Monday, June 28, 2010

Brazil dominates 3-0 past fighting Chile

Pele of the famous 1970 Brazil team
Brazil, the mighty powerful unstoppable samba kings which never fail to inspire. But while many remember the beautiful sumptuous Brazil of the 1970's which could weave and pass it's way through any defense, this isn't that Brazil. This Brazil is physically large and imposing with players like Lucio, Maicon, and Luis Fabiano to name a few, this Brazil is more defensive with a clear focus on not conceding goals with two defensive midfielders, this Brazil is dependent on the counter-attack, while they are creative, they are best on the counter with their speed and power. And this Brazil is probably the best team of the tournament even though they might not have the same style of the historic 1970's side.

Brazil - Chile

Both teams came out with a very attacking mindset, they both went searching for goals, but in the end only one team found them. Brazil scored in the 35th from a corner, Maicon strikes it well and Juan jumps the tallest to head it in under the bar. The second came four minutes later with a deadly counter-attack, Robinho was cutting in from the left, then a quick pass to Kaka at the top of the box who with the first touch slides Luis Fabiano a buttery pass which the Sevilla striker takes and rounds the keeper to score the second.

June 28, 2010 - Johannesburg, South Africa - epa02228648 Brazil's Luis Fabiano (T) leaps over Chile goalkeeper Caludio Bravo en route to a goal during the FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16 match between Brazil and Chile at the Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, 28 June 2010.
An absolutely beautiful goal which embodies Brazilian flair and teamwork along with their swift and deadly counter-attack. Then in the 59th we see another extremely fast and deadly attack from Brazil which finishes off the game, it all began with a spectacular run from Ramires who picks to ball at halfway and cuts through the center of the field until the top of the box. From there, in full stride Ramires lays the ball off for Robinho who finishes with a curling shot which kills the game for Chile.

Chile couldn't penetrate Brazil's powerful defence, and after the great defending, Brazil were ruthless in attack. It's a shame that Chile couldn't meet a weaker opponent because it would've been wonderful to see more of the attacking side.

Netherlands deal with Slovakia 2-1

The Netherlands are a great side, while they've never won a World Cup,  they've certainly made their mark on the tournament in the past. Introducing the calm and patient style of play, "total football", which relies on keeping the ball away from the opponent with fluid and intelligent movement, they really made history. Now, they've probably got one of the greatest attacking teams in their history, and while they have often had factions in the team, if they can all get along in South Africa, they're gonna be a team to watch.

June 28, 2010 - Durban, South Africa - epa02227925 Dutch Arjen Robben (R) scores the 1-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16 match between Netherlands and Slovakia at the Durban stadium in Durban, South Africa, 28 June 2010.
Robben scoring the first goal for the Netherlands
Netherlands - Slovakia 

Robben marked his return against Slovakia, his pace and positional sense provides width and another dimension of play for the team, and just 18 minutes in, he put his name on the score-sheet. A quick counter-attack all starting from Sneijder's brilliant ball for Robben to chase allowed the Bayern Munich player to cut in and finish across into the bottom corner. After this, chances were sparse and the Netherlands went into halftime with the lead thanks to Robben.

But the beginning of the second half had a flurry of chances which were all parried by the two keepers. In the 50th Robben was looking for his second with a low shot, but Mucha managed to get his fingers to tip it around the post. Then just seconds later the Dutch square the ball to Van Persie who is wide open in front of goal, but his shot is saved by Mucha's face. Then in the 67th minute Slovakia push forward and Stoch has his shot from just inside the box tipped just over the bar from Stekelenburg. A minute later Slovakia get an even better chance, Vittek beats the offside trap only to shoot a central (but powerful) shot which Stekelenburg does well to save.

DURBAN, June 29, 2010 Martin Jakubko (top L) of Slovakia is fouled by the Netherlands' goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (bottom R) during the 2010 World Cup round of 16 soccer match at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban, South Africa, on June 28, 2010. Netherlands won 2-1 and is qualified for the quarterfinals.
Vittek earning Slovakia their penalty with a touch of acting
The second goal came in the 84th, the Netherlands catch Slovakia sleeping with a quick free kick, Kuyt rounds the keeper and squares the ball to Sneijder for the Inter Milan player to slot home. Slovakia pull one back in the fourth minute of extra time, Vittek was brought down by Stekelenburg and the referee gives the Dutch keeper a yellow and awards a penalty. Vittek steps up to take it and slots it home, while the Slovakian players rush to grab the ball hoping to get an equalizer, the referee blows for the end of the game.


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