June 11, 2010

South Africa scores the first goal of World Cup 2010

South Africa 1 – Mexico 1…85,000 attended as the host nation, South Africa, took the lead after a 0-0 1st half, scoring at the 55′ mark. Rafael Marquez scored at the 79′ mark to save the day for Mexico and steal victory from the feet of the South Africans. Mexico dominated the match though and South Africa can take a victory from coming away tied. Trust me, Mexico is not happy as they were the heavy favorites.

Uruguay 0 – France 0…Big let down game for the French as they were outplayed and outhustled by Uruguay. While Argentina and Brazil get all of the fanfare in South America, Uruguay does its part to be included in the discussion, as evident by their World Cup appearance. France, who are in South Africa thanks to William Gallas’ highly controversial goal in their qualification play-off against Ireland, left former captain Thierry Henry on the bench with Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra inheriting the armband. Uruguay midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro became the first player in World Cup 2010 sent off the field getting the dreaded red card.

June 12, 2010

South Korea 2 – Greece 0…South Korea started out each half of play with a goal at the 7′ and 52′ mark, as they totally demoralized a lackluster Grecian squad. It was the first victory of the World Cup as Friday had two draws. South Korea lead in shots 17-6 and really whipped Greece up and down the field. Many insiders think South Korea could be a dark horse in the Cup and should advance, especially after this victory. Excluding Euro 2004, which they won, Greece have lost ten of their last 12 games at international tournaments, scoring only twice and conceding 23 goals.

Argentina 1 – Nigeria 0…Diego Maradona started his career as a a coach with a pretty lopsided victory even if the score does not show it. Gabriel Heinze headed in the only goal at the 5′ mark, but Messi, was his team’s star. He generated opportunities throughout the entire match for himself and his teammates. Argentina had 20 shots (7 on goal) and had Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enayama all over the place. Nigeria gave an effort, but Argentina is just in another class.

Robert Green's mistake saves the USA's hopes...for now.

USA 1 – England 1…In what could be seen as one of the most boring games of the weekend (considering the hype behind it), USA has to be doing backflips that they share a point with England after this match. England scored right away at the 4′ mark. It was the kind of blow the USA team didn’t need, but they stuck together and played tough defense. At the 40′ mark for the USA, Clint Dempsey kicked a ball right at England goalkeeper Robert Green. Green played it like a scared shortstop and it was poorly fielded. The ball went right by him into the goal tieing the game. Both teams were defensively strong and showed it. England superstar, Wayne Rooney did very little to excite, nor did Landon Donovan. The USA player that stood out the most was goalkeeper Tim Howard. He had an excellent game with five important saves. He will undergo further evaluation later Sunday to assess a rib injury suffered in the first half as he was slid into by Emile Heskey of England. Howard remained in the match after the collision but was in considerable pain and received a cortisone shot at halftime. He might not be available for USA’s 2nd game. Stay posted.

June 13, 2010

Slovenia 1 – Algeria 0…Algeria goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi followed England’s Robert Green’s lead as he gifted Slovenia a win. Robert Koren’s shot from 25 yards was let into the net by Chaouchi in the 80th minute in a game that offered very little excitement. Slovenia captain Koren’s 25-yard shot was not particularly strong but the Algeria goalkeeper allowed it to bounce up off his shoulder and into the net. Neither of these teams inspire much, and other than their own countrymen, not many are expecting much from either. Abdelkader Ghezzal picked up two yellows in just 14 minutes and 19 seconds making him the fastest substitute to pick up two yellow cards in World Cup history. The USA can take heart in that Slovenia is a beatable team as they meet June 18th in Group play. USA needs that game badly as Slovenia already has three points.

Ghana 1 – Serbia 0…One of the more entertaining games despite the score. It was Ghana’s fortune and Serbia’s misfortune on how this one ended. Zdravko Kuzmanovic’s accidental handball gave Ghana a penalty in the final stages, leading to an easy penalty shot on goal at the 84′ mark as Serbia fell. There was a 50 / 50 split in time of possession as this one went back and forth. Ghana was the superior team, and has reason to be excited. Four-time African champions Ghana looked the more dangerous of the two, but they failed to find the target with their two best opportunities. The first saw Gyan curl a free-kick over from a dangerous position on the edge of the box, then captain John Mensah failed to get a decent connection on a header from a free-kick seven yards out.

Germany rings up FOUR GOALS!!!

Germany 4 – Australia 0…This one was by far the biggest landslide, and the score showed it. Germany had their concerns as Captain, Michael Ballack was not to be a part of this World Cup as he injured his ankle in club play for Chelsea at the FA Cup final. They did not need Ballack today as they scored at the 7′ and 25′ mark in the 1st half and at the 67′ and 69′ minute mark of the 2nd half. The two 2nd half German goals came after Tim Cahill went out of the match with a red card in the 56th minute. The Germans had 17 shots (with nine on goal). Miroslav Klose scored his 11th World Cup goal, which ties him for fifth in World Cup history. Klose also becomes sixth German player to score in three straight World Cups.