Daily Archives: June 25, 2014
With the proceedings of Group A and B done and dusted, all eyes were firmly focused on the activities in Group C as the already eliminated England took on the group’s surprise package, Costa Rica, while Italy and Uruguay locked horns to decide the team that would follow the Central Americans to the Round of 16.
Like Vicente del Bosque, England’s gaffer, Roy Hodgson, opted for a new look side but he left Danny Sturridge as the focal point of attack. The Liverpool forward had a couple of half chances but the best goalscoring opportunity arrived when Costa Rica’s Celso Borges blasted a free kick that threatened Ben Foster’s goal.
The game had a naturally dull outlook to it and it was expected given the fact that a team that had already qualified a late rooted to the bottom of the table. Cameroon were also in last place when they took on Brazil and despite their 4-1 romping, they gave a good account of themselves against the host.
In the other game between Italy and Uruguay, it was a nervy affair but as soon as Claudio Marchisio got sent off, the South Americans sprung to life and after a series of dead balls, Diego Godin rose the highest to head Uruguay to qualification. Italy put up a spirited display in the tail end of the game but it was too little, too late.
However, the game will be marred by an incident in the 79th minute when Luis Suarez attempted to get a chunk of flesh from Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder.
There were visible teeth marks on Chiellini’s shoulder and one may be wondering what gets into Suarez’s head sometimes. This despicable act earned him suspensions in Ajax and Liverpool, now he has brought his cannibalism to the world stage and it’s truly shocking. Chiellini has demanded that FIFA take some action in this regard and one must wonder what goes on in Suarez’s head sometimes.
With Italy crashing out of the competition, Cesare Prandelli has tendered his resignation with immediate effect. Following Marcelo Lippi’s dismissal in 2010, Prandelli forsaked his job at AC Fiorentina to take charge of the Italian national team. After winning the World Cup in a year when the Serie A was under heavy scrutiny, Italy qualified for the 2010 World Cup and crashed out of the group stages. This summer, it has been a classic case of deja vu so its arivedecci for the Azzurris.
Another giant has crumbled in the World Cup and trust me, they won’t be the last.
Late on, there were two games in Group C that had to be addressed with Ivory Coast taking on Greece while Colombia played with Japan. The South Americans chose to rest their talismanic youngster, James Rodriguez, and when he arrived on the pitch at the start of the second half. With Rodriguez pulling the strings, he set up two goals for Jackson Martinez before scoring a peach of a goal.
Finally, Africa watched and hope that Ivory Coast would at least have enough in the tank to shove off the challenge of Greece but as things panned out, Greece scored a late goal right at the death to secure qualification to the next round. The Greeks had gone ahead from Samaris but Wilfried Bony leveled the encounter.
The buildup to the late goal was adjudged to have been fictitious but when Giorgios Samaras clipped his own heels when he attempted a shot. Despite’s Barry efforts to put Samaras off, he couldn’t reach the ball as the spot kick sailed past to put the game beyond doubt for Mexico.
I guess Emmaneul Adebayor was right. Ivory Coast will always disappoint.
I’ll keep you updated as more matches are being played.
Here’s to my Nigeria.
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