Monday, June 14, 2010

World Cup 2010 - Day 4

On the road again, as I mentioned, but I can't let my 'fans' down...up to 4 now...and growing!!! Yooohoooo!!! So, here we go: short and sweet daily wrap-up:

The Dutch emphatically put Denmark away, and although I did not see the game (only the highlights) the match stats clearly show what happened on the pitch. And the difference on the scoreboard could have been bigger, with Van der Vaart (agile save from Sorensen) and Sneijder (against the crossbar) coming close to superb goals...Just think about how much better they'll be once Robben is fit again. I just hope they'll continue to be consistent (something that has plagued them in the past).

The second game of the day provided somewhat of a surprise result, with Cameroon dropping all 3 points to a very resilient and hard-defending Japan. Yes, the stats were favorable to the Indomitable Lions, but they didn't really press hard enough until the last 10-15 minutes or so. Mbia could have tied it with 5 minutes to go (with what could have been a top-10 goal), unfortunately his powerful shot from 25-30 yards out was a couple of inches high and rattled the crossbar. The Africans' chances of advancing from the group are slim now, with Denmark and Holland to play next.

In the Cape Town downpour, the World Champions could not get past Paraguay, and with a bit more luck (or concentration from goalkeeper Villar) we could have witnessed the first major upset of the tournament. Yet, I'm not entirely surprised by the result (I picked "X" for this encounter). I've said it before and I'll say it again: Italy have a very poor squad and they should get out of the group because the opposition is poor, but I will not be surprised if Slovakia will play a number on the Azzurri (especially with Buffon now apparently injured). The Italians don't look like they have much fire-power up front, and defensively they're pretty shaky...

Tomorrow, New Zeeland should join neighbors Australia in the race for the 32nd place, and Brazil should top Germany on goals scored, but Ivory Coast - Portugal should be a real cracker (with the winner potentially deciding the second team to qualify from group G)! I hope Drogba will play (fractured arm less than a week ago) and I will definitely root for the Africans.

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