The game that no one wants to play in, but seems the game that everyone scores in, averaging just under 4 goals in the 3rd/4th place playoff with the pressure off the players usually shack the shackles off and entertain the fans, Everyone was hoping for the same outcome tonight, the Underdogs Uruguay trying to finish off a wonderful World Cup with the bronze medal, and the Germans looking to emulate 2006 and pick up the 3rd place, I was just hoping for goals goals goals.

URUGUAY

2

 

GERMANY

3

Edison CAVANI (28′)     Thomas MULLER (18′)  
Diego FORLAN (51′)     Marcell JANSEN (56′)  
      Sami KHEDIRA (82′)  
         
1.Fernando MUSLERA     22.Hans Jorg BUTT  
2.Diego LUGANO     2.Marcell JANSEN OUT – 81
3.Diego GODIN     3.Arne FRIEDRICH- Y  
4.Jorge FUCILE     4.Dennis AOGO – Y  
7.Edinson CAVANI OUT – 88   6.Sami KHEDIRA  
9.Luis SUAREZ     7.Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER  
10.Diego FORLAN     8.Mesut ÖZIL OUT – 91
15.Diego PEREZ – Y OUT – 77   13.Thomas MULLER  
16.Maximiliano PEREIRA     17.Per MERTESACKER  
17.Egidio AREVALO     19.CACAU – Y OUT – 73
22.Martin CACERES     20.Jerome BOATENG  
         
Subs     Subs  
5.Walter GARGANO IN – 77   1.Manuel NEUER  
6.Mauricio VICTORINO     12.Tim WIESE INJ
8.Sebastian EGUREN     5.Serdar TASCI IN – 91
11.Alvaro Pereira     9.Stefan KIEßLING IN – 73
12.Juan CASTILLO     10.Lucas PODOLSKI  
13.Sebastian ABREU IN – 88   11.Miroslav KLOSE  
14.Nicolas LODEIRO INJ   14.Holger BADSTUBER  
18.Ignacio GONZALEZ     15.Piotr TROCHOWSKI  
19.Andres SCOTTI     16.Philipp LAHM INJ
20.Alvaro FERNANDEZ     18.Toni KROOS IN – 81
21.Sebastian FERNANDEZ     21.Marko MARIN  
23.Martin SILVA     23.Mario GOMEZ  

A good match, I must say I had it on but fleeted in and out of total concentration, Germany took the early lead, Schweinsteiger’s shot saved by Muslera but fumbled and Muller was first to react and placed the ball into the net, 10 minutes later it was 1-1 my man of the tournament Diego Forlan fed in Edison Cavani and he finished calmly his first goal of the World Cup and very well deserved. All square at half-time and the game was not disappointing.

The second half started even better, Arevarlo Rios made an uncharacteristic run down the right picked out Forlan with his cut-back and Forlan lashed the volley with his right foot and Hans-Jorg Butt could only watch it sweep past him, superb goal from a superb player. The Germans equalised from an unlikely source, Jerome Boateng playing at right back swung in a very tempting cross and Marcell Jansen rose highest caught Muslera flapping and he got his head on the ball and it glided into the empty net.

As good as it is to see goals, I don’t think anyone wanted Extra-Time and the Germans duly obliged, Ozil’s corner wasn’t cleared and Khedira got a head on it and it floated over Muslera and into the net.

Now I said a second ago we didn’t want ET, that was until with the last kick of the ball Uruguay won a free kick on the edge of the area, Diego Forlan stood over it, a goal and we would have another 30 minutes, however Forlan would have his sixth goal and would stand on top of the Golden Boot standings, the World held their breathe, Diego stepped up and…..smashed the crossbar, so close, the game was over, an exciting night, if only the final is as good as this.

MY THOUGHTS

Not going to pick out players on this game as it’s more like a pre-season friendly but over the tournament I’ll pick out some players.

For me Uruguay’s best players have been Jorge Fucile, Maxi Pereira, Arevarlo Rios, Diego Perez, Adriano Pereira and Diego Forlan.

Fucile and M.Pereira have been fantastic at full back, Fucile’s tackling has been on point, never looked vulnerable, Maxi has gotten forward at all times, but defended well also, Rios and Perez have been the bouncers in front of the Uruguay backline, not letting many people pass, I can’t remember any goal against them that has come from a break through the middle of the Uruguay midfield, mostly crosses or Muslera fumbles.

And of course Diego Forlan has just been superb, he has tamed the Jabulani ball, scored spectacular goals, set up his team mates, and just seems an all-round top top guy, if you’re on twitter you should follow @DiegoForlan7  for a lovely insight into a great player. 

For Germany: Friedrich, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Ozil, and Muller.

Friedrich at 31 probably playing his last World Cup Boateng and Aogo will be gunning for his spot, but he’s had a great tournament, not listened to the weak link thoughts of many pundits and just gone about his job, very solid.

Captain Lahm has been mercurial at right back, always calm on the ball, moving the game forward, maybe not as expansive as in previous years but just a quality defender.

Schweni and Khedira have impressed everyone, pressure on both of them with Ballack being ruled out and my have they rose to the occasion, both knowing when to sit and when to attack, Sami’s runs from deep have been impressive and Bastian’s reading of the game has looked World Class at times, having the skill and speed to escape danger, he’s still young and can only get better.

I had seen Mesut Ozil a few times before the World Cup for Weder and the German Under 21’s but he was still a relative unknown and at times he’s had a great tournament, disappeared against Spain which shows his youth, however I have nothing but high hopes for Mesut.

Surprise of the Tournament for me has been Thomas Muller, wasn’t convinced by him at Bayern, 20 years old and has announced himself to the World stage, 5 goals in 6 games, very athletic, powerful player, good on the ball, loves to break forward, can’t wait to see more of him for Bayern Munich.

Two teams that have surpassed pre-Tournament predictions, Germany at one point everyone’s favourite, my favourites for 2014 now, I’ve got high hopes for Uruguay too, Under 20 World finalists so there are players coming through I hope they can qualify for 2014 as they could shock everyone again.

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Personally the most disappointing day of the World Cup for me, was back at work today, so having to watch the games while working is not the best way to assess players and how they play, my plan was to record the games and watch them all back, however leaving the house today I forgot to set the recording, so the South Africa v Uruguay game, is the only one I’ve got to watch in all it’s HD glory, and it’s hard to watch games when you already know the score and in an office of football fans, so just gonna have to bear with it and watch as much as I can.

HONDURAS

0

 

CHILE

1

         
      Jean BEAUSEJOUR (34′)  
         
18.Noel VALLADARES     1.Claudio BRAVO  
2.Osman CHAVAZ     3.Waldo PONCE  
3.Maynor FIGUEROA     4.Mauricio ISLA  
7.Ramon NUNEZ OUT – 78   6.Carlos CARMONA – Y  
8.Wilson PALACIOS - Y     7.Alexis SANCHEZ  
9.Carlos PAVON OUT – 60   8.Arturo VIDAL OUT – 81
13.Roger ESPINOZA     10.Jorge VALDIVIA OUT – 87
17.Edgar ALVAREZ     14.Matias FERNANDEZ - Y  
20.Amado GUEVARA OUT – 66   15.Jean BEAUSEJOUR  
21.Emilio IZAQUIRRE     17.Gary MEDEL  
23.Sergio MENDOZA     20.Rodrigo MILLAR OUT – 52
         
Subs     Subs  
1.Ricardo CANALES     2.Ismael FUENTES  
4.Johnny PALACIOS     5.Pablo CONTRERAS IN – 81
5.Victor BERNARDEZ     9.Humberto SUAZO  
6.Hendry THOMAS IN – 66   11.Mark GONZALEZ IN – 87
10.Jerry PALACIOS     12.Miguel PINTO  
11.David SUAZO     13.Marco ESTRADA  
12.Georgie WELCOME IN – 60   16.Fabian ORELLANA  
14.Oscar Boniek GARCIA     18.Gonzalo JARA IN – 52
15.Walter MARTINEZ IN – 78   19.Gonzalo FIERRO  
16.Mauricio SABILLON     21.Rodrigo TELLO  
19.Danilo TURCIOS     22.Esteban PAREDES  
22.Donis ESCOBER     23.Luis MARIN  

MY THOUGHTS:

Was really impressed with the football Chile played today, they 3-1-3-3 formation Bielsa plays worked an absolute treat, when they were going forward at times the man on the ball had 6 players in front of him to pass to, the players always kept moving, the passing and movement was great, Honduras did their best and showed they are no light-weights trying to hit Chile on the break whenever they could, they just didn’t have the quality to take advantage.

Valladares made one of the best saves not even in this tournament but EVER! Chile looked certain to make it 2-0 but Valladares’s diving save kept his team in the game giving them a chance to earn a point, however his efforts were in vain, the Premier League duo of Palacios and Figueroa weren’t impressive Maynor playing at Centre Back and not on the left as usual, Honduras missed the talents of David Suazo the pacey stiker would have made a big difference.

Can’t say how much Chile impressed me today Sanchez, Valdivia, Fernandez and Vidal all played superbly, Valdivia deputising for qualification top scorer Humberto Suazo impressed never seen him before, but he looked more like a playmaker than a striker, coming off the front to create chances, the best player on the pitch was Alexis Sanchez, fast, tricky very very skillful he was a trouble for the Hondurian’s all game, was unlucky not to score, but if he plays like that in the next two games, I can’t see him not scoring.

SPAIN

0

 

SWITZERLAND

1

         
      Gelson FERNANDES (52′)  
         
1.Iker CASILLAS     1.Diego BENAGLIO – Y  
3.Gerard PIQUE     2.Stephane LICHSTEINER  
5.Carles PUYOL     4.Philippe SENDEROS OUT – 36
6.Andres INIESTA OUT – 77   6.Benjamin HUGGEL  
7.David VILLA     7.Tranquillo BARNETTA OUT – 92
8.XAVI     8.Gokhan INLER  
11.Joan CAPDEVILA     10.Blaise N’KUFO  
14.Xavi ALONSO     13.Stephane GRICHTING – Y  
15.Sergio RAMOS     16.Gelson FERNANDES  
16.Sergio BUSQUETS OUT – 61   17.Reto ZIEGLER – Y  
21.David SILVA OUT – 62   19.Eren DERDIYOK OUT – 79
         
Subs     Subs  
2.Raul ALBOIL     12.Marco WOEFLI  
4.Carlos MARCHENA     21.Johnny LEONI  
9.Fernando TORRES IN – 61   3.Ludovic MAGNIN  
10.Cesc FABERGAS     5.Steve VON BERGEN IN – 36
12.Victor VALDES     14.Marco PADOLINO  
13.Juan MATA     15.Hakin YAKIN – Y IN – 79
17.Alvaro ARBELOA     18.Albert BUNJAKU  
18.PEDRO IN – 77   20.Pirmin SCHWEGLER  
19.Fernando LLORENTE     22.Marco EGGIMANN IN – 92
20.Javi MARTINEZ     23.Xherdan SHAQIRI  
22.Jesus NAVAS IN – 62   9.Alexander FREI  
23.Pepe REINA     11.Valon BEHRAMI  

MY THOUGHTS:

Well I don’t think anyone predicted this score today, a definite coupon buster, Spain threw pretty much everything at the Swiss defence 63% possession and 22 shots on goal, usually would be enough to win any match, however the defence unlike the cheese didn’t have any holes in it. Lichtsteiner, Von Bergen, Gritching and Ziegler were superb the whole game stopping the Spanish Armada finding any clear cut chances, most shots that got through were luckily aimed straight at keeper Benaglio.

Barnetta, Inler and Fernandes worked tirelessly in the midfield in defence and going forward, and when the chance arose Fernandes was there to snatch the dream start from the Spanish, N’Kufo played the target man job well causing Puyol and Pique problems and helping the team break forward.

Spain at times bombarded the Swiss box, Iniesta played very well bamboozaling the defence at times just unable to find that killer pass, Xavi Alonso played pretty well controlling the midfield most of the game and also rattled the crossbar with a rocket of a shot, Villa looked very isolated upfront on his own, not getting the service, there comes a time when crossing the ball into the middle of two tall centre backs just isn’t the answer anymore but Spain kept trying, Torres when he came on looked at about 60% fitness, I beleive Spain wouldn’t have tried him out till at least the 3rd group game.

Going to be very hard for Spain to win the group now and a potential meeting with Brazil could be on the horizon, and he would all love that.

SOUTH AFRICA

0

 

URUGUAY

3

         
      Diego FORLAN (24′, 80′ PEN)  
      Alvaro PEREIRA (90′ + 5)  
         
16.Itumeleng KHUNE – R     1.Fernando MUSLERA  
2.Siboniso GAXA     2.Diego LUGANO  
3.Tsepo MASILELA     3.Diego GODIN  
4.Aaron MOKOENA     4.Jorge FUCILE OUT – 71
8.Siphiwe TSHABALALA     7.Edinson CAVANI OUT – 89
9.Katlego MPHELA     9.Luis SUAREZ  
10.Steven PIENAAR – Y OUT – 79   10.Diego FORLAN  
11.Teko MODISE     11.Alvaro Pereira  
12.Reneilwe LETSHOLONYANE OUT – 57   15.Diego PEREZ OUT – 90
13.Kagisho DIKGACOI – Y     16.Maximiliano PEREIRA  
20.Bongani KHUMALO     17.Egidio AREVALO  
         
Subs     Subs  
1.Moneeb JOSEPHS IN – 79   5.Walter GARGANO IN – 90
5.Anele NGCONGCA     6.Mauricio VICTORINO  
6.MacBeth SIBAYA     8.Sebastian EGUREN  
7.Lance DAVIDS     12.Juan CASTILLO  
14.Matthew BOOTH     13.Sebastian ABREU  
15.Lucas THWALA     14.Nicolas LODEIRO  
17.Bernard PARKER     18.Ignacio GONZALEZ  
18.Siyabonga NOMVETE     19.Andres SCOTTI  
19.Surprise MORIRI IN – 57   20.Alvaro FERNANDEZ IN – 71
21.Siyabonga SANGWENI     21.Sebastian FERNANDEZ IN – 89
22.Shu-Aib WALTERS     22.Martin CACERES  
23.Thanduyise KHUBONI     23.Martin SILVA  

MY THOUGHTS:

Not the best game ever but a fantastic night for Uruguyans, Forlan has played 2 fantastic games and led his team to potentially a place in the last 16, Forlan’s slightly deflected shot opened the scoring and broke South African hearts, the Bafana Bafana never recovered from this, they just never got going at any stage, the fire from the opening game was just never there, the cold Pretoria air seemed to cool down the hosts.

Tshabalala tried his best in the first half tryin to be the spark in the team, but a few shots he had went wayward, after this he went as cold as the air night, Pienaar and Modise were very quiet, Letholonyane and Dikacgoi were solid for most of the game but Dikacgoi the Fulham man lost his desire after his booking and never looked the same.

With the likes of Bernard Parker and Siyabonga Nomvete you would think Pareira would have changed it up and gave the hosts a chance, but he never did and now a win against France and other results going their way will save South Africa from becoming the first home nation from going out in the Group Stage.

The back four of Uruguay looked more comfortable than the three that played against France, with Diego Perez superb as the anchor man this gave the platform for Forlan, Suarez and Cavani to forge forward, as much as Forlan impressed Suarez was ineffectual, also going down under challenges too easily, I have been expecting more from the Ajax man, Cavani played better, looking to link up with his attack partners troubled the South African back line, a little flick on that helped Suarez win the penalty, but it was all about Forlan, he was superb, leading his team, the oldest man on the pitch was a pillar of experience, his goal spurnned himon, he stayed calm in the 5 minutes he had to wait to take his penalty in which he dispatched expertly, top scorer in the tournament, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got 4 or 5 in South African.

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