Jul 11 2014
Jul 11 2014
1) Javier Mascherano is the glue that hold Los Albiceleste together.
The captain without the armband. While Messi leads by doing, Masch is the motivational voice. He could be seen pepping the team at half time and he motivated Romero during penalties. Despite taking a knock to his head, and looking suspiciously concussed in the following moments, he got stuck in the game. He dictated the midfield, provided attacking opportunities for Argentina, and dealt with Robben ever so efficiently. His pin point tackle on said Robben in the penalty are in the dying moments of extra time kept Argentina in the game. Man of the Match for me, for sure.
2) Romero is not useless.
Jul 09 2014
Its been described as the “the biggest shame in history” and it really was. Germany thrashed Brazil 7 goals to 1. Goals from Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and a brace each from Toni Kroos and Andre Schurrle saw the host knocked out in the most humiliating manner, although Oscar did score a consolation goal in the dying moments for Brazil. Many people called it before this game (including yours truly), maybe Brazil are not as good as they were made out to be. Here are 6 WTF moments from the game:
Jul 05 2014
Argentina is not all Messi. Well, maybe just a little. He was man of the match in the first 4 games this world cup. He didn’t score vs Belgium but he did win the ball and played a part in the build up to Higuain’s goal. Say what you want about the diminutive striker, he’s class, but today Argentina showed that they have strength other than “el Messiah.” After their sloppy display against Switzerland, I was impressed at how together Argentina looked, especially at the back. The defense has been poor so far, but today they put on a solid display. A much improved performance, but I have a feeling we haven’t seen the best of this Argentine side yet! Belgium was the complete opposite. They looked good in the group stages but today they were always one step behind Argentina. They played with no real purpose and didn’t provide much of a challenge for the Garay & co. at the back. Here’s my top 5 players of the match:
Jul 05 2014
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Jul 04 2014
It was an all South American quarter final with Brazil facing Colombia. The hosts game vs Chile did not impress me at all, I felt Brazil were lucky to be in the quarter finals.But Brazil were a more well put together side within the first 15 minutes against Colombia than they have looked all tournament. They got an early start, thanks to the thigh of Thiago Silva, who netted in the first goal from a Neymar corner in just 4 minutes. The second goal came from a David Luis free kick, his second this tournament, and what a stunner it was! Colombia were thrown a lifeline with 10 minutes to play when keeper Julio Cesar brought down a goal bound James Rodriguez. James converted his penalty to bring his total tally of goals to 6. Unfortunately, thats where his goal scoring this tournament ends. Brazil managed to hold on, and are off to face Germany in the Semi final. Here’s my observations from this game.
Jul 04 2014
Germany starting XI: Manuel Neuer; Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Benedikt Hoewedes; Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil; Thomas Mueller, Miroslav Klose
France starting XI: Hugo Lloris; Mathieu Debuchy, Raphael Varane, Mamadou Sakho, Patrice Evra; Yohan Cabaye; Mathieu Valbuena, Blaise Matuidi, Paul Pogba; Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann
It was a matter of two European heavy weights facing off. Both previous World Champions. Neighbours. Before the game, questions were raised over the fitness of the German side, Mats Hummels was so unwell he couldn’t make it to training, and 7 other German players were reportedly exhibiting flu like symptoms. On the French side Sakho was back, fit from injury, and Griezmann got the nod ahead of Giroud. It was a clinical display from the Germans as they piped Les Bleus 1-0 thanks to a tantalizing Mats Hummels header from a set piece. On the night, the better team won. Here’s my pick of the best players from the game:
Jul 03 2014
1) He is a shrewd tactician
He’s known for his expert, but we were given a show of just how effective he is when the Dutch played Mexico. They were trailing 1-0 when he switched from a 3 man defense to a 4 man defense and pulled Arjen Robben to the right to give their attack more width. He’s also not afraid to take bold decisions, like substituting Robin van Persie.
2) He has a wealth of experience
His CV boasts some of the biggest clubs in Europe: Ajax, FC Barcelona, AZ & Bayern Munich. He’s won La Liga with Barcelona and the Champions League with Ajax. He’s in the middle of his second spell with the Dutch National team. And most importantly he is well versed in “Total Football.”
Jul 02 2014