2010 World Cup Diary – Day 18

It’s good to have a day with just soccer, no referee scandals and no one blaming FIFA for being a rotten orginization. Which they are. OK!

Another Titan clash set up after today, as the Netherlands didn’t do brilliantly against Slovakia but had just enough good moments from Robben and Sneijder to come up with a 2-1 win, while Brazil did well versus the sympathetic Chileans, beating them 3-0.

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Well the formula of not playing too well but keeping on with the wins is working for the Dutch – One moment of brilliance from Arjen Robben, starting for the first time in the World Cup, and a late goal by Wesley Sneijder after the Slovakian players preferred to argue with the ref than actually carry on playing gave the Netherlands a 2-0 lead which was cut down to 2-1 just before the full time whistle, as Robert Vittek converted a penalty, his fourth goal of the tournament.

Stekelenburg should have been sent off for his foul, but the referee decided he doesn’t want to make him miss the quarter final with a foul that eventually didn’t mean a whole lot.

Against Brazil, they’re going to need everyone. Not sure even that will be enough.

The Dutch didn’t look too good, having to grind out another victory, with Slovakia looking closer during parts of the second half to make it even than Netherlands going up 2-0, but I’m sure the Oranje are just fine with these lacking in style wins.

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This still wasn’t exactly the Brazil people would like to see, but they did have their stylish moments, but more importantly, the looked like Dunga tuned and built the team to play like – efficient, with a wall of a defense and executing brilliance up front, with Kaka orchestrating the whole thing.

Chile played like they only know how – attack, but like against Spain, they don’t have enough quality to beat a top class defense and enough strength to dominate midfield like they did against Switzerland and Honduras. Gilberto Silva played the stopper and anchor role perfectly, allowing Robinho, Maicon and Kaka to keep the pressure on Bielsa’s team who weren’t able to produce more than one shot on target.

Juan scored his fourth career goal against Chile and Luis Fabiano pretty much finished the match four minutes later, this time scoring a goal without the use of his hands.  Robinho made it 3-0 in the 59th minute, making it three from three for Brazil against Chile in the World Cups.

Top Scorers

1. Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina), Robert Vittek (Slovakia) – 4 Goals

2. David Villa (Spain), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Landon Donovan (United States), Thomas Muller (Germany), Luis Fabiano (Brazil) – 3 Goals.

3. Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Elano (Brazil), Tiago (Portugal), David Villa (Spain), Lee Jung-Soo (South Korea), Kalu Uche (Nigeria), Brett Holman (Australia), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Keisuke Honda (Japan), Lee Chung-Yong (South Korea), Javier Hernandez (Mexico), Carlos Tevez (Argentina), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Lukas Podolski (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) – 2 Goals.

Picture of the Day – Robinho Back in Form

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Fan of the Day – Dutch Cuties

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Paraguay – Japan – Pretty much the same match up as Uruguay vs South Korea. Japan are fast and defend better than the Koreans, Paraguay don’t mind hanging back and leaving their talented front to deal with long balls, which they usually do pretty well. Advantage South America.

Spain vs Portugal – Sadly, one of these teams will have to leave us. Don’t be surprised if it’s Spain. They have more talent, but their defense and overall play has been shaky, and Portugal, a very strong side with a difficult defense to crack (haven’t conceded in the group stage), have the weapons to hurt Spain on the counter. If Simao starts for once, Portugal and Ronaldo will benefit.