Tuesday, June 13, 2006

World Cup Day 5 Latest

Koreans Came From Behind To Beat Togo:

Waldstadion, Frankfurt

Korea Republic 2 - 1 Togo

Korea Republic - Lee C.S (54min), Ahn J.H (72min);
Togo - Kader (31min);

The Koreans did what the Australians did yesterday by comig back from a 1 goal deficit and went on to win the match. Sad to say the first half display from the Koreans was toothless to say the least and lacked a little creativity in the side. While the Koreans are finding ground, the Africans hit them with a sucker punch. Mohamad Kader with his excellent first touch, raced ahead of the Korean defenders before placing the ball nicely into the net beyond Lee Woon-Jae's dispairing dive. The Koreans looked shell-shocked and their sleep-walk continued on till the end of first half.

Second half, Korean coach, Dick Advocaat decided to throw on W
orld Cup 2002 hero, Ahn Jung-hwan and hopes that he will help the Koreans salvaged something out of the uninspired game. And it was a masterstroke from the Dutch, as he created space for himself and held up the ball well. Soon, Korean's most dangerous player, Park Ji-sung of ManYoo was brought down cynically by Togolese captain, Jean-Paul Abalo and in turn, he was sent off for a second yellow. Something of note is that English referee, Graham Poll was supposed to show the yellowcard before the red, but he showed the red and then the yellow! And that was certainly the turning point of the game, as the loud Korean support cheered the team on, Lee Chun-soo struck a sweet free-kick and made it 1-1.

The Koreans spirits were lifted and their usual determined self seemed to be brought alive by that goal and it was not long before the Koreans found the second.
Ahn, the man brought on to change the game got the ball outside the box before hitting a wonderful shot across the body of the Togolese defender and it whizzed pass the helpess goalkeeper. And the Koreans sensed that the victory was their for the taking and went on to pass the ball around. It was not very nice of them to do that actually and I'm someone that is quite critical of teams doing that. But since it's not in the rule book that states teams should not pass the ball among defenders, then so be it. And the Koreans hung on for their first ever victory in a World Cup game, away from home.

Tres Bien, France Not Scoring....

Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion, Stuttgart

France 0 - 0 Switzerland

Let's sum this game up in 2 words. VERY BORING. That is all.

Oh, is the referee a clone of that one in the England vs Paraguay game?

One Moment Of Magic And....

Olimpicstadion, Berlin

1 - 0 Croatia


Brazil - Kaka (40min);

It took just one moment of brilliance from Kaka to change to face of the game. The AC Milan midfielder scored a beauty from outside the penalty box with his left foot and it whizzed past Stipe Pletikosa. Wow, we've already seen so many long shots in this World Cup and some of them are really beauitful, this one too.

Anyway credits to the Croatian team. They worked really hard and they were very organised at the back and allowed little space for Ronaldo and Adriano to run. I'm not sure whether the pressure and hype has gotten the better of some of the Brazillian players, as they looked subdued and Ronaldo looked a little uninterested at times. He was off-paced and seemed to be on the wrong frequency. The Croats managed to stifle Ronaldinho as well, placing a player to man-mark him and make his life a little difficult. Not only did they worked hard, they also created a lot of chances and IF only they are more clincal, they could have put 2 or 3 past Dida. Dado Prso was one of the contender for the man of the match as he ran the show and not only did he created some good chance for Niko Kranjcar and Ivan Klasnic, he nearly scored himself as well.

From this match we could see a few problems in the Brazillian team. Firstly, their defence seemed susceptible and Lucio seemed to be the weakest link. His constant running forward and a lapse of concentration in some moment makes him a liaibility and more experienced team would have exploited that. Lastly, their over-confidence. Now, this is dangerous. You can be confident, but over-confidence will just bring you back down to earth if it seeps into the heart of the team. In some instances where the players trust their skills rather than taking the safer routes means that they could put the team into trouble. Roberto Carlos, famous for his accurate left foot, sprayed a pass across his defence without looking and nearly made his team pay. That's what I mean. Not a very convincing performance from the Samba Boys, and a more clinical team like Argentina or Czech Republic might have beaten them based on their performance tonight.

And seriously, I'm pissed off with Blogger. I typed all these over again just because I hit 'enter'. GRR

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