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Monthly Archives: July 2010

 

 

Uruguay

2

vs.

3

Germany

Edinson CAVANI 28’

Diego FORLÁN 51’

MotM = Thomas MÜLLER (GER)

Thomas MÜLLER 19’

Marcell JANSEN 56’

Sami KHEDIRA 82’

Match for Third Place

Ref = Benito ARCHUNDIA (MEX)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

GERMANY won the bronze medal last night after beating Uruguay in another epic Match for Third Place in the World Cup.

Thomas Müller opened the scoring after pouncing on Bastian Schweinsteiger’s spilled long range shot just before the 20 minute mark. Schweinsteiger was at fault for Uruguay’s equaliser though. He was dispossessed on the half way line, and Edinson Cavani scored from the counter attack just nine minutes later.

Uruguay made it 2-1 in their favour when Diego Forlán volleyed the ball into the ground with enough power to send it into the goal from just outside the penalty area. But Germany levelled the game at 2-2 just five minutes later through Marcell Jansen. The Uruguay keeper missed the ball from a cross and all Jansen had to do was be brave and get his head on the ball, which he did.

Germany won the game in the 82nd minute when the Uruguayan defence failed to clear a corner, allowing Sami Khedira to head home.

But the drama wasn’t over yet. Right at the end of injury-time Uruguay were awarded a free-kick deep in Germany’s half. Forlán took the free-kick but hit the bar with what turned out to be the very last kick of the match.

Zakumi: “It’s the big one today. Do you have your preview ready?”

P92: “Yes, and it is just this. The Netherlands and Spain have never won the World Cup before. They have never played each other before in a World Cup finals match or European Championship finals match. It will be the first time that a European team have won the World Cup outside of Europe. Also it is the first Final without either: Brazil, Italy, Germany or Argentina in it.”

Zakumi: “Not to mention England’s Howard Webb refereeing the match.”

P92: “Hold onto your seats world. This should be a classic.”

Today’s game is:

The 2010 World Cup Final. Netherlands vs. Spain, BBC 1 and ITV. Kick-off at 19:30.

SEBASTIAN VETTEL of Red Bull will start on pole for today’s British Grand Prix at the new look Silverstone.

The German’s Q3 time was 1:29.615, that’s an average speed of 147.310 mph. His Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber will start alongside him after recording a time of 1:29.758. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso will start third after he recorded a time of 1:30.426. Yes, the Red Bulls really are that much faster than everybody else.

The rest of the top ten are, from fourth to tenth: Hamilton (McLaren), Rosberg (Mercedes), Kubica (Renault), Massa (Ferrari), Barrichello (Williams), de la Rosa (Sauber) and Schumacher (Mercedes).

World Champion Jenson Button could only manage 14th on the grid and failed to get out of Q2. The McLaren driver in his home Grand Prix had a dyer qualifying, and looks as though he will struggle in the race today.

Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi has been given a five place grid drop after blocking William’s Nico Hülkenberg.

Bruno Senna’s one race HRT stand-in – Japan’s Sakon Yamamoto – will start from dead last on the grid with a fastest time of 1:36.968. His last race was the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix and it shows. His body is not used to being in an F1 car and I doubt that he will last the race.

Who will win? Well I can only see a Red Bull winning this race. The rest of the field are just nowhere in terms of pace. But look at what happened in Turkey. Could the same happen today?

THE match nobody wants to be playing in, the match for third place. But unfortunately for these two, that’s exactly where they are.

Uruguay

vs.

Germany

Uruguay and Germany have won five World Cups between them: Uruguay in ’30 and ’50, (West) Germany in ’54, ’74 and ’90.

The pair have met three times in the World Cup before tonight’s game. West Germany beat Uruguay 4-0 in 1966 and 1-0 in the Match for Third Place in 1970. They drew 1-1 with each other in 1986.

We should get some goals in this game. The 16 previous Matches for Third Place have produced 63 goals, and the two teams have scored 22 in this tournament alone.

Zakumi: “Can only see Germany winning this.”

P92: “Uruguay don’t deserve to take bronze. The way that they have carried on since the Ghana game has been shameful.”

Catch the match tonight on ITV; kick-off is at 19:30.

 

 

Germany

0

vs.

1

Spain

MotM = XAVI (ESP)

Carles PUYOL 73’

Semi-Finals

Ref = Viktor KASSAI (HUN)

Durban

SPAIN advanced to their first ever World Cup Final by beating Germany 1-0.

The match itself was almost chess-like, with both teams trying to outmanoeuvre the other. The first half lacked chances, with Spain’s Carles Puyol having the best – heading the ball over the bar from a corner. Spain themselves seemed easy with the ball, while Germany looked content to let Spain have the ball as they waited to pounce.

The second half followed the same pattern until Spain started to have some good shots on goal. David Villa would have scored if he was a couple of inches taller when the ball raced across the goal mouth. But with 17 minutes left, Puyol got his header from a corner technique spot on and scored. Try as they might, Germany just couldn’t get through the Spanish back line for the rest of the match.

Zakumi: “So there we have it, a Netherlands vs. Spain Final. We will defiantly have a new winner of the World Cup on Sunday night.”

P92: “And in charge of the Final will be Englishman Howard Webb. He has been the best ref of these finals by miles.”

Zakumi: “So you’ll be wearing your England shirt for the Final?”

P92: “You bet.”

 

 

Uruguay

2

vs.

3

Netherlands

Diego FORLÁN 41’

Maximiliano PEREIRA 90+2’

MotM = Wesley SNEIJDER (NED)

Giovanni VAN BRONCKHORST 18’

Wesley SNEIJDER 70’

Arjen ROBBEN 73’*

Semi-Finals

Ref = Ravshan IRMATOV (UZB)

Cape Town

THE NETHERLANDS was painted orange last night as the Dutch football team progressed to its third World Cup Final and first since 1978 in a match that swung one way and then the other.

The opening minutes were quite tense as neither side wanted to make a mistake. So Netherlands captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst decided to smash the ball from long range to score a monster of a goal on 18 minutes.

It took Uruguay a little while to sort themselves out after this. They were given a few minutes thinking time when the Netherlands’ Demy De Zeeuw was kicked in the face whilst trying to prevent an over-head kick. Luckily it was the sponge they used to clean him up that came off the worst.

But this stoppage gave Uruguay some of the momentum back and as half-time neared, stand-in captain Diego Forlán scored the second long range goal of the game.

Uruguay continued to cause the Dutch problems in the early stages of the second half and looked the more likely to score. But in the 70th minute the Dutch took a 2-1 lead thanks to Wesley Sneijder. His seemingly limp shot on the edge of the Uruguay box took a deflection on its way and was almost touched by his team-mate Robin van Persie (who some people would say was just offside). If he had of touched the ball the goal wouldn’t have stood.

Karma is a bitch isn’t it Uruguay?

Just three minutes later Arjen Robben headed home to make it 3-1 Netherlands and crush Uruguay’s hopes. They did score in injury-time through Maxi Pereira but time was against them.

*The 2,200th World Cup finals goal.

Zakumi: “Now with the Netherlands in the Final and Germany or Spain to meet them in it, a European team will win the World Cup outside Europe for the very first time.”

P92: “Based on current form, Germany will beat the Dutch in the Final, but Netherlands vs. Spain would be epic. Neither side has won the World Cup before.”

Today’s game is:

  • Germany vs. Spain, BBC 1 19:30

SO here they are, by hook or by crock, the last four countries in this World Cup.

Uruguay

vs.

Netherlands

Germany

vs.

Spain

Uruguay and the Netherlands have only met once before in the World Cup finals back in 1974. The Dutch ran out 2-0 winners.

Germany will be looking to get revenge on Spain after they lost the Euro 2008 Final to them. They have played three World Cup finals matches. West Germany won 2-1 in 1966 and 1982, and unified Germany drew with Spain 1-1 in 1994.

Zakumi: “It’s hard to pick a winner out of these four.”

P92: “I don’t think Uruguay will win, and I reckon the Final will be Netherlands vs. Germany.”

Zakumi: “So a replay of 1974 them.”

P92: “Yep.”

Today’s game is:

  • Uruguay vs. Netherlands, ITV 19:30

UNFORTUNATELY Wimbledon had to take a back seat in my mind this summer because of the World Cup. But the 124th Championships have given us some memories that were far better than some of those which we have taken away from South Africa.

BTW: If a number in brackets is next to a player or pair, that was their number seed for the respective competition, i: e Sue Barker (3).

Spain’s Rafael Nadal (2) won his second Men’s Singles title in three years. After not being fit to play last year he considered himself to be the reigning Champion, and he ‘defended’ his title with a: 6-3 7-5 6-4 win over Tomáš Berdych (12) of the Czech Republic in the Final.

Berdych proved that on his day he can beat the best with a: 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4 Quarter-Final victory over six-times (and reigning) Champion Roger Federer (1) of Switzerland. Berdych then went and beat Serbia’s Novak Djokovic (3): 6-3 7-6(9) 6-3 in the Semi-Final. Nadal however just proved to be one big name too many.

Roger Federer never looked as good as he had done in the past years. He faced Match-Point in his opening match against Colombia’s Alejandro Falla, but came back to win: 5-7 4-6 6-4 7-6(1) 6-0. Nadal was also taken to five sets in his Second Round and Third Round matches by Robin Haase (Netherlands) and Philipp Petzschner (Germany, (33)) respectively.

It was Nadal himself who put out Scotland’s Andy Murray (4) in the Semi-Finals: 6-4 7-6(6) 6-4. The wait for a British Grand Slam Champion goes on.

This year’s men’s draw was annoyingly the first ever not to have a single Englishman in it. The only Brits in the draw were Murray and wildcard Jamie Baker (both Scottish). Baker lost in the First Round to German Andreas Beck: 7-6(4) 6-3 6-4.

On the Women’s side of the singles draw, American Serena Williams (1) successfully defended her title by defeating Russian Vera Zvonareva (21): 6-3 6-2 in the Final. Zvonareva actually beat the other William’s sister, Venus (2) in the Quarter-Finals: 6-2 6-3.

The unseeded pair of Jürgen Melzer (Austria) and Philipp Petzschner (of Nadal five set fame) won the Men’s Doubles title. They beat Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt and Romania’s Horia Tecău (16): 6-1 7-5 7-5 in the Final.

The Women’s Double’s was won by the unseeded pair of American Vania King and Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova. They won their Final against the unseeded Russian pair of Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva (who contested the Women’s Singles Final earlier that afternoon): 7-6(6) 6-2.

Vesnina and Zvonareva beat the reigning Champions (the William’s sisters (1)) in the Quarter-Finals: 3-6 6-3 6-4. So it wasn’t all bad news for Zvonareva.

The Mixed Doubles was won by Leander Paes (India) and Cara Black (Zimbabwe) (2). They beat Wesley Moodie (South Africa) and Lisa Raymond (U.S.A.) (11): 6-4 7-6(5) in the Final.

The Boy’s Doubles Final was an all-British affair. Don’t adjust your PC, eyesight or anything; it really was an all-British Final. I’m going to write it again…ALL-BRITISH FINAL!

The Wild Card pair of Liam Broady and Tom Farquharson beat Lewis Burton and George Morgan: 7-6(4) 6-4.

Elsewhere, SW19 got a visit from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 24 June. This was the first time that The Queen has visited Wimbledon in more than 30 years, and whilst HM was there, the mother and father of all Tennis matches was still in progress.

On paper, the First Round match between American John Isner (23) and French qualifier Nicolas Mahut on Court 18 seemed like just another match that had to be played.

The match itself started on Tuesday 22nd June at 6:13 pm. Isner won the first set 6-4 in 32 minutes. Mahut then won the next two: 6-3 and 7-6 (9-7) in 29 and 49 minutes respectively. Isner won the fourth set in 64 minutes 7-6 (7-3). The match was then suspended due to bad light at 9:07 pm.

Set five started at 2:05 pm. By 5:45 pm this match was 6 hours and 34 minutes old and the longest match in history. Play on the second day (sounds like Cricket doesn’t it?) was suspended at 9:10 pm with the score tied at 59-59.

Day three’s play began at 3:43 pm. The match continued for over another hour until Isner broke Mahut’s serve and heart at 4:48 pm. Isner won the fifth set 70-68 in 491 minutes.

First Round

1

2

3

4

5

John Isner (23)

6

3

67

77

70

Nicolas Mahut (Q)

4

6

79

63

68

Records broken in this match:

  • Longest match – 11 hours, 5 minutes (Longer than the theatrical ‘The Lord of the Rings film trilogy).
  • Longest set – Fifth set took 8 hours, 11 minutes (Longer than the previous longest match.)
  • Most games in a set – Fifth set had 138 games.
  • Most games in a match – 183.
  • Most aces in a match – Isner, 113.
  • Total aces in a match – 216 (Isner, 113 and Mahut, 103 (second most in a match)).
  • Most consecutive service games held – 168 (84 each).
  • Most points scored in a match – Mahut, 502.

The scoreboard actually froze at 47-47 because that is all it went up to, not anticipating a match that far advanced. The scoreboard was worked on until 11:45 pm, but still would have run out of numbers had the match gone beyond 25 more games.

I personally think that Court 18 should be renamed ‘The Isner Mahut Court’. If you have any other ideas then please let me know.

 

 

Argentina

0

vs.

4

Germany

MotM = Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER (GER)

Thomas MÜLLER 3’

Miroslav KLOSE 68’ 89’

Arne FRIEDRICH 74’

Quarter-Finals

Ref = Ravshan IRMATOV (UZB)

Cape Town

GERMANY utterly destroyed much fancied Argentina to reach the last four for the 12th time in their history.

They threw down the gauntlet after just three minutes when Thomas Müller headed home from a free kick. Argentina went up a couple of gears and started to apply some pressure. But this was only after Miroslav Klose put an easy (for him) chance over the bar. Argentina did get the ball in the net in the first half, but it was rightly (this time) ruled out for offside.

In first 20 minutes of the second half you got a sense that an Argentina goal was coming at any moment. But two tap-ins in six minutes from Klose and Arne Friedrich stunned the watching millions as Germany went 3-0 up, ripping the soul out of Argentina.

Klose scored his second of the game late on after a fantastic counter attack, to take his World Cup finals tally to 14.

Zakumi: “This puts him joint-second on the all time list with fellow German Gerd Müller.”

P92: “And just one behind the all time leading scorer, Ronaldo of Brazil.”

 

 

Paraguay

0

vs.

1

Spain

MotM = Andrés INIESTA (ESP)

David VILLA 83’

Quarter-Finals

Ref = Carlos BATRES (GUA)

Johannesburg – JEP

THE reigning European Champions (Spain) made it into the last four for the first time since 1950 after a narrow win over Paraguay.

The game was a stalemate for the first hour, with Paraguay content to hold Spain who in turn just couldn’t break the South Americans down. Paraguay’s Nelson Valdez did get the ball in the Spanish net in the first half but his effort was ruled out because his team-mate Óscar Cardozo was offside.

But a rather dull game was lit up on the hour mark when Paraguay were awarded a penalty. Cardozo, the man who’s penalty knocked-out Japan stepped up to take what was now the most important kick of his career. But Spain’s captain, Iker Casillas caught the spot-kick.

Spain immediately went up the other end of the field and they were given a penalty. So, up stepped XABI ALONSO who scored from 12yds and put his side in the lead. However the referee told him he had to take it again because some of his team-mates had run into the penalty area before he kicked the ball.

ALONSO re-composed himself and took the penalty again, only to see it saved by Paraguay’s captain Justo Villar. The ball rebounded off of him and there was a mass melee for the ball in which Spain’s Cesc Fábregas was taken out by Villar. This was yet another penalty, but this time the ref didn’t give it.

TV viewers were then shown a replay of Cardozo’s saved penalty. It showed Spanish players running into the box before he had kicked the ball, but he didn’t get to retake his penalty. Strange that.

Spain slowly started to wind up through the gears in the latter half of the game. They didn’t want to go to extra-time.

With just seven minutes to go, Spain’s PEDRO had a shot at goal which rebounded off the post…and straight into the path of the in-form David Villa. He smashed the ball at the goal and his shot hit both posts and went in. This was his fifth goal of this World Cup, and puts him at the top of the scoring charts.

Paraguay almost scored near the end, but Casillas again made the save.

Zakumi: “Did your Grandparents enjoy the match?”

P92: “They liked the chaos of the penalties, but I’d rather they saw the Argentina vs. Germany game instead.”

 

 

Netherlands

2

vs.

1

Brazil

Wesley SNEIJDER 53′ 68’

MotM = Wesley SNEIJDER (NED)

ROBINHO 10’

Quarter-Finals

Ref = Yuichi NISHIMURA (JAP)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

 THE NETHERLANDS made it into their first World Cup Semi-Final since 1998 after coming from behind to beat five-times World Champions Brazil.

Brazil raced out of the starting blocks and cut the Dutch open. They had a goal disallowed after eight minutes, but just two minutes later ROBINHO ran through a gap in the Dutch defence and scored. KAKÁ almost made it 2-0 after 30 minutes, but a monster save from Maarten Stekelenburg kept his side in the game.

The Dutch came alive in the second half (once again) thanks to the efforts of ‘Man of the Match’ Wesley Sneijder. He put a long ball into the Brazilian box and keeper JÚLIO CÉSAR missed the ball as it came off of FELIPE MELO’s head. Sneijder was given the goal by F.I.F.A.

Sneijder scored his second goal 15 minutes later. Dirk Kuyt flicked the ball on from an Arjen Robben corner and Sneijder headed home to put the Netherlands 2-1 up with just over 20 minutes to play.

Brazil’s fight back had the wind taken out of it when FELIPE MELO stamped on Arjen Robben and was sent straight off.

More chances came to either side but none were taken, and Port Elizabeth is being painted orange as you read this.

Zakumi: “Brazil will now have to wait until they host the 2014 tournament for their next finals match.”

P92: “It is still possible to have a Netherlands vs. Germany final. They hate each other.”

Zakumi: “The exact same thing can be said for Uruguay and Argentina.”

P92: “At the moment yes.”

 

 

Uruguay

1

vs.(AET)

1

Ghana

Diego FORLÁN 55’

MotM = Diego FORLÁN (URU)

Sulley MUNTARI 45+2’

Quarter-Finals

Ref = Olegário BENQUERENÇA (POR)

Johannesburg – JSC

FORMER double World Champions Uruguay made it into their first World Cup Semi-Final since 1970 after they beat the last remaining African team, Ghana, in a highly eventful match.

Uruguay dominated the first 30 minutes of the match, and it was only then that Ghana decided to wake up. They created some good chances for themselves, but in injury time at the end of the first half it looked like it would be 0-0.

Until Sulley Muntari unleashed a curling 35yd strike which found the back of the Uruguayan net.

The South American side started the second half like a wounded animal. Just ten minutes after the restart Diego Forlán smashed his free kick straight into the Ghana goal. 1-1.

Uruguay continued to have all of the best of the second half chances but they failed to take any of them, so we went to extra-time.

The first 20 minutes of extra-time went by with no real chances that stick in the mind, but from then on Ghana suddenly found another gear and went for the win.

In the very last minute of extra-time Ghana took a free kick on the edge of the box. Stephen Appiah’s shot was blocked by Luis Suárez on the line, and then he blocked Dominic Adiyiah’s shot with his hands when he could easily have used his head. He was sent straight off.

The resulting penalty was taken by twice spot-kick scorer in this World Cup, Asamoah Gyan. It was the 121st minute of the match and would be the last kick of the match. He could send an African team into the last four of a World Cup for the first time, and on African soil as well. But he went for power instead of placement and hit the bar. And we went to penalties.

Uruguay

4

P.S.O.

2

Ghana

Diego FORLÁN

1

Asamoah GYAN

Mauricio VICTORINO

2

Stephen APPIAH

Andrés SCOTTI

3

X

John MENSAH

Maximiliano PEREIRA

X

4

X

Dominic ADIYIAH

Sebastián ABREU

5

ASAMOAH GYAN showed great courage by taking Ghana’s first penalty and scoring it to level the shootout at 1-1. John Mensah saw his penalty saved, Maximiliano Pereira blasted his over, and Dominic Adiyiah had his vital penalty saved.

Sebastián Abreu won the match with a cheeky chip, and Uruguay set up a Semi-Final with the Netherlands.

Zakumi: “Fantastic game, but why did Gyan go for power!”

P92: “Heat of the moment.”

Today’s games are:

  • Argentina vs. Germany, BBC 1 15:00
  • Paraguay vs. Spain, BBC 1 19:30 

THIS is how the line-up for the Quarter-Finals of the 2010 World Cup.

Netherlands

vs.

Brazil

Uruguay

vs.

Ghana

Argentina

vs.

Germany

Paraguay

vs.

Spain

 

Netherlands and Brazil have played each other three times in the World Cup. The Dutch won 2-0 in 1974, Brazil won 3-2 in 1994, and again 4:2 on penalties after the scores were level at 1-1 A.E.T. in 1998.

Uruguay have never played Ghana in the World Cup finals. In fact they have never ever met in an international match.

Argentina and Germany have played five games against one another at the World Cup finals. In 1958 West Germany won 3-1 and in 1966 they played out a 0-0 draw. In 1986 and 1990 they contested the Final itself. Argentina won in ’86 3-2, while West Germany took the ’90 title with a 1-0 win. The latter final saw the first two Final red cards (both for Argentina) in what is regarded as the worst-ever final. A unified Germany beat Argentina 4:2 on penalties (1-1 A.E.T.) four years ago in Berlin. The game finished in a riot and saw unused Argentine substitute Leandro Cufré sent off after the match was over.

Paraguay and Spain have met twice before. In 1998 they played out a 0-0 draw, and in 2002 Spain won 3-1.

Zakumi: “Argentina vs. Germany is defiantly tie of the round.”

P92: “Hopefully everything that matters will be done on the pitch this time, and we’ll have no bad decisions as well.”

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • Netherlands vs. Brazil, ITV 15:00
  • Uruguay vs. Ghana, ITV 19:30