Serbia & Montenegro 0 - Holland 1
Having grouped in this year's "Group of Death", Holland faced one of the most disciplined team in Europe. The Serbs have been doing fine with their defense throughout their qualifying campaign, and they have just done that here in this match. I would say it was an equal match for both team as the ball possession was equally shared.
The man called Arjen Robben is the difference in this match. The Dutch had been attacking constantly from their left flank, where Arjen Robben was marshalling. The Dutch was displaying superb attacking skill and often posed threats to the Serb's defense. Robben outshone the 21 other players on pitch to win it for the Oranje. He scored the winning goal.
Ruud van Nisterooy, who hoped to capitalize World Cup to attract potention suiters for his exit ticket from Old Trafford this summer, has been rather quiet throughout the game. He was subbed out in the latter stage of the game, being replaced by young Dirk Kuyt.
If the Dutch still sticks to the display they had against the Serbs, they may have problems if Robben was marked tight, and others do not get to spark a bit. I thought the Dutch's attack was a little bit too one-dimensional.
Mexico 3 - Iran 1
I did not watch this game. Not much of my own comment. Both teams were tied with 1 - 1 at half time. However, Mexico just overwhelmed the Asians after the interval.
Angola 0 - Portugal 1
I missed out on this as well. But, to me, I personally think the Portugese should have won it by bigger margin. It's just disappointing to see the scoreline. They were reported to have struggled in the match.
USA 0 - Czech Republic 3
On paper, this matchup should be a mouthwatering one, as world #5 takes on world #2. When the opening whistle blew, it was not to be how it has been expected. Czech giant striker (2.02m) Jan Koller opened the scoring just 5 minutes into the game, heading the ball finely straight to the goal. In contrary to England's 2-metre you-know-who-I-mean-striker, this one is far more solid than him. Mr. England-Eriksson should probably re-think of his decision to bring him over to Germany.
Gunners new acquistion, 8-million Tomas Rosicky socred a stunner 25-metre away form the goal. He rounded up the scoreline much latter in the game. I did not finish the match. A lesson well taught to the Americans. They were simply outclassed.
Italy 2 - Ghana 0
Another match which I did not watch. It was said that the Italians had too much to offer. The Ghanaians could not handle the Azzuris.
Brazil 1 - Croatia 0
There was no vintage Samba display in this one. Just as the commentator have said, Croatia was second best to Brazil with not much of distance. Both team were pretty evenly matched in this game. Kaka was the difference to the outcome, scoring a nice goal in the 44th minute.
Ronaldo was really quiet in this match, he looked rather fatigue, and was nowhere near his best. He was replaced by young Robinho much later.
Brazil has always been Brazil. They always seem as though they have 10 strikers and 1 keeper in the game. Even defenders, or full backs moved forward to aid in attack. Regardless how much they try, they fail to produce one of the vintage magic Samba moments.
Australia 3 - Japan 1
Japan rank 18 in the world-list. They are favourite to win the match-up. But, the outcome was not to be that way. Having disadvantages on the physical size, the Japaneses patched the hole with their speed. They won the ball over their Australian counterparts by outpacing them.
Goals were elusive in front of Australians' goal-mouth, only to the Japaneses' failure to captiliaze them. And they will regret to that matter. The Australians brought in Everton's Tim Cahill and European-based John Aloisi to spark the Socceroos, and they did just that!
Tim Cahill scored not just once, but twice, to equalize then give the Australians the lead in the first World Cup outing in 32 years! John Aloisi put the icing ot the cake by scoring another in injury time. Zico, Japan's Brazillian coach took off a defender to be replaced by a striker, did not pay off with that move.
Final score, Japan 1 - Australia 3.
South Korea 2 - Togo 1
I slept so that I can watch Brazil. No idea what went on.
France 0 - Switzerland 0
When I logged on to Soccernet.com, OMG, French drew blank yet again. Deja vu? Only second draw game in Germany this year. The first between Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago was a blank one 0-0.
End note: World Cup 2006 is just the stage for Chelski's stars to shine so far. England's Lampard was name Man-of-the-Match (MoM) in Three Lion's shaky 1-0 win over Paraguay. Argentine Crespo scored the opener in the encounter against Ivory Coast, where striker Drogba also had his name on scoresheet. Drogba also brought his Oscar-nominating-talent to this World stage as well. The Dutch has Robben to thank for their 1-0 success over the Serbs.
Also, it seems to be trend for teams to open scoring early in the game. Germany, England, Portugal, and Czech Republic all scored in first 5-6 minutes. Some scored the opener within 24-26 minutes, still rather quick.
Could it be the new Adidas ball used, which is constantly circulating talking point among the pundits?
Spain v Ukraine 9pm (14/06/06)
Tunisia v Saudi Arabia 12am (15/06/06)
Germany v Poland 3am (15/06/06)
All time listings in this site are of Malaysian time.
All comments above are just merely my personal opinion on World Cup teams and matches. It does not reflect any professional point of view, or match analysis, and accurate. For more accurate analysis, please logon to Soccernet.com or FIFAWorldCup.com
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Serbia & Montenegro 0 - Holland 1