Sevilla 2-3 Barcelona: Barca on the brink

May 9, 2010

Jacques Stella (1596-1657), Le Mariage de la Vierge
“Pep Guardiola’s side are almost there: a win at home to Valladolid next Sunday will secure their second consecutive La Liga title. This game ended up closer than it should have been, after Barca went 3-0 up, and Sevilla had a man sent-off. Nevertheless, the three points are in the bag. Barca continued with the Pedro-Messi-Bojan front three that served them so well recently against Villareal and Tenerife, with Messi operating in a false nine role.” (Zonal Marking)

Sevilla FC 2 – 3 Barcelona
“Barcelona survived an unexpected comeback from 10-man Sevilla to move closer to a second successive league title with a vital 3-2 win at the Sanchez Pizjuan on a dramatic evening of Primera Division football. Lionel Messi gave Barca the lead after five minutes and Bojan Krkic doubled the Catalans’ lead just short of the half hour mark. Sevilla then went down to 10 men following Abdoulay Konko’s dismissal 10 minutes into the second period and Barca looked to be out of sight after Pedro struck a third shortly afterwards.” (ESPN)

Sevilla 2-3 FC Barcelona – Video Highlights and Recap – La Liga – 8 May 2010
“Spanish Primera Division (La Liga) leaders FC Barcelona traveled to Sevilla in what would be their toughest test remaining in the 2009-10 season. A win on Saturday would all but clinch the title with a home match against Valladolid next weekend. Sevilla were in 4th heading into the weekend and would boost their UEFA Champions League hopes with a result from the match.” (The 90th Minute)

Brazil coach Dunga faces World Cup selection challenge

May 9, 2010

“When Dunga was appointed head coach of Brazil four years ago, many of his compatriots were displeased. In a country where so many new talented coaches emerge every season, it seemed an odd choice to install a former player without any managing experience. It did not help that Dunga was seen as stubborn and hot-headed back in the days when he was captain of the national team.” (BBC)

South Africa Comes Far but Has Far to Go

May 9, 2010

“Lucas Radebe grew up in South Africa playing soccer with a tennis ball, or a sphere made from old cloth and shopping bags. Lacking jerseys in the Diepkloof township, a part of Soweto, he and his friends gathered sacks of mealie meal, a grain staple. They cut out holes for their arms and heads and scrawled numbers on the bags or colored them with dye.” (NYT)

Junito: Emancipaton, Trepidation, Anticipation

May 9, 2010

“The last time we held an election at Futfanatico, it was an unmitigated disaster. The premise was simple enough – a ‘blog of the year’ award for all soccer blogs with ‘futfanatico’ in the URL. However, a wisecracking tweeter and a Central American dictator-for-campaign manager conspired to blow things to smithereens. And, of course, I did not win. Still, Junito’s national team selection has one distinct advantage – I am not a candidate, as I am a human being, not a nation state. Thus, I reasoned, no evil can come of this. I was wrong. The expected and the unexpected merged into a vortex so profound, so deep and convoluted, that if you wiped your pink finger on the surface’s rim, you’d be elbow-deep in abyss in the blink of an eye.” (futfanatico)

Time for Rafa Benítez to go?

May 9, 2010

“After a woeful season, many Liverpool fans would be forgiven for wanting to see the back of a manager whose sole CV highlight in six years is one implausible achievement in Istanbul. But on Merseyside, they don’t and it’s perplexing. That Rafa Benítez got Liverpool to another Champions League final, won an FA Cup and finished second last season should not cloud the matter that he has had ample time and funds to forge a regular title-challenging squad. Seventh, if that’s where they finish this season, is a woeful effort for a side boasting Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina, Javier Mascherano, Glen Johnson and Jamie Carragher” (WSC)

’94 squad put U.S. soccer on the map

May 9, 2010

“The summer of 1994 will always be remembered as a defining moment in the history of American soccer. The World Cup brought the game’s international talent to a curious nation’s doorstep in the form of Baggio, Batistuta and Stoichkov as legions of budding American soccer fans began to learn what soccer at its highest level was all about.” (ESPN)