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Archives: June 2014

Holland vs Mexico, Football at Isaacs, Ipswich

Holland vs Mexico

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Holland vs Mexico

Mexico started brightly as they have done across the whole tournament.  They got into Holland early which I think did unsettle the Dutch a bit.

A few good chances and some reasonable shouts for penalties rattled the Dutch.  Kyut did well keeping a consistent balance between attack and defence.  We actually got to see two water breaks in the game, a new addition to this hot World Cup.  The 3 minute breaks were just added on to time at the end of each half.  Both teams took on water and used cool towels to ease the heat.

Half Time

A welcome break as Holland had started to find a bit of joy, the first half was goalless but overall Holland edged it.

The opening of the second half was a moment of excitement as Giovani Dos Santos scored a great goal, holding off the Dutch defence he rifled a great shot as it shot across Cillessen and into the bottom opposite corner.

The second half ebbed and flowed, Mexico getting good chances, Holland good penalty shouts and Arjen Robben kept on causing the Mexicans problems.  It look as if the Mexicans had done it though, Van Persie kept quiet, Sneijder invisible and Holland’s defence occasionally called into action.  Then came the Dutch…..

On the 88th minute a blasted shot came in after Huntelaar, the once forgotten substitute Dutch striker headed the ball out of the Mexican box for Sneijder to spank the ball so hard that it was unstoppable.  It really was a venomous strike from 18 yards out.  It flew straight, hard and true into the corner.

Let’s be honest here Ochao had been amazing, making some great saves and blocks.  His positioning and shot stopping was great through the whole tournament.

Then as it looked set for extra time Huntelaar scored the winner in the 94th minute.  Robben was brought down after a big run in the box.  He went down a little easy but he was due one I suspect.  A rash challenge from Mexico and they are undone.  A cool customer as he hit the ball low and to the left.

It ended Holland vs Mexico (2-1).  Hard luck Mexico as they were great again but they can never get out of this 1st knockout stage.  Holland will get Greece or Costa Rica next so they should go through.

Colombia vs Uruguay

Colombia vs Uruguay

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Colombia vs Uruguay

It was always going to be a tough act to follow the Brazil vs Chile match and this was entertaining but in a different way.

The Colombian players showed excellent pace really flying at the Uruguayans right from the start.  The free flowing football of Colombia has really surprised me in this tournament and their defence hasn’t been tested by any top teams as yet.

Obviously with Suarez missing then Uruguay would have been struggling but with the Liverpool striker missing it meant Colombia had less to fear.  Just Edison Cavani really and he was quiet.

One early on stat showed Colombia with 79% possession which showed clearly that Uruguay were keen to spoil rather than play.

On the 28th minute Colombia struck with James Rodrigues (what a tournament he is having).  He was all smiles as he catapulted his team in front with a Drogba style turn and volley.  The 22 year old caught the ball on his chest from outside the box, turned and in one move he smashed the ball into the roof of the net.  It went over the keeper who was off his line and put Colombia a goal ahead.  A great finish.

This woke Uruguay up and on the 30th minute they actually managed a shot.  On the 38th minute they forced a save also but they didn’t look comfortable opening up to attack.  Cuadrado was excellent through the game for Colombia as he was always looking to be positive and run at players.

The ball was switched from right to left, then crossed in for Cuadrado to head it back across the goal and James Rodrigues to score another goal in the 50th minute.  This was a great goal, well worked and at pace.  It seems they never stop attacking….

Uruguay were still keen on spoiling at every opportunity.  Eventually Pereira, at the end, nearly got one back in the last ten minutes but it was well blocked by the Colombian keeper.  Cavani showed some more interest at the end but it was too little, too late.  Uruguay surrendered here without a fight.  They struggled to qualify but it seems they used their best energy in the group games.

It ended Colombia vs Uruguay (2-0).  Uruguay go home and Colombia go to face Brazil next.  Outstanding!

Brazil vs Chile

Brazil vs Chile

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Brazil vs Chile

A thumping game here and worthy of the first knockout game.  Brazil showing pace with Neymar and to be fair he has been scaring the Chilean players witless in the opening minutes.

It started well and kept burning for the entire the first half.  Then David Luiz (I think) got the opening goal off his knee.  The ball was lofted into the box from a corner, a mistake on a clearance (or was it a tug from Luiz) and Brazil were in front.

Then, Alexis Sanchez scored a great equaliser after a simple throw in went to him.  He looked to be stumbling but the ball went in with perfect accuracy to level the scores.  It was a great finish from a great player.

Neymar was getting a bit of rough treatment from Chile and in their defence Brazil were falling down a lot in the box so it was as much one as the other.  How Luiz didn’t get booked for more of his fouls was beyond me.  He ran away from Howard Webb who didn’t reach for a card again.

Fred went close, Alves went close – to be honest most of the Brazilian players did as they really busted a gut to go in at half time ahead.  Bravo for Chile was excellent though.

The first half was Brazil with the pressure tactics and Chile with the work rate with Vidal for Chile being one hard working player – his energy was endless.

Half Time

Brazil disappeared in the sun for a fair bit of the 2nd half but they still had their chances.  Hulk had a good goal disallowed which seemed to unsettle the Brazilian team.  I think it was a bit harsh as it was a 50/50 call really.  Brazil should have really just got on with it but they didn’t, instead they dipped for a long period.

Chile worked so hard and they had really good chances to win it – really good ones also!

It got towards the end of the match and Brazil seemed keen for extra time, why they brought on Jo I will never know as he has no place in the Brazil international side in my view.

Extra Time

Saw Brazil doing more, Hulk tried everything he possibly could, some good and some bad but Chile were outstanding in every department.

Then in the dying seconds of extra time Chile hit a thumping shot which hit the bar…..

These players have both shown tremendous fitness and desire.  Momentum swung both ways and it was simply excellent to watch.

Penalties

It is officially penalties and I think Brazil have dropped a clanger – some of the players they have brought on I don’t think are their best penalty takers.

Brazil, in a huddle as they try to motivate one another, Chile though looked tired but with a great togetherness as well.  It is really tense.

Cesar in goal vs Bravo for Chile…

David Luiz goes first – he scores 1-0 Brazil

Pinilla – saved by Cesar!!!

Willian – WIDE – what a shocker!

Sanchez – saved again!!! Cesar sends Brazil mad, great reactions.

Marcelo – lucky to score but the power sent it through, 2-0 Brazil now

Aranguiz – Unstoppable, thumped with some real venom.  Cesar didn’t even move 2-1.

Hulk – One of my favourite players for Brazil…..saved!!!!  Bravo duped him big time and won the battle of wills…It was Van Der Sar vs Chelsea mark two!

Diaz – it’s all level….amazing 2-2 and sudden death!!!

Neymar – is it best till last, will he miss….at 22 years old he scores with ease! – I didn’t think he would score but he did – amazing!

Jara – the unemployed professional footballer hits the post, poor, poor man!!!! – it was almost the perfect penalty, it beats the keeper but it can’t creep in! – I really feel for him.

Harsh on Chile as they have been a real show stoppers and Brazil get lucky again despite a good performance.  They are going home and Brazil get through to the next round, the luck of penalties eh!.

A thumping game as the Chilean players console one another.

This is what the World Cup is about and Brazil managed the pressure! It ended Brazil vs Chile (1-1) with Brazil winning 3-2 on penalties.

Armed Forces Day

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To all those serving in HM Forces

To show our respect and admiration for those serving in our armed services, if you show your Armed Forces Identification at the till during Armed Forces Day (Saturday, June 28, 2014), we will give you a 20% discount off food from the main menu (including breakfast), in addition to soft drinks, teas, coffees, sandwiches, Paninis and jacket potatoes.

It is a small gesture, but a gesture worth making.

What is Armed Forces Day? Learn more here: http://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/about.aspx

Weekend Knockout Football

World Cup Knockouts

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This weekend World Cup Knockouts are:

So let’s look at how it is going to pan out.

Brazil vs Chile – Saturday 28th of June 5pm kick off

Brazil aren’t as fast as other World Cup teams they have had are.  This said though they are much stronger.  Neymar is delivering and Marcelo is having a good tournament also.

Chile have been good also, fast paced and a real surprise package.  Will Chile have enough to see of the hosts? To find out come and join us in style at the game kicks off Saturday 28th of June at 5pm!

Columbia vs Uruguay – Saturday 28th of June 9pm kick off

With Suarez gone will Uruguay have enough to get through?  I think they might as they are still a good hard working side.  Columbia have been excellent going forward but they haven’t been heavily tested.  Maybe Uruguay will do it without their lead striker as Cavanni is still a great player.

To watch the game and experience the action in fantastic surroundings it has to be Isaacs.

Holland vs Mexico – Sunday 29th of June 5pm kick off

Another blockbuster match.  Mexico have a hardworking team and outstanding strikers.  Holland are packed with class but they have let in a few goals.  This will be a stunning game but Robin Van Persie is back so maybe he will be the difference?

To watch this blinding game it has to be at Isaacs!

Costa Rica vs Greece – Sunday 29th of June

Hardworking Greece got a final seconds penalty to squeeze through the group.  Costa Rica looked great but ran out of steam at the end of the group stages.  Who will get through, have Costa Rica ran out of steam or are Greece going to make it through this time?

To watch all the weekends football come to Isaacs – it is where the best World Cup games in Ipswich are shown.  This is where the World Cup gets juicy!

Algeria vs Russia

Algeria vs Russia

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Algeria vs Russia

Well here is a surprise, Russia are out and Algeria go through in second place!

We said earlier about Fabio and his £6m a year gravy train and again he has failed to deliver.  The excuses were quick to come out but in truth he may have a point.

Lazergate I should call it as the Russian keeper Igor Akinfeev was apparently put off by a green lazerpen being shone in his eyes.  Yes he then came for the cross and NO he didn’t get it.  A goal went in for Algeria and the laser did come from the Algerian fans.

I know the laser was in his face a few seconds before the equalising goal went in BUT it was more that it put the keeper off beforehand.  I can’t think he would have got himself set right mentally as a result of this as he wanted the ref’s attention and didn’t get it.  Then again you play to the whistle.

It was Russia who went ahead with Kokorin scoring inside 6 minutes.  Russia needed to do well in this game and get a good high scoring win to be sure of going through.  A great cross came in for Kokorin to head the shot home with venom.

Algeria had some good chances but Russia were on top for the early part of the match.

On the hour mark Algeria equalised scoring with a powerful header of their own.  Slimani did well at the far post to score and put his side back in the game.

Russia then went on to push for the winner but it ended 1-1.  Then, Fabio began his excuses but he will still pocket a load of money for another poor World Cup performance.  I suspect he should go to club football as clearly international management isn’t his thing.

Algeria vs Russia (1-1).

South Korea vs Belgium

South Korea vs Belgium

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South Korea vs Belgium

Korea have been really poor in this tournament when in the past they were a bit of a surprise package.  Group H was a group they could have gotten out of.  Belgium have made it three wins in a row from the group and sailed through.  A bit of luck here and there but they have done really well.

The interesting bit is when they come up against a household name.  They have the USA next who they might get past but then they will be found out if not before.

They did rest a few players in this match but again Mertens did well, he had a wild miss in the first half but he was more assured in the second, forcing a few saves from the Korean keeper.

This match was a fairly even game though with Belgium being a little lax in the passing department.

Porto midfielder was sent off for Belgium for a nasty two-footed stomp on Kim Shin-wook.  He couldn’t have an argument against it either.  This spurred the Koreans into life as they formed a good number of positive attacks.  Again though the luck of the Belgians held out, helped by Courtois playing well in goal.

Eventually though Jan Vertonghen powered through from his normal defensive position to score the rebounding Origi’s shot.  Origi is a rising star of this tournament and one also to watch in the future along with Mertens.

It ended South Korea vs Belgium (0-1).

USA vs Germany

USA vs Germany

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USA vs Germany

The USA are through despite losing to the powerful German football machine.  The Germans did well getting the win but the USA have shown that they are getting on-board with soccer!

Thomas Muller scored the only goal in the 55th minute to make him joint top goal scorer in the tournament and with the German might he may well beat Neymar, Messi, Robben and Van Persie to it.

The rain chucked it down in the last Group G match and the USA players are in the box seat to get the 2nd spot.  It was mostly Germany for the first period as they worked hard to bemuse the American players.  The USA team though stayed strong, defending well and having little of the ball.

The German goalkeeper Neuer didn’t have much to do really.  Everton keeper Tim Howard put in some good saves but eventually Muller got the better of him curling in a lovely 4th goal of the competition.

USA may have lost but I bet it was celebrations all round for them.  Qualification from a hard group is an excellent achievement as Belgium await them.  I also think they could (it will be hard) but could beat Belgium, despite their up and coming players.

It finished USA vs Germany (0-1).

Portugal vs Ghana

Portugal vs Ghana

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Portugal vs Ghana

It’s a shame to see Ronaldo go home so early but they have been poor.  Ronaldo scored for his team and has worked hard but for Portugal to have dropped points against the USA is what sent them home.

They should have won that game but didn’t do enough to do so.  The thrashing from the Germans also hurt their goal difference.

Ronaldo worked his magic in the 29th minute to be denied by the woodwork.  He caught the keeper off his line and should have crossed but he had the bravery to take on the tough shot.  It almost came off!  Then a free kick later went close as the keeper Dauda saved it.

It was an own goal that got Portugal ahead as Boye miss controlled to put the ball into the back of his own net.

Ghana kept going on the counter-attack and at halftime nobody had scored despite both teams having chances.  Ronaldo and co were throwing everything they could at their stubborn opposition.

Asamoah did well down the left hand side ensuring his cross was headed in at the far post by Gyan.  Gyan always seems to do it for his country showing his consistency.

The final goal for Ronaldo (who else) came in at the end of the match.  Nani hit a good cross into the box, the Ghanaian keeper messed up his clearance and Ronaldo capitalised on his mistake to score a simple winner.

Ronaldo has been in excellent form and the Portuguese are jam packed with quality but they are a lot like England.  Always the bridesmaids and never the brides.  A real shame but it ended Portugal vs Ghana (2-1) and still Portugal go home!

Ecuador vs France

Ecuador vs France

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Ecuador vs France

I really thought Ecuador would have made it out of the group but they dropped points in earlier games.  Relying on a win against the powerful French was a bad idea especially as they have been in a free scoring mood so far (unlike the last World Cup).

This said, the game was a fast passed one with both teams going at it during the start.  France wanting to win all their group games and Ecuador needing to do better than the Swiss result to go through.  Sadly they didn’t.

We have learned both the Valencia players (in name) for Ecuador had good tournaments but the Manchester United winger cost them on the 50th minute.

Antonio Valencia (their captain) got himself sent off (unusually) in the 50th minute.  He was given a straight red which changed the Ecuadorian mind-set.  Ecuador looked more not to lose than to win and that is what cost them as they really needed to go for it – even when a man down.

Enner Valencia was man of the match who kept trying but it just wasn’t to be for the South Americans.

Hugo Lloris did well keeping the Ecuadorians out and France pressured the Ecuadorian keeper also but the loss of their Captain left them with too much to do.  France had some good shots and Ecuador did also but neither of them could get through.  Good saves and defending kept the score level but sent Ecuador home and France through as winners.

It ended Ecuador vs France (0-0).