Day 6 : Catching Up
by, 17-06-2010 at 03:53 PM (1112 Views)
Might be my last bit of Blogging for a few days as I have a Stag Do to attend soon, so I hope my fan isn't too disappointed.
Quickly, and I do mean quickly, recapping the activities of 16th June - which I spent working from home and waking up before half 6 to get stuff done before the matches started !
After the rigours of becoming a fan of Communist dictatorships on Tuesday (was it Tuesday ?), Day 6 of the World Cup kicked off (literally) with Group H and one of the Spanish-speaking derbies.
Chile v Honduras Group H
Chile won their first Finals match for 48 years, despite their best efforts to miss chances left right and centre. Starting off with a decent free kick, then a 35 yarder which was juggled by the keeper. They were having loads of pressure, before finally popping one in off Beausejour's ar5e... or possibly his elbow.
Honduras went to the trouble of having a Nunez free kick tipped over, then Sanchez went on a run and slid one just wide for Chile. Chile were getting 5 or 6 forward every attack, but still contrived for Waldo Ponce (great name) to miss a free diving header from 3 yards when Valladares somehow got in the way. Late on Chile had the ball in the net again when there was on a Gonzalez shot - the rebound was handled by Sanchez, then put in from an offside position, but other than that was perfectly legal.
All in all it was a bit one-sided, but reasonable entertainment compared to some of the other dross.
Spain v Switzerland Group H
Speaking of dross, Switzerland fans must really hate themselves. Drilled, organised, North Korean in their plan and execution, they somehow kept out a dynamic Spain who seemed to have more problems than most with the ball and or altitude and or injuries or climate slash weather, whatever the excuse was. They utterly dominated but failed to take their chances, including a wonderful smash by Xabi Alonso off the bar... and then the Swiss pummelled their way down the middle, trampled all over Pique, clattered through Casillas and went and won the game 1-0. Bit of a coupon-breaker, but certainly shook up Group H from the odds of 1/33 that Spain would get through !
And at that point, everyone had played one match, and we had all of 2 hours to reflect before the 2nd group games started. So, in that spirit : Germany good, Brazil cautious, North Korea interesting, Switzerland and Greece boring, everyone else scared or crap.
South Africa v Uruguay Group A
Second match for both, in which Uruguay showed they were quite decent after all and were merely lulling Group A into a false sense of security, and South Africa proved that not only do you not necessarily get the breaks as the host nation, but no number of mentalists blowing horns will stop you being the lowest-ranked host nation ever
Suarez looked good even with a wad of cotton wool hanging out of his mouth, Forlan ran the show, and the ref had a strange interpretation of "goalscoring opportunity" in sending off the keeper when Suarez knocked the ball behind himself and fell over the outstretched boot.
Forlan's penalty, after a wait to replace the goalie that was so lengthy even Nelson Mandela would have regarded it a waste of his time, was superbly rocketed into the top half of the goal.
South Africa then proceeded to fall apart a bit, and will need a miracle to get through with Mexico and even France looking better.