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Archives: July 2014

Ashton Jones is back 27th of July

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Ashton Jones is back at Isaacs on 27th of July at 3pm.  Following on from his fantastic performance at Ipswich Music Day we know we are in for a treat!

Ashton Jones, Ipswich Soul, Isaacs

Germany vs Argentina

Germany vs Argentina

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Germany vs Argentina

Early doors, Higuain misses a sitter as the ball comes back to him from Kroos with a Gerard style back-pass but typically when it is England we concede, when it’s the Germany the opposition striker chokes.  Higuain puts it wide!

He then does score but it is offside and a good call from the ref! His run is early and his great finish counts for nothing.  Messi has still been pretty invisible here, it is as if his Barcelona teams mates are making him seem better than he is.  The sum of them being greater than their parts.

Schurle went close on the 36th minute but the keepers was equal to the shot.

Some good chances for Messi and a few more for the Germans.  They seem free to cross the ball when they want at the moment.

It is getting feisty as Germany are moaning to the ref and Muller is play acting again.  A shame really as Robben gets a lot of flak for it but he seems to be left off by the media.

On the stroke of half-time Howedes should have scored a header as he dived in and hit the post…

Half Time

Two misses in moments, one offside and then Messi breaks through and hits it wide…wow.  Is it a sign, the Argentinian manager didn’t look happy.

Mascherano has been good all tournament but his passing has been poor.  He was a midfield player a few seasons ago but he is giving the ball away here.

Neuer comes out and flattens Higuain, a good punch but he took him out big time!

A few more half chances but that is it really as the game slows a bit and extra time looms.

Extra Time

Again Germany pressed and pushed every advantage they could.  Argentina looked to soak up the pressure as much as possible with a few counter attacks.  Both teams had a chance and it looked as if penalties was on the cards.  Then arise Mario Gotze, another top class German player coming into the national team (he should have been there from the start!).

As Schuurle burst away down the left flank showing a real injection of pace.  His early cross crept past the defender and was taken on the chest by Gotze.  Then with the keeper bearing down on him he smashed the ball into the back of the net! – What a world cup winner!!!!!!

This guy has some serious talent, as do most of the German team but above all else they are a team.  They like one another and are used to each other having come through the ranks as a unit in many cases.  With Neuer in goal expect them to be here for a long time.

Then came a late free kick from Schweinsteiger who had been kicked all over the park in this match.  Messi stepped up….he looked calm….then ballooned it over.  A howler of a free kick which summed his game and world cup up really.  Apart from one good goal in the dying seconds in the group games he was very well man marked.  This begs the question, is it Iniesta and Xavi making him look so good?

All we know is Germany win the 2014 World Cup as it ended Germany vs Argentina (1-0).  Germany were good value throughout the competition consistently showing their skill.

Well done Germany and Podolski who crept on to grab more than his share of the limelight at the end.  Just don’t ask where he was born!

None the less Germany have been so strong in this tournament and I am pleased they won.  No matter who you support on merit Germany deserved to win it.  It wasn’t a blockbuster of a game for me but the Isaac crowd loved the tension.  The play was good in places and the goal that won it was worthy of winning a World Cup final on!

Update – Somehow Messi was made player of the tournament – what was that about I don’t know as a lot of players should have been ahead of him.  I can think of at least ten, it seems the sponsors have had a word with FIFA.

That aside a cracking World Cup!

Brazil vs Holland

Brazil vs Holland

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Brazil vs Holland

A big game here for Brazil and obviously Holland don’t want to lose it but it must be a hard game for the Dutch to be motivated for.  They both battle for the honour of finishing 3rd and getting the bronze medals.

It didn’t take long for the rot to set in.  Just 3 minutes in and Robin Van Persie puts Holland ahead from the spot.  Robben was dragged back by Silva but it was outside the box I think.  It shouldn’t have been a penalty for me but a red card instead for Silva.  Poor work early on by Brazil.

Goal number two Daley Blind scored for Holland as the ship is sinking.  David Luiz needs to be given an attacking role as he is very suspect at defending.  A horror show!  Great play by De Guzman and Robben in the build-up.

Kuyt later had to come off to have his head stapled of all things.  It hasn’t been that dirty a game but but Holland are coming off as winners at nothing more than a jog!

Half time comes and the crowd make their discontent known…

Oscar is booked in the second half for diving.  A mistake by the ref but or me it wasn’t a foul.  I didn’t like how Oscar turned mid-air as if to see what the ref is going to do.  They both went in hard, so hard that Blind went off injured.

Hulk has had a poor tournament and when he came on with Jo upfront the poor form of these two continued.

In the dying seconds Janmaat (unlike in the Argentina game) found a forward pass which went to Wijnadum who blast the shot home.

Holland celebrate 3rd place.  If the Brazilian FA have any sense then they will change manager and we already know the Dutch are set for a change.  Great work by Holland for the win and if they showed this level of bravery they may have made it to the finals.

It ended Brazil vs Holland (0-3) and another blow to Brazil.

Holland vs Argentina

Holland vs Argentina

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Holland vs Argentina

The game was a bit of a damp squib in the main, Messi was poor Robben and Van Persie only had a moment or two to shine.  It was a classic case of not wanting to concede first.

Given what is at stake who can blame them.  The winner would go on to face Germany in the World Cup Finals, that would be something special indeed.

Holland took Cillessen worked well in goal stopping a few easy shots during the game and his opposite number for Argentina did the same.

In essence there wasn’t really much to write about.  Holland did well Argentina were ok and strong in the challenge but otherwise the game wasn’t anything special.  Both teams were poor in the normal time until the last 5 minutes or so when Robben got into things.  To his credit he stayed on his feet all game and could have gone down but he kept honest this time.

He got a late chance in the game bur Mascherano put in an excellent last ditch challenge before the Dutchman could pull the trigger.

Extra Time

To be honest that wasn’t much more exciting either.  Nobody wanted to take a chance.  It was all risk management.  Messi and Aguero were quiet, Kuyt worked hard and RVP was taken off.  It was going to be penalties.

Penalties

There was a lot expected from both teams here but when the Aston Villa centre back walked up to take Hollands first penalty Ron  Vlaar never looked as if he was going to score.  It was saved!

Argentina didn’t miss as Messi curled his left footed shot home.

Robben blasted home his one

Garay, another centre back took his but scored.

Sneijder – his is saved also – that has to be the end of Holland now, a real shame!

Aguero scored!

Kuyt, duped the keeper and scored a good penalty, he’s has a great world cup.

Maxi Rodriguez, to win it – he did.  The player who has been around for ever it seems still has it and still isn’t as old as you think.  A big moment for Rodriguez!

Argentina are through having bundled their way unconvincingly through this tournament.  It ended Holland vs Germany (0-0) with Argentina winning 4-2 on penalties.

Holland now face Brazil who they should slaughter with the Germans waiting for Argentina.  I suspect Germany will win it here…surely?

Brazil vs Germany

Brazil vs Germany

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Brazil vs Germany

A lot to cover here…

We didn’t expect Brazil’s luck to hold out much longer as they had good fortune in every game.  It ran out in this one though, it ran out big time.

Brazil for the first ten minutes looked ok, they passed the ball around well and looked to have a degree of urgency.  I didn’t expect them to make it past Germany but few could have seen such a whitewash.  The host nation, one with a proud footballing heritage were picked apart by some GREAT German football.

Seven goals for Germany in a semi-final is pretty magical stuff really and they were good, very good but it is tempered by just how poor Brazil were.  It was like watching a heavy weight boxer well past his prime coming out of retirement…it was painful.  I’ve been pretty critical of Brazil for the whole tournament and they aren’t the powerhouse they once were.  They are more physical now and less Samba style but they are still packed with household names.

These household names stood up for 11 minutes, then Muller hit them.  The German forward was alone, in acres of space as the ball came in.  With his right foot he fired it past the keeper leaving Julio Cesar no chance.  Was it non-existent marking or a well worked play by Germany, I think the later.

Hulk kept up his sadly poor tournament missing the chance to make it even.

Miroslav Klose scores the 2nd on the 23rd minute making him the highest World Cup goal scorer of all time, some feat!  Another thing Brazil didn’t want to happen in this game of all games!  He should have scored on the first shot but Cesar parried it but you don’t want to give him a second chance and he took it sweetly.  Brazil were buckling now.

David Luiz (never a fan) seems to not understand what it is to play in a position.  Gary Neville said something along the line of him being like a kid on an Xbox and he is.  Nobody wants a central defender who doesn’t track back and plays as a shadow striker.

Toni Kroos scored on the 24th minute to really add salt in the wound.  Brazil are all over the show and the Germans are not letting them off to save their blushes.  This is a mauling.  Great interplay around the box leaves Kroos to up the embarrassment.

Two minutes later and Kroos is at it again, showing why he is such a highly rated talent.  On the 26th minute to make people wonder what on earth is going on.  The place falls silent now except for the German crowd who are loving it.  A simple counter attack and Khadira lays it on a plate for Kroos to tap it home.

Now, you know it’s BAD when Kadira gets on the score sheet.  As a defensive midfielder getting in on the action is pretty bad as he isn’t normally much of a goal threat.  Ozil does well brining in Klose and then Khedira finished the move off which he stated to begin with.  That is FIVE!

Fernandinho stopped Kroos’s hat-trick with a timely block on the 32nd minute as well.

Finally Half Time

Germany have had 9 shots on target and scored 5, impressive work in the first half.

As the second half begins it is clear that Brazil are not coming back from this, not even they could do that.  Not even with a home advantage as you could see the crowd were crestfallen and even beginning to side with the Germans as their play was nothing short of a master class.

Hulk was taken off for Ramires (not a good move in my book as they needed a few goals and Luiz to remember he is a defender). The big Per Mertesacker was also replaced by the outstanding Mats Hummels in the German defence.  I suspect saving the big man for the final.  Fernandinho was taken off for Paulinho as well.

Neuer deserves special praise here as he was excellent in goal.  Brazil did have some chances (not enough to turn it around mind you) but they had some teeth still.  Muller pushed for more goals also and did well.

The game really turned into a range of who was good and who wasn’t.  Bernard, Fred, Luiz, Hulk, Marcelo and others were shocking really.  Germany on the other hand didn’t get much wrong, they were simply efficient and professional.

In the 69th minute Schurrle scored his first making it 6-0!  He then showed his class again scoring ten minutes later as the rising Chelsea star hit a tight angle to beat the Brazilian keeper.  The ball hit the underside of the crossbar leaving Cesar picking the ball out of his net for a 7th time.

It was nearly eight.  After a bad miss for Ozil near the end.  He did all the hard work bursting clear with just the keeper to beat but he struck it wide.

The downside or the funny thing (depending on your view) was that in the 90th minute Brazil did score a consolation goal with Oscar firing in a well taken shot.  It was obviously too little too late.

Simply put Brazil were publicly executed!  There is no saving grace for them as the crowd were against them and the footballing world was stunned.  Brazil were poor and deserve the shame they will get for this.  A proud footballing nation slaughtered just shy of a home turf world cup final.  They had ridden their luck before running into a very strong Germany.

I expected Germany to win but never by so many goals.  There will be some cheap Brazilian players for sale I suspect now.  The Belo Horizonte massacre ended Brazil vs Germany (1-7).  WOW!

Holland vs Costa Rica

Holland vs Costa Rica

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Holland vs Costa Rica

As good as the game was in parts it was the Louis Van Gaal show really.  Like Jose Mourinho, Van Gaal has shown he is a man to make big calls and take action.  His substitutions have had big impacts in the tournaments and the Dutch are very strong in attack.  It is their defence that worries me though.

Holland were my dark horse in this tournament as going forward they have much to offer!

Man of the match had to be Navas, as in goal he was excellent for Costa Rica, he claimed crosses well and took charge of his area.  He also pulled off some good saves – as did Cillessen, the Dutch keeper.  In the dying seconds he made himself big to keep Holland in it.

Vlaar was good at the back for Holland and Van Persie worked hard for his openings.  Kuyt covered every blade of grass but still Holland couldn’t get an opening goal. Robben was on his best behaviour keeping on his feet as much as possible as well which was nice to see.

Holland managed 15 shots on goal as Costa Rica started to buckle but they held on.  Holland hit the woodwork twice and had 8 shots blocked.

Extra time went much the same as the first half.  Costa Rica in it and the Dutch looking hard for the win.

The game was sharp still and when penalties came it didn’t disappoint either.  Van Gaal of all things swapped his keeper in the last few minutes.  Newcastle’s Tim Krul came on to handle the penalties.  A crazy decision on the face of it but the commentators called it right, this had to be a planned decision.  Van Gaal took a risk but it looked a planned risk.

Krul went to the spot to face the first penalty, he also had a little dig at each players trying to put them off.  Is it gamesmanship or cheating?

  • Borges scored for Costa Rica though!
  • The master striker Van Persie went next and scored also, 1-1.
  • Brian Ruiz, a star of Costa Rica has his penalty saved by Krul, advantage Holland.
  • Robben – as cool as ever and the Dutch lead.
  • Gonzales levels the score.
  • Sneijder score to put the Dutch 3-2 up.
  • Bolanos levels it again.
  • Kuyt looked a little shaky I thought but he scored well.  The Dutch could win it now!
  • Umana’s shot is saved by Krul!

He is the winner and Holland are through to face Argentina.  As good as the game was and the penalty heroics it is all about Van Gaal though – what a call.

Holland vs Costa Rica ends (4-3) to Holland on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

Poor Costa Rica as they have punched well above their weight and really surprised everyone!  The Iron Tulip, as Van Gaal is called, march on.

Argentina vs Belgium

Argentina vs Belgium

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Argentina vs Belgium

Where to start here, well both teams have been fairly poor into the build-up of this game and I expected it to carry on… and that is what it did.

Argentina vs Belgium could have been a great match.  The experienced and seasoned Argentina vs the young upstarts from Belgium.  Instead it was a little bit like the France vs Germany game.  Nobody willing to take any risks.

Higuain got the only goal of the match in the 8th minute and Argentina held on.  Belgium looked a short of answers and Argentina weren’t really worked hard and that is how the match continued.

Apart from the goal the teams were fairly even in possession and shots with the Argentinean shots being the more accurate.  The Belgian Witsel did well for his side pushing hard towards the end but it wasn’t to be for the Belgians.

I think their manager will have to look at things as Hazard didn’t sparkle like so many others.  It seemed odd to take Adnan Januzaj and not play him especially given his break-through season last year.  Mirallas was ok, De Bruyne tried hard and Courtois shone but he was really the only one for me.

I think Argentina have more in them and perhaps they will get past Holland in the next round but even then it will be hard.  They are really going to have to start showing their class.  Messi, Higuain and Angel Di Maria have but still not at the level they can do.

It ended Argentina vs Belgium (1-0).

Brazil vs Colombia

Brazil vs Colombia

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Brazil vs Colombia

Well it was attack vs attack in this game.  Would defence matter at all or would they try to out-score one another?

It was a very good game where Colombia were certainly not intimidated by the might of Brazil.  This is a home tournament for Brazil who are the most decorated world cup side in history but Colombia did exceptionally well.  A few people I know were even suggesting that Brazil could lose but I found it hard to look past them for a number of reasons.

There are a few players in Colombia that I am now taking note of as they have really shown the nation as a hotbed of quality players.  Scolari and his Brazilian players have been lucky so far in matches and to be honest it held out today.  They do say you have to be lucky to win a tournament though.

Thiago Silva opening the scoring for Brazil on the 7th minute.  More good fortune? – Neymar’s corner came in which at the back post Silva bundled home off his thigh.  Either way they all count though and Brazil were a goal up.

At the end of the first half Brazil went up in the ascendancy and a goal to the good.  They were the better team so Colombia really had to show their colours in the second half.

It was on the 67th minute that Mario Yepes had his Colombian equaliser ruled out.  It was a correct call though and this seemed to affect Colombia for a bit.  Things were then made worse by David Luiz with a stunning free kick, it is easily the free kick of the tournament so far (not many goal scoring ones to choose from though).

He was fairly central to the goal and easily over 30 yards + from it.  He hit the ball with his side foot and the dip on it was simply amazing.  It perfectly cleared the wall and dipped so quickly that the keeper had no chance.  I have always thought he should have been a midfielder as he doesn’t act, pass or play the ball like a centre-back.  The Colombian Ospina had no chance with this one!

Then instead of coasting to a 2-0 win Brazil were under the cosh again.  Cesar brought down Baccs enabling the excellent James Rodriguez to convert the spot kick.  Then it was 2-1!!!!

Brazil did hold on but in truth that was it, they held on managing the pressure.  As good as Colombia are the Germans will play Brazil and I think this is where Brazil will go out.  Neymar was injured through a hard challenge and stretchered off but Brazil can’t moan as for much of the game they kicked Colombia all over the place.  It is credit to the Colombians that Brazil were that worried of them.  Both teams went for it but 31 fouls from Brazil and 33 clearances from their own box vs just 9 for Colombia shows how pressed the hosts were.

It ended Brazil vs Colombia (2-1).  The Germans lie in wait now….

France vs Germany, Isaacs

France vs Germany

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France vs Germany

What many of us thought could be a blockbuster of football turned out to be a very cagey affair.  I guess there it isn’t a surprise though as everyone is worried about losing at these latter stages.

Mats Hummels once again showed why he is one of the best centre-backs in the world with another really top drawer display.  On the 13th minute he battled hard to score the winner in the Estadio do MarcaanaRaphael Varane (another top defender) couldn’t hold him off and the header went in off the underside of the crossbar giving Germany the lead.

It was a good game on the whole, a little dull in parts though but you can’t blame them as nobody wants to go home early.  I did think when things got tough France would buckle under the pressure and it seems the national team isn’t united.  Individually though they are great but as a team they just can’t cut it.

France had chances though, as did Germany but with Toni Kroos doing well in the middle of the park the possession was even and chances slim on both sides.  France never really looked up for the battle though, they never looked as though they believed.  Also as we all know the Germans are rarely short of confidence in these big tournaments.

It will take something special to stop Germany as they keep on going, always doing a little more than they need to.  Towards the end France had a brief flurry and over the 90 minutes they had more chances than Germany but they just didn’t have the efficiency.  Neuer pulled of some good saves but it was too little too late.

Benzema went close a few times, especially with the final kick of the game which could have breathed life back into the French and maybe a different result.  Sadly for the French though Neuer was equal to it.

It ended France vs Germany (0-1).

The bikes are back in Town for Ipswich Cycling weekend

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Ipswich Cycling Weekend is set to return to the town in August with a trio of two-wheeled events offering something for everyone.

Across Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 August, there is a brand new sportive challenge, a pro cycle race concluding the British Cycling Elite Road Race series, and the return of the Sky Ride offering cyclists and families the chance to ride traffic-free routes around the town.

The weekend’s events are supported by Ipswich Borough Council and British Cycling, and are sponsored by Ipswich-based digital marketing agency Crafted.

For the accomplished cyclist seeking a challenge, the new Crafted Classique timed sportive offers a choice of a 100 km or 100 mile route through the stunning Suffolk countryside.

The sportive begins at Ipswich’s historic waterfront where cyclists can prepare with a complimentary espresso before heading up the coast to Thorpeness and Aldeburgh on the Heritage Coast (100 mile route).

The route then leads them back to the waterfront, where they can dig into a well-deserved Hog Roast from Cult Café, washed down with a refreshing Adnams beer once they reach the finish line.

The route of the Crafted Classique sportive is based on the Ipswich and Coastal Grand Prix that will be ridden by pro teams the following day: the conclusion of the British Cycling Elite Road Series.

The elite race will see national riders and teams take on 200km, also starting and finishing on the waterfront, in the finale of their nine grand prix championship for individual and team glory.

Cycling fans are invited to cheer on the pros as they set off in the morning, and to return to the harbour later in the day to see the victorious cyclist and team crowned.

Once the pros are on the road, Sky Ride Ipswich takes over, giving cyclists and families the chance to enjoy traffic-free, and usually off-limits, routes through the county town. There will be a whole host of activities to enjoy both on and off the bike for all ages and abilities.

Councillor Alasdair Ross, Deputy Culture & Leisure portfolio-holder for Ipswich Borough Council, and a keen cyclist, said: “This is a great weekend for people of all abilities and all ages. I hope as many residents as possible will get out on to two wheels and enjoy these fantastic events – and get fitter in the process.”

Tom Gillman, Head of Sales and Marketing at Crafted said: “We are really excited to sponsor the Ipswich Cycling Weekend and the Crafted Classique sportive. We have lots of avid cyclists at Crafted, so the team is looking forward to donning their jerseys and enjoying two days of great cycling events. It’s set to be a fantastic weekend.”

To find out more about Ipswich Cycling Weekend, or to register for the Crafted Classique sportive or Ipswich Sky Ride visit www.ipswichcyclingweekend.com

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