missing some games.
Match 46 PRK 0 vs CIV 3
Feel bad for North Korea.  Started the WC so well against Brazil, then got hosed the next two games.
Match 47 CHI 1 vs SPA 2
Spain dominated possession, but a close game nonetheless.
Match 48 SWI 0 vs HON 0
Haven't watched this one. Thinking I won't bother. 

Round of 16
Match 49 URU 2 vs KOR 1
Uruguay continues to look strong.  I think they will handle Ghana and make the semis.  A miserable rainy day.  Uruguay's second goal is the best of the tournament!

Match 50 GHA 2 vs USA 1
I expected the US to prevail in this one.  US couldn't come back - again.  Thought the GK was weak on the 2nd goal. 
Match 51 GER 4 vs ENG 1
An officiated error was the difference in this one.  Poetic justice for 1966?
Match 52 ARG 3 vs MEX 1
Another officiating error made the difference.  Unfortunate, especially since I thought the AR was in position to see it.  There will be another storm about video replay.

Match  53 NED 2 vs SVK 1
Was not as close as the score makes it seem.  Debatable penalty in the 90th for Slovakia salvaged some pride.
Match 54 BRA 3 vs CHI 0
Sad for Chile, they had done well up to this point.  Second goal a laugher as Chilean defenders stands still with his arm in the air and lets Fabiano walk in uncontested for the goal.  Play to the whistle, kiddies.
Match 55 SPA 1 vs POR 0
Spain dominated this match in every way except score.  Ronaldo flopped around like a wet dishrag to no avail.  Bye-bye baby.
Match 56 PAR Pen 0 vs JAP 0 
The first penalty shootout.  A pretty dull game I thought.  Paraguay dominated on possession, I figured they would win, but didn't expect penalties to decide it.
Match 57 NED 2 vs BRA 1
I picked this one.  Thought I was wrong when Brazil scored early, but the Dutch came back!  One unfortunate thing - they employed a 'trick corner' play.  Even money says I see the local U12 try it next week.
Match 58 URU 1 vs GHA 1
Wow.  Ghana opens with seconds left in the first half, a ridiculous low shot from 30 yards that drew the keeper a step one way, then curled in the other.  Uruguay later tied on a very nice free kick.  Seconds from the end of the game, scramble in the goal area, three shots on, the third a DOGSO(H), Ghana is going to win on the resulting penalty... except its off the crossbar!  Game goes to penalty shootout, Ghana misses two more, and Uruguay goes on.  Destiny.
Match 59 ARG 0 vs GER 4
I expected this to be an exciting match, but certainly not like this!  Other than possession favouring Argentina, this was pretty close in the first half.  I fully expected Argentina to tie and the game go to extra time and then shootout.  Then bang bang it was over except the insult to injury goal in the 89th minute.  Messi completely disappeared throughout the game.  I guess this is what happens when one team has a coach and the other has a chubby cheerleader.

Match 60 PAR 0 vs SPA 1
How to play against a much stronger team 101.  Play defensively and foul a lot.  I think it could be argued that Paraguay shuld have got the goal that was called offside - it would have completely changed the game.  So would have the penalty.  Missed.  The thing with playing defensively against a much better team is that you have to convert your rare chances.  A penalty should be a gimmie.  Going back the other way, penalty for Spain is converted but called back for encroachment - bizarre I thought, since though technically correct (by a measly half step), I've yet to see a penalty without that kind of encroachment, and it isn't called.  The retake was stopped!   Craziness.  Even still, Spain was hard pressed to win this one.  The most bizarre goal of the WC at 83 minutes - shot off the post rebounds to Villa, who puts it off both posts before it goes in.  Huge chance for Paraguay in 89th minute is driven into the keeper.  A chip or sidestep would have been a sure goal.  Spain moves on, but I don't think they will beat Germany.  I'm predicting a Netherlands-Germany final.

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