YOOOAdrian’s 2010 World Cup Recap- 6/14 Day 4

GROUP E

NETHERLANDS VS DENMARK (Ned- 2-0)

  • The Orange Army has officially arrived in South Africa.  Outnumbering Denmark fans 20-1, the Army cheered on their squad who won 2-0 against a very conservative approach from Denmark.  For you casual futball fans, the Orange Army is comparable to Red Sox Nation in the United States.  The Army dresses in all out orange and are 125x crazier.  The Holland fan base is unbelievable, they go everywhere the national team goes through thick and thin.  Fans wear orange from head to toe, paint their face orange and probably paint their house orange.  This tradition is in honor of the Dutch Royal Family and the country’s independence.
  • On to the game, it wasn’t Holland’s best effort, but they got the 3 points.  They broke through on a Denmark blunder when Simon Poulson tried to clear a Robin Van Persie cross.  Instead, Poulson headed the ball off the back of Daniel Agger and into the net.  In what has become a World Cup filled with bloopers, this will certainly be on the blooper reel.
  • When Elijero Eli came in for Holland, the complexion of the match took a swift turn.  His energy and lightning quick speed is comparable to that of Shaun Wright-Phillips of the England team.  Elia provided Holland with the necessary width so Wesley Sneijder could roam free in the midfield.  Rafael Van Der Vaart was clogging the midfield.  Not to mention, Elia had a couple of nice runs, including their 2nd goal.  Elia made a nice run down the left and hit the right post with his shot.  Dirk Kuyt cleaned up the garbage for Holland’s 2nd goal to put the game away.
  • In some ways this could be good for Holland.  This team needs to learn how to win ugly.  Usually, they start real fast and fade once the knockout stage begins.  Maybe, things are different this time around.  This was not their best futbol.
  • Morten Olsen’s tactical setup was great for Denmark.  Holland struggled to find space and looked very sluggish at times.  Simon Kjaer played a great game matching up against Robin Van Persie.  Persie was held in check for most of the game.  Poulson’s own goal was a shame because he played a very good 1st half.  The goal really seemed to deject the whole team.
  • Quick Facts-  Holland trumped Denmark in possession 66%-34%.  Holland went undefeated in European qualifying. 
  • Men of the Match
  • Netherlands- Wesley Sneijder
  • Denmark- Simon Kjaer 
  • GAME RATING- 1 1/4*

Denmark goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, left, fails to stop an own goal during the World Cup group E soccer match between the Netherlands and Denmark at Soccer City in Johannesburg, Monday, June 14, 2010.  (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

(Off the back of Kjaer)

CAMEROON VS JAPAN (Jap- 1-0)

  • On paper, this is a mismatch.  Cameroon has the more talented players.  Let me hence that again. PLAYERS!  Once again, Cameroon showed that they can’t play together as a team.  They had no cohesion, no energy, and the lions kept giving the ball away. 
  • The slopfest finally got a goal in the 39th minute when Daisuke Matsui put in a lovely cross that was finished by Keisuke Honda.  It was a very similar finish to that of Rafael Marquez of Mexico against South Africa.  Honda was wide open and buried the ball into the net.
  • I was very impressed with Matsui as he constantly put in perfect curling crosses into the danger zone of the box. 
  • In the 2nd half, Japan played the NFL’s version of the prevent defense.  Cameroon had several golden chances to equalize.  Their best came in the 87th minute when Stephane Mbia launched a Roger Clemens like fastball off the top of the bar which ricocheted back as hard as it was struck. 
  • The 1st 60 minutes wasn’t exactly the best futbol.  The last 30 minutes though; very exciting as Cameroon desperately tried to equalize.  With a tough schedule ahead, it looks like Cameroon’s World Cup hopes may be over.
  • Quick Facts-  This is the 1st World Cup win for Japan off of foreign soil.  Japan was the 6th team since 1966 to not take a single corner kick.  Japan had just 3 scoring opportunities, the lowest ever for a winning side.
  • Men of the Match
  • Japan- Daisuke Matsui
  • Cameroon- Stephane Mbia
  • GAME RATING- 1 3/4*

Cameroon's Stephane Mbia, right, reacts as Japan's Yuji Nakazawa, left, celebrates their win in the World Cup group E soccer match between Japan and Cameroon at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Monday, June 14, 2010. Japon won 1-0. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

 (Victory- Left, Defeat- Right)

GROUP E STANDINGS

  1. Netherlands (3 pts)
  2. Japan (3 pts)
  3. Cameroon (0 pts)
  4. Denmark (0 pts)

GROUP F

ITALY VS PARAGUAY (1-1)

  • In the Group of Suck, Paraguay didn’t have many chances to score.  In the 39th minute, we had a goal of the tournament nomination.  Off a set-piece, Aureliano Torres sent in a high spinning curler which skimmed the back of Antolin Alcarez and into the goal.  Like Japan earlier, Paraguay tried to win it defensively, but Italy did what they do best.  Off a corner Daniele De Rossi scored off a goaltending error.  Justo Villar came out too far which left the net glaringly open.
  • I always find Italy the most entertaining team to watch.  And it’s not because of their play on the field.  I’m always curious what they’re going to do next when it comes to their whining to the officials and theatrical diving.  I forget who it was (I believe it was Marchiso), but at one point one of the Italians dove without being touched, acted beautifully grabbing the knee and ankle.  He then started complaining towards the official, great stuff.  Some of these babies would make great spokesmen for Gerbert.  And they say this team is too old!
  • Gianluigi Buffon left after the 1st-half with an apparent back injury.
  • Italy started in a 4-2-3-1, but after 60 minutes, went to a 4-4-2.  They played much better after that.  The passing and decisions on the pitch were crisp.  They did struggle with their creativity to get better chances.
  • Paraguay defended very well in pairs of four.  They kept it fairly tight between the lines.    
  • Quick Facts- 8 of the last 13 Italy goals have come off set-pieces.  Paraguay had just 1 shot on goal, and it went in.  Italy continues their 10-game unbeaten streak against the continent of South America.
  • Men of the Match
  • Italy- Danielle De Rossi
  • Paraguay– Antolin Alcarez
  • GAME RATING- 2 1/2* 

(Another Goalkeeping Error) 

GROUP F STANDINGS

  1. Italy (1 pt)
  2. Paraguay (1 pt)
  3. Slovakia (0 pts)
  4. New Zealand (0 pts)

Tomorrow’s Schedule

  • (7:30 est) Slovakia vs New Zealand
  • (10:00 est) Portugal vs Ivory Coast
  • (2:30 est) Brazil vs North Korea
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