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YESTERDAY (30 August) a piece of footballing history faded out of living memory with the death of the last surviving player from the very first World Cup in 1930.

Francisco Varallo passed away at the grand old age of 100 in La Plata, Argentina – the capital city of the province of Buenos Aires and the place of his birth.

Francisco Varallo

He was nicknamed ‘Canoncito’ or ‘Little Canon’ for his power shots, and with said powerful shot scored 181 goals for his club Boca Juniors. This record was only broken this year by Martin Palermo.

As an Argentina international he played 16 matches and scored seven goals. His only World Cup finals goal came in his country’s 6-3 win over Mexico. Varallo played in the very first World Cup Final against arch rivals and host nation Uruguay.

His side lost the match 2-4, and he said that the loss made him angry a full 80 years after the event.

But he did enjoy winning four Argentina league titles. One with Gimnasia de La Plata in 1929, and three with Boca Juniors in: 1931, 1934 and 1935. Varallo also won the 1937 South American Championship with Argentina in 1937.

He retired from football in 1940 at the age of 30, still feeling the effects of a bad knee injury which saw him miss virtually the whole of the 1938 season.

Varallo later became a coach in the lower divisions in Argentina, and in 1994 became only the second player to be awarded the FIFA Order of Merit.

A sad day for World Cup enthusiasts the world over.

R.I.P.

 

 

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
 

 

Germany

4

vs.

1

England

Miroslav KLOSE 20’

Lukas PODOLSKI 32’

Thomas MÜLLER 67’ 70’

MotM = Thomas MÜLLER (GER)

Matt UPSON 37’

Last 16

Ref = Jorge LARRIONDA (URU)

Mangaung / Bloemfontein

GERMANY destroyed England to book their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. 😦

England’s defence was annihilated in the run up to all four of Germany’s goals as they inflicted our worst ever World Cup finals defeat. Klose’s goal was a route one as it comes. The German keeper booted the ball down field, every English player missed it can Klose put the ball in with one touch. England’s defence went AWOL 12 minutes later and despite a poor first touch Podolski made it 2-0 to Germany. 

England did pull one goal back to make it 1-2, and less than a minute later Frank Lampard smashed the ball against the cross bar. The ball bounced over the line and the score was 2-2. But the referee and linesmen didn’t give what was such a clear goal everybody in the crowd could see it. FIFA president Sepp Blatter ruled out any chance of technology being used in this World Cup earlier this year. He was at this game and hopefully saw that this was a missive mistake. ‘Dopey’ just doesn’t seem to realise that football is still in the dark ages, and that: Tennis, Rugby and Cricket all get along just fine with technology.

But that doesn’t distract from the England football team humiliating the country that made the sport what it is today.

After Frank Lampard hit a free kick into the German wall they went straight up the other end and Müller made it 3-1. His second and their forth came just three minutes later and England were finished.

So that’s it, it is official, England are now the top international underachievers in world football. The so called ‘Golden Generation’ has failed to win anything (We haven’t been in a semi-final since Euro ’96).

I could go on about what needs to be done, but people who have a far greater knowledge of the game than me will tell you as well, and in much more detail over the coming days and weeks.

What I will do however is give you a list of (clean) words and phrases that describes the England football team in my eyes.

Over-paid, over-rated, spoilt, have a lack of passion, live off of their names, would rather be playing for their clubs in the UEFA Champions League, are false idols to little kids who play football…the list goes on.

And by the way, did we actually take Wayne Rooney to the World Cup or not? If you ask me he should take that groundsmans job he had in that Nike advert.

Zakumi: “Oh well, easy come easy go.”

P92: “We should have made it to the last four at the very least.”

Zakumi: “Well if you had beaten Algeria you would have won the group and played Ghana.”

P92: “They would have beaten us as well.”

 

 

Argentina

3

vs.

1

Mexico

Carlos TÉVEZ 26’ 52’

Gonzalo HIGUAÍN 33’

MotM = Carlos TÉVEZ (ARG)

Javier HERNÁNDEZ 71’

Last 16

Ref = Roberto ROSETTI (ITA)

Johannesburg – JSC

ARGENTINA set up a quarter-final rematch with Germany after they sent Mexico home in yet more controversial circumstances.

With the score at 0-0 Mexico had the best of the chances. They hit the bar early on and seemed to have taken their ‘A’ game to the South Americans. But Carlos Tévez headed the 1978 and 1986 World Champions into the lead.

However, replays showed him to be about 2yds offside and the goal should never have stood. This was shown on the giant TVs in the stadium, and all: the players, the managers, officials, reporters, commentators and 84,000 fans saw that the decision to award the goal was wrong. The Mexicans went mad and took their eye of the ball.

Mexico’s Ricardo Osorio gave the ball away right on the edge of his own penalty area and into the path of Gonzalo Higuaín, who promptly made it 2-0.

As the players walked off for half-time the Mexican players surrounded the Argentina staff and a fight looked certain, but thankfully one never happened.

There was no doubt about Tévez’s second goal, which was an absolute beauty. He shot from outside the area and the ball hit the top left corner of the net.

But Mexico pulled a goal back with just under 20 minutes left and had a good go at making a game of it, but Argentina held on to win.

Zakumi: “Great game, but what a balls-up from the linesman…again!”

P92: “FIFA! FOOTBALL MUST HAVE SOME SORT OF GOAL MOUTH TECHNOLOGY TO PREVENT THESE EMBARRASSING SCENARIOS HAPPENING AGAIN!”

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • Netherlands vs. Slovakia, BBC 1 15:00
  • Brazil vs. Chile, ITV 19:30
 

 

Uruguay

2

vs.

1

South Korea

Luis SUÁREZ 8’ 80’

MotM = Luis SUÁREZ (URU)

LEE Chung-Yong 68’

Last 16

Ref = Wolfgang STARK (GER)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

URUGUAY advance to their first World Cup quarter finals match since 1970 after they snatched victory away from South Korea.

The first five minutes saw South Korea hit the post with a free kick, as they tried to do as their Asian counterparts Japan did earlier against Denmark. But a poor defensive and goalkeeping display saw Uruguay take the lead through Luis Suárez after just eight minutes. South Korea never really looked like scoring in the first half.

In the second however the South Koreans were a totally different side. They pressed and pressed the Uruguay defence until they finally got their much deserved goal after another goalkeeping error through Lee Chung-Yong.

With extra time looking certain, Suárez decided that he didn’t want to spend any more time in the pouring than he had to. He bent the ball from the right-hand edge of the penalty area and into the net off the post. South Korea almost equalised in the last few minutes, but unfortunately for them lady luck was smiling on the previous double World Champions.

Zakumi: “The best team won, but South Korea asked Uruguay questions that they may not be able to answer against a bigger team.”

P92: “It’s just like old times seeing Uruguay in the last eight again.”

Zakumi: “Put the history book down. It’s now that matters.”

P92: “You can only appreciate what you have now if you know what happened in the past.”

 

 

U.S.A.

1

vs.(AET)

2

Ghana

Landon DONOVAN 62P’

MotM = André AYEW (GHA)

Kevin-Prince BOATENG 5’

Asamoah GYAN 93’

Last 16

Ref = Viktor KASSAI (HUN)

Rustenburg

GHANA stunned the United States with another early (and brilliant) goal at Rustenburg’s Royal Bafokeng Stadium (England’s Steven Gerrard scored early against America in their opening game).

U.S.A. didn’t get into gear until the second half when it looked as if both sides had swapped talent and ability. Landon Donovan converted a spot kick just after the hour to pull America level. He put the ball so far to his right that it almost came back off the post.

After this, both sides seemed to except that extra-time was coming.

Ghana scored after only three minutes of extra-time leaving America permanently shell-shocked. As time wore on both Ghana and the U.S. seemed to be running on empty, and the Black Stars held on to become only the third African side to reach the last eight of a World Cup.

Zakumi: “They join the Cameroon 1990 team and the 2002 Senegal team.”

P92: “So, Africa still has a chance to produce a World Champion.”

Zakumi: “GO BLACK STARS!!”

P92: “What he means is ‘yes’ and that he thinks Ghana can still win. They will now play Uruguay.”

Today’s games are:

  • Germany vs. ENGLAND, BBC 1 15:00
  • Argentina vs. Mexico, BBC 1 19:30

HERE we have the matches for the Last 16 round of the 2010 World Cup

Uruguay

vs.

South Korea

U.S.A.

vs.

Ghana

Germany

vs.

ENGLAND

Argentina

vs.

Mexico

Netherlands

vs.

Slovakia

Brazil

vs.

Chile

Paraguay

vs.

Japan

Spain

vs.

Portugal

Spain vs. Portugal and Brazil vs. Chile are the big derby matches.

Argentina vs. Mexico is a grudge match from four years ago. Argentina won 2-1 AET.

Germany vs. England…well need I explain?

Zakumi: “Here we go. Knock-out football.”

P92: “Oh yes. And remember, from now on if you lose…you go out.”

Today’s games are:

  • Uruguay vs. South Korea, ITV 15:00
  • U.S.A. vs. Ghana, ITV 19:30
 

 

Mexico

0

vs.

1

Uruguay

MotM = Luis SUÁREZ (URU)

Luis SUÁREZ 43’

Group A

Ref = Viktor KASSAI (HUN)

Rustenburg

 

 

 

France

1

vs.

2

South Africa

Florent MALOUDA 70’

MotM = Katlego MPHELA (RSA)

Bongani KHUMALO 20’

Katlego MPHELA 37’

Group A

Ref = Óscar RUIZ (COL)

Mangaung / Bloemfontein

 

Group A

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

Uruguay

3

2

1

0

4

0

+4

7

2

Mexico

3

1

1

1

3

2

+1

4

3

South Africa

3

1

1

1

3

5

-2

4

4

France

3

0

1

2

1

4

-3

1

URUGUAY and Mexico march on into the last 16, whilst hosts South Africa and France go out.

We all know that France shouldn’t have even been in this World Cup because they cheated against the Republic of Ireland, so I am so glad that they are out. They have also had an abysmal tournament. Their manager (now ex-manager) was clueless, one of their star players was sent home, and the rest of the squad refused to train at a public session. They even listened to music and chewed gum when they let the stadium after they lost to South Africa. They couldn’t care less. In my eyes the French have brought this World Cup almost to the point of disrepute and can only say again just how happy I am to see them out.

South Africa on the other hand can be proud of what they have done. Yes they have just become the first host nation to fall at the group stage, but they have shown real grit and determination. I had totally written them off before a ball was even kicked and expected them to receive three hidings. However the spirit the players and fans have shown made me will them on, and as an Englishman I found them beating France to be absolutely top draw. I wish Bafana Bafana well in all their future tournaments.

Uruguay and Mexico were by far the best teams of the group and deserved to go into the knock-out stage of the tournament.

Zakumi: “We only needed a few more goals.”

P92: “Bafana Bafana played like heroes and no football loving South African should be disappointed.”

Zakumi: “Thanks. The plus side of us going out is that we took France out with us.”

P92: “Now you’re talking!”

 

 

Nigeria

2

vs.

2

South Korea

Kalu UCHE 12’

Yakubu AYEGBENI 69P’

MotM = PARK Ji Sung (SKO)

LEE Jung-Soo 38’

PARK Chu-Young 49’

Group B

Ref = Olegário BENQUERENÇA (POR)

Durban

 

 

 

 

Greece

0

vs.

2

Argentina

MotM = Lionel MESSI (ARG)

Martín DEMICHELIS 77’

Martín PALERMO 89’

Group B

Ref = Ravshan IRMATOV (UZB)

Polokwane

 

Group B

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

Argentina

3

3

0

0

7

1

+6

9

2

South Korea

3

1

1

1

5

6

-1

4

3

Greece

3

1

0

2

2

5

-3

3

4

Nigeria

3

0

1

2

3

5

-2

1

ARGENTINA played brilliantly in all of their three group games and won the group at a canter. The only problem I can see them having in the later stages is with their defence. If they don’t improve it one of the bigger teams will tear it open.

As for the other three teams in this group, I pleasantly surprised to see South Korea going through. I reckoned that it would be Nigeria who advanced with South Korea third and Greece forth. But Nigeria just didn’t play well enough and have their keeper to thank for keeping their goals against tally at just five. Greece were just boring to watch but at least they actually scored a few goals.  

Zakumi: “And another African teams goes out, sigh.”

P92: “What’s your prediction for the England game?”

Zakumi: “You should win, but based on tournament form…”

P92: “Just stop there.”

Today’s games are:

  • Slovenia vs. ENGLAND, BBC 1 15:00
  • U.S.A. vs. Algeria, BBC Red Button 15:00
  • Australia vs. Serbia, ITV 1 or 4 19:30
  • Ghana vs. Germany, ITV 1 or 4 19:30
 

 

Portugal

7

vs.

0

North Korea

RAÚL MEIRELES 29’

SIMÃO 53’

HUGO ALMEIDA 56’

TIAGO 60’ 89’

LIÉDSON 81’

CRISTIANO RONALDO 87’

MotM = CRISTIANO RONALDO (POR)

Group G

Ref = Pablo POZO (CHI)

Cape Town

THE first 20 minutes or so of this game could have seen either team score a couple of goals each. Portugal came closest in these opening exchanges in a soaking wet Cape Town. After the European team did score the North Korean players started to fade away, but to their credit they played on with great heart and kept themselves 0-1 down at half-time. But Portugal smashed six goals past them in a second half which they utterly dominated. Portugal are now almost certain to qualify along with Brazil for the last 16, whereas North Korea are unceremoniously dumped out of the World Cup.

Zakumi: “What a second half. I can’t wait for Portugal vs. Brazil later this week.”

P92: “That’s been the game I’ve been waiting for ever since the draw was made.”

 

 

Chile

1

vs.

0

Switzerland

Mark GONZÁLEZ 75’

MotM = Mark GONZÁLEZ (CHI)

Group H

Ref = Khalil AL GHAMDI (KSA)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

A MATCH that will be remembered more for its cards than goals unfortunately. The referee seemed to like the colour yellow, as he booked nine players during the match which he never really let off the leash. Unsurprisingly to me, a red card was also shown during the game. Valon Behrami (Switzerland) caught Chile’s Jean Beausejour and Arturo Vidal in the face when they tried to tackle him from behind. Vidal went down like he had been hit with a brick in yet another show of poor sportsmanship in this World Cup. My Dad and I can’t be the only ones finding this entire fake face holding malarkey pathetic and childish can we?   

Zakumi: “Switzerland broke a record in this match. Before Chile scored Switzerland had gone 558 minutes without conceding a goal in a World Cup finals match.”

P92: “They beat Italy’s mark by eight minutes.”

Zakumi: “Don’t steal my moment.”

P92: “Oh, sorry.”

 

 

Spain

2

vs.

0

Honduras

David VILLA 17’ 51’

MotM = David VILLA (ESP)

Group H

Ref = Yuichi NISHIMURA (JAP)

Johannesburg – JEP

SPAIN knew that if they lost they would go out. But the reigning European Champions showed the world some wonderful football as they somewhat eased passed Honduras. David Villa scored Spain’s two goals on the night, and could have scored a hat-trick were it not for him missing a penalty. Spain should have won by several goals, but misses and off the line clearances prevented Honduras’s night paralleling North Korea’s afternoon.  

Zakumi: “We are now exactly halfway through the 2010 World Cup.”

P92: “And let’s hope that it continues to excite and shock us. Except for when England play.”

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • France vs. South Africa, ITV 1 or 4 15:00
  • Mexico vs. Uruguay, ITV 1 or 4 15:00
  • Greece vs. Argentina, BBC 1 19:30
  • Nigeria vs. South Korea, BBC 3 19:30
 

 

Argentina

4

vs.

1

South Korea

PARK Chu Young 17og’

Gonzalo HIGUAÍN 33’ 76’ 80’

MotM = Gonzalo HIGUAÍN (ARG)

LEE Chung-Young 45+1’

Group B

Ref = Frank DE BLEECKERE (BEL)

Johannesburg – JSC

ARGENTINA dominated the first half, racing into a 2-0 lead in just over half an hour. But a defensive lash up in injury time let South Korea back in the game. The first 20 minutes of the second half could’ve and should’ve seen both sides score, but it was Argentina who got their vital third goal. Higuaín scored his third and Argentina’s fourth soon after.

Zakumi: “Higuaín is the first player to score a World Cup finals hat-trick since Pauleta for Portugal in 2002.”

P92: “You know your stuff don’t you.”

Zakumi: “Actually I read your notes.”

P92: “Did you.”

 

 

Greece

2

vs.

1

Nigeria

Dimitrios SALPINGIDIS 44’

Vasileios TOROSIDIS 71’

MotM = Vincent ENYEAMA (NIG)

Kalu UCHE 16’

Group B

Ref = Óscar RUIZ (COL)

Mangaung / Bloemfontein

NIGERIA seemed to be strolling to victory until Sani Kaita saw the red mist and stupidly kicked an opponent. Think David Beckham in 1998. After seeing the red mist, he saw the red card and only then did what he had done sink in. Greece rallied and scored their first ever World Cup finals goal just before half-time. Both sides went for the win in the second half, but it was Greece who took the lead – and in the end their first ever finals win – thanks to a goalkeeping error by Vincent Enyeama in the Nigerian goal. The fact he won ‘Man of the Match’ again shows how much better than the Nigerian outfield he is.

Zakumi: “Is it me or can Greece only play against ten men?”

P92: “You may be right. When they had the man advantage they were a totally new team.”

 

 

France

0

vs.

2

Mexico

MotM = Javier HERNÁNDEZ (MEX)

Javier HERNÁNDEZ 64’*

Cuauhtémoc BLANCO 79P’

Group A

Ref = Khalil AL GHAMDI (KSA)

Polokwane

THE first half was pretty even with not much to separate the two teams. But as the second half progressed, either Mexico got better or France got worse. A 2-0 was what Mexico deserved, and France are now in huge danger of going out in the group stage without scoring a goal for the second World Cup out of three.

*The 2,100th World Cup finals goal.

Zakumi: “Well I think France and Bafana Bafana are both stuffed.”

P92: “Just do the world and especially the Republic of Ireland a favour and beat them.”

Zakumi: “That sounds like a plan.”

Today’s games are:

  • Germany vs. Serbia, BBC 1 12:30
  • Slovenia vs. U.S.A., BBC 1 15:00
  • ENGLAND vs. Algeria, ITV 19:30