I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say it but what another day of World Cup action. Two groups are now finalised and there are some tasty clashes on the horizon. Group A ended with another quite superlative display from Brazilian hope and wonder Neymar; his two goals helping his side to a 4-1 victory over Cameroon who were quite frankly awful, again.
Croatia bowed out of the competition after holding out against the Mexican’s for 72 minutes before skipper Rafael Marquez planted a header off a corner past Pletikosa in the Croatian goal. Andres Guardado and Javier Hernandez took the result beyond doubt while a late consolation from Ivan Perisic gave the scoreline some respectability.
Group B and Spain finally got a win! Also, they kept a clean sheet, probably because Iker Casillas wasn’t in goal. Pepe Reina was given a starting role in goal and while it was a dead rubber for both teams, neither would have been happy to lose. Unfortunately for the Australians, Spain simply had too much firepower. David Villa on his last ever appearance ever appearance for the Spanish national team put them ahead while Fernando Torres and Juan Mata added gloss to the scoreline.
The Netherlands and Chile, in the other Group B matchup, fought it out over who topped the group and subsequently avoided the host nation Brazil. It was a fascinating tactical battle with Louis van Gaal mastering another Dutch victory over supposed superior opponents.
It has to be David Villa doesn’t it. What a servant he has been to the clubs and to the national side that he has played for. 97 caps and 59 goals tells you everything you need to know about David Villa. He rightfully scored on his final appearance, which was a nice way to crown his International career even if it wasn’t at the stage of the competition that he would have liked.
However, the sight of him crying walking off after being substituted is what will live long in the memory for Spanish fans as one of their greatest ever goalscorer’s (if not the greatest) bows out of the International stage. It was the passing of an era.
Well, Cameroon are out and definitely out. Trounced 4-1 by host nation Brazil in their final Group A game, the Cameroonians never seemed to take to this World Cup at all. There was in-fighting within the squad, problems before the actual tournament started with money and all sorts of tension amongst the players on the pitch, displayed when Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Alex Song squared up to each other.
A lovely finish from an inviting cross that had goal written all over it. Cameroonian complacency at the back was pounced on by Luiz Gustavo who produced a brilliant low-level cross to Neymar who had made the run to get in front of his marker, opened up his body to simply guide the ball into the bottom corner – simple brilliance.
It’s a real shame that one of these two has to go out early in the 1st Knockout Round. If the formbook is to be believed too, then that one has got to be Chile. Chile quite simply have an awful record vs. Brazil and will not take encouragement from the host nations’ 2nd half display against an albeit awful Cameroon side. Since 2000, there has been 12 matches between the two South American nations, in which Brazil have won 10 while the remaining 2 were draws. It doesn’t make for pretty reading does it?
Categories: world cup