23 June 2010

AUSTRALIA 2 (Cahill 69, Holman 73)
SERBIA 1 (Pantelic 84)

An absolutely disgraceful performance by the Serbs. Serbia broke from an Aussie corner, Ninkovic played the ball inside a defender to Krasic who murdered him for pass, rounded Schwarzer then with a goal gaping sent the ball high over the bar. Another attack from the right, another chance, Schwarzer with an excellent save from Ivanovic. Cahill got above Vidic to head in a superb, deep inswinging Wilkshire cross. Four minutes later Holman beat Stojkovic with a speculative drive which bounced into the corner. Schwarzer made one of his rare but trademark fumbles when he spilled substitute Tosic's tame effort and even Pantelic couldn't miss. Culina should have scored a third on the break.

Nothing pisses me off more than seeing talented sides fail to fulfil their potential. The Serbian's should have wiped the floor with Australia (and Ghana). These type of performances are what we have to look forward to in the Euros. They should make it an invitational event and invite Brazil and Argentina so we don't have to watch shit like this.

Attendance : 37,836
Assists : Wilkshire, Culina, n/a

GERMANY 1 (Ozil 60)

Cacau hit a through pass on the turn to release Ozil as the Ghana defenders appealed for offside but he wasted the opportunity, shooting straight at (Kofi) Kingson. Gyan forced a corner then met Ayew's cross with a flick header, Lahm controlled the ball on his chest and passed out of defence.

Gyan headed on a goalkick and Amoah's blistering pace was too much for Germany's centrebacks but his shot was poorly struck and Neuer parried. Ozil scored a fantastic goal following a sustained period of Germany pressure. Muller ran infield and poked a pass to Ozil who was standing on the edge of the D, with his first touch he flicked up the ball and with his second sent a half volley screaming inside the left post. Fabulous goal. Lahm, who has been the outstanding defender at this World Cup, appeared from nowhere to put a block on Ayew as he met Gyan's centre. The match ended on a sour note for the Germans when Schweinsteiger had to be substituted 10 minutes from time with a hamstring injury. He's out for the rest of the tournament. A massive blow.

Attendance : 83,391
Assist : Muller

19 June 2010

GHANA 1 (Gyan 26 Pen)
AUSTRALIA 1 (Holman 11)

Kingson scooped up a Bresciano free kick and dropped it, Holman was first to the rebound, Kingson threw himself at the ball, got a touch, it spun in the air and dropped under the bar. Wilkshire blew two chances to clear a corner, Ayew centred and Kewell stuck out his right arm to block Mensah's fierce first time shot, penalty, red card, dickhead. Gyan sent Schwarzer the wrong way.

Chipperfield should have scored within a minute of replacing Bresciano but headed an excellent Wilkshire cross over the bar. Gyan replied with a cross/shot from the right which flashed agonisingly across goal. Ghana were awarded a free kick in their own half, three passes later Boateng split two centrebacks with a great ball but Gyan, predictably, shot hopelessly wide. He is an AWFUL footballer. If you're wondering why this striker wears the #3 shirt it's because he finishes like a defender. Australia's best chance came a minute later, Addy's poor header came out to Chipperfield, his pass left Wilkshire with a clear sight of goal but he shot at Kingson and Kennedy botched the rebound by volleying into the ground. Mensah should have won the game in the last minute but headed over a brilliant Muntari free kick. Schwarzer tipped over Owusu-Abeyie's effort to preserve a well earned point for Australia.

If Ghana defend like this against Germany they'll get destroyed, hopefully.

Attendance : 34,812
Red Card : Kewell
Assists : n/a, n/a

18 June 2010

SERBIA 1 (Jovanovic 38)

Vidic headed a cross to the edge of the box but Podolski sliced his volley wide of the left post. Klose was shown a second yellow for apparently tripping Stankovic from behind, he barely touched him. A ridiculous decision. German heads dropped and the Serbs took instant advantage. The free kick was worked all over the pitch, back, forward, then back again before Stankovic released Krasic with a brilliant pass down the right channel, Krasic beat his man for pace, crossed to the back post, Zigic headed down and Jovanovic took the ball on his chest before volleying into the corner. Great goal. Stojkovic threw himself into a pile of bodies to punched out a corner, Khedira controlled the ball on his chest and rattling the bar with a thunderous right foot shot, Mertesacker headed the ball down to Muller, his overhead kick was hacked off the line and the inept referee blew for dangerous play.

Stojkovic found a Schweinsteiger shot too hot to handle and Khedira almost beheaded Kolarov as he attacked the rebound. Ozil split five Serbian's with a glorious pass, Podolski's first touch was perfect, taking his clear of a defender but he dragged his shot wide of the right post. Bad miss but not as bad as the penalty he took five minutes later, for a Vidic handball, straight down the middle and Stojkovic parried. When was the last time a German blew a penalty in normal time? The Serbs countered from a German attack, patiently passing the ball around in midfield before Krasic danced past two players and teed up Jovanovic , his shot bounced off the base of the right post. Krasic, who had a marvellous game (justifying comparisons with Nedved) made another chance with a brilliant cross which Zigic headed against the bar. Vidic pumped a free kick into the box, Zigic headed down and Kacar volleyed over.

The Spanish ref screwed over the Germans in this one but I'm delighted Serbia are in with a shot of the last 16.

Attendance : 38,294
Assist : Zigic

13 June 2010

GERMANY 4 (Podolski 8, Klose 26, Muller 67, Cacau 70)

The Germans were given an early scare from the first corner of the game. Cahill's powerful header bounced off Neill's right hand, as Garcia turned onto the rebound and shot both Neuer and Lahm flew off the line to charge him down, the ball slammed off Lahm's knees and was cleared. That was as good as it got for the Australians. Klose blew a great chance, shooting straight at Schwarzer. Ozil pulled down Schweinsteiger's deep crossfield pass, turned his marker inside out then released Muller on the overlap and Podolski absolutely HAMMERED his cut-back into the net, the shot measured a net bursting 82mph or 132 kms. Klose missed another easy chance before taking his third. Lahm swung in a tremendous cross, Schwarzer ran off his line, got nowhere near the ball and Klose headed into an empty net. Ozil had a shot cleared off the line and Khedira headed wide before the ref, who was excellent, mercifully blew for half time.

Muller could have scored an early contender for goal of the tournament but couldn't find the finish to match a wonderful passing move. Cahill was sent off for going through the back of Schweinsteiger. A late tackle worthy of a yellow card but Cahill is a dirty, dirty bastard and has had this coming for a long time. Ozil cut in from the left and drew a fine save from Schwarzer and the hopeless Klose missed two more easy chances. Muller added a third in a move that started with Neuer throwing the ball out to Lahm, seven passes later Muller did a drag back as Moore dived in with a tackle, took the ball onto his right foot and fired low into the bottom right corner. Fabulous goal. Cacau scored within a minute of replacing Klose and it followed another flowing move. Badstuber angled a ball inside a defender allowing Ozil to stay onside and feed Cacau who arrived at the centre circle to tap-in his first every Germany goal.

Needless to say Germany were a level above every other team in the tournament so far but did we really expect anything less? Germany rarely struggle against inferior opposition and never ever take their foot off the gas. Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez booked Ozil and Cacau for diving. He had a great match and should go far, unlike his national team.

Attendance : 62,660
Red Card : Cahill 56 (Australia)
Assists : Muller, Lahm, Podolski, Ozil

GHANA 1 (Gyan 84 Pen)

Mensah wasted a fantastic free kick delivery, heading Asamoah's corner wide of a post. Gyan, who is an appalling striker, missed two excellent chances, heading wide on both occasions. In between Pantelic swung a great cross into Zigic, who was free on the back post, and his shot was so far off target he managed to shoot away from goal. Lukovic was shown a second yellow for pulling back Gyan - on the half way line. Lazovic mugged Paintsil on the left flank, Pantelic's awful shot turned into a perfect assist for Krasic and he smashed the ball straight down the pipe at Kingston. Vidic made poor contact with a great cross for a corner. Ivanovic broke down the right but got overly excited and blew a shot over the bar with Pantelic unmarked in the centre. Just as ten man Serbia were enjoying their best spell Kuzmanovic conceded a penalty with an idiotic handball and Gyan smashed the ball left of centre. He almost scored a second in injury time. Subotic threw himself at a cross and missed, Gyan spun away and curled a shot against the outside of the right post.

Serbia - another team that played with the handbrake on. It took the red card for them to come out of their defensive shell and attack. They better hope Australia came pull off a victory over Ghana otherwise they're going home.

Attendance : 38,833
Red Card : Lukovic 74 (Serbia)
Assist : n/a