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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!

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Uruguay vs Costa Rica
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Uruguay vs Costa Rica

Uruguay vs Costa Rica

Well this wasn’t in the script.  Most people (me included) had Uruguay getting a win against Costa Rica but that wasn’t how it went down.

Uruguay were shown to be lax or just not that special without the deadly Luis Suarez.  Either way Costa Rica blasted 3 past Uruguay and put themselves in with a chance of advancing out of the group stage.

Diego Forlan and co were thumped by Joel Campbell, Oscar Duarte and Marco Urena who somehow came past Uruguay and at some pace.

We can’t take anything away from Costa Rica as they were simply outstanding against Uruguay scoring some good goals and growing into the game.  Also they did England a favour as Maxi Pereira will be missing as he was eventually sent off.

It was a train wreck of a game for Uruguay but Costa Rica will now be noticed.  Oddly the young Joel Campbell has form for scoring against big name teams…

The media in Uruguay are saying Suarez is fit but is he really?

The game finished Uruguay vs Costa Rica (1-3).

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Colombia vs Greece
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Colombia vs Greece

Colombia vs Greece

There are some cracking teams in South America – Colombia isn’t really one of them.  This said Greece are nowhere near the European Champions that they once were.

Without Radamel Falcao basically Colombia are missing their one hope for greatness.  But they did manage to score 3 goals against the Greeks.

It was a comfortable win for the Colombians with Armero scoring in the 5th minute, Gutierrez in the 58th and a late 3rd goal was taken well by James Rodriguez putting the Greeks to the sword.

Theofanis Gekas missed from a couple of yards out which didn’t help the Greeks and Vasilis Torosidis hit the bar in the second half.  In truth though they were well beaten.

It finished Colombia vs Greece (3-0).

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Chile vs Australia
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Chile vs Australia

Chile vs Australia

It was fairly obvious that Chile would win this.  The Socceroo’s haven’t had a decent run in international football in my lifetime and I can’t see this being their tournament either.

Within 12 minutes the outstanding Alexis Sanchez started Chile off with Jorge Valdivia getting a second 2 minutes later.  Australia had their moments giving the Chilean players something to think about as Tim Cahill got one back in the 35th minute.

It was a case of possession football winning though as Chile kept the ball well and kept the pressure up.  Eventually Jean Beausejour putting it beyond doubt in the dying embers of the game.

The funny thing is as good as Spain are, when they face Chile the Spanish could come unstuck. Just think of the outcry from the Spanish media if that happened – ouch!

Chile 3 Australia 1 – no surprise really.
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Holland Tulips, Holland vs Spain
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Holland vs Spain

A crackers game Holland vs Spain was excellent

Ok every tournament has a game that sparks things and it’s great to get them so early.  I fancied Holland to win this as their midfield and attackers are top quality.  Still, not even I saw them winning 5-1….!

The Spanish Manager Del Bosque will be spitting into his impressive moustache as his team didn’t fall apart but they were outdone by a master class of finishing.

Robin Van Persie played like the old RVP in this game, not the one David Moyes endured for Manchester United.  His dive was nothing short of excellent, if not audacious.

Arjen Robben looked outstanding as his turn of pace and fast, close control was a real event in its own right.  Spain as expected went a goal ahead with, for me, a suspect penalty.  Diego Costa was on target when he took it.  The fact that he wasn’t sent off for a later butting of the heads was a surprise and he has to face a retrospective ban for that.  Costa in the early part looked a strong player for Spain but very soon it all came unstuck.  Spain, as expected did the usual falling over a fair bit but the ref actually stood strong on this.

Then a player I know little about, Daley Blind (left back), hit a perfect cross from miles away and possibly the most clinical striker around was on the end of it.  Seeing the goal I was stunned, RVP headed from some way out, up and over the stranded Iker Casillas.  It was a real Kodak moment.  Like a seal he dived and hit it perfectly.

At half time the score was even but not for long in the restart.

On the 53rd minute Blind again set up Robben for the 2nd Dutch goal.  Stefan de Vrij knocked the ball over the line for a surprising 3rd.  Then Casillas was at fault for the 4th goal as he had the ball taken from his feet and RVP poked the 4th of the night.  Sadly for the Spanish that wasn’t the end of it.  Personally I would expect David de Gea to be called in now as Casillas must be rocked by this beating.

The 5th goal was again more mistakes from the Spanish.  Robben chased a ball and ended up in a flat race with Sergio Ramos and guess what – he finished it!  Also he hit a hell of a volley after this which pulled a quality save out to deny him his hat trick and a wonder goal.

All in all Spain looked like Barcelona, some way off the pace and their morale will be hurting today.  I fear whoever plays Spain next as they may get a thrashing OR a gift.

Unbelievably Holland vs Spain ended 5-1