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World Cup

Spain v Germany : match preview

by danang on Jul.07, 2010, under World Cup

phplkhuYDBoth coaches have big decisions to make as they prepare for a re-run of the Euro 2008 final. For Germany, who will replace the suspended Thomas Mueller? For Spain, will they keep faith with Fernando Torres?

They are big calls to decide, especially for the Spanish who must be concerned about the striker’s lack of form and are pondering a change in formation also. This is a real heavyweight clash and those selection decisions could be the key.

Touchline duel

Few coaches are as experienced and respected – and fatherly - as Vicente Del Bosque who has taken this golden generation of Spanish football to a higher level. His commitment to attacking pay is laudable although he also knows his team have not quite fired in this competition.

Joachim Löw has proved himself to be one of the most organised, articulate and impressive coaches in this World Cup and has blended together an exciting team having confirmed the belief that he was the brains behind the renaissance of German football. (continue reading…)

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Argentina 0-4 Germany

by danang on Jul.03, 2010, under World Cup

SOCCER-FRIENDLY/Diego Maradona’s dream of guiding Argentina to their first World Cup since he won it almost single-handedly in 1986 was ended in emphatic fashion as a rampant Germany  cruised into the semi-finals at the expense of the South Americans.

Stunning displays by Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller and Miroslav Klose drove the Germans to victory against woeful Argentina at Green Point Stadium.
Müller, who opened the scoring on three minutes, will now miss Wednesday’s semi-final against Spain or Paraguay in Durban after being booked in the first-half.

The loss of the Bayern Munich forward will be a major blow for Germany, but the three-time world champions will not lack confidence whoever their face in four days’ time.

With both teams suffering with a weakness at the heart of their defence, the general consensus was that Argentina’s superior attackers would prove decisive in Cape Town.

But Germany are nothing if not organised and tactically astute and Joachim Löw’s players nullified the threat of the Argentine’s in a low-key first-half.

German dominance was perhaps down to their third minute opener, when Müller claimed his fourth goal of the tournament with a clinical header from ten yards. (continue reading…)

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Argentina v Germany : a pre match analysis

by danang on Jul.03, 2010, under World Cup

phpNJZ3QnThe 4-1 win over England made German national team even more confident that they can go all the way in this tournament. In the last match, they outplayed the English squad and all lines in the team functioned very well.

Now Germany will face a very tough challenge playing with Argentina which will be a great match to watch and probably another classic. This would be sixteenth time for Germans to play in the quarterfinals at the World Cup history.

The biggest strength of this German team is that they play as one unit, all players and lines in the team help each other and they have a good discipline in their way of playing. Coach Loew said that they will have to repeat the performance against England in order to beat Argentina and go further.

Germany will play once again in usual formation with one striker - Miroslav Klose and two offensive midfielders behind him – Mesut Ozil and Lucas Podolski. Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger will take their places in the midfield and the captain Phillip Lahm, Arne Friedrich, Per Mertesacker and Jerome Boateng will be the defenders in front of Manuel Neuer. Arne Friedrich will be the player assigned to guard Messi and be his shadow in this match.

This will be a repeat from the quarter final match at the World Cup 2006 when Germany and Argentina played for 2-2 draw and then the Germans went on to win the game on penalties. (continue reading…)

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Brazil 1-2 Netherland

by danang on Jul.03, 2010, under World Cup

phpTTJ7Pl The Netherlands produced a stunning second-half comeback to reach the semi-finals as Brazil’s World Cup imploded in a dramatic game in Port Elizabeth.

After taking an early lead through Robinho’s cool finish, the pre-tournament favourites were pegged back following an awful defensive mix-up early in the second-half and were found wanting in defence again soon afterwards when Wesley Sneijder headed in.

Brazil found themselves in even deeper trouble when Felipe Melo saw red for stamping on Arjen Robben with 17 minutes to go and, although Dunga’s side gave everything in a thrilling finale, they crashed out in the quarter-finals for the second successive tournament.

It is the Netherlands who will go forward to play Uruguay or Ghana in the semi-finals and they have blown this World Cup wide open after putting paid to the idea that South American sides were set to dominate in South Africa.

Of the four teams from that continent in the last eight, Brazil were seen as the most likely to progress - and, for the first 45 minutes at least, it appeared they would not have too many problems in doing so.

The Netherlands have won renown for their defensive discipline in the last few weeks but that was nowhere to be seen when Robinho opened the scoring after 10 minutes. (continue reading…)

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Today’s prediction : Brazil v Holland

by danang on Jul.01, 2010, under World Cup

SPORT SOCCER WORLDThese teams have met just three times in the World Cup previously – and all three have been epic battles.

In 1974, in West Germany, Holland won 2-0 to finish top of the second group stage and qualify for the final, a game they lost 2-1 to the hosts.

Twenty years later, in the United States, a quarter-final clash saw Brazil win by the odd goal in five.

And in the next World Cup, in France, Brazil won a semi-final against the Dutch, the victory came courtesy of penalties.

Brazil make one forced change. With Ramires suspended for collecting a second year card, against Chile, they could call back Gilberto Silva or Dani Alves to midfield.

So far this has neither been Total Football nor Jogo Bonito. The Dutch and the Brazilians have taken a far more pragmatic, hard-to-beat approach but there is still flair there although not as obvious as of old.

Elano ruled out with an ankle injury while Ramires is suspended and Felipe Melo is also a doubt. Arjen Robben’s return to fitness is a significant boost to the Dutch as he offers more pace and directness than Rafael van der Vaart. (continue reading…)

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Wenger blame England : I think they were killed by their impatience

by danang on Jun.30, 2010, under World Cup

phpL2y8YAThe Frenchman believes England should have used their experience to stop Germany’s counter-attacking threat.

England pulled the score back to 2-1 and had a goal disallowed but were hit on the break when chasing an equaliser.

“England had taken over the game and I think they were killed by their impatience,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website.

“They came back in the second half to 2-1 and they controlled the game.

“What made me sad was that, with the experience they had, they were caught. It was free-kick for England, goal for Germany.

“You do what they did with five minutes to go OK but not with 25 minutes left.”
England’s disappointing performances in the tournament in South Africa has led to criticism of manager Fabio Capello, the players, the structure of the Premier League as well as increasing calls for a winter break. (continue reading…)

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Todays World Cup predictions

by danang on Jun.29, 2010, under World Cup

phpPeobQXIf you thought England-Germany  was a big game then today’s Spain-Portugal  second-round game has got the Iberians knickers in a right twist.

‘Underdogs to bite harder’
There was a raft of money on Spain  to win the World Cup when they qualified first in their group. But are the punters missing a trick with Portugal  facing the European champions today?

The fact: Spain have never progressed beyond a quarter-final of any World Cup. Portugal reached the semi-finals in Germany four years ago and where runners-up in Euro 2004. Portugal are yet to concede a goal in this World Cup so far.

Bare in mind that includes games against Brazil and the Ivory Coast. In the last 30 years Spain have only beaten Portugal once in twelve matches. (continue reading…)

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Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’ reignites goal-line technology debate

by danang on Jun.28, 2010, under World Cup

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By Paul Kelso

From his seat in the VIP section of the Free State Stadium, Sepp Blatter had only to turn his head to see a monitor showing the instant replay that confirmed Frank Lampard’s 38th-minute shot had crossed the German goal-line after crashing off Manuel Neuer’s crossbar.

It was a luxury denied the match officials. Thanks to the Fifa president’s continued intransigence on the issue of technology, they were left to rely on the erroneous evidence of their eyes.

The result was that a perfectly good goal was ruled out despite swift and unambiguous evidence of its legitimacy. No-one in the England camp, save perhaps for Fabio Capello, was claiming that the decision was the reason for defeat. But had the equaliser stood it is fair to surmise that the nature of the game would have changed, if not the outcome.
“It is incredible that there is no technology,” Capello said. “We played with five referees and they cannot decide whether that it is a goal or not. That one goal would have made the game completely different. I saw from the bench that the ball had gone over the line. I do not understand this.” (continue reading…)

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Rio Ferdinand : I love that photo of the scoreboard, I have a copy at home

by danang on Jun.27, 2010, under World Cup

phpoqraxkRIO FERDINAND has told his England pals to picture victory over Germany tomorrow.
England’s crocked skipper says he always gets inspired just by looking at a photograph of Deutschland 1 England 5.

That was the unforgettable scoreline when our boys crushed the Germans in Munich back in 2001.

Ferdinand said: “I know we can do it on Sunday. When I think of Germany, the 5-1 win in the Olympic Stadium always springs to my mind.

“I love that photo of the scoreboard. I have a copy at home.

“It was a brilliant moment. Such things stay with you for ever.”

Current acting skipper Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, Emile Heskey and Jamie Carragher are all survivors from that night.

Ferdinand is also backing Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney to burst back into form in Bloemfontein.

He added: “The Germany game is where Wazza can do the business.

“I’m desperate for him to come out of this tournament as the game’s greatest player. If it happens, there’s a chance we’ll win the World Cup.”

Meanwhile former Germany chief Franz Beckenbauer has apologised for branding England ’stupid’ for not winning Group C and suggesting they were ‘burnt out’ by a tough Premier League season.

He said: “Before the World Cup I thought England would maybe win it.

“They have a great team and a great coach and then, after the first two games, I was so disappointed.

“Maybe my words were the reaction of my disappointment but I apologise.”

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