2010 World Cup Diary – Day 15

Two weeks from the day we started, and we got us our last 16, with Brazil and Portugal boring us (and getting booed) in a 0-0 draw, while the Ivory Coast got their one win, just like in 2006, that doesn’t mean anything, joining North Korea (if no one defects) on the trip home. Meanwhile, in Group H, Spain avoided the meet with Brazil, getting Portugal instead, beating Chile 2-1 while trying to make us fall asleep in the final 20 minutes. Switzerland couldn’t get lucky like they did in the opening match vs Spain and were held to a 0-0 draw with Honduras, who got their first points in the tournament, but leave South Africa without scoring any goals.

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Seven yellow cards between these two rivals, all in the first half, were the most exciting thing in a match that both teams preferred ending in a draw, not knowing where Spain will finish at the time. Ronaldo tried to shoot from every range possible without hitting the target once, while Brazil just got the fans at the stadium and Dunga pissed off. People, don’t get mad – without Kaka Brazil are just a good defensive team without anyone to feed their very one-dimensional strikers. It’ll be better vs Chile, I think.

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Sven got his farewell match before he goes and tries to milk as much money for little production somewhere else, saying – “There’s a very bright future ahead for this side.” Whatever.

The Elephants pounced on the helpless Koreans from the get go, getting two quick goals from Yaya Toure and Romaric, with Toure’s goal being one of the best of the tournament so far.

North Korea just defended, hoping to get out of this without the 7-0 tag from the Portugal match, and despite shooting 28 times, including 15 on goal shots, the Ivorians only won 3-0, which didn’t help them anyway because of Portugal’s draw, with the group ending just as expected when originally drawn together.

Group H – Again, the favorites and the two teams that deserved to go through, did. Spain didn’t start out too well, but a horrible mistake by Bravo, the Chilean keeper, along with a no-good-reason sending off of Marco Estrada by another “genius” of a referee, Mexican Julian Rodriguez Santiago, meant the Spain would have a pretty easy time till the end.

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Andres Iniesta made it 2-0 with a clever shot from outside the box, with Estrada getting sent off seconds later. Millar enjoyed his shot getting deflected, making it 2-1 just as the second half began, but Chile, despite playing nicely with 10 men, didn’t look too worried about losing with the news of Switzerland’s inability to penetrate the not so impressive Honduran defense reaching the stadium.

The last 20 minutes, with Cesc Fabregas entering, were probably the worst for during this world cup, as the Spanish players just passed the ball from one to another, while Chile hardly made any attempt to get possession and somehow make it 2-2. Maybe they prefer Brazil to Portugal, or just the fear of conceding? It was hard staying awake, and the referee decided to agonize us with two minutes added.

Group Tables

Group G

1. Brazil, 7 points (5-2)
2. Portugal, 5 point (7-0)

3. Ivory Coast, 4 points (4-3)
4. North Korea, 0 points (1-12)

Group H

1. Spain, 6 points (4-2)
2. Chile, 6 points (3-2)

3. Switzerland, 4 points (1-1)
4. Honduras, 1 point (0-3)

Top Scorers

1. Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina), Robert Vittek (Slovakia), David Villa (Spain) – 3 Goals
2. Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Elano & Luis Fabiano (Brazil), Tiago (Portugal), David Villa (Spain), Lee Jung-Soo (South Korea), Kalu Uche (Nigeria), Landon Donovan (United States), Brett Holman (Australia), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Keisuke Honda (Japan) – 2 Goals

Picture of the Day – Juan and his Balls of Steel

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Fan of the day – Super Hot Sara Carbonero, Again

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Uruguay vs South Korea – The opening match of the knockout round, and despite the South Koreans being a dangerous team, Uruguay just look like a more complete side, yet to concede a goal in the tournament. They don’t open up their play, which will make it very hard for the Park gang, and I think Forlan, Suarez and Cavani will find the one or two chances to put Uruguay in their first quarter final since 1970.

United States vs Ghana – The last African hope against a team that’s getting more and more attention from usually an indifferent nation to soccer. Both have been fun to watch during the group stage, but I just don’t think Ghana have enough character and composure when they get chances to upset the Americans, who are just looking more and more impressive as the tournament progresses.