YOOOAdrian’s 2010 World Cup Recap- 6/20 Day 10

GROUP F

PARAGUAY VS SLOVAKIA (Par- 2-0)

  • As I started watching this game,  I couldn’t help but notice that nearly the entire stadium was empty.  It felt like I was watching a Florida Marlins game, who coincidentally have started using vuvuzelas lately because their fan support can’t generate any crowd noise on their own.
  • Paraguay scored on two fantastic finishes.  The 1st came in the 27th minute after Enrique Vera flicked it past the goal keeper at the top of the penalty area after a nifty through ball from Lucas Barrios.  After showing a little finesse with the 1st tally, Paraguay showed some power with their 2nd goal.  After Slovakia failed to clear Paraguay a free-kick, Cristian Riveros rifled one in at the top of the box to make it 2-0.  The goalkeeper had no shot. 
  • Paraguay dominated this contest from start to finish.  South American teams are starting to make a statement in this year’s World Cup, now 6-0-2, WOW!  Paraguay were simply the much better side today, offensively and defensively.  After opening in a defensive 4-4-2 against Italy, Paraguay went into an attacking 4-3-3 and reaped in the benefits. 
  • Paraguay’s stifling defense held Slovakia to only 1 shot on-goal, and that wasn’t until the 93rd minute.
  • The two stars for Slovakia Hamsek and Weiss were completely shut-down.  Hamsek has been rather disappointing thus far in the 1st two games.
  • Quick Facts- Paraguay has shut-out their opponents in 11 of their last 12 wins. 
  • Men of the Match
  • Paraguay- Enrique Vera
  • Slovakia- Jan Mucha 
  • GAME RATING- 3/4*

Paraguay's Cristian Riveros celebrates after scoring during the World Cup group F soccer match between Slovakia and Paraguay at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Sunday, June 20, 2010.  (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

(Riveros celebrates after goal)

ITALY VS NEW ZEALAND (1-1)

  • Schmelty Smelt Smeltzer!  New Zealand’s only shot on goal turned into gold and a 1-0 lead.  On a free-kick, Simon Elliot sent in a high arching spinner into the box.  Frank Cannavaro made an error failing to clear.  The ball then landed on the foot of Shane Smeltz who tapped it in for the early lead.  The goal gave the “All Whites” the confidence needed to play stellar defense to stay in it, and get a 2nd point in the group.  With a win against Paraguay, New Zealand would miraculously make an appearance in the Round of 16.  This is a team ranked 78th in the world!
  • Italy’s goal came on some phenomenal theatrical diving from the man with the baggy shorts, Daniele De Rossi.  Rossi felt a little tug of the jersey from Tommy Smith of New Zealand.  He then went down perfectly, not making it look too fake.  Certainly a worthy Oscar performance.
  • Vincenzo Iaquinta buried the penalty kick to tie it at 1.  He then proceeded to point to his nose during the goal celebration.  Perhaps clarifying to the crowd that yes, Italians do have the largest noses in the world, no idea what that was about.  Not the best goal celebration I’ve seen.
  • GK Gianluigi Buffon missed the game for Italy with a herniated disc.  Was he missed? Not really.  New Zealand had just 3 total shots.  The New Zealand netminder arguably had the best performance from a goaltender in this World Cup.
  • Quick Facts- Italy dominated the shot and possession % categories.  72% possession and a 23-3 shot advantage.
  • Men of the Match
  • Italy- Riccardo Montolivo
  • New Zealand- Mark Paston
  • GAME RATING- 2 1/2*

New Zealand's Shane Smeltz, left, celebrates with his teammate Ryan Nelsen  after scoring during the World Cup group F soccer match between Italy and New Zealand at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Sunday, June 20, 2010.  (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

(A shocking goal early on in this one from Smeltz)

GROUP F STANDINGS

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

GROUP G

BRAZIL VS IVORY COAST (Bra- 3-1)

  • This one got ugly in the 2nd half after a futbol version of a bench clearing brawl.  I was waiting for someone to grab a chair WWE style and start bashing someone over the head with it.  Kaka earned a 2nd yellow card after an elbow to Kader Keita.  Keita then completely lost any manliness he had by faking as if he’d been elbowed in the face.  All he got from Kaka was a little nudge in the sternum from his elbow.
  • Luis Fabiano scored 2 goals, although his second should have been disallowed for a hand-ball.  The 2-0 start completely changed the complexion as Ivory Coast was forced to push, leaving holes and space in their defense.  Fabiano’s 1st goal was a beauty after he roofed it in a la Landon Donovan. 
  • Didier Drogba got onto the score sheet after heading one in to cut the lead 3-1.  We’ll see if the goal will matter towards the goal differential difference when it comes to 2nd place in the group between Portugal and Ivory Coast.  It’s ironic to see that Ivory Coast actually helped out Portugal by the suspension of Kaka in Brazil’s next match against Portugal.
  • I just wanted to comment, why didn’t Gervinho start?  I didn’t get that one.
  • All in all, this was a disappointing performance from Ivory Coast.  This was a confortable win for Brazil as they controlled the ball when they had it, and played solid defense when they didn’t have it. 
  • Quick Facts- Brazil has gotten through the group stage of the World Cup 11 straight times. 
  • Men of the Match
  • Brazil- Luis Fabiano
  • Ivory Coast- Didier Drogba
  • GAME RATING- 3/4*

Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba, left, and Ivory Coast's Koffi Romaric N'Dri, second from left, argue with Brazil's Felipe Melo, second from right, and Brazil's Kaka, right, during the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Ivory Coast at Soccer City in Johannesburg, Sunday, June 20, 2010.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Why can’t we be friends?)

GROUP G STANDINGS

  1. Brazil (6 pts)
  2. Portugal (1 pt)
  3. Ivory Coast (1 pt)
  4. North Korea (0 pts)

Tomorrow’s Schedule

  • (7:30 est) Portugal vs North Korea
  • (10:00 est) Chile vs Switzerland
  • (2:30 est) Spain vs Honduras

 

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