Tuesday – June 22nd, 2010
Mexico vs. Uruguay & South Africa vs. France review
(South Africa vs France notifications – bold & italics.)
First the bad news, Mexico and Uruguay needed just a tie to get in. Good news? Neither really wants to end up second and face Argentina next. So what do you get? A fairly entertaining and open game! Right from the first minute both sides traded shots off target, the first of many in a great first half. Uruguay’s Suarez had the first real opportunity at the 12th minute, which keeper Perez saved. Mexico’s Guardado responded with a bomb off the crossbar at the 21st. (Khumalo header gave South Africa the lead at the 20th minute, French keeper Lloris failed) With both sides looking for the score, the ball barely stayed in the midfield, rather both attacks were able to get near the penalty box. (France’s Gourcuff got a red card for an elbow to the face at the 25th minute) Mexico was winning on ball possession, and their passing was good, however Uruguay’s fast counter-attack was a bigger threat. (At the 37th minute South Africa’s Mphela won a challenge on a loose ball in front of the goal and scored to go up 2-0)It was only a matter of time since a goal appeared with both teams open like this, and on the 43rd minute, it did with a Uruguayan Suarez header off a Cavani cross.
With South Africa winning by two and up one man, while Mexico was trailing Uruguay, the Bafana Bafana miracle was within grasp, tying in points but trailing in goal differential by two.
With the start of the second half, we saw a more cautious Uruguay, obviously with the lead, they reinforced the defense, thus limiting Mexico’s chances. Still, the Mexicans were able to attack, but the shots weren’t as dangerous. (Mphela’s shot hit the post at the 51st minute)It was Uruguay though who had another great opportunity with a Lugano header off a perfect Forlan cross at the 53rd. With South Africa pressur ing, the Mexicans didn’t want to hang around the loss and went even more offensive with substitutions. At the 64th minute, a Rodriguez header nearly gave the Mexicans the much desired tie. (A nice touch by France’s Ribery left Malouda in front of the goal and he didn’t miss at the 70th minute)The Mexicans continued looking for the tie and missed another chance with a Hernandez touch at the 76th minute, but with the French goal, their situation was looking a lot brighter. Uruguay, once again, got another counter-attack right and nearly didn’t score when Cavani let a bomb loose at the 88th, but Perez saved.
With both games coming to an end, the biggest winner was obviously Uruguay, with their narrow 1-0 win over Mexico, they end up first in the group and avoid the mighty Argentinians. Mexico meanwhile, didn’t have a bad game, but they should be a bit disappointed with the result. South Africa won and had a great performance, though their production fell in the second half. It is a goodresult for them despite the group outcome, in their second World Cup win. For the French? Well, at least it’s all over.
Uruguay 1 x 0 Mexico – South Africa 2 x 1 France
Argentina vs. Greece & South Korea vs. Nigeria review
Due to time and mental constraints, I will not be able to provide a full recap of the game, rather just a complete review of what happened.
Argentina beat Greece by two goals, and it should’ve been more. Not because Argentina is amazing, though they are pretty good, but because the Greek are so horrible. To think that they almost made it past group phase would be an atrocity to soccer. They stink. They really do. They beat Nigeria because they had one more man. The New Jersey Nets could beat anyone if their opponent had just four men on the court, well, maybe just the Knicks, but still! You basically need to win the game and all you put up is seven shots on goal and 33% ball possession? Go home. And that they will. I said Argentina’s bench was enough and it was, Messi still seemed holy, except he still couldn’t get one in, and they just flat out dominated with goals by Demichelis at the 77th and Palermo at the 89th minute.
Meanwhile, if you didn’t watch, you missed one hell of a game in Nigeria vs. South Korea. I didn’t watch it, but I’m guessing it was one hell of a game. The Nigerians needed a win, help by Argentina an win on goal differential. The South Koreans basically were fine with a tie, unless Greece beat Argentina, so they basically, were fine. The game ended in a 2-2 tie with both creating many scoring chances (27 in total) and were fairly even in possession and attack. The Nigerians started in front with a goal by Uche at the 12th minute, and that completely opened the game up. The Koreans were able to tie it up at the 38th with Jungsoo and take the lead at the 48th with Chuyoung, the game didn’t quiet down from there and the Nigerians tied it up at the 69th with a penalty kick by Yakubu. Great, fast and open game. But the Koreans advanced and rightfully so, since they’ve played better throughout. There’s a Nigerian player named Shittu. Yep.
Argentina 2 x 0 Greece – South Korea 2 x 2 Nigeria
Wednesday – June 23rd, 2010 Preview
Slovenia vs. England (10 AM EST.)
England got this. Slovenia’s defense showed it couldn’t hold back an attacking team, and the British will attack, so Slovenia’s defense won’t be able to contain them, because the British will attack…. Prediction: Slovenia’s defense will lose.
USA vs. Algeria (10 AM EST.)
USA! USA! Yep, that’s my review, so Shittu!! Prediction: USA win.
Ghana vs. Germany (2:30 PM EST.)
Ghana should’ve won versus Australia, they won’t win this one. Prediction: Germany win.
Australia vs. Serbia (2:30 PM EST.)
Australia will get a red card in the 1st minute. Serbia wins. Prediction: Serbia win.