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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….

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.

Cameroon vs Brazil

Cameroon vs Brazil

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Cameroon vs Brazil

We didn’t see Cameroon winning this but it was all about how well Brazil did in winning the game.  So far they had been pretty poor with their opening games.  They have had a few sympathetic calls from the referees it seems.

Aside from this Brazil looked more like themselves here.  This was the 100th Brazil World cup game for them and 4 goals was good for the records.

As the host nation there is a lot of pressure on them.  Add to that most of the pressure is on Neymar’s shoulders and it seems they will win it on his merits or if they lose it they will all blame him.  A bit like our national media and Rooney if you ask me.

Scolari’s team won the group with this performance but just on goal difference as Brazil went on the attack.  On the 17th minute Gustavo cleverly won the ball back and set them away with a great cross for Neymar to side-foot the shot into a corner putting the hosts ahead.

Then in less than ten minutes Cameroon were somehow on level terms.  A mistake by Brazil left Joel Matip free to score an easy equaliser.  I think I would have even scored this one.

It was Neymar again who came to Brazil’s rescue as he started to look like the world star he is being hailed at.  On the 35th minute Brazil were ahead again.

In the second half Fred scored for his country with a nice header set up by David Luiz.  Fred is one of those odd players as he was dropped from the national team for years and his comeback hasn’t been welcomed by all parties.  I was pleased he got a goal though as he is a good striker, just not a hard worker.

Then on the 84th minute Fernandinho scored the 4th and final goal for Brazil, poking the ball past Cameroon’s keeper Itandje, who interestingly played for France in the Under 21’s.

Cameroon go home and Brazil finally gather some momentum.  Cameroon vs Brazil ended (1-4).

Brazil vs Mexico

Brazil vs Mexico

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Brazil vs Mexico (0-0)

Now for a 0-0 result this was a good game and we have seen the best goalkeeping display so far.  Some of it wasn’t pretty but the Guillermo Ochoa played his socks off.

Many will have thought that Brazil would win this game but in honesty Mexico are a good outside bet.  They simply defended like kings.  It wasn’t that Brazil didn’t play well either, yes they are not the free flowing attacking Brazil of old but they are physical now, and hard working.

Marcelo looked to be the most fluid player for Brazil and you know it’s bad when your left back is looking the most likely to make something happen.  Neymar for me simply isn’t in the same league as Ronaldo and Messi and I don’t think he will make it either.  He is good and has good skill but just isn’t at the top of world football.  Mexico deserved the draw and had good chances to win it.  To be honest they defended as a team and really did an amazing job of shutting out Brazil.

The keeper kept them in the game though and it was another stutter by the host nation.  I can only imagine the media outcry over there.  Big Phil needs to get more out of his players but belief seems low.

Neymar had a couple of great chances as did the Mexicans but man of the hour was Ochao with 5 or 6 top class saves.

A good game to watch for a 0-0 draw and well done to Mexico.  It was nice to see the ref didn’t buy some of the Brazil dives towards the end as well.  They were really feeling the pressure!

Brazil vs Croatia

It Opens – Brazil vs Croatia

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Brazil vs Croatia (3-1)

We had another good night at Isaacs as the World Cup finally kicked off.  It was good as we had 4 goals scored.  A 5th if you count the Croatian goal that was incorrectly disallowed.

Brazil, as hosts, kicked us off the opening game in group A.  Their opponents Croatia worked very hard and were unlucky not to get a point out of the game.  In honesty, a lot of the Brazilian players were a little below par as was the Croatian goalkeeper who made some good saves at times.  Sadly though he let in some sloppy goals.

The game ended 3-1 to Brazil with a truck load of luck for the hosts and really poor decisions against plucky Croatia spoiling the opening spectacle a little.

An own goal on the 11th minute put the Croatians ahead as Brazil made a terrible clearance under pressure causing Marcelo to score against his own team.  Croatia then did well for a period of time.  The big Brazilian hope Neymar had a mixed game, yes, he scored twice, and on a normal day that’s great.

The first was a weak shot that just about made it in, and the 2nd was a suspect penalty won by Fred but badly awarded by the Japanese ref.  More to the point in my view Neymar should probably have been sent off for a red card.  The challenge itself wasn’t that bad, a forearm to the face so it wasn’t just a mistimed tackle.  The main reason is, he took a good look at the player before making it.

Many players would have gone off for that, then he scored twice!

The penalty was in the 2nd half and with Brazil 2-1 up they still looked vulnerable.  Croatia then scored a good goal but it wasn’t given, oddly.  Either way, it was soft work by the match officials and Croatia were rightly livid at the call.

Then Oscar came up and with a cheeky toe poke from outside the box.  The Croatian keeper should have narrowed the angle but credit to the Chelsea player for chancing his arm.

It was a good strike if not a little cheeky.

The result – Brazil vs Croatia ended 3-1 – Brazil were fortunate and Croatia very unlucky!