Monday, June 14, 2010
I was not really impressed by the fixtures for the day.As expected the first 2 games were pretty below par according to world cup standards.The only good thing was that both games produced results.The second game of the day between Ghana and Serbia was perhaps one of the most boring of the world cup so far with not even a single attempt on goal in the entire 1st half.However Ghana managed to register the 1st win by an African team in the tournament in their name with a late goal scored off a penalty kick.But who would have expected that the gem of the world cup was yet to arrive.
The main attraction of the day was traditional big guns Germany's opening their world cup journey .As usual they proved their consistency in big events with a flawless performance.they virtually thrashed the socceroos with a dominating 4-0 win.After an initial scare by australian striker Garcia then it was all Germany.It was one of the best team performances as the germans unleashed their 'well-oiled machine' brand of football.They didn't seem to lack the absence of experienced playmaker Micheal Ballack as the young generation took full control over the game.the 1st goal came from a powerful strike from Lukas Podolski aided by some fine team work in the right wing by Oezil nd Muller.Shortly after missing a plumb opportunity Miloslav klose headed home his 11th world cup goal.One thing tat was missing was his customary somersault goal celebration. Klose came out of a bad run in the bundesliga this season to return to his habit of stealing the limelight at the big stage.The 3rd goal came from a very composed strike by Muller who scored his first international goal.Muller showed why he was chosen ahead of Klose and Podolski in Bayern's frontline.The last one came from substitute Cacau whose only job was to place his foot on a well delivered pass from Oziel,one of the youngsters who was instrumental in almost all the goals the germans scored.The match also saw a contreversial straight red card to australia's star player Tim cahill adding to the misery of the socceroos.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Greece vs South Korea (0-2)
The day started off with the low profile match between Greece and South korea.The South Koreans clearly outplayed the Greeks with a good 2-0 win.Veteran coach Otto Rehaggel's defensive tactics dont seem to take them forward anymore.after Their shock victory in euro 2004 they are back to doing wat is expected of a them-have a taste of the big stage and silently bow out after the first round.Maintaining almost the same squad and style have made them a vulnerable target even for average teams.Korea on the other side played some fine flowing football making them potential contenders for a spot in the knock round of the tournament.
Argentina vs Nigeria (1-0)
The Messiah of Argentine football Diego Maradona and the potential future messiah Lionel Messi coming together in the quest for world cup glory was one of the most awaited sights of this world cup 2k10.Argentina made it through with minimum fuss by a single goal win over Nigeria.A spectacular diving header by Gabriel Heinze did the trick for the latin american giants.All eyes were on the little wonder Messi who provided some moments of magic for which he is known for.He impressed in the very first game bearing the responsibility of holding the game together in the classic no: 10 role.Apart from sum good passes and fine dribbling moves he made atleast half a dozen attempts on goal.Was it not for some great saves from the Nigerian goalkeeper, he should have started off the world cup campaign with a hat-trick or even more.Nigeria too made some good attempts via Obafemi Martins and Yakubu, but the argentinian defense held their nerves to earn well deserved win in their opening game. The most animated scenes were seen off the pitch as the camera frequently panned to the sidelines to Maradona following his team with the passion of a teenager
England vs USA (1-1)
It was the biggest tie of group C as England took on arch rivals USA. The star studded and over hyped England were in for some serious challenge from a fast growing American side which proved had its poise, becoming the runners up in last year’s confederations cup. The match was undoubtedly the best one of the World cup so far. England took an early lead in the as early as the 4th minute of the game via Steven Gerrard. The best player of England’s golden generation showed off his class with a well placed flick into the back of the net from close range.
But the ‘star’ of the match was England goalkeeper Robert Green who fumbled a comparitively weak shot on target by Clint Dempesy into his own net.One of my fellow tweeters said –“Well he should hav put his body behind the ball #CopyPastedFromCricket “ while another one criticized Green to be a frequent ‘fumbler’ in the premier league. Anyways that was the thing that laid England down after playing wonderfully having taken an early lead.The match was full of energy and speed Aron lennon and London Donnovan kept on feeding their frontmen with accurate crosses into the box teasing the defenders on both ends.America’s young striker Altidore created some good oppurtunities with his speedy physical play but was unable to find the finish.Man of the match for USA was their stout centre-back Onyewu who kept the dangerous Rooney well in control all through the match.And co-striker Heskey couldnt find the target even after getting so many open chances.Engalnd would be dissappointed to not have won the game,but credit goes to the Americans who put up a solid performance executing their game plan well.
Friday, June 11, 2010
FRANCE vs URUGUAY (0-0)
12 june 2010, 2:54 am
Well the scoreline says it all. But football is not just about scoring goals. The game too had some moments of spark from Frank Ribery,Diego Forlan and some more. The game was played at a frantic pace right from the start as both teams tried to stamp their command over the game.The ‘Le blues’ would be sorely missing a clinical finisher of the class of Benzema in games to come. It seemed France was trying to go about in the spectacular route with an array of long range attempts from Gorrcuff,Malouda,Toulalan,Anelka and Ribery.Uruguay on the other end was going about it the physical way -concentrating more on defense with some cruching tackles. The game saw the first red card of the tournament as Lodiero of Uruguay was sent off receiving 2 yellow cards just a few minutes after he came on as a late substitute.France pushed hard to seize the initiative only to break up in front of some sturdy defending by their latin American opponents.Group A is going to be a tight one with all teams levelled at a point each.
Group A - Match 1
11 June 2010
RSA vs MEXICO (1-1)
This is what world cup football is all about . The beautiful game played in its most crude and natural form away from the formulas and perfection of club football.
It was a perfect start for the African safari with a well fought inaugural match which had its moments for both teams. The last world cup started off with a fantastic long range strike from the host team Germany’s Philip Lahm. And this time it was yet again the host team opening the score sheets with a fine strike from Tshabalala.A high quality finish from a player of the lowest ranked team. Mexico equalized deep into the second half with a goal from veteran defender Rafel Marquez as result of poor defending by South Africa.Marquez had all the time in the world to plant the ball in the back of the net from close range with no one anywhere near to mark him.The ‘bafanas’ got a golden oppurtunity to make it a dream start to their world cup journey in the dying moments of the game when Mphela got some space inside the box. And for one moment the whole nation would hav held their breath as his strike deflected off the side post.The game finally ended in a draw after some last gasp attempts from both sides. The hosts wil be owing a lot to their goalkeeper Khune who kept them in the game with some spectacular saves.Players who impressed were Pienaar (RSA) and Dos santos (MEX), both playing their club football in the England amongst the the best of Europe.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
If last year’s Wimbledon final was an epic then what was this year’s? It was yet another magnificent performance from the legendary Federer-the man who has taken men’s tennis to new horizons. And he can now sit on the throne of men’s tennis alone with a staggering 15 grand slam titles in his shelf. Each time we feel this is the best we have seen, he comes up with something more, keeping us wondering what next ? What makes him a true champion is supreme skill, graceful movement, perseverance, dedication, self confidence or may be a rare blend of all these.
In the absence of Rafael Nadal, the defending champion and world no:1 it was expected to be nothing less than a “cake-walk” for Federer at the All England tennis club this year as no one other than Nadal have come even close to the genius of Federer, especially on grass. But it was not to be, with a resurgent Rodick putting his everything for his maiden Wimbledon title. He was on command from the beginning firing on all cylinders with his huge serves above 140kms/hr . Something which reminded the body line bowling of the old legendary West Indian fast bowlers. Federer could not find the code for breaking those bazookas from Rodick which was extending the match for so long. But Federer held on for life with some neat serving sending down as many as 50 aces. Both players pushed hard as the game was turning into a marathon. Sometimes it’s too cruel a sport that, in the end, someone has to fall and this time it was to be Rodick. He was finding it hard to hide the tears of desperation at the presentation ceremony. But he can go with heads held high. With the kind of performance he put up, he has finally lived up to the expectations to be the man to represent America in the tennis world in years to come.