YOOOAdrian’s 2010 World Cup Recap- 6/24 Day 14

GROUP F

ITALY VS SLOVAKIA (Slo- 3-2)

  • Italy!  This is what happens when you just waddle along until the last 10 minutes of your World Cup when Pirlo comes in.  You do have to credit Slovakia, who haven’t looked great themselves.  Slovakia went out and took this thing.  They simply wanted it more!
  • Federico Marchetti looked awful in goal for the injured Buffon.  I believe Italy fell asleep for 2/3 goals, but still, he let in some softies.  Slovakia had just 4 shots on goal, 3 went in.
  • Robert Vittek played magnificently for Slovakia.  He seemed to win every ball. Oh, and he scored the 1st 2 goals for Slovakia.  He simply took Italy’s center-backs to school.
  • Italy was more clueless than Alicia Silverstone in the midfield.  The trio sent out just didn’t seem to click.  There was no creativity whatsoever to set up shot attempts.
  • Lippi did so much tactically right in 2006 to win the World Cup.  This year he relied too much on his old pony’s, and it completely backfired.
  • Gattuso finally got to play for Italy.  He looks like a gremlin.   
  • Quick Facts- For the 1st time ever, the two previous teams to meet for the World Cup Final did not make it out of group play.  In fact, they both finished last in their group.
  • Men of the Match
  • Slovakia- Robert Vittek
  • Italy- Andrea Pirlo
  • GAME RATING- 3 1/2*

Italy's Fabio Cannavaro reacts at the end of the World Cup group F soccer match between Slovakia and Italy at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, Thursday, June 24, 2010. Slovakia won 3-2.  (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

(The star of 2006 is out in 2010)

PARAGUAY VS NEW ZEALAND (0-0)

  • YAWN! YAWN! YAWN!
  • Quick Facts- New Zealand did not have 1 shot on goal.
  • Men of the Match
  • Paraguay- Denis Caniza
  • New Zealand- Ryan Nelsen
  • GAME RATING- 1/4*

New Zealand's Simon Elliott reacts after missing a scoring opportunity during the World Cup group F soccer match between Paraguay and New Zealand at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Thursday, June 24, 2010.  (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

(Simon Elliot reaction)

FINAL GROUP F STANDINGS

  1. Paraguay (5 pts)
  2. Slovakia (4 pts)
  3. New Zealand (3 pts)
  4. Italy (2 pts)

GROUP E

DENMARK VS JAPAN (Jap- 3-1)

  • Set-pieces are like gold in the game of futbol.  They are so, so vital.  2 of the 3 goals for Japan today came on set-pieces. 
  • The 1st came on a Honda blast, which dipped more than a Sandy Koufax curveball.  Japan’s Endo scored the 2nd on a fantastic shot which slid inside the right post.  Endo started the ball well outside the right post.
  • Japan has arrived.  This is a team that really impressed me during group play.  They can control the ball well when they have it, and clamp down and defend when they don’t.
  • Quick Facts- This is the 1st time Japan advanced to the knockout round off foreign soil.
  • Men of the Match
  • Japan- Keisuke Honda
  • Denmark- Soren Larsen
  • GAME RATING- 1 1/4*

Denmark head coach Morten Olsen gestures during the World Cup group E soccer match between Denmark and Japan at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, Thursday, June 24, 2010.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Morten Olsen)

NETHERLANDS VS CAMEROON (Ned- 2-1)

  • I did not watch this one because it meant nothing towards the standings of the group.  Therefore, I will not comment on this one.

FINAL GROUP E STANDINGS

  1. Netherlands (9 pts)
  2. Japan (6 pts)
  3. Denmark (3 pts)
  4. Cameroon (0 pts)

Tomorrow’s Schedule

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