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Italy beats improved England

15.06.2014
 
Italy beats improved England. 52952.jpeg

Ivory Coast marks its presence in Brazil with a 2-1 victory over Japan, while England put on a vastly improved display of attacking football. Roy Hodgson has brought to his side a very efficient passing game and has put the team members playing with intelligence. He has taken England to another dimension.

England 1      Italy 2

Sturridge 37   Marchisio 35, Balotelli 50

Despite losing the match and despite the fact that Italy looked like a team of men playing against boys, a team which if necessary would put another ball in the net, there can be no doubt that the experience and intelligence of team coach Roy Hodgson has taken England to another dimension.

It is a pity for England that key players, such as Wayne Rooney, despite being an excellent supporting strike force, whose passing and vision is second to none when he is on form, fail to put the ball away in situations which would see any boy in any park celebrate a goal. This underlines the notion that football players can systematically fail to display what would be basic skills in any other profession and yet still keep their jobs, the notion that football players can commit massive mistakes and go unpunished, when any executive, for ten times less, would lose his job.

For those who state that a footballer's lot is not an easy one, then when one takes into account that the players have been practicing their art daily since they were knee-high to a grasshopper, the argument falls flat.

That said, England showed too much skill and collective will to leave the competition in the group phase and should prove too hot to handle for the Group C rivals in the last 16. Hodgson seems to have booked his team's place in the last 8, together inevitably with Italy, Brazil, Netherlands, probably Croatia and Spain if they can pick themselves up and learn how to play tiki without taka.

Match statistics

England

Hart, Johnson, Baines, Henderson (Wilshere), Cahill, Jagielka, Welbeck (Barkley), Gerrard (Capt), Sturridge (Lallana), Sterling, Rooney

 

Coach: Roy HODGSON

Yellow card: Sterling

  

Italy

Sirigu, Darmian, Chiellini, De Rossi, Barzagli, Paletta, Candreva (Parolo), Verratti (Motta), Balotelli (Immobile), Pirlo, Marchisio,

Coach: Cesare PRANDELLI

Yellow card: -

  

Match statistics

Ball possession: England 44% Italy 56%

Shots/on target: England 18/5 Italy 13/4

Corners: England 9 Italy 2

Fouls committed: England 8 Italy 11

  

  

Group C

  

Ivory Coast 2 Japan 1

Bony 64         Honda 16

Gervinho 66

  

  

Ivory Coast

Barry, Aurier , Boka (Djakpa), Gonzaroua Die (Drogba), Zokora, Bamba, Kalou,

Tioté, Bony (Ya Konan), Y Touré, Gervinho

Coach: Sabri LAMOUCHI

Yellow cards: Zokora, Bamba

 

Japan

  

Kawashima, Uchida, Nagatomo, Hasebe (Endo), Morishige, Yoshida, Okazaki, Yamaguchi, Osako (Okubo), Honda,  Kagawa (Kakitani)

Coach: Alberto ZACCHERONI

Yellow card: Morishige, Yoshida

 

Ball possession: Ivory Coast 58% Japan 42%
Shots/on target: Ivory Coast 21/5  Japan 7/2

Corners: Ivory Coast 8 Japan 5

Fouls committed: Ivory Coast 12 Japan 13

  

  

Group A

  

Mexico 1 Cameroon 0

O. Peralta 61

 

Cameroon can say that they could have come away from this match with a point, and this is backed up by the match statistics: 10 shots for Cameroon, 4 on target, against nine shots from Mexico, 5 on. Cameroon had five corners to the Aztecs' two. Mexico, however, had two goals ruled out before Cameroon had a chance right at the end of the game when Ochoa somehow managed to save Benjamin Moukandjo's header in the top left corner of the goal.

 

Match statistics

  

Mexico

Ochoa, F. Rodriguez, Marquez (Capt), Herrera (Salcido), Layun, Dos Santos, Moreno, Guardado (Fabian), O. Peralta (Hernandez), Aguilar, Vazquez

Coach: Miguel HERRERA

Yellow card: Moreno

 

Cameroon

Itanjde, Assou Eketto, Nkoulou, Djeugoue (Mounkeu), Song (Webo), Moukandjo, Eto'o (Capt), Choupo-Moting, Chedjou, Mbia, Enoh

Coach: Volker FINKE

Yellow card: Nounkeu

 

Ball possession: Mexico 62% Cameroon 38%

Shots/on target: Mexico 9/5 Cameroon 10/4

Corners Mexico 2 Cameroon 5

Fouls committed Mexico 11 Cameroon 12

 

 

Brazil 3        Croatia 1

Neymar 29   Marcelo (own goal, o.g. 11)

Neymar 71 (pen)

Oscar 90

 

Hrvatska! This was the first roar the Arena Corinthians Stadium heard this evening as the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off with the Group A game between hosts Brazil and Croatia, when after ten minutes Marcelo poked a loose ball into his own net, the sequence of a Croatia counter-attack from Brazil's first corner of five on nine minutes.

 

Brazil kept pressing, despite the setback and after 29 minutes, the amazing Neymar equalized, three minutes after getting a yellow card for elbowing. His left-footed shot rebounded off the woodwork, leaving Croatia's solid keeper, Pletikosa, beaten.

 

In the second half, Neymar (penalty) and Oscar added two more goals for Brazil on 71 and 90 minutes, the last coming seconds after Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar made a crucial save.

 

Croatia will certainly prove a difficult opponent for Cameroon and Mexico in the same group but can hardly complain about this result, such was the dominance of Brazil's attacking display.

 

Match statistics

 

Brazil

Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, T. Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Hulk (Bernard), Paulinho (Hernanes), Fred, Neymar (Ramires), Oscar, L. Gustavo 

Coach: Luiz Felipe SCOLARI

 

Yellow cards: Neymar, L. Gustavo

 

Croatia

Pletikosa, Vrsaljko, Perisic, Corluka, Lovren, Rakitic, Jelavic (Rebic), Modric, Srna, Olic, Kovacic (Brozovic)

Coach: Niko KOVAC

Yellow cards: Corluka, Lovren

 

Ball possession: Brazil 61% Croatia 39%

Shots/on target: Brazil 14/6 Croatia   11/3

Corners Brazil 7 Croatia 3

Fouls committed Brazil 5 Croatia 20

 

Groups

Group

Country Played Won Drawn Lost Goals for Goals against Goal difference Points

 

Group A                                                      

Brazil Cameroon Croatia Mexico                 

 

Brazil 1 1 0 0 3 1 + 2 3

Mexico 1 0 0 1 0 +1 3

Cameroon 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0

Croatia 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0

 

 

Goal scorers:

Brazil: Neymar (2)  Oscar 1 

Mexico: O.Peralta

Own goals: Marcelo 1 Brazil (for Croatia)

 

Group B

Australia Chile Netherlands Spain

 

Spain 1                     Netherlands 5

Xavi Alonso             Van Persie 44, 72; Robben 53, 80; de Vrij 64

(pen) 27  

 

The Netherlands has the first candidate for the goal of the tournament: Van Persie's equalizing header from the middle of the area, following an inch-perfect pass from the left (Daley Blind). Spain had edged ahead, through a penalty (Xabi Alonso) after Diego Costa was brought down in the area by de Vrij, after a wonderful move from Iniesta, David Silva and Xavi Alonso.

 

After the break, an avalanche buried Spain and their tiki-taka short-passing game (Brazil had already shown how to play against this system in the Confederations Cup, which they won 3-0. The answer is the application of the WM formation, massing the midfield).

 

The second Dutch goal came on 52'. Arjen Robben shot past Casillas in the centre of the area (assist from Daley Blind) after holding the ball, skipping past two defenders and finding a shooting position. Goal 3 came after a foul by Robben on Casillas and shines a light on what the media has started calling bad refereeing (dubiously, because Brazil's penalty was legitimate, and Cameroon gave Mexico a scare). De Vrij converted the goal from a set piece.

 

After this, Spain pressed and the Netherlands acted like poisoned arrows in a classic counter-attack game. On 72', Casillas went out of his goal to counter Van Persie, who controlled the ball, skipped past the fallen keeper and rifled the shot between two desperate Spanish defenders. Spain's miserable night was compounded on 80', when Arjen Robben fired his shot past Casillas' left hand into the right-hand corner of the goal, after a perfect assist from Wesley Sneijder.

 

Match statistics

Spain

Casillas, Azpilicueta, Alba, Alonso (Pedro), Piqué, Ramos, Silva (Fabregas), Busquets, Diego Costa (Torres), Xavi, Iniesta

Coach: Vicente DEL BOSQUE

Yellow card: Casillas

 

Netherlands

Cillessen, Janmaat, Blind, Martins Indi, Vlaar, de Vrij (Veltman), de Guzman (Wijnaldum), de Jong, Sneijder, van Persie (Lens) Robben

Coach:  Louis VAN GAAL

Yellow cards: De Vrij, de Guzman, Van Persie

 

Ball possession: Spain 64% Netherlands 36%

Shots/on target: Spain 10/4; Netherlands 14/10

Corners: Spain 4 Netherlands 1

Fouls committed: Spain 5 Netherlands 18

 

Chile 3           Australia 1

Sanchez 12    Tim Cahill 35

Valdivia 14

Beausejour 90

 

  

Match statistics

 

Chile

Bravo, Isla, Mena, Diaz, Medel, Jara, Aránguiz, Valdívia (Beausejour), Vargas (Pinilla), Sánchez, Vidal (Gutierrez)

Coach: Jorge SAMPAOLI

Yellow card: Aránguiz

 

  

Australia

Ryan, Franjic (McGowan), Davidson, Milligan, Wilkinson, Spiranovic, Leckie, Jedinak, Cahill, Bresciano (Troisi), Oar (Halloran)

Coach: Ange POSTECOGLOU

Yellow cards: Cahill, Milligan, Jedinak

 

 

Ball possession: Chile 65% Australia 35%

Shots/on target: Chile 10/5 Australia 13/4

Corners: Chile 3 Australia 1

Fouls committed: Chile 9 Australia 18

 

Group B

Netherlands 1 0 0 5 1 +4 3

Chile 1 0 0 3 1 +2 3

Australia 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0

Spain 0 0 1 1 5 -4 0

 

Goal scorers:

 

Spain: Xabi Alonso

Netherlands: Van Persie (2), Robben (2), de Vrij

Chile: Alexis Sanchez, Valdivia, Beausejour

Australia: Cahill

 

Group C                                                      

Colombia Greece Ivory Coast Japan

 

Colombia 3 Greece 0

Armero 5

Gutiérrez 58

James Rodríguez 90

  

Colombia got off to the best start possible, putting the ball away on 5 minutes, when Armero shot through a crowded area, blinding Greek goalkeeper Karnezis to the shot. When he saw it, it was in his net. 1-0 to Colombia, which then sat back and gave possession to Greece.

 

On 6', Kone shot just wide, Torosidis headed just wide on 28', two corners ensued on 34' and 39' and on 44', Kone forced Ospina to make a great save, conceding another corner.

 

However, after 45 minutes, the score remained at 1-0 to Colombia. After the break, James Rodriguez tested Karnezis. Greece did noit take advantage of the ball possession, and things got worse after 58' when Gutiérrez fired home his shot after a corner. Greece's misery and ineffective attack, which made the team look as miserable as its coach, the Portuguese Fernando Santos looking on as if he was attending a tragedy, was compounded as the game ended, when James Rodríguez fired in the third.

 

Greece distributed the ball around the park but has to do far better in the remaining games.

  

  

Match statistics

  

Colombia

Ospina, Zapata, Yepes (Capt), C. Sanchez, Armero (Arias), Aguilar T. (Mejia), Teo (Jackson Martínez), James Rodríguez, Cuadrado, Ibarbo, Zuñiga

Coach: Jose PEKERMAN

Yellow cards: Sanchez

  

Greece

Karnezis, Maniatis, Manolas, Samaras, Kone (Karagounis), Salpingidis (Fetfatzidis), Torosidis, Gekas (Mitroglou), Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Cholevas, Katsouranis (Capt)

 

Coach: Fernando SANTOS

Yellow card: Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Salpingidis

  

Ball possession: Colombia 48% Greece 52%

Shots/on target: Colombia 13/6 Greece 11/2

Corners: Colombia 4 Greece 4

Fouls committed: Colombia 19 Greece 14

  

Ivory Coast 2 Japan 1

Bony 64         Honda 16

Gervinho 66

  

  

Ivory Coast

Barry, Aurier , Boka (Djakpa), Gonzaroua Die (Drogba), Zokora, Bamba, Kalou,

Tioté, Bony (Ya Konan), Y Touré, Gervinho

Coach: Sabri LAMOUCHI

Yellow cards: Zokora, Bamba

  

Japan

Kawashima, Uchida, Nagatomo, Hasebe (Endo), Morishige, Yoshida, Okazaki, Yamaguchi, Osako (Okubo), Honda,  Kagawa (Kakitani)

Coach: Alberto ZACCHERONI

Yellow card: Morishige, Yoshida

 

Ball possession: Ivory Coast 58% Japan 42%
Shots/on target: Ivory Coast 21/5  Japan 7/2

Corners: Ivory Coast 8 Japan 5

Fouls committed: Ivory Coast 12 Japan 13

  

  

  

  

Goal scorers

Colombia: Armero, Gutiérrez, James Rodríguez

Ivory Coast: Bony, Gervinho

Japan: Honda

  

 

Group C

 

Colombia 1 0 0 3 0 +3 3

Ivory Coast 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3

Japan 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0

Greece 0 0 1 0 3 -3 0

  

Group D

Costa Rica England Italy Uruguay

 

Group D

  

Uruguay 1 Costa Rica 3

Cavani 24 Campbell 54, Duarte 57 Ureña 84

(pen)

  

Match statistics

  

Uruguay

Muslera, Maxi Pereira, Cáceres, Gargano (González), Lugano, Godín, Stuani, Arévalo Rios, Forlán (Lodeiro), Cavani, Rodríguez (Hernández)

  

Coach: Oscar Washington TABAREZ

Yellow cards: Gargano, Lugano, Cáceres

Red Card: Maxi Pereira

  

Costa Rica

Navas, Gamboa, Díaz Campbell, Umaña, Gonzalez, Duarte, Ruiz (Ureña), Tejeda Valverde (Cubero), Campbell, Borges, Bolaños (Barrantes)

Coach: Jorge Luis PINTO

 

Ball possession: Uruguay 56% Costa Rica 44%

Shots/on target: Uruguay 9/3 Costa Rica 13/4

Corners: Uruguay 5 Costa Rica 6

Fouls committed: Uruguay 20 Costa Rica 18

  

England 1      Italy 2

Sturridge 37   Marchisio 35, Balotelli 50

  

Despite losing the match and despite the fact that Italy looked like a team of men playing against boys, a team which if necessary would put another ball in the net, there can be no doubt that the experience and intelligence of team coach Roy Hodgson has taken England to another dimension.

 

It is a pity for England that key players, such as Wayne Rooney, despite being an excellent supporting strike force, whose passing and vision is second to none when he is on form, fail to put the ball away in situations which would see any boy in any park celebrate a goal. This underlines the notion that football players can systematically fail to display what would be basic skills in any other profession and yet still keep their jobs, the notion that football players can commit massive mistakes and go unpunished, when any executive, for ten times less, would lose his job.

 

For those who state that a footballer's lot is not an easy one, then when one takes into account that the players have been practicing their art daily since they were knee-high to a grasshopper, the argument falls flat.

 

That said, England showed too much skill and collective will to leave the competition in the group phase and should prove too hot to handle for the Group C rivals in the last 16. Hodgson seems to have booked his team's place in the last 8, together inevitably with Italy, Brazil, Netherlands, probably Croatia and Spain if they can pick themselves up and learn how to play tiki without taka.

  

  

Match statistics

England

Hart, Johnson, Baines, Henderson (Wilshere), Cahill, Jagielka, Welbeck (Barkley), Gerrard (Capt), Sturridge (Lallana), Sterling, Rooney

 

Coach: Roy HODGSON

Yellow card: Sterling

  

Italy

Sirigu, Darmian, Chiellini, De Rossi, Barzagli, Paletta, Candreva (Parolo), Verratti (Motta), Balotelli (Immobile), Pirlo, Marchisio,

Coach: Cesare PRANDELLI

Yellow card: -

  

Ball possession: England 44% Italy 56%

Shots/on target: England 18/5 Italy 13/4

Corners: England 9 Italy 2

Fouls committed: England 8 Italy 11

  

  

Group D

Costa Rica 1 0 0 3 1 +2 3

Italy 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3

England 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0

Uruguay 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0

 

Goal scorers

Costa Rica: Campbell, Duarte, Ureña

Uruguay: Cavani (pen)

England: Sturridge

Italy: Marchisio, Balotelli

 

Group E                                                        

Ecuador France Honduras Switzerland       

 

Group F

Argentina Bosnia-Herzegovina Iran Nigeria

 

Group G                                                       

Germany Ghana Portugal USA                    

 

Group H

Algeria Belgium Rep. Korea Russia

 

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda.Ru

(timothy.hinchey@gmail.com)

 

 

 

 

 

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