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Brazil vs Mexico
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Brazil vs Mexico

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!

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Belgium vs Algeria
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Belgium vs Algeria

Belgium vs Algeria (2-1)

Belgium are a team packed with high quality youngsters and few top professionals but today they were a little bit lucky.  Nobody really expected Algeria to have a chance but in actual fact they did OK.

The hard bit was getting the first goal which was some feat for them as they hadn’t scored in the World Cup in over half a decade.

A fair penalty was awarded and they finished it.  The Belgians were not at the races for most of the game considering they are packed full of talent but short on desire.  The game looked to be slipping away.

Kompany was looking annoyed and the Belgian manager was contesting every decision possible.  Eventually Fellani came on and in truth he was the difference, despite his substandard club form.

Playing Fellani behind the main striker gave them height and a direct approach that helped.  It’s no surprise though as Eden Hazard is tiny and never gonna win you many headers.  Then the big man gave them something to get stuck into.  His header crept in under the bar sending the crowd into a roar and Belgium into action.

Mertens was also fast and inside the last 10 minutes his goal put the game beyond Algeria.  To be honest Algeria were unlucky as they had a couple of other chances but they defended in groups and really made it hard.  Origi is a Belgian player who was new to me and he looked really fast as well, one to watch and Lukaku was ineffective, something that happens all to often.

Belgium owe Fellani a big debt for pulling his team through.

Belgium vs Algeria (1-2)

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Ghana vs USA
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Ghana vs USA

Ghana vs USA (1-2)

The fastest goal of the tournament is in and it doesn’t look like it will be beaten.  Clint Dempsey scored a late winner as well to bag all 3 points for the USA.

It was a tough battle as both teams are fairly evenly matched and it is nice to see football in the USA taking off.

In 29 seconds Dempsey put the USA in the lead – another left footed goal which is interesting as there seems to be a lot of left-footed goals at the moment.  Ghana struggled to get going for a while Asamoah Gyan did go close though after they established some momentum.

Once the 2nd half was underway Sulley Muntari went close with his left also as did Gyan again.  It took untill the 82nd minute before Ghana equalised though with Ayew scoring and working hard in the build-up play also.

It looked as though it would end a fair 1-1 draw apart from the USA nicking a late winner with 4 minutes to go.   Brooks headed a powerful strike in from Zuzi’s corner to swipe all the points.

The crunch game in the group for me will be USA Portugal and the winner of that I can see getting 2nd in the group.

Ghana vs USA ended 1-2 to the Americans.

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Iran vs Nigeria
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Iran vs Nigeria

Iran vs Nigeria (0-0)

We have our first draw and also a pretty dull game – we have been spoiled so far.  If you had to pick a winner you would have said Nigeria as the African champions would have won it but they are short of quality also.

For me Victor Moses and Jon Obi Mikel aren’t much on the global stage and it was a point earned for both teams.

There wasn’t much to report, little goal mouth action and I suspect Nigeria will still go through in 2nd place from Group F, the easiest group.

It finished a draw, Iran vs Nigeria 0-0, goalless and pretty dull really in what has so far been a goal-fest of a World Cup.

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Germany vs Portugal
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Germany vs Portugal

Germany vs Portugal (4-0)

Another blockbuster game on paper.  In reality it was also a good game but overshadowed as we all know by Muller.  The German international is an excellent striker and possibly on the move at club level but his antics were bad.  Very bad.

I expected a lot more from Portugal in this game but they conceded early and then fell apart.  Not even the skill of Ronaldo could save them.

A fairly soft penalty was given to Germany in the 12th minute which Muller dispatched as Mario Gotze went down and ‘won’ the penalty.  Then on the 32nd minute the top German defender Hummels made it 2-0 rising high to head in a corner.  Hummels is one to watch here as any centre back who can defend AND score is a great asset.

In the first half the Portuguese defender Pepe ran past Muller and used his arm to keep the German away from him.  There was the slightest contact and down went the German (surprise)!.

He fell down holding his face and Pepe reacted (surprise).  He pushed his head into the downed German and was rightly sent off – silly boy.

Right at the death of the first half Muller scored the 3rd goal.  On the 78th minute his hat-trick was complete as he scored the 4th goal blowing Portugal aside.

Muller, Gotze and Ozil were excellent in this game with Ronaldo at time wondering what happened.  He had a couple of chances but 2 of the good Portuguese players were taken off with injuries and really it was a night to forget for Ronaldo and co.

A good performance from the Germans but still not a patch on Holland vs Spain for me – that was still the game of the tournament so far.

Germany vs Portugal finished a whopping 4-0!

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Argentina vs Bosnia
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Argentina vs Bosnia

Argentina vs Bosnia

Argentina are a good team as we all know but will Messi finally do it for his country?  Well sort off.

Bosnia and Herzegovina are firmly placed as the whipping boys of the group but oddly they did get one past Argentina which was a bit of a surprise.

Whenever Argentina are mentioned it is always about Messi, despite the fact that they are packed with top quality players.  Messi set up the own goal as Messi’s free-kick was flicked on by Marcos Rojo leaving Begovic helpless.

The underdogs were determined not to be beaten and they stuck with it.  They were pushing for an equaliser hard and to be honest they were close a few times.

Higuain and Gago came on which can’t improve your mood seeing these two coming on fresh, but still Bosnia stuck with it.  Messi then got going again and scored a good goal on the 65th minute.  Like for his club Barcelona, he burst through from the midfield and worked a 1-2 with Higuain before rounding a defender and putting a left-foot shot past the keeper.  A good goal, not on Van Persie’s header level but still a top finish.

Bosnia pushed on still though despite being two down and Isibevic scored a left-foot shot past Romero’s legs with five minutes still to go.  For their first time at the World Cup finals Bosnia did well, very well but Argentina take the win.

Argentina vs Bosnia (2-1)

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France vs Honduras
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France vs Honduras

France vs Honduras (3-0)

France seem to have put the last World Cup howler behind them with some smooth football.

Nobody expected France not to win this but it was more how badly they were bruised by Honduras.  The Honduras keeper made a hat-full of saves and his team were pretty poor in attack.  Honduras also had a man sent off and 4 yellows!

The possession and just about every good stat was in favour of the French team.  On the 45th minute Benzema scored a penalty after Pogba was shoulder barged by Wilson Palacios.

Halftime

Then, Valladares scored an OG in the 48th to put the French in cruise control.  We then had a big spell of nothing really as Honduras sank further and further into their shell.

Then finally, the coupe de grace – a blocked shot falls kindly to Benzema and then it is 3-0.  Really Honduras were poor, if not shameful in some parts as football wasn’t on their mind.  It was no different than when England played them.

Very physical, more than the rules would allow but France won.

France vs Honduras ended (3-0)

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Switzerland vs Equador
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Switzerland vs Ecuador

Switzerland vs Ecuador (2-1)

Switzerland are an ok team they shouldn’t really be beating a strong South American team like Ecuador.  Ecuador for me are up there with Mexico as the 2nd tier South American teams behind Brazil and Argentina.

Enner Valencia scored for Ecuador and to be honest he has pretty much a goal every other game for his country, so he is possibly a good player for the future.  His opening goal on 22 minutes remained the only one until after the restart.

Mehmedi scoring the leveller for Switzerland who were better than I first thought they would be.

Behrami and Shaqiri are the shining stars for Switzerland and they did trouble the Ecuadorian defence.  The game ended with a flurry that resulted in Seferovic scoring an injury time winner.  2-1 for Switzerland.

Ecuador put in a lot of fouls and had less of the possession.  I was really surprised by how good the Swiss were in getting the win.  I still fancy Ecuador to get through but the late goal of Seferovic must really grate.

Switzerland vs Ecuador ended in a 2-1 win for the Swiss.

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Ivory Coast vs Japan, Watch the World cup in Ipswich
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Ivory Coast vs Japan

Ivory Coast vs Japan (2-1)

This one I didn’t expect as I know the Ivory Coast is good but their golden generation of stars are knocking on now.

This said, when the ‘Drog’ gets mad he delivers.  Drogba has terrorised the premier league for years and although he was hardly on the pitch for long he showed his class.

Japan had some excellent passing and it really caused problems for the African team.  Kagawa, Honda and Okazaki really are elegant players and Honda took his chance on the 16th minute, oddly unmarked at the edge of the box.

Ivory Coast have some big powerful players though with Wilfried Bony being one of a number.  Salomon Kalou had a good game also (unusually for him as he never quite looked good enough for Chelsea in my view).

Then Drogba came on as the Ivory Coast Elephants began to trample.  Bony heading home a great cross on the 64th minute to level the game up.

The Asian champions will come again when they take on Greece and I suspect they will still get out of the group.

Ivory Coast win 2-1 vs Japan

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England vs Italy
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England vs Italy

England vs Italy (1-2)

I think we can take something passable out of this game.  We all know England lost 2-1 to Italy and to be honest I suspected us to lose to them as Italy are the sort of team we don’t do well against.  They pass and control the ball.

In the past England used to do a lot of long balls up to Crouch, Heskey and others.  Now we have opted to give it to the fast players and let them run at the opposition.  A good tactic but if you don’t have the ball and don’t press then you might lose – we did.

England started brightly with a lot of breaks into the box and we had half chances.  Then Italy got the ball and kept it.  Eventually the ball was dummied and Marchisio struck from 25 yards out through a lot of England players and then we were a goal down.

Trying to get Italy to come out and play was hard work as they took the sting out of the game.  It was also odd how only our players had cramp in the first 65 mins.  It is because Italy used the ball well and made it do all the work.  We just ran full pelt as soon as we got it back, no pressing at all..

It’s hard to beat Italy, it is hard to rattle them but we did in spells.  Eventually Rooney put in a killer ball which Sturridge finished putting the score level.  Italy then wobbled a bit.

Sadly though as the 2nd half wore on Italy came again.  Balotelli somehow ditching Cahill (should have taken Terry in my view or played Jones). Balotelli had one decent chance and took it.

As a result we huffed and puffed – got 5 minutes of injury time also but just couldn’t get through.  A legit penalty was denied and as a result we ended up losing.

Mistakes made were made but the young players of England showed real promise.  It was nice as for the most part we matched Italy and really went at them.  Sadly though they have an amazing defence, reading of the game and passing range.  Pirlo and DeRossi really showing up Henderson and Gerrard.  This said Uruguay lost so we are STILL IN IT.

We hope to see you all for the 2nd game also.  Come on England – and Ipswich, come to Isaacs!