Uruguay 2-1 South Korea: controlling the tempo and more clinical finishing sees Uruguay through

June 26, 2010

“Uruguay progress, but got away with sitting back for half the game. Korea took too long to get going, although were probably on top for much of the second half. Uruguay maintained their rough shape from their win over Mexico. Diego Godin returned at the expense of Mauricio Victorino. South Korea also made one change – Kim Jae-Sung played ahead of Yeom Ki-Hun, and played an advanced midfield role.” (Zonal Marking)

Uruguay 2 – 1 South Korea
“The game on the line, Luis Suarez sidestepped two defenders in the driving rain and struck a right-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area. ‘The truth is, I didn’t realize the ball was going to go in,’ he said. It did. And now Uruguay is headed to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in 40 years after beating South Korea 2-1 on Saturday.” (ESPN)

Uruguay 2-1 South Korea – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – World Cup – 26 June 2010
“The round of 16 in the 2010 FIFA World Cup began with Uruguay facing South Korea. Both sides have surprised in the group stage as Uruguay won Group A and South Korea were second in Group B. The winner would play the winner of USA v Ghana in the quarterfinals.” (The 90th Minute)

World Cup second round preview (part one)

June 26, 2010

Diego Forlan
“The eight World Cup second round matches are spread over the course of four days. Here’s previews for the first half…” (Zonal Marking)

An Injury-Time Strike Upon a Hill

June 26, 2010

“Among the new heroes of this World Cup one must now count Bob Bradley, the grim, predestinarian U.S. coach—on the silent sideline his presence seems more foreboding than forbearing—much maligned by American fans in the qualifying campaign for his tactical inflexibility and cautious squad selections. Like those other steadfast skippers pilloried for poor performance in early games, Bradley has remained loyal, through the group stage, to a cautious 4-4-2, deploying creative flair in the central midfield, when forced to, only behind his quantum destroyer son, Michael Bradley—his head shaved bald like his father in a show of grim emulation.” (The Paris Review)

Spain 2-1 Chile: Chile press, foul, then hold on

June 26, 2010

“What a bizarre game. Chile started better, then conceded a silly goal, then went two goals and one man down in the same move, then started the second half brightly, then realised a 2-1 defeat would send them through, and stopped bothering. They made changes from their previous game, chiefly thanks to the suspensions of Mati Fernandez and Carlos Carmona. In came Marco Estrada and Mark Gonzalez, with a slight reorganisation in the front four.” (Zonal Marking)

Chile 1-2 Spain – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – World Cup – 25 June 2010
“Spain faced Chile in the final group stage match for both sides in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Spain needed a win while Chile could advance with any result as long as Switzerland didn’t win. If Spain won they would play Portugal while Chile would face Brazil in the knockout stage.” (The 90th Minute)

Zonal Minute
“It’s fun if you press an imaginary “Explode Torres” button on your keyboard as the Chile player takes his second step” (Zonal Minute)

World Cup scouting: The 32 – Week Two

June 26, 2010

Rene Krhin (Slovenia)
“The following 32 names represent Football Further‘s players to watch at the 2010 World Cup. We’ll be following their performances closely over the course of the tournament, with weekly scouting reports rounding up their progress.” (Football Further), (Football Further – Week One)

Cheers at Europe’s Expense

June 26, 2010

“Italy and France, the last two teams standing at the previous World Cup, did not make it out of the first round in this one. Africa is down to its last hope, Ghana. The Americas are flourishing. And something new is stirring in Asia, where fans of South Korea and Japan took to the streets at 3 a.m., each celebrating their country’s breaking through to the second stage of the tournament for the first time on foreign soil. Watching the first round of matches, and the elimination of Europeans in particular, one gets the feeling there has been a cultural swing in the global game.” (NYT)

The United States Of America And The 2010 World Cup

June 26, 2010

“It was a small point that was rather overlooked in the hysteria that followed England’s 1-0 win against Slovenia in their final group match on Wednesday afternoon but, in the cold light of day and with the complete schedule for the second round of the competition now available for all to see, finishing second in their group has come at a heavy cost for England. Should they somehow scramble through against Germany tomorrow, they are likely to face Argentina in the quarter-finals, and should they manage to win that as well (and we’re stretching the bounds of credibility here), Spain could their be their semi-final opposition.” (twohundredpercent)

Portugal 0-0 Brazil: two solid defences, and little creativity

June 26, 2010

Soweto, Kliptown
“A quiet game with both sides content to take a point – Brazil are the winners of the group, Portugal are the runners-up – but which, if either, will face Spain? Brazil’s side saw three changes, all in the attacking band of three behind Luis Fabiano. Elano (injured), Kaka (suspended) and Robinho (rested) were out, with Dani Alves, Julio Baptista and Nilmar in.” (Zonal Marking)

Portugal 0-0 Brazil – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – World Cup – 25 June 2010
“Portugal could advance with a draw while Brazil had already clinched their spot in the knockout stage. With Portugal’s 7-0 win over North Korea they had a goal difference of +9 over Ivory Coast heading into the last weekend.” (The 90 Minute)

World Cup 2010: Portugal 0-0 Brazil
“Whether or not Group G was this World Cup’s Group of Death, it appears to have taken place in 1966, at Goodison Park, with Eusebio scoring every goal. The game Lineker and co. are expecting is taking place in some fantasy world far from the realities of the group table. No-one is saying Brazil v Portugal is destined to be as bad as it turns out. But there are clues. Brazil are through. Portugal need a point, or at least to lose by not many. Both sides have changed nearly half their teams. Brazil’s strengths are supposedly their two holding midfielders, the best goalkeeper in the world and a boring manager who’s built the team in his own image. And Portugal have kept a thousand clean sheets in their last thousand and three games.” (twohundredpercent)

Big offensive threats go silent, but both teams advance in Group G
“Two of soccer’s most prolific teams couldn’t find the net Friday at the World Cup. Portugal reached the second round of the World Cup on Friday after a listless 0-0 draw with group winner Brazil. Brazil had already secured advancement and won Group G with seven points, two more than Portugal. Ivory Coast, which beat North Korea 3-0, was third with four points. The Koreans ended with zero.” (ESPN)

The economics of the World Cup

June 26, 2010

“The FIFA World Cup attracts over 36 billion viewers in little over 4 weeks and this year the tournament will be held for this first time in South Africa. We have taken a look below at the economics of the World Cup when it comes to stadiums and sponsors.” (knowyourmoney)

Why England’s fans loathe their celebrity team

June 26, 2010

“At least I have an excuse for not supporting England. As a British citizen of mongrel origins who moved to the Netherlands aged six, I support Holland. So I view the relationship between the English and their football team with distance, and it always surprises me how badly the two parties get on. Going into tomorrow’s crunch game against Germany, the relationship consists of its typical blend of love and dislike.” (FT – Simon Kuper)