About M.E. myself and I

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Eastbourne, East Sussex, United Kingdom
I have been an M.E. sufferer for a long time now, but sports replay gaming is an easy hobby for me to enjoy. Originally from Canvey Island, Essex, I was introduced to replay gaming a few years ago, leading to my first purchase: Cricket World. Most sports I share will be common, but there are some more obscure replays thrown in. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy your stay. Feel free to say hello! - Chris

Friday, 31 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Quarterfinal, Netherlands vs Brazil

Friday 2nd July 2010 - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth - Att. 40,186
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)

LINEUPS:
Netherlands (451): Stekelenberg, van der Wiel (Schaars 73'), van Bronckhorst, Heitinga, Mathijsen, van der Vaart, Sneijder, van Bommel (Braafheid 82'), van Persie, Elia, Robben (Boulahrouz 63')
Brazil (451): Cesar, Malcon, Bastos, Lucio, Juan, G Silva (Elano 69'), F Melo (Josue 55'), Alves (Nilmar 78'), Fabiano, Kaka, Robinho

The Dutch team welcomed back Stekelenburg in goal but Nigel de Jong was suspended leaving van der Vaart to fill in the gap in midfield. The first half was one long tide of orange as Brazil were penned back in throughout the first half and, when they did get forward, delivered some very poor crosses.

The Netherlands continued to be ultra aggressive in their style of play with van Bommel earning a yellow card, and a suspension, in only the second minute of play. The midfield replacement, Rafael van der Vaart, was also on the same page as he picked a booking either side of halftime leaving Holland a man short in yet another match.

The sending off would have little impact however as the Netherlands were 2-0 up through Mathijsen scoring at the near post after good work from Elia and van der Vaart in the 16th minute, and just before halftime van Persie dove on to a hard Sniejder cross to send the ball in off the post.

On the hour mark, six minutes after van der Vaart had been sent off, Brazil looked no closer to threatening their opponents and Robin van Persie made them pay with his fourth goal of the championship and it was the pick of the bunch. van Bommel kicked it all off by winning an aerial battle against Brazilian substitute Josue, flicking the ball to van der Wiel. The Dutch midfielder looked up and played the perfect through ball for van Persie to run onto, dribbling around Cesar and slotting the ball home from a very tight angle.

Brazil had some chances late on but they were a beaten side and merely put their foot right through the ball on each shot. Nilmar and Malcon blazed high and wide, Bastos shot straight at Stekelenburg.

Netherlands 3 - 0 Brazil
Goalscorers:
NED Mathijsen 16'
NED van Persie 43'
NED van Persie 60'

Discipline:
NED van Bommel 2' (sus)
NED van der Wiel 40'
NED van der Vaart 41'
NED van der Vaart (off) 54'

Man of the Match:
NED Robin van Persie

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Player of the Game Hockey - NHL 1967-68 Preview

Back in 2010 I played an All-Time Greats set with the now defunct Player of the Game Hockey and I went on to purchase a full season set before the game disappeared. PotG Hockey is quick to play but it provides a satisfying experience. You can play with dice and charts but I have always preferred the use of a deck of Fast Action Cards (FAC). These cards run you through each game providing all the information you need from minutes passed and penalties to shots and rare events.

The year is 1967 and the NHL has just doubled in size from six to twelve teams. The new franchises are Los Angeles, Minnesota, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St Louis, and it is these new members of the league that make up the West Division with the Original Six teams together in the East.

There are four players who appeared for two teams during the course of the season. These players will gather stats for both teams throughout the year but when the teams meet then the franchise he belonged to at that time will have him on their roster. The players are:

K Douglas (OAK-DET Jan 9th)
T Hampson (DET-OAK Jan 9th)
W Hicks (PHI-PIT Feb 27th)
R Stewart (StL-NYR Nov 29th)

If you followed the aforementioned ATG game, or especially the long running NHL 1962-63 replay using DICE Hockey, then there will be many names that should be familiar to you. As always please feel free to comment and I hope you enjoy reading along.

Final Score - World Cup 2010 Quarterfinal Draw

Netherlands vs Brazil
Argentina vs Germany
South Korea vs Ghana
Japan vs Portugal

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Second Round, Chile vs Portugal

Tuesday 29th June 2010 - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town - Att. 62,955
Referee: Héctor Baldassi (Argentina)

LINEUPS:
Chile (433):Bravo, Jara, Vidal, Ponce (Contreras 59'), Medel, Carmona, Isla (Fierro 67'), Valdivia, Suazo, Beausejour, Sanchez
Portugal (433): Eduardo, Costa (Duda 84'), Coentrao, Carvalho, Alves, Mendes, Tiago, Meireles (Deco 69'), Ronaldo (Rolondo 74'), Simao, Danny

Penalty continues to be the buzzword of the second round with Christiano Ronaldo opening the scoring from the spot in the 38th minute. Prior to that, Chile looked to be the better side with Valdivia's shot saved and a Beausejour diving header going wide. Portugal had the first chance of the match though when, in the 9th minute, Danny displayed great skill to get past Ponce and, after a one-two with Man of the Match contender Coentrao, saw his effort deflect into the hands of Bravo.

The game's turning point started with a giveaway by Mauricio Isla. Tiago picked up the loose ball and found Costa whose high cross was punched under pressure by Bravo, then the referee blew his whistle and pointed to the spot. He had spotted Carlos Carmona holding Simao to prevent him getting up to the ball and received a lecture for his method of disagreement as much as the foul.

In the third minute of stoppage time all attention was on Gonzalo Jara who, having been bundled off the ball unfairly by Ronaldo, proceeded to be in prime position for the resulting free kick. The long high ball was met by the head of Valdivia and a wide open Jara was as surprised as anyone when Eduardo somehow pulled off a wonder save to keep Portugal ahead going into the interval.

Two minutes after the restart and Chile were really ruing that late first half chance when Costa made an aggressive run the length of the pitch, getting on the end of a Tiago header to make it 2-0. It was all over before the hour mark when Ronaldo scored again, this time on one of his trademark free kicks. It was not for the first time in this tournament Chile allowed themselves to get out of control with tackles flying in, and one such challenge earned Gary Medel a second yellow card and his marching orders. Simao had a late opportunity to twist the knife after Ronaldo laid it out on a plate for him but his shot lacked power.

Chile 0 - 3 Portugal
Goalscorers:
POR Ronaldo 38'
POR Costa 47'
POR Ronaldo 58'

Discipline:
CHI Medel 33'
CHI Carmona 58'
CHI Medel 62'

Man of the Match:
POR Christiano Ronaldo

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Second Round, Italy vs Japan

Tuesday 29th June 2010 - Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria - Att. 36,742
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)

LINEUPS:
Italy (451): Marchetti, Zambrotta, Crischito, Cannavaro (De Sanctis 83'), Chiellini, De Rossi (Cammoranesi 57'), Montelivo, Marchisio, Gilardino (Pazzini 65'), Iaquinta, Pepe
Japan (433): Kawashima, Komano, Nagatomo, Nakazawa, Tanaka, Abe, Endo, Hasebe (K Nakamara 88'), Honda, Okubo (Iwamasa 78'), Matsui (Morimoto 69')

Italy were frustrated early and often against a resolute Japanese defence that had the strike force of Gilardino-Iaquita scratching their heads. The Italians did have the first chance however when Kawashima had to be sharp in the 11th minute to stop Zambrotta's stinging effort. From then on it was Japan who looked favourites to score and ultimately making it count, albeit from the penalty spot, when Keisuke Honda slotted the ball home into the corner. The Japanese counter attack began on a Tanaka interception and Okubo rushed onto his through ball only to be brought down in the box by Cannavaro.

It could have been 2-0 before halftime when Endo's smart interception and quick cross led to Okubo shooting straight at Marchetti. Italy woke up again in the final minutes though and Gilardino finally managed to get himself some room running onto Marchisio's cross but slicing his shot well wide.

Italy once again started a half brightly, probing around the wall Japan had built, but they soon found themselves up against it when, in the 51st minute, a long clearance was gathered up by Endo whose defense splitting pass put Hasabe clean away to double his teams advantage.

Italy refused to fold and their first substitute, Mauro Camoranesi, was involved in their comeback attempt and first goal of the game. It was his aerial victory over Hasebe in the 62nd minute that found Iaquinta who then passed it off to Pepe for a thunderous drive past Kawashima. The next twenty minutes returned the match to a frustrated Italy trying to break down the secure Japanese setup, all without much luck. Indeed the final goal would come from Japan as the broke in slick fashion, the move ending when Honda scored second of the game, third of the World Cup, by heading home Nagatomo's cross.

Italy 1 - 3 Japan
Goalscorers:
JPN Honda 32' (2)
JPN Hasebe 51'
ITA Pepe 62'
JPN Honda 80' (3)

Discipline:
ITA De Rossi 30'
ITA Cannavaro 32'

Man of the Match:
ITA Fabio Cannavaro

Monday, 27 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Second Round, Brazil vs Spain

Monday 28th June 2010 - Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg - Att. 54,096
Referee: Howard Webb (England)

LINEUPS:
Brazil (451): Cesar, Malcon (G Melo 68'), Bastos, Lucio, Juan, G Silva, F Melo (Kleberson 86'), Alves, Fabiano, Kaka, Robinho (Baptista 81')
Spain (442): Casillas, Ramos, Capdevila, Puyol, Pique, Busquets, ALonso, Xavi (D Silva 45'), Villa (Mata 63'), Torres, Iniesta (Pedro 83')

This battle of footballing giants was probably the most hyped of the second round, but a rather drab first half tempered expectations with long periods of non-threatening play broken up by the odd goalscoring opportunity.

The opening quarter of an hour was something of a wash as both sides looked to maintain possession and nothing else. Then suddenly a poor pass was picked off by Brazil's Melo and his through ball found Gilberto Silva who has tapped by a desperate Capdevilla for a penalty. His booking would mean he will miss the quarterfinals if Spain were to come back and win today. Fabiano was cool as he dispatched the spot kick for his second goal of the tournament.

The next moment worthy of mentioning came eleven minutes later when poor control from Malcon allowed Fernando Torres to swoop in and steal the ball before sending Villa clean in on goal. Cesar came to cut down the angle and Villa found his options limited, ultimately crashing his high shot against the crossbar. Brazil then marched down the other end where Melo blazed his effort over the bar after good work from Robinho to pull the ball back to him.

The half ended with a little bit of controversy when Kaka had a goal disallowed in stoppage time. Silva crossed the ball into the goalmouth where Melo headed the ball over to Kaka who looked to have made contact with the ball at the same time as he collided with the goalkeeper. The referee was quick to give a free kick to Spain who only went into the interval down a single goal.

The game opened up a lot in the second half with both teams threatening through good passing and dangerous crosses. Spain were the livelier team out there with Puyol and Iniesta both heading the ball on target but neither could beat Cesar in his goal. After the hour mark Brazil had another chance to score the insurance goal with Kaka denied by an excellent save by Casillas, and ten minutes later they were caught shorthanded in defence allowing David Silva and Torres to orchestrate a neat pass-and-move tactic but still they couldn't find a way past the Brazilian goalie.

Brazil shut down after that scare and, despite a couple of set piece chances for Gilberto Melo and Fabiano, contained the game in the final stages without risking many bodies forward for an attack. 

Brazil 1 - 0 Spain
Goalscorers:
BRA  Fabiano 17'

Discipline:
ESP Capdevila 16'
ESP Puyol 72'
ESP Pique 90'

Man of the Match:
BRA Michel Bastos

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Second Round, Netherlands vs New Zealand

Monday 28th June 2010 - Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban - Att. 61,962
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)

LINEUPS:
Netherlands (451): Vorm, van der Wiel, van Bronckhorst, Heitinga, Mathijsen (Afellay 79'), de Jong, Sneijder, van Bommel (Braafheid 105'), van Persie (Huntelaar 55'), Babel, Robben
New Zealand (343): Paston, Reid, Smith, Nelson, Lochhead, Bertos, Elliott, Vicelich (Clapham 58'), Fallon (Brockie 90'), Wood (McGlinchy 72'), Killen

It was a big day for Holland's Michel Vorm as he had to star this second round match in goal with Stekelenberg suspended, and Ryan Babel got another chance playing up front for the injured Kuyt. For New Zealand they chose to start Chris Wood in attack for a suspended Shane Semltz.

New Zealand held their own against one of the tournament favourites in a match that could have gone either way. They were helped in the 34th minute when Nigel de Jong received his second yellow card of the day to put the Netherlands down to ten men. Prior to this Holland had chances for van Persie and Babel but one was too high and the second deflected for a simple save.

Immediately after the sending off New Zealand had their first look at goal but Rory Fallon headed Smith's cross wide of goal. The first half concluded after another chance for both sides. van Bommel latched onto a poor punch by Paston but shot well wide, and Tommy Smith ran hard to get onto a low free kick only to smash it into the stands.

New Zealand then really should have taken the lead on the hour mark but Vorm proved his worth by getting down very low to stop Wood's fierce effort. The second half as a whole though was a careful affair leading to an even more careful extra time so it would all come down to penalties. Both sides held their nerve extremely well, giving Holland a 6-5 lead, until Michael McGlinchy crashed his shot against the crossbar to end the dream.

Netherlands 0 AET 0 New Zealand, Netherlands win 6-5 on penalties
Goalscorers:
None

Penalties:
NED Babel, Sniedjer, Robben, van der Wiel, Huntelaar, van Bronckhorst
NZL Reid, Killen, Brockie, Elliott, Lochhead, McGlinchy

Discipline:
NED de Jong 6'
NED de Jong 34' (off)
NED Babel 51'

Man of the Match:
NZL Winston Reid

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Second Round, South Korea vs Mexico

Sunday 27th June 2010 - Soccer City, Johannesburg - Att. 30,597
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)

LINEUPS:
South Korea (451): Ryong, Ri, Pyo, Hyung (Jin 73'), LJ Soo, Yueng (KN Il 88'), Woo, Hun, Young, PJ Sung, Yong (Hwan 63')
Mexico (442): Perez, Aguilar, Salcido, Rodriguez, Moreno (Torres 45'), Marquez, Juarez, Torrado, Franco (Bautista 84'), Dos Santos, Guardado (Vela 63')

After an opening seventeen minutes that would be put to better use by watching paint dry, Korea suddenly sprang to life with Lee Jung Soo receiving a crossfield ball from Woo before cutting inside and thundering his angled shot past Oscar Perez. Pyo and Young then had efforts saved before halftime while Mexico continued to try and find their way into the game.

A halftime substitution for Mexico, with a lackluster Moreno making way for Torres, helped bring them into it a little more with Efrain Juarez coming closest. He ran onto a smart ball from Salcido but his shot was just too high. Korea were happy with to play out their third consecutive 1-0 victory and they march on through the next round without conceding a goal in all four matches.

South Korea 1 - 0 Mexico
Goalscorers:
KOR LJ Soo 17'

Discipline:
MEX Marquez 63'
MEX Juarez 69'
MEX Franco 84'

Man of the Match:
KOR Lee Jung Soo

Friday, 24 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Second Round, Ghana vs USA

Sunday 27th June 2010 - Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Att. 34,976
Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)

LINEUPS:
Ghana (451): Kingson, Pantsil, Sarpei (Addy 82'), John Mensah, Johnathon Mensah, Annan, Asamoah (Appiah 76'), Tagoe, Gyan (Adiyiaho 76'), Prince-Boateng, Ayew
USA (442): Howard, Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Demerit (Bornstein 84'), Onyewu, Bradley (Clark 70'), Edu (Holden 60'), Donovan, Altidore, Findley, Dempsey

Team USA looked the better side through at halftime despite the game tied at 1-1. Ghana were struggling to deal with the pace and trickery of their opponents with free kicks and crosses causing some drama. Findley hit the side netting when he pounced on a free kick that deflected off the wall, and Jozy Altidore got on the end of a cross to force Richard Kingson into a top class save.

Unsurprisingly it was the Americans who opened the scoring. Another free kick was floated neatly into the top corner by Landon Donovan for his second World Cup goal, but the lead only lasted four minutes Kwadwo Asamoah turned in a Ghanian corner.

The restart brought about a chance in mentality with Ghana very much on the front foot with Prince-Boateng's effort swerving wide of the post six minutes into the second half. The next attack gave Ghana the lead. It began with a mistake from Michael Bradley as his pass had very little behind it, ultimately allowing Asamoah provide a very clever chip for Ayew to head past the keeper.

After Gyan wasted his chance to add to the score, another huge mistake from Bradley gave Prince Tagoe the opportunity to dribble through the panicking defence and beat Howard at his near post. The misery as complete for the USA when Asamoah Gyan scored his third goal of the tournament, running onto a quick Prince-Boateng cross.

Ghana 4 - 1 USA
Goalscorers:
USA Donovan 37' (2)
GHA Asamoah 41' (2)
GHA Ayew 55'
GHA Tagoe 68'
GHA Gyan 74' (3)

Discipline:
GHA Sarpei 36'
GHA Asamoah 39'
USA Dempsey 45'

Man of the Match:
GHA John Pantsil (2)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Second Round, England vs Germany

Saturday 26th June 2010 - Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg - Att. 40,510
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

LINEUPS:
England (442): James, Johnson, Dawson, Terry, Upson, Barry, Lampard (J Cole 45' (Wright-Phillips 70')), Milner, Rooney, Defoe (Crouch 45'), Gerrard
Germany (451): Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Friedrich, Mertesacher, Kroos (Trochowski 67'), Oezil, Khedira, Klose (Kiessling 86'), Podolski (Aogo 79'), Mueller

Both sides started with a player missing through suspension; Schweinstiger for the Germans and Ashley Cole for England. Germany hit the ground running in this match with a constant barrage starting in the very first minute when Oezil headed the ball onto the post. Podolski, Mueller and Klose either had shots blocked by a desperate England or, in the case of Podolski, flat out made a mess of it. After ten minutes of this the wall finally broke when Mesut Oezil got onto a ball off a corner kick to make it 1-0.

The first half continued to be fully controlled by Germany but their plan became one of keeping possession. They did create another great chance when Jerome Boateng run onto Mertesacker's through ball but his shot was easy pickings for David James. The England goalkeeper was busy again at the start of the second half, but he must have been happier dealing with the crosses Germany kept sending in rather than another barrage.

England were unable to threaten Manuel Neuer in his goal but with only one goal in it anything could happen. So it was with a sigh of relief for the German fans that they finally turned it on again in the dying minutes. Thomas Mueller sent his shot into the roof of the net as England again failed to deal with a corner, and substitute Stefan Kiessling then followed that up with a goal of his own after he was setup by Oezil. The victors will play Argentina in the last eight.

England 0 - 3 Germany
Goalscorers:
GER Oezil 13'
GER Mueller 86'
GER Kiessling 88'

Discipline:
GER Kroos 7'
GER Oezil 31'
ENG Terry 66'
ENG Milner 78'

Man of the Match:
GER Per Mertesacher

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Second Round, Uruguay vs Argentina

Saturday 26th June 2010 - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth - Att. 84,377
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

LINEUPS:
Uruguay (442): Muslera, M Pereira, Fucile, Lugano, Victorino, Arevalo (A Fernandez 66'), A Pereira (Gonzales 101'), Perez, Suarez, Forlan, Cavani (Eguren 77')
Argentina (442): Romero, Otamendi (Garce 73'), Heinze, Demichelis, Bolatti, Mascherano, Rodriguez, Di Marla (Veron 73'), Higuain, Tevez (Palermo 90'), Messi

Uruguay returned to their first choice lineup with both Fucile and Victorino returning from suspension, but Nicolas Burdisso was missing for Argentina through injury. His replacement, Mario Bolatti, slots into his place.

The opening twenty minutes saw Alvaro Pereira buzzing around for Uruguay creating problems for their opponents, and the first chance of the match was on his head in the 6th minute but his effort flew wide. Once Argentina had settled their first real attack was a masterclass in passing. Heinze and Maxi Rodriguez exchanged the ball with flair before Rodriguez pulled the ball back to the edge of the area for Gonzalo Higuain to hammer into the back of the net; his second goal of the tournament.

Uruguay relied on Alvaro Pereira to get them back on track and it was his shot that deflected off a defender for a corner nine minutes after they fell behind. The delivery was a good one and while Luis Suarez was unable to direct his header on goal, it did fall kindly for an alert Diego Perez and the scoreline was even again. At this point the match became rather cagey but right on the stroke of halftime Uruguay's Suarez ran on to his goalkeeper's clearance and fed it neatly through for Maximillano Pereira but he was unable to get around Romero at full stretch.

The second half continued the cagey motif with fifteen minutes of non-action with the next chances coming from Argentina who took a pair of shots from way out, both from Carlos Tevez. He came close both times with the second brushing the top of the crossbar just a few minutes after his first effort crashed against the frame of the goal from thirty yards out.

Normal time ran out with both teams playing it safe and the only real effort in extra time came from Alvaro Pereira whose long range shot deflected to force Romero to make a smart save and the second round begins with a penalty shootout. Uruguay won the toss and Luis Suarez took himself out to the penalty spot to start proceedings. His rather tame effort was save by Sergio Romero and the next seven penalty takers converted successfully for a 4-3 Argentine advantage. The fifth Uruguayan to step up was substitute Ignacio Gonzalez who blasted his effort over the bar leaving Argentina to progress on to the quarterfinals.

Uruguay 1 (aet) 1 Argentina, Argentina win 4-3 on penalties
Goalscorers:
ARG Higuain 23'
URU Perez 33'

Penalty Shootout:
URU Saurez, Perez, Forlan, M Pereira, Gonzalez
ARG Messi, Higuain, Heinze, Rodriguez

Discipline:
URU M Pereira 42'

Man of the Match:
ARG Maxi Rodriguez

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Second Round Draw

Uruguay vs Argentina
England vs Germany
Ghana vs USA
South Korea vs Mexico
Netherlands vs New Zealand
Brazil vs Spain
Italy vs Japan
Chile vs Portugal


GROUP A
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Uruguay 3 3 0 0 6 1 +5 9
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1 4
South Africa 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1
GROUP B
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
South Korea 3 3 0 0 4 0 +4 9
Argentina 3 2 0 1 5 1 +4 6
Greece 3 1 0 2 1 4 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 0 3 0 5 -5 0
GROUP C
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
England 3 3 0 0 6 2 +4 9
United States 3 2 0 1 3 2 +1 6
Algeria 3 1 0 2 1 2 -2 3
Slovenia 3 0 0 3 1 5 -4 0
GROUP D
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Ghana 3 2 1 0 3 0 +3 7
Germany 3 1 2 0 6 2 +4 5
Serbia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -5 4
Australia 3 0 0 3 1 7 -6 0

GROUP E
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Netherlands 3 1 2 0 5 1 +4 5
Japan 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 5
Denmark 3 1 0 2 2 7 -5 3
Cameroon 3 0 2 1 3 4 -1 2
GROUP F
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Italy 3 1 2 0 2 1 +1 5
New Zealand 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Paragauy 3 1 1 1 1 2 -1 4
Slovakia 3 1 0 2 3 3 0 3
GROUP G
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Brazil 3 2 0 1 3 1 +2 6
Portugal 3 1 2 0 1 0 +1 5
Cote d'Ivoire 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
North Korea 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1
GROUP H
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Chile 3 3 0 0 7 1 +6 9
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 1 +3 6
Honduras 2 0 0 2 1 4 -3 0
Switzerland 2 0 0 2 0 6 -6 0

Friday, 10 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Group H, Switzerland vs Honduras

Friday 25th June 2010 - Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein - Att. 28,042
Referee: Héctor Baldassi (Argentina)

LINEUPS:
Switzerland (442): Woelfli, Lichsteiner, Ziegler, Grichting, von Bergen, Huggel, Inler (Shaqiri 58'), Barnetta, Nkofu, Derdiyok, Fernandes (Yakin 71')
Honduras (451): Valladeres, Mendoza, Izaguirro, Chavez (Bernardoz 45'), Figueroa, Palacios, Guevara, Nunez, Suazo, Espinoza (Martinez 45'), Alverez

Switzerland welcomed back Reto Zeigler from his suspension for this final group game that only had bragging rights available for the two teams. After almost twenty minutes of very dull football the Swiss suddenly began their control of the match in the 19th minute. Blaise Nkufo got on to an Osman Chavez mistake and, after a neat one-two with Lichsteiner, the striker dispatched his shot neatly into the bottom corner.

The same player nearly doubled his team's advantage two minutes later with a spectacular bicycle kick that would have been a goal if was on target anywhere but straight at the goalie. The match returned to a lull until Gelson Fernandez was bundled to the ground to earn Switzerland a free kick. Tranquillo Barnetta stepped up to take it on, whipping it up into the corner for a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Both teams looked like they just wanted it to be over for most of the second half with many passes going astray and thankfully for everyone watching the end did finally come without much else to cheer about.

Switzerland 2 - 0 Honduras
Goalscorers:
SUI Nkufo 19'
SUI Barnetta 42'

Discipline:
HON Mendoza 45'
SUI Derdiyok 57'

Man of the Match:
SUI Stephen Lichsteiner

GROUP H
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Chile 3 3 0 0 7 1 +6 9
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 1 +3 6
Switzerland 3 1 0 2 2 6 -4 3
Honduras 3 0 0 3 1 6 -5 0

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Group H, Chile vs Spain

Friday 25th June 2010 - Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria - Att. 41,958
Referee: Marco Rodríguez (Mexico)

LINEUPS:
Chile (433): Bravo, Jara, Vidal, Ponce, Medel, Carmona (Tello 83'), Isla, Valdivia, Suazo, Beausejour (Millar 72'), Sanchez (Orellana 45')
Spain (442): Casillas, Ramos, Capdevila, Puyol, Pique, Busquets, Alonso (Navas 65'), Xavi, Villa (Llorente 83'), Torres, Iniesta (Martinez 54')

Arturo Vidal returned to the lineup for Chile after missing the last game through suspension and picked up another yellow card in the 40th minute to place him one foul away from another sending off. He survived and so did Chile through the first half after they had the first shot at goal. After Carmona shot wide Spain started coming in waves with Bravo needing to be at his best to stop Alonso scoring in the 15th minute. Villa and Xavi squandered chances with the latter scuffing both his shots into the ground to end up as easy pickings for Bravo. Chile would have one very long range effort before halftime, but no matter how powerful it was it was still straight at Casillas.

Chile picked it up in the second half and should have had the lead in the 51st minute when Vidal missed badly from a few yards out. Beausejour headed over and Valdivia, who had the ranged shot in the first half, smacked another one from distance this time hitting the crossbar. Spain were kept off balance, unable to generate much at the other end and their inability to adapt would cost them top spot in Group H. With only seconds until the referee was due to blow the final whistle two Chilean subs combined to create some very late drama.

Rodrigo Tello fed a very nice ball through for Rodrigo Millar to run onto but Pique looked to have had a hold on his shirt as the midfielder entered the area, leading to Mr Rodriguez pointing to the spot. Up stepped Humberto Suazo who had played a very quiet game to dispatch the penalty and score his tournament-leading fourth goal.

Chile 1 - 0 Spain
Goalscorers:
CHI Suazo 90' (4)

Discipline:
CHI Vidal 40'

Man of the Match:
ESP Carles Puyol


GROUP H
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Chile 3 3 0 0 7 1 +6 9
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 1 +3 6
Honduras 2 0 0 2 1 4 -3 0
Switzerland 2 0 0 2 0 6 -6 0

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Group G, North Korea vs Cote d'Ivoire

Friday 25th June 2010 - Mbombela Stadium, Nelsruit - Att. 34,763
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)

LINEUPS:
North Korea (451): RM Guk, NS Choi, Nam, Jin, RJ Il (AC Hyok 80'), Chon (Kim Kyong Il 61'), Jo, Hak, Se, PN Choi, MI Guk (PS Hyok 9')

Cote d'Ivoire (433): Barry, Demel, Tiene, K Toure, Zokora, Y Toure, Eboue (Romaric 66'), Tiote, Drogba (Boka 89'), Gervinho, Dindane (Keita 75')

This match almost started in explosive fashion when  Pak Nam Choi attempted an audacious lob straight at the kickoff that was only just wide. The one change for this match was Nam Song Choi starting in defence for the injured Cha Jong Hyok but they had another injury concern inside the opening ten minutes; Mun In Guk forced to leave on a stretcher. With the Ivory Coast unable to find a way through it was North Korea who had the next shot on goal with An Yong Hak skillfully carving a path through the defence before substitute Pak Sung Hyok shot straight down the goalie's throat.

The second half began with a frustrated Drogba earning a yellow card but just not long afterwards Cote d'Ivoire took the lead through Gervinho. Guy Demel was allowed to manoeuvre out from his own half and deep into the North Korean's before finding Dindane with a great feed. His shot was saved from ten yeards out but Gervinho followed up for the goal.

After the goal the leading team grew in confidence with chances for Yaya Toure and Gervinho saved by Ri Myong Guk. A late chance for North Korea would have given them a chance of an historic win but Boubacar Barry was equal to the challenge posed by Kim Kyong Il's long range shot.

North Korea 0 - 1 Cote d'Ivoire
Goalscorers:
CIV Gervinho 51'

Discipline:
CIV Drogba 46'
CIV Dindane 57'

Man of the Match:
CIV Gervinho


GROUP G
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Brazil 3 2 0 1 3 1 +2 6
Portugal 3 1 2 0 1 0 +1 5
Cote d'Ivoire 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
North Korea 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

Monday, 6 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Group G, Portugal vs Brazil

Firday 25th June 2010 - Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban - Att. 62,712
Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico)

LINEUPS:
Portugal (433): Eduardo, Costa, Coentrao, Carvalho, B Alves, Mendes, Tiago, Meireles (Miguel 80'), Ronaldo (Amorim 78'), Almeida, Danny (Veloso 62')
Brazil (451): Cesar, Maicon, Bastos, Lucio, Juan, Silva (Josue 45'), Melo, D Alves (Kleberson 72'), Fabiano, Kaka, Robinho (Grafite 76')

Portugal had their backs to the wall in the opening fifteen minutes, bravely blocking shots from Robinho and Fabiano before the latter put another chance over the bar. After this chance Eduardo's goal kick started things moving the other way, with Costa riding his luck on a heavily deflected pass that went behind for a corner. On the set piece Meireles's header was blocked but Hugo Almeida, who started the match in place of the suspended Simao, roofed the loose ball.

The first half continued with Portugal getting in the way of Brazilian chances, including a third effort from Fabiano that deflected behind. When the South Americans did have a clear look at goal Kaka headed wide. At halftime Brazil took off Gilberto Silva after he had picked up a knock and his replacement Josue started the first real attack ten minutes into the second period when he first intercepted a pass and then crossed for Kaka to shoot at the keeper without power.

Portugal's chance to double their lead came in the 67th minute when Meireles found Almeida in a prime spot but his effort proved to be an easy save for Cesar. From then on the game lost the rest of it's gusto and the teams played out the 1-0 win for Portugal to put both sides through to the second round.

Portugal 1 - 0 Brazil
Goalscorers:
POR Almeida 17'

Discipline:
BRA Melo 2'
POR Danny 13'

Man of the Match:
POR Tiago / BRA Maicon

GROUP G
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Brazil 3 2 0 1 3 1 +2 6
Portugal 3 1 2 0 1 0 +1 5
Cote d'Ivoire 2 0 1 1 0 1 -1 1
North Korea 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Group E, Cameroon vs Netherlands

Thursday 24th June 2010 - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town - Att. 63,093
Referee: Pablo Pozo (Chile)

LINEUPS:
Cameroon (442): Souleymanou, Mbia, Assou-Ekotto, N'koulou, Bassong, Emana, Song (Aboubaker 84'), Makoun (Mandjeck 79'), Eto'o, Webo (Idrissou 66'), Enoh
Netherlands (451): Stekelenberg, van der Wiel, van Bronkchorst, Heitinga, Mathijsen (de Zeeuw 77'), de Jong, Sneijder, van Bommel, van Persie, Elia (Ooijer 77'), Robben (Vorm 53')

Eljero Elia had his turn to play for the injured Kuyt and he had a coupld of chances to score. The first came in the 20th minute when van Persie chipped it over the defence for him, but his shot was nicely saved, and then on the stroke of halftime when he got on the end of a very clever pull back from Sneijder but could only shoot over the bar. The Dutch already the lead before that second Elia shot when Robin van Persie scored his second World Cup goal on a rocket of a free kick that found a gap in the Cameroon wall and into the top corner.

The second half was highly charged and the aggressive play was started by Maarten Stekelenburg taking no prisoners on Pierre Webo, earning himself a red card and given Samuel Eto'o a chance he gratefully took from the penalty spot. The rough and tumble continued with more yellow cards dished out by Mr Pozo, but the game essentially died after the equalising goal sending the Netherlands through and Cameroon home.

Cameroon 1 - 1 Netherlands
Goalscorers:
NED van Persie 30'
CMR Eto'o 51'

Discipline:
CMR Enoh 32'
NED Stekelenberg 50'
NED de Jong 55'
CMR Webo 66'
CMR Essou-Akotto 85'
CMR Emana 90'

Man of the Match:
NED Robin van Persie


GROUP E
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Netherlands 3 1 2 0 5 1 +4 5
Japan 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 5
Denmark 3 1 0 2 2 7 -5 3
Cameroon 3 0 2 1 3 4 -1 2

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Group E, Denmark vs Japan

Thursday 24th June 2010 - Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenberg - Att. 27,967
Referee: Jerome Damon (South Africa)

LINEUPS:
Denmark (451): Sorensen, Jacobsen, Poulsen, Agger, Kjaer, Gronkjaer (Beckmann 81'), Joregensen (Kvist 62'), Tomasson, Bendtner (Enevoldsen 53'), Kahlenberg, Rommendahl
Japan (433): Kawashima, Komano, Nagatomo, Nakazawa, Tanaka, Abe, Endo (Nakamura 62'), Hasebe, Honda, Okubo, Matsui (Okazaki 79')

A dismal first half thankfully had an end to it with both sides scoreless as neither team could manufacture a quality cross with very limited opportunities to put a ball into the box. Denmark made a change before the match, Pouslen's suspension allowed Gronkjaer to take his place in midfield but it was the Japanese midfielders that controlled much of the game.

The second half was much more enjoyable to watch and the first goal was not long in coming. Just seven minutes after the restart Honda's cross found Okubo who headed the ball into the corner. Shortly after they feel behind Denmark then threatened the goal with Enevoldsen, just on from the bench, shooting too close to the keeper after Kjaer's run and defense-splitting pass gave him a great look at goal.

The next goal then cemented Japan's place into the second round and sunk Denmark's chances of progressing further. Keisuke Honda did all the work himself by intercepting the ball, running past defenders and thundering his shot past a helpless Sorensen.

Denmark 0 - 2 Japan
Goalscorers:
JPN Okubo 52'
JPN Honda 68'

Discipline:
JPN Okubo 47'

Man of the Match:
Yoshito Okubo

GROUP E
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Japan 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 5
Netherlands 2 1 1 0 4 0 +4 4
Denmark 3 1 0 2 2 7 -5 3
Cameroon 2 0 1 1 2 3 -1 1

Friday, 3 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Group F, Paraguay vs New Zealand

Thursday 24th June 2010 - Peter Mokoba Stadium, Polokwane - Att. 34,850
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)

LINEUPS:
Paraguay (442): Villar, Bonet, Morel, de Silva, Alcaraz, Caceres, Valdez (Caniza 89'), Vera, Barrios (Benetez 55'), Santa Cruz, Riveros (Barreto 78')
New Zealand (343): Paston, Reid, Smith, Nelson, Lochhead, Bertos, Elliot (Brown 79'), Vicelich (Mulligan 63'), Fallon, Smeltz, Killen

This match may not have had the action of the previous but it more than made up for it in intensity as Paraguay win the game but lose the war. The first half-hour had little to offer but a yellow card to New Zealand's Shane Smeltz would suspend him for the second round if his team made it out of the group. Another foul by the All Whites gave Paraguay the first chance of the game when Mark Paston charged out of his goalmouth and brought down Enrique Vera before converting the spot kick himself. Vera had intercepted a bad pass and dribbled his way into the area before the referee made his easy decision.

With more unimaginative but tense play New Zealand had the chance to equalise before halftime when Bertos placed a delightful chip over the defense for Rory Fallon who shot it straight at Villar. Paraguay needed another goal to finish above NZL on goal difference and nine minutes after the restart a reflex save from Paston stopped Barrios from scoring it on a fine free kick that the keeper saw very late.

The South American side kept up the pressure but were unable to really break down their opponents defence led by Ryan Nelson, and their next best chance came when Claudio Morel came up with a great run from defence before shooting it into the side netting. So, it ends 1-0 and the even GD of New Zealand barely gets them into an historic second round while Paraguay rue their missed chances throughout the group stage.

Paraguay 1 - 0 New Zealand
Goalscorers:
PAR Vera 31'

Discipline:
NZL Smeltz 18'
NZL Paston 30'
PAR Riveros 57'
NZL Smith 68'

Man of the Match:
NZL Ryan Nelson


GROUP F
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Italy 3 1 2 0 2 1 +1 5
New Zealand 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Paragauy 3 1 1 1 1 2 -1 4
Slovakia 3 1 0 2 3 3 0 3

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Group F, Slovakia vs Italy

Thursday 24th June 2010 - Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg - Att. 53,412
Referee: Howard Webb (England)

LINEUPS:
Slovakia (451): Mucha, Pekarik (Sestak 84'), Zabavnik, Skrtel, Durica, Strba (Kozak  57'), Weiss (Sapara 45'), Hamsik, Vittek, Jendrisek, Stoch
Italy (451): Marchetti, Zambrotta, Criscito, Cannavaro (Maggio 59'), Chiellini, De Rossi (Polombo 59'), Montolivo, Marchiso, Gilardino (Bonucchi 84'), Iaquinta, Pepe

It was total domination for Italy in the first half and their two goals before halftime would be enough to see them into the second round. Slovakia were riding their luck early on as the Italians aim was off with Criscito and Iaquinta twice missing the target. In the middle of all this Slovakia countered and created a chance for Peter Pekarik, but his angled shot flew high over the bar.

The 34th minute came and with it the deadlock was broken. A poor punch from Mucha on Gilardino's cross fell to Vincenzo Iaquinta who squeezed it through the hands of the Slovak keeper for a 1-0 lead. Alberto Gilardino then wasted a great chance in the goalmouth before his mistimed header on Iaquinta's cross found the back of the net in stoppage time.

Slovakia got off to the best possible start in the second half when Vittek displayed some excpetional control before the ball was passed through to Miroslav Stoch who rounded Marchetti for an easy finish in the 54th minute. Moments later and it could have been 2-2 when Zambrotta's crossfield ball was intercepted allowing Stoch and Strba to break in on a panicking defence that did just enough to deflect Strba's shot for the first in a series of corners where Vittek forced a good save out of Marchetti.

Italy looked to close out the game towards the end but Pepe shot wide, Iaquinta hit the post and Chiellini was stopped by the legs of Jan Mucha.

Slovakia 1 - 2 Italy
Goalscorers:
ITA Iaquinta 34'
ITA Gilardino 45'
SVK Stoch 54'

Discipline:
ITA Criscito 39'
ITA Maggio 71'
ITA Marchisio 87'

Man of the Match:
Vincenzo Iaquinta

GROUP F
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Italy 3 1 2 0 2 1 +1 5
New Zealand 2 1 1 0 1 0 +1 4
Paragauy 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1
Slovakia 3 1 0 2 3 3 0 3

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Final Score - WC2010 Group D, Australia vs Serbia

Wednesday 23rd June 2010 - Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit - Att. 37,836
Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)

LINEUPS:
Australia (451): Federici, Wilkshire (Milligan 71'), Beauchamp, Neill, Moore, Valari, Holman (Bresciano 81'), Cahill, Kennedy (Rukavytsya 45'), Culina, Emerton
Serbia (433): Isailovic, Ivanovic, Kolarov, Vidic (Rukavina 64'), Lukovic, Ninkovic, Stankovic (Kacar 79'), Kuzmanovic, Zigic, Pantelic, Krasic (Petrovic 57')

Both teams had two changes to their lineups including starts for goalkeepers Adam Federici and Bojan Isailovic. The other player swaps - Beauchamp for Carney and Pantelic for Jovanovic - were needed cover for suspensions.

Serbia were able to end on a high note despite a straight red to Milos Ninkovic in the 54th minute, leading to an Australian penalty that tied the game 1-1. It all started when the big bodies of Emerton and Vidic came together with the Aussie winning the ball and starting the play that led to Jason Culina being fouled from behind. The resulting penalty dispatched by Culina was almost saved by Isailovic and sent the match into several minutes of niggling tackles and substitutions,

The Serbians had taken the lead only five minutes in when Krasic's cross was put away by Nikola Zigic, and it was this striker who scored his third of the World Cup just after the hour mark when Ivanovic this time angled the good feed for him to finish on.

Prior to the red card and penalty Serbia were enjoying their lions share of scoring chances but Lukovic, Zigic and Pantolic were all foiled by Federici. For the Australians it was tough going but they did have a last minute chance to equalise through substitute Mark Bresciano whose header was well saved.

Australia 1 - 2 Serbia
Goalscorers:
SRB Zigic 5' (2)
AUS Culina 55'
SRB Zigic 62' (3)

Discipline:
AUS Kennedy 45'
SRB Ninkovic 54'  (off)
SRB Petrovic 58'
AUS Emerton 71'

Man of the Match:
SRB Nikola Zigic


GROUP D
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Ghana 3 2 1 0 3 0 +3 7
Germany 3 1 2 0 6 2 +4 5
Serbia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -5 4
Australia 3 0 0 3 1 7 -6 0