22 June 2010

URUGUAY 1 (Suarez 43)

Suarez and Victorino blew early chances. Guardado hit the woodwork with a stunning strike from 35 yards. Forlan, who was once against outstanding, played a ball out wide to Cavani and his immaculate first time cross was headed in by Suarez. Perez made a brilliant point blank save to deny Lugano. Rodriguez threw himself at another great cross but headed wide of the opposite post. Shocking miss. Didn't matter and Mexico still suck.

Attendance : 33,425
Red Card : Lodeiro 81 (Uruguay)
Assists : Cavani

FRANCE 1 (Malouda 70)
SOUTH AFRICA 2 (Khumalo 20, Mphela 37)

Lloris flapped at a Tshabalala corner and Khumalo climbed over Diarra to head into an empty net. Gourcuff became the latest victim of shitty refereeing when he was sent off for apparently elbowing Sibaya in the face. He was leading with his elbow when challenging for a loose ball, as most players do, and made contact but a bullshit decision nonetheless. Tshabalala forced another mistake by Diaby when he crossed from the left, Masilela drove in the rebound, Clichy failed to clear under pressure from Mphela and from a yard out even he couldn't miss. That's a yard, from eight he's useless, Tshabalala split the defence amidst Sagna's lazy appeal for offside and he rattled the crossbar when a simple tap-in would have sufficed. France scored the goal that killed off South Africa, and maybe African, hopes of a last 16 place, Sagna released Ribery with a gloriously weighted pass and as Malouda tapped in his centre, the Vuvuzela's fell silent albeit too briefly.

Domenech refused to shake hands with CAP at full time, apparently he was annoyed at previous comments CAP had made, suggesting Ireland should have gone in their place. Domenech - a grade A prick to the very end.

Much has been written about the absolute clusterfuck that is the French national team of course many of us highlighted Domenech's incompetence four years ago. When a coach has no authority the lunatics run the asylum. All this talk of lasting damage is nonsense, Blanc will sort out this mess with one team talk and I'm convinced a French side with Lloris, Gourcuff, Ribery, Valbuena and possibly Benzema as the nucleus will be serious contenders for Euro 2012.

As for South Africa I doubt this will have a lasting legacy unless the people who run Rugby in the country take over. I'd trust them to do a far better job of developing the game at all levels above the idiots running football. Let's not forget South Africa were bidding to host a World Cup back in 2002. With eight years preparation at the very least they should have sent a team to last year's U17 World Cup.

Attendance : 39,415
Red Card : Gourcuff 25 (France)
Assists : Tshabalala (ck), n/a, Ribery

17 June 2010

MEXICO 2 (Hernandez 64, Blanco 79 Pen)

Evra was the second play to cry while singing his national anthem. It must be the ball.

Marquez bypassed the French midfield with a ball over the top, Vela beat Arsenal team-mate Sagna for pace before sending a volley into the stands. As they had done in their opening game against Uruguay, France started promisingly and showed some of the flair that has been lacking during the Domenech era. Malouda rolled a free kick into Anelka, he chipped a first time pass out wide right to Ribery, he broke from a three man wall and flashed a volley across goal, his cross just too high for his team-mates. Lloris was hung out to try on several occasions by his defenders and forced into last ditch tackles.

Malouda carried the ball infield and passed to Evra, who dragged the ball back before back heeling to Ribery, Ribery centred as he spun away from his marker but Malouda hit the ball straight down the middle. Marquez repeated his first half trick but this time a Mexican forward took advantage. The French back four pushed up 30 yards away from goal, Hernandez ran clear as Abidal raised his hand, rounded Lloris and tapped into an empty net. Barrera ended a fine solo run with a dive over Abidal to win a penalty. Fat boy Blanco converted.

France are not out of it yet, largely because you'd figure Mexico will go all out to beat Uruguay otherwise they'll get Argentina in the last 16 and Uruguay will get a free pass to the last 8. Of course France will have to thrash South Africa first and make up the goal difference. One last hurrah for Henry?

Attendance : 35,370
Assists : Marquez, Barrera (won pen)

16 June 2010

URUGUAY 3 (Forlan 24, Forlan 80 Pen, Pereira 95)

Uruguay controlled the game without threatening the South Africa goal - until the 24th minute. Forlan turned onto a pass and let rip with a shot from 25 yards which flew into the top left corner via a deflection off Mokoena. Forlan, who played behind Cavani and Suarez, was magnificent. He created excellent chances for Lugano and Cavani then smashed home a late penalty. Muslera sent a goalkick into the South Africa half, Forlan headed down, Cavani eventually won the ball off a defender and passed out wide to Suarez, he sold a defender a dummy before shooting at Khune from a poor angle, Khune parried, the South African defence failed to clear, Forlan tried his luck, the ball hit Cavani and broke for Suarez, Khune dived at his feet and took out the striker's left leg and, unlike Casillas, Khune didn't get away with it, red card, penalty. Suarez pulled down Forlan's glorious crossfield pass, lobbed the ball over substitute goalkeeper Josephs and Alvaro Pereira headed in a not un-flattering third.

Attendance : 42,658
Red Card : Khune 76 (South Africa)
Assists : n/a, Suarez (won pen), Suarez

11 June 2010


For about 10 minutes France played like the Aime Jacquet France, passing the ball around with menacing confidence. Govou, who looks like Zebedee from the Magic Roundabout, missed a sitter, slicing a perfect Ribery centre wide of the right post. Forlan cut in from the left and stung Lloris' palms with a powerful shot. Gourcuff tried to catch out Muslera at his near post but the Lazio 'keeper was equal to his free kick. Forlan missed Uruguay's best chance. Suarez chested down Pereira's deep throw-in and Forlan's half volley was way off target. Dipshit Lodeiro got a cheap yellow within a minute of replacing Gonzalez - for throwing the ball away. He got a second for trying to break Sagna's legs. Uruguay comfortably held on despite the introduction of cheat Henry.

On the three occasions I have seen Suarez I have been deeply unimpressed. He ran offside on a number of occasions and his passing was atrocious. Uruguay put on an absolute clinic in the dying art of tackling. Lugano, Godin and Pereira were brilliant as was Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura.

Attendance : 64,100
Red Card : Lodeiro 81 (Uruguay)
Assists : n/a

SOUTH AFRICA 1 (Tshabalala 55)
MEXICO 1 (Marquez 79)

South Africa's goalkeeper Khune gave Giovani an early chance when he spilled a centre and Mokoena denied the Tottenham reject a certain goal with a great block tackle. Giovani continued to trouble the South Africa defence, Franco wasting two excellent dead ball deliveries and the youngster should have took advantage of a hospital pass but blazed high and wide.

Mexico were patiently passed the ball around in midfield before Dos Santos lost possession and the hosts quickly got the ball to Dikgacoi who shredded the Mexican defence with a fantastic angled through pass and from an improbable angle on the left Tshabalala blasted a fearsome left foot shot into the top right corer. Giovani, who looks like Barca's bitch in Spartacus : Blood and Sand, cut in from the left and forced a spectacular save from Khune. Modise had a chance to double South Africa's lead but he was muscled off the ball by Rodriguez, Mexico's tallest outfield player. Mexico equalised from a short corner. Mokoena missed Guardardo's cross leaving Marquez free at the back post, 1-1. In the 89th minute Khune's booming goalkick put Mphela between two defenders, he took the pace of the ball with a header then with only the goalkeeper to beat made poor contact, the ball clipped he outside of the left post. Possibly the most costly miss in the history of South African football.

I don't want to hear any more patronising bullshit from the ITV or BBC commentators about what great atmosphere and great colour South African's have added to the World Cup. No they haven't. The Vuvuzela is noise pollution, I imagine it's the sound Satan makes when he's taking a shit.

Attendance : 84,490
Assists : Dikgacoi, Guardado