The Netherlands produced a stunning second-half comeback as Brazil’s World Cup imploded in a dramatic game in Port Elizabeth.Holland showed great fighting spirit to come from a goal down against five-time champions Brazil and advance to the semi-finals after a stunning 2-1 victory.The contest in Port Elizabeth did not disappoint its pre-match billing and both sides gave everything they could in a tie that ebbed and flowed from kick-off to the final whistle.Brazil dominated the first half and took the lead in the 10th minute after Felipe Melo punished the Dutch for going to sleep in central defence, sliding a ball through to Robinho who finished coolly.With a flawless competition and being undefeated in 8 games Brazil looked to take the game to Holland forcing the dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg to make two outstanding saves .The first especially was outstanding as Kaka saw him 6 yards of his line and attempted to curl the ball around the keeper only to see Stekelenburg glide to prevent Brazil doubling their lead.The outstanding Maicon nearly replicated a goal scored in the 1970 World Cup by Carlos Alberto, as he ran down the right side to hit the ball first time to see his attempt go on the wrong side of the post.Dunga’s men were on top and in control, until a disastrous error from Julio Cesar gifted Holland an equaliser eight minutes after the restart. Wesley Sneijder whipped a cross in from the right and the keeper missed his punch – the ball deflecting off Melo and into his own net.The Dutch, however, sensed a weakness at the heart of the South Americans’ defence and they took full advantage after 68 minutes when another cross caused chaos in the Brazil back-line.Kuyt flicked on Robben’s corner at the near post and Sneijder headed in, sending the army of Oranje fans at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium wild with elation.From being well on top, Dunga’s side were now chasing the game and their hopes of rescuing their World Cup were dealt a huge blow when Felipe Melo inexplicably stamped on Robben after conceding a free-kick five minutes later. Brazils Samba beat is over in South Africa and the sound of the vuvuzelas will continue to hamper the stadiums.Some may argue that Brazil haven’t lost the World Cup but the World Cup has lost Brazil.I guess we will find out starting with tonight’s game between Ghana and Uruguay.I’m sure there is alot more Drama and golden moments to come and i hope Ghana progress as it would really set up a mouthwatering tie between them and the Dutch.
Tournament favourites Brazil took on fellow South American outfit Chile for the right to face Holland in the last eight of the World Cup.Five-time World Champions Brazil are unbeaten in the tournament so far, after successfully negotiating ‘Group of Death’ Group G.Dungas side have been very unBRAZil like this tournament but continue to raise a few smiles on the World Cup Stage.Marcelo Bielsa is iluminary,creative,a visionary,intelligent and innovative and i wonder how Brazil would look if they were managed by the Argentine.He already does have a psycological edge as Chile have defeated Brazil twice in qualification including a 4-2 battering however, this is the World stage and the Brazilians do perform on the World Stage.They did exactly that excelling in what could have been potentially a tricky tie and demonstrated the gulf in class between the two nations.They began the scoring with Juans header in the first half from a corner and doubled their lead with a wonderful passage of positive play between the Attackers Robinho,Kaka and Luis Fabiano who rounded the keeper to slot into the open net.Ramires ran from the halfway line, committing defenders and opening up space on the edge of the box for Robinho, who gloriously curls into the far corner of Claudio Bravo’s net.Robinho has been a breath of fresh air for Brazil in South Africa and long may it continue as he is not only flying the flag for “Joga Bonito” but is also showing his high level of work ethic which hasn’t been his strongest attribute.Lucio the man mountain at the back helping Brazil keep a clean sheet as Chile wave goodbye to the World Cup and the Neutral licking their lips at a Holland v Brazil tie in the next round.
Brazil 3 Chile 0
Brazil headed into their game against Ivory Coast knowing that victory would book their place in the final 16 and the Samba drums would really be heard as the annoying vuvezelas echoed around the world!The 5 time champions named the same side as the unconvincing victory over Korea naming their 1-11 numbered players.The Ivory Coast on the other hand will be looking to kick-start their tournament after playing out a turgid goalless draw with Portugal on Tuesday, but face a tough task to nullify the threat of a team with players such as Robinho and Maicon, who performed well against the Koreans in Johannesburg.Alot has been said about Robinho yet his work ethic in the 1st game was much to be admired as he lost possession at one point run 30 yards just to rectify the situation and continued to pressurise the back line of the opposition.Robinho and Kaka combined to play Luis Fabiano in, and the Sevilla striker lashes the ball into an almost non-existent gap at Barry’s near post. Almost Fabiano’s first touch of the match but came to life when the opportunity presented itself.The scoreline may suggest otherwise but the South Americans lacked the vintage Brazilian sparkle – although they produced moments of brilliance during an incident-packed second-half.Through Spells the fans were blessed in watching the Brazilians light up the field with exquisite touches and the subdued “elephants”could only chase shadows.
Luis Fabiano scored twice – a fine first-half strike, then a second goal with a dubious hint of handball – and Elano slotted in ahead of Didier Drogba’s headed consolation.
But it was a mixed evening for Brazil’s playmaker Kaka, who was harshly sent off late in the game after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession.Kaka saw yellow in the 85th minute for pushing Yaya Toure and a minute later was sent from the field when Abdelkader Keita collapsed holding his face after an innocuous collision between the players which did not warrant a booking.It was sad to watch Keita roll on the floor like he’d bee poleaxed when Kakas elbow didn’t even reach his collar bone.Almost reminded me of a certain Talented Rivaldo in the World Cup against Turkey who collapsed in aheap as the ball was throwed back at him by the touch line and got the player sent off.Karma?over analysis?or they way the World Cup Gods work?
Well it is what it is and on that note Brazil clearly deserve to be where they are and I’m happy wel be hearing the Samba beat in the next round even without Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. Brazil 3 Ivory Coast 1
Matchday two of the group stage has been fairly good if compared to the first 16 matches played in the World Cup 2010. The results have caused some havoc for the big teams especially England and Germany. However, looking at previous World Cup Tournaments will assure the fans around the Globe that those results might be the indication of future success. There are many lessons that have been extracted from the previous tournaments and I will be highlighting a couple of them.
Starting with England, the situation doesn’t look as bad. Away from the fact that Rooney has yet to find his shooting boots, a win against Slovenia will result in an automatic qualification to the knockout stage. English fans should remember that the last time England reached the last four was in 1990. In that specific tournament a win against Egypt on the last day of the group stage earned the “Three Lions” their qualification after some sloppy displays at the early beginning.
Moving on to Germany, the last time they lost in the World Cup group stage was in 1986 against Denmark; and in that tournament Germany finished as runners up. Looking at the current situation of the Germans, a win will earn them the qualification to the next round, keeping in mind the saying: “When the Germans play bad they win titles.”
As to Brazil, fans and pundits alike were expecting a big result against North Korea. That didn’t happen. A modest display ended with a 2-1 win for the Samba players and no one was convinced with the display. Regardless of the result, the Brazilian squad looked too similar to the squad of ’94 where no one liked the way they played but Brazil was crowned as the World Champions.
It is still too early to change your bets and wagers if you have placed any on England, Germany, Brazil, and even Italy. Their chances are still alive and the next games will tell.
When you think Brazil you think Football,Rhythm,Flair,Skill and outrageous talent.This year Dungas outfit are solid,compact and tactically sound.Brazil should not be tactically sound and should do something out of the norm-is this really something we shoud be happy to see or have we just been spoilt for choice with every tournament that a typical Brazil side possess.Pele was a special case but even the players that won the World Cup around him in the 70s were talented flamboyant players from Carlos Alberto to Socrates.In 94 Denilson thrilled the world with the Lolipop Step over which people “OLe-d” every time it was performed.The over riding full backs who attacked more then defended scored plenty of goals and contributed in the show(Roberto Carlos and Cafu).Perhaps Maicon is gradually establishing himself as one of the best fullbacks in the world because he is allowed to express himself and not be restricted.I was extremely disappointed when I didn’t see Ronaldinho who i believe to be the ultimate Showman in World football perhaps displaying his talent more in his time at Barcelona.I am not saying he has earned his spot in the starting 11 but he has earned his place in the squad to add something different if required.Adriano was left out and the legendary Ronaldo who despite his fair share of off the field problems, always managed to play with a smile and humiliate his opponent regardless of his “weight”issues.Yes they have talent all around the squad in Kaka,Robinho and Luis Fabiano yet for me the drum beat is missing from the Carnival sound I’m used to.As a football fan i love to watch attractive football and hope that Brazil go from strength to strength in this competition.The night started with a moment to remember as you can imagine how North Korea felt facing the favourites for the tournament and clearly a memorable and proud moment and in particular for striker Jong Tae-se.The Striker lead the line admirably and really caused the Brazilians a few problems with his quick feet and trickery.Brazil needed the half time to get rejuvenated by Dunga and came out much more positive with Robinho and Elano becoming more and more influential.The much talked about Maicon scored from a tight angle in what is highlighted as one of those goals were fans will be debating whether it was intentional or not e.g RONALDINHOS free kick against David Seaman which knocked them out.If it was any other nation there probably would not be any question but due to the unbelievable talent the Brazilians possess one can only ask the player himself.Korea were set out very well and the manager must take the credit for that as his tactics were spot on.Robinho did unlock their defence and produce a world class pass for elano to stroke it home with his first touch to make it 2.
Brazil still had a scare when Ji Yun-nam’s brilliant first touch controlled a high ball and took him into space in the Brazil box and he made no mistake with an unerring finish past Julio Cesar.Great performance by Korea and hopefully more to see from the favourites Brazil. Korea Dpr 1 Brazil 2