Jun 252010
 

North Korea 0 – 3 Ivory Coast
Yaya Toure (14′) Romaric (20′) Salomon Kalou (82′)

Ivory Coast had to over come a mountain in terms of goal difference to possibly overtake Portugal in the standings and qualify for the second round. The mission seemed impossible and although the Africans dominated it was never really likely to be. Yaya Toure scored off a Arthur Boka cross, Romaric missed one and then soon after scored his goal off a rebound from a Drogba shot and Kalou made it 3-0 late. The Asians had showed promise against Brazil earlier in the competition but did little else after their first match. The Africans returned home as well and were part of a disappointing World Cup for the African continent.

Portugal 0 – 0 Brazil

A tie would suit both teams well and that is how it ended. The first half was somewhat chippy and it looked like a red card was coming sooner or later. In playing terms Brazil dominated possession but had no lock on real chances. Nilmar had a chance and so did Luis Fabiano. Raul Meireles was again the danger man for the Portuguese while Ronaldo didn’t do too much. The second half was tamer with few chances to occupy Julius Cesar and Eduardo in the goals but they were solid the few times they were called upon. As it turned out the suspended Kaka probably could have used the rest anyway as Brazil also rested Robinho.

Chile 1 – 2 Spain
Rodrigo Millar (47′) David Villa (24′) Andres Iniesta (37′)

Another match with a red card, two yellows for Chile’s Marco Estrada, resulted in both teams qualifying and more questions about refereeing consistency. For some lengths its seemed that Spain had a chance to run away with the game as they attacked repeatedly. David Villa’s goal came from 40+ yards when Chile goalie Claudio Bravo ran out to stop an attacking player and was stranded far and wide. Iniesta’s goal came not long after from the edge of the box. Early in the second half Chile made it 2-1 after a shot, again from the edge of the box, deflected off of Pique and in. Spain’s grip waned slightly as the second half went on and the last 10 minute was played like a light practice as Spain kept the ball in midfield apparently very happy with a 2-1 win. This match was the first loss for South American teams in 15 World Cup 2010 matches meaning that all 5 CONMEBOL representatives are through to the second round.

Switzerland 0 – 0 Honduras

Switzerland failed to get the goal or points that may have given them the chance to overcome either Chile or Spain for a place in the last 16. Eren Derdiyok had a chance early for the Swiss and Blaise Nkufo probably had the only others for the rest of the game. Later in the game Honduras had one really dangerous chance to deny the Swiss even the solitary point but it was not to be for the CONCACAF representatives. The Europeans departed the World Cup in a generally disappointing tournament so far for their continent.

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Jun 242010
 

Slovakia 3 – 2 Italy
Robert Vittek (25′ 73′) Kamil Kopunek (89′) Antonio Di Natale (81′) Fabio Quagliarella (90′)

Italy crashed out of the World Cup making it the second time a reigning champion has gone at the group stage after France suffered the same fate in 2002. Slovakia came into the match having disappointed and hadn’t even managed a handful of shots on goals in their first two matches. Italy’s much criticized aging squad didn’t show much enthusiasm and Marcello Lippi’s choice of giving a first start to Gennaro Gattuso seemed uninspired. Andrea Pirlo however was on the bench and fit for his first action. Wasn’t too long before Slovakia scored when Daniele De Rossi made a bad pass which was taken advantage of. The same Robert Vittek scored again from a corner kick later. By then Pirlo had been on for a few minutes and only at this point one could see some sense of urgency in the Italians. A couple of close misses later Antonio Di Natale got one back and still a draw would have been enough but Kamil Kopunek responded with a goal on his first action of the game. Italy goalkeeper Federico Marchetti perhaps could have done better here. Italy pushed forward and got a well taken one back but it was not enough.

Paraguay 0-0 New Zealand

Incredibly New Zealand left the World Cup undefeated finishing the group stage with three ties. They finished this match without a shot on goal but Paraguay were not very dangerous often either. Both Edgar Benitez and Cristian Riveros threatened but little else. It was just enough to keep South America’s undefeated run in South Africa intact.


Denmark 1-3 Japan
Jon Dahl Tomasson (81′) Keisuke Honda (17′) Yasuhito Endo (30′) Shinji Okazaki (87′)

Japan could count themselves as one of the surprises of the group stage as they made it two asian teams in the first knockout round. They beat Denmark with two of the best freekicks of the World Cup. Danish goalie Thomas Sorensen and his whole team surprised to find themselves down 0-2 in that way. Keisuke Honda’s star continued to rise as he did well but the possession statistics, especially earlier in the game, showed that Denmark tried but couldn’t finish. Veteran forward Jon Dahl Tomasson perhaps was entitled to be more frustrated than others as he even missed the penalty. Makoto Hasebe had a slight push on the back of Daniel Agger. The resulting penalty didn’t make it in but the rebound made its way back to Tomasson who was at least thankful to equal the mark set by Poul Nielsen for most goals (52) ever for the Danish national team.

Cameroon 1 – 2 Holland
Samuel Eto’o (pen 65′) Robin Van Persie (36′) Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (83′)

The first Dutch goal was a nicely worked one with moves from one end of the pitch to another involving the goal scorer, Rafael van der Vaart and Dirk Kuyt. Their second was from a Arjen Robben shot which had rebounded off the post. In the middle of the two goals a Geremi freekick was handled by van der Vaart and Eto’o, probably the only real threat for Cameroon, converted the resulting penalty. Arjen Robben’s first appearance and his fitness will be a boost to Holland’s chances in the knockout stage.

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Jun 232010
 

England 1-0 Slovenia
Jermain Defoe (23′)

The English entered the game needing something out of this last group match, Slovenia were somewhat more comfortable but not at all assured of a place. The English started Jermaine Defoe instead of Emile Heskey and did well. Slovenia were pegged back often and it wasn’t long before the Defoe switch paid off as he scored well from a James Milner cross. Samir Handanovic was busier than David James in goal and while sometimes unconvincing did make a few good saves. Rooney was still having a tough World Cup and while a part of the triumph not a big part of it. Slovenia’s chances at progressing were still alive until the last minute’s events at the other group match between Algeria and USA.

USA 1-0 Algeria
Landon Donovan (90′)

The US were victims of questionable refereeing once again as a Clint Dempsey goal was wrongly called back for offside, otherwise the game was not exactly one sided as the Algerian did threaten somewhat too. As the game was seemingly heading to a 0-0 tie, a result that would not be not be enough for the US, a goal came. In the very last moments of the game Landon Donovan put his leg to the ball which had rebounded off the Algerian goalie. The American had made his way into the penalty box and took advantage to shoot the ball in almost unimpeded. US had somehow finished top of group C and avoided one European giant – Germany – in the second round.

Germany 1-0 Ghana
Mesut Ozil (60′)

Both teams had a good shot at qualifying. The game was open befitting the styles of the teams, coaches Joachim Low and Milan Rajevac both playing to their players’ strength at this World Cup. Ozil in partuicular was doing well for the Germans and tested Ghana goalie, Richard Kingson, more than once and finally managed to beat him as well with a nicely taken shot from the edge of the penalty box. The likes of Kwadwo Asamoah tested German goalie Manuel Neuer as well, mostly on weaker efforts. In the end the loss didn’t matter to the Ghanaians as they got an arguably favorable second round match up vs the US while Germany got to face England.

Australia 2-1 Serbia
Tim Cahill (69′) Brett Holman (73′) Marko Pantelic (84′)

Serbia had given themselves a chance by beating Germany in their previous match. Even Australia had a chance if they could beat Serbia comprehensively and have either Ghana and especially Germany lose comprehensively in their match against each other. Mark Schwarzer stood tall in the Aussie goal for the second game in a row and wasn’t beaten until after the Socceroos had managed their own two goals. Both teams exited the competition at full time and Serbia’s promising and impressive qualification campaign meant nothing, and not for the first time.

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Jun 222010
 

Mexico 0-1 Uruguay
Luis Suarez (43′)

Fears of a convenient draw, one which would guarantee both teams’ qualification to the first knockout round at the expense of South Africa and France seemed unfounded. Not only the starting 11s seemed offensive but the early exchanges showed intent to play the game. Mexico enjoyed better possession but not better chances. Cuauhtemoc Blanco starting for the first time for Mexico was not an important factor in the game but Giovani Dos Santos was more so and so was goalkeeper Oscar Perez who had a better game than his previous two. Late in the half Luis Suarez, somewhat disappointing so far, received a high ball and headed it to into the net for a half time Uruguay lead. Second half followed similar patterns with the a slight upper hand to Uruguay, Mexico searched but couldn’t find anything. Therefore Mexico consigned themselves to another meeting against Argentina, coming up in the second round.

France 1-2 South Africa
Florent Malouda (70′) Bongani Khumalo (20′) Katlego Mphela (37′)

The turmoil in the France camp had reached epic proportions with players refusing to train, Anelka sent back home and an official apparently resigning. The starting lineup hinted at all that with the likes of Florent Malouda and Patrice Evra on the bench. The game predictably didn’t go well for the French. Not only they conceded a relatively early goal but had Gourcuff sent off for a suspected elbow which replays showed wasn’t necessarily deserving of a card. The South Africans took advantage and scored again before the half. Thierry Henry made his first appearance of the 2010 World Cup and Malouda, a half time change, scored to make 1-2. The score however was not enough for South Africa as they became the first host nation ever to be eliminated in the first round.

Greece 0-2 Argentina
Martin Demichelis (77′) Martín Palermo (89′)

Greece had resurrected their chances after winning their second group game versus Nigeria. Argentina made many perhaps surprising changes in giving starts to Nicolas Otamendi, Diego Milito, and Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero. Greece adopted a very defensive stance and had Georgios Samaras up on front on his own for most of the game. That didn’t mean that Greece had no chances as the Argentinian defense featuring Nicolas Burdisso and Martin Demichelis remained shaky and vulnerable. How ever it was the Argentinians who commanded the attacking story. Messi threatened often but was equaled by Greece goalie Alexandros Tzorvas every time. It took almost of all the game for the Greek defense to break and it seemed almost inevitable that it would. And so Greece exited the World Cup and Argentina got the full nine points available.

Nigeria 2-2 South Korea
Kalu Uche (12′) Yakubu Aiyegbeni (pen 69′) Lee Jung-Soo (38′) Park Chu-Young (49′)

South Korea had two hard worked games behind them with three points as reward. Nigeria had nothing to show for their disappointing efforts but could somehow escape if they won. Since Greece was perhaps unsurprisingly losing to Argentina three points by Nigeria could have been enough. A defensive lapse allowed the Nigerians to take the lead but the possession statistics was rising for the Asians and they took advantage off of a freekick. A second South Korea goal dampened Nigerian hopes but they did come close to getting their own and were offered a penalty to make up for their many misses. A second African team fell at the first hurdle – handicapped by poor finishing – on this first day of the third and last group matches.

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Jun 212010
 

Portugal 7-0 North Korea
Raul Meireles (29′) Simao (53′) Hugo Almeida (56′) Tiago (60′, 89′) Liedson (81′) Cristiano Ronaldo (87′)

A Carvalho early header hit the post. Not too long after a Tiago pass opened it for Meireles to score. North Korea were on the brink of losing it in many early exchanges though it wasn’t a total loss. On a day when the Korean were less defensive and less organized – perhaps the rain wasn’t helping – the Portuguese were opportunistic and close to every thing was going in for them. As the match moved on it became more and more like an exhibition match and the Koreans only threatened from wide and rarely at that. The midfield was conceded to the Portuguese more as the game went on as well. So the Portuguese made it almost impossible for Ivory Coast to catch them with the odd chance that the Africans can replicate a similar result to this game when they meet the North Koreans in the last group match.

Switzerland 0-1 Chile
Mark Gonzalez (75′)

Chile continued their offensive, going for goal ways. Switzerland their organized ways too. Referees their inconsistent ways as well. Status quo all around then. Therefore it came as no surprise that Chile came close often, were denied often and Behrami was sent off early (in the 31st minute). Successive semi-breakthroughs by Chile were occasionally interrupted by the Swiss moving forward. Finally and unlike the previous Swiss match, versus Spain, the former Liverpool man Mark Gonzalez managed to score well and his goal was predictably very much not against the run of play. Swiss haven’t done anything to deserve wins (or losses) and should be happy with their three point haul from two matches. Chile on the other hand deserve their six points from two matches if for nothing else than going for the attack.

Spain 2-0 Honduras
David Villa (17′, 51′)

The very early minutes of the game produced possession for Spain and a Torres ball hit the crossbar to emphasis that point. Those first few misses also hinted at another frustrating night for them. On the other end of the pitch Iker Casillas, in the Spain goal, didn’t look very confident the few times times the ball was brought to him. Spain buzzed and swerved around the opposing box for long stretches and finally David Villa cut in towards goal and scored into the middle-far end of the net. Spain nerves were therefore calmed early and more chances flowed. The occasional semi-dirty and play acting continued to rear its ugly head as well. Early second half featured another Villa goal not too unlike his first. A Villa penalty miss – ball was shot to the right and inches wide of the net – came later and was followed with Cesc Fabregas and Juan Mata making their first appearances. In the end little more than three points was achieved and the final score though it could have been more was also another warning that Spain must be less wasteful.

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Jun 202010
 

Slovakia 0-2 Paraguay
Enrique Vera (27′) Cristian Riveros (86′)

This game should be most remembered for the tame effort by Slovakia, the disappointment of losing the three points at the last minute in their first game against New Zealand must have weighed heavily on the players. Vladimir Weiss, Marek Hamsik, and Robert Vittek very rarely featured and nothing was created by the Slovaks until a solitary shot on goal very late. The Paraguayans were not neccessarily a much superior team but didn’t need to be. Coach Marino was at least the more enterprsing as he gave a start to three forwards in Roque Santa Cruz, Lucas Barrios and Nelson Valdez. The goals were nicely taken and the Slovak goalie, Jan Mucha, was tested on a few additional occasions.

Italy 1-1 New Zealand
Vincenzo Iaquinta (pen 29′) Shane Smeltz (7′)

One of those matches that on the day of the draw, back in December 2009, looked one sided produced something not so much one sided. That is not to say Italy didn’t dominate possession. New Zealand’s first goal came when a freekick took a slight deflection, ricocheted off defender Fabio Cannavaro and in the path of Shane Smeltz. The goal should have been offside if that slight deflection had been seen. Italy took control without being spectacular and were offered a penalty when Daniele De Rossi’s jersey was tugged. Marcelo Lippi made two somewhat early substitutions at half time (Camoranesi for Pepe and Di Natale for Gilardino) to get more movement out of the offense but things didn’t improve enough to take the match in the needed direction. Credit must go to New Zealand goalie and defender, Mark Paston and Ryan Nelson respectively, for doing the job when called on.

Brazil 3-1 Ivory Coast
Luis Fabiano (25′, 50′) Elano (62′) Didier Drogba (79′)

The game started with the Ivorians showing hints of promises but Brazil, in particular defensively in Juan and Lucio, didn’t let them threaten. Minutes later some good passing with Robinho and Kaka involved freed Luis Fabiano to shoot hard into the top of the net. Brazil were working hard, frustrating the Africans and using the flanks well. As the second half started more of the same led to some good ball juggling by Fabiano and he scored again. The quality of the ball control was helped in part by the inept and naive Ivory Coast defense. However replays showed that Fabiano had handled the ball and subsequent replays showed that ref had seen that too! Ivory Coast then brought on Gervinho, who had ceded his starting place to Dider Drogba, and he changed the face of their attack with his speed and skill. This freed Drogba and he seemed to be able to do better. Before that could happen however, Brazil got another when an accurate low cross allowed Elano to tap in the ball. Later on Drogba scored an easy header that left Brazil goalie Julio Cesar stranded. The game ended poorly when Kaka was first shown a yellow for complaining. He then received a second yellow for what looked like an elbow into the face Kader Keita but replays showed that Keita had exaggerated. A Kaka-less – but owners of six full points – Brazil face Portugal in the coming week unless the sure to come yellow card appeal succeeds.

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Jun 192010
 

Holland 1-0 Japan
Wesley Sneijder (53′)

The first half was fortress Japan as the Asians defended well and didn’t let the Europeans do much at all. The second half necessitated a more open match because Sneijder scored early. He shot hard from the edge of the box, his shot was not properly handled by Japan goalie, Eiji Kawashima, as the ball made its way behind him. Japan tried to break down Holland and came reasonably close on a few occasions. Holland themselves had a few more clear cut chances of their own, especially by substitute Ibrahim Afellay. In the end Holland gained the three points without too much trouble.

Ghana 1-1 Australia
Asamoah Gyan (pen 25′) Brett Holman (11′)

The Game started brightly for Australia and they soon scored from a freekick. Kingson the Ghana goalie let the ball shot at goal rebound in front of him and Holman rushed and slotted it high into the back of the net. Soon after that Ghana actually grew in confidence and took control. Good play by Ayew, a cross later and a shot towards goal struck Kewell’s hand. Although he tried to plead innocence he had gifted Ghana a penalty and also got himself sent off. Asamoah sent Mark Schwarzer the wrong way and converted the penalty. Ghana continued to be the more dangerous team as the half ended all square at 1-1. The second half saw hints of more confidence or perhaps desperation by the socceroos as they made offensive subs to bolster their chances. Despite being one man up Ghana didn’t take much advantage but had their own share of solid possession.

Denmark 2-1 Cameroon
Nicklas Bendtner (33′) Dennis Rommedahl (61′) Samuel Eto’o (10′)

The game started with Eto’o taking up a much needed more offensive and direct position, it immediately paid off as he managed to score after a rather bad giveaway/bad pass from Christian Poulsen. A lot of opportunities followed, many due to questionable defendoing courtesy of both teams. Before the half Bendtner poked one in when Rommedahl, after receiving a 50+ yard ball from Kjaer, stormed down the wing and crossed into the area. Cameroon could claim to have the edge at half time and Eto’o hit the post late on too, courtesy of another one of the aforementioned questionable lapses. The second half saw an increasingly desperate contest that lacked defensive focus. This led to the second Denmark goal as Rommedahl curled one in to score inside the far post. More misses followed as the African challenge suffered another set back.

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Jun 182010
 

Germany 0-1 Serbia
Milan Jovanovic (38′)

The game started with a torrent of yellow cards. Germans and equally the Serbians and there neutrals were entitled to question the consistency if not the legitimacy of some of the cards shown. This soon led to a second yellow for Klose inside 40 minutes and before any player could compose himself Serbia went ahead. Krasic’s crossed ball was headed back towards goal and an unmarked Milan Jovanovic scored. The Serbians gained confidence and threatened more. Germany followed this by throwing in offensive players, in Mario Gomez for example. All the work seemed to be undone when yet another Serbian player, Vidic, handled the ball in the penalty box. The subsequent penalty was taken by Podolski but Stojkovic saved it well. A slew of close chances followed by both teams but in the end Mallenco, the Spanish referee, probably had more influence on the game than any official should have.


Slovenia 2-2 USA
Valter Birsa (13′) Zlatan Ljubijankic (42′) Landon Donovan (48′) Michael Bradley (82′)

The early clashes were slightly to Slovenia’s favor and it wasn’t long before the Slovenian midfielder shot from around 30 yards and left US goalie Tim Howard completely flat footed. What followed was somewhat of a stalemate that had Handanovic making a few acrobatic saves. US seemed to sense more was needed and started to exploit some questionable Slovenian defending. Slovenians however surprised again, as Zlatan Ljubijankic just avoided being offside and scored. The second half had barely started when Landon Donovan took advantage of a defensive lapse, courtesy of Bostjan Cesar, and shot hard into the roof of the net from a tight angle. This was beautifully taken as he was only a handful of yards away from the goal post. USA piled on the pressure but Slovenia had a few of their own. One of the US chances finally paid dividends as Bradley shot well into the back of the net. The US had a third goal questionably called back soon after and so the game ended with one point for each team.

England 0-0 Algeria

The game had both teams changing their goalkeepers for respective blunders. The game started with Algeria with better possession but nothing really came of it. England took brief control towards the end of the half and they themselves only troubled the relatively inexperienced Algeria goalie only once or twice. Any fluency and passing was missing form the English team with Rooney in particular contributing very little. The second half followed much the same pattern with England giving away possession rather too easily at times. The few times England threatened things just didn’t happen for them. Some credit goes to Rais M’Bolhi, the aforementioned goalie, Nadir Belhadj, Rafik Halliche and the entire Algerian team for keeping their cool. On the English side this was a disappointing performance not unlike the much maligned Steve McLaren coaching era. And so back to the drawing board for current coach Fabio Capello.

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Jun 172010
 

Argentina 4-1 South Korea
Park Chu-Young (og 16′) Gonzalo Higuain (33′ 76′ 80′) Lee Chung-Yong (45′)

An unfortunate own goal off a freekick and off the foot of Park Chu-Young, who didn’t really know much about it, was an early omen for the Koreans. Argentina controlled and managed the ball better and showed some of the best attacking plays of the World Cup, through their usual star names. The aforementioned led to the second goal but just as half time was approaching Demichiles made a blunder and allowed the Korean to carry the ball in for a 2-1 half time score. The Korean goalie, Jung Sung-Ryong, deserved some credit for keeping the score low but that is not to say that Korea didn’t have their own chances as the Argentine defense looked iffy at times. Of particular note was the 57th minute glorious chance totally wasted by Yeom Ki-Hu. Amid some nervy moments for both teams the newly arriving Aguero worked well for Messi to deliver a simple tap in for Higuain and soon after another well worked play led to the hattrick for Higuain.

Greece 2-1 Nigeria
Salpingidis (44′) Torosidis (71′) Uche (16′)

Both teams needed a good result to get back into contention after opening game defeats. The game started with a glimpse or two of promise and it was Nigeria who scored first when Greek goalie, Alexandros Tzorvas, simply missed the ball off of a freekick. Then late in the first half Sani Kaita showed his studs in a kicking motion, got himself ejected and handed an advantage to Greece. Instantly the Nigeria goalie, Vincent Enyeama, came back into focus as Greece brought on Samaras and piled on the pressure. The move paid off as the Greeks managed to score off of a deflection just before half time. The game continued to have a totally different look after the sending off, Greece was more alive than ever and missed a glorious chance with Enyeama making one of the saves of the World Cup. Nigeria missed one of their own right after but could not cope with being one man down and conceded another not long after. At the end Nigeria proved their own worst enemies and Greece took full advantage.

France 0-2 Mexico
Javier Hernandez (64′) Cuauhtemoc Blanco (pen 79′)

France dropped Gourcuff and handed a start to Malouda while keeping both Diaby and Toulalan in the starting lineup. From the creative standpoint this solved little as the game was not impressive. Mexico seemed the better team but not by much, as they had to search and search for a decisive play. As both teams had started the World Cup with a draw a result was needed but the match trodded on reversing some of the exciting results starting to emerge. Substitute Hernandez made a nice run, however and evaded offside to dribble past Lloris and shoot into an empty net. Not long after that Blanco, the elder statemsman of the Mexican team and himself a substitute, converted a penalty that was delivered to Mexico via a clumsy Abidal tackle. And so France’s chances faded, as with their midfield creativity and freekick takers.

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Jun 162010
 

Chile 1-0 Honduras
Jean Beausejour (34′)

Honduras’ squad, for the first time at a World Cup, featured 3 brothers. Wilson Palacios in the starting line-up with Johnny and Jerry on the bench. Chile missing Humberto Suazo to injury and therefore less of an scoring threat, Honduras missing a good scoring chunk as well with Carlos Costly and David Suazo missing. And therefore the offense left in the hands of veterans Carlos Pavon and Jorge Valdivia for Honduras and Chile respectively. Early possession and half chances were almost exclusively for the attacking Chileans with Alexis Sanchez and Matias Fernandes doing some good work. The 65%+ possession paid dividends with Beausejour scoring from a low cross. The domination mostly continued and had the Honduran goalie, Noel Valladares, making one of the nicest saves so far in the 63rd minute. In the end Honduras produced little and Chile came reasonably close on many occasions, dominated possession and showed more attacking intent than most, as promised by coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Spain 0-1 Switzerland
Gelson Fernandes (52′)

The game had Frei and Behrami missing for the Swiss while Torres not starting for Spain. For the second game in a row one team had a good lock on domination as Spain controlled the ball for long stretches. Early in the second half we witnessed one of the bigger shocks of the World Cup when the Swiss, through Fernandes, scored first. Iker Cassilas, Pique and the whole Spanish defense made a meal of a high ball. The Spanish were then forced to bring on Navas and Torres for Silva and Busquets. Of the many close calls that followed Xabi Alonso’s crossbar was perhaps the closest. Not long after the Swiss themselves were a post away from making it 2-0 and the game turned into one Puyol and Pique would want to forget. Iniesta left the field due to injury and was replaced by Pedro but half and full chances amounted to little as Switzerland changed the face of group H. Criticism of Spain’s starting line-up followed.

South Africa 0-3 Uruguay
Diego Forlan (24′, pen 80′) Alvaro Pereira (90′)

Uruguay started with more of an attacking line-up in this their second game as all three of Forlan, Suarez and Cavani started. The advantage of the earlier exchanges went to the South Americans but Tshabalala wasn’t shy to shoot when he could. The game wasn’t the most exciting but Forlan did his part with a long range shot that showed that the Adidas Jabulani ball is not all bad. Uruguay had the better of chances with Cavani in particular very wasteful with those few chances. In the last quarter of the match the South Africans became more desperate knowing a loss would make second round very unlikely. Soon after however a debatable penalty and red card resulted from Khune’s slight contact with Suarez, the South African goalie perhaps too harshly judged. Forlan scored and as the crowd was leaving in dismay Alvaro Pereira finished it off right at the whistle.

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