Day Six at the World Cup

Belgium-Algeria 2-1 : Algeria opened the scoring in this game with a converted PK in the 25th minute after Sofiane Fegoulhi was brought down in the area by Belgium''s Jan Vertonghen.  Belgium failed to make much of a dent until Marhouane Fellaini subbed in at the 65th minute.   Then they started to look dangerous, with Fellaini scoring on a header from a corner kick.  Dries Mertens then put Belgium ahead in the 80th minute, with the assist going to Eden Hazard.

Brazil-Mexico 0-0 : Unlike the other nil-nil draw, this one was at least an exciting game, with Mexico''s goalkeeper Ochoa making a number of spectacular saves, including one that had the help of goal-line technology to show that the ball was only 2/3 of the way over the goal line.   Mexico also had a number of chances, but less than half as many were on goal  (8-3.)

Russia-South Korea 1-1 : South Korea scored first in the 68th minute with a goal from Lee Keun-Ho.  Russia equalized in the 74th minute when Alexander Kerzhakov put one in the lower right corner from the very short range.  Assist to Andre Eshchenko.

Day Five at the World Cup

Germany-Portugal 4-0 : Germany destroyed Portugal in this game, in more ways than one.  Portugal sustained injuries to two key players and had another sent off for a really dumb headbutt, leaving them vulnerable for their upcoming game against the US.   Hugo Almeida and Fabio Coentrao left the game because of injuries, and Pepe gave a weak headbutt to Germany''s Thomas Muller after Muller feigned injury to his face even though Pepe came nowhere near his head.  Shame on Pepe for falling for Muller''s pretend injury, and shame on Muller for faking the injury.  As for scoring, Muller opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a PK after a hard foul in the penalty area by Joao Periera.  Mats Hummels doubled the score for Germany in the 32nd minute.  Germany continued to dominate the first half.  Muller completed the first half scoring with a shot to the left upper 90 in stoppage time.   Muller finished his hat trick to become the leading goal-scorer again in this WC with a goal in the 78th minute.

Iran-Nigeria 0-0 : Easily the most boring game of the WC so far.  Neither team seemed to put any consistent pressure on the other, and both teams showed a lack of skill compared to all the other teams to have played so far.  Nigeria should have Obafemi Martins on the team.  It would have been too bad for Seattle, but at least Nigeria would have someone who showed some passion.

United States-Ghana 2-1 :  With the earlies score so far in this World Cup, Clint Dempsey put the US ahead at 30 seconds, even though Ghana had the kickoff.  Ghana seemed to be sleep-walking through the first minute, until rudely woken up by the goal.   Nifty moves by Jermaine Jones and Dempsey let Deuce in at the corner of the box where he slotted it past the Ghana keeper.   Ghana did look dangerous for much of the start of the second half, then equalized after some dominant play.   It seemed only a matter of time until they scored.  Andre Ayew scored for Ghana in the 82nd minute and it looked like Ghana were going to pull it off.   A few minutes later, though, James Brooks, a second half sub for the US, scored on a cornter kick to put the US back ahead in the 86th minute, then the US held on through the 5 minutes of stoppage time.

Day Four at the World Cup

The fourth day features games in groups E and F.   Ecuador takes on Switzerland, then France has Honduras.  Later Argentina faces Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Switzerland-Ecuador 2-1  : Ecuador''s Enner Valencia scores in the 22nd minute after Jefferson Montero wins a free kick in the Swiss end.  Switzerland equaled early in the 2nd half with a Mehmedi goal from a corner kick in the 47th minute.  The Swiss won the game in stoppage time with a great cross to a charging Haris Seferovic with just seconds left on the ref''s watch.

France-Honduras 3-0 : France dismantled Honduras behind Karim Benzema as the new goal line technology came into use for the first time.   Benzema''s first goal came from the penalty spot in first half stoppage time at 45 minutes.  Benzema then caused the use of goal line technology by putting in a shot from a very sharp angle that bounced off the post, hit the keeper''s hand then went just barely over the goal line (according to the tech.)  Noel Valederas, Honduras'' goalkeeper was given an own goal.  All this in the 48th minute.  Benzema completed the scoring in the 72nd minute on another sharp angled shot, also from the right hand side after a free kick.

Argentina-Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 : Argentina''s first goal came in the 3rd minute on a set piece when Lionel Messi sent in a corner kick from the left that went off his teammate''s head onto the calf of B-H''s Sead Kolasinac, who knew nothing about it.   Argentina then stayed mostly in control for the bulk of the game.   Messi scored on one of his trademark slashing, speed-up, slow-down runs that took him by four B-H defenders before he smashed it in off the far post in the 65th minute.  Bosnia-Herzegovina came back late in the game to make it more exciting with a goal from Vedad Ibesivic in the 84th minute, but didn''t get anthing else in the last few minutes.

Day Three at the World Cup

Columbia-Greece 3-0 (FT) : The third day of Brazil 2014 starts off with Columbia vs Greece.  So far in the 59th minute, Columbia is ahead 2-0 after goals by Pablo Amero in the 5th minute and Teo Guitierrez in the 58th minute.   Guitierrez goal came on a corner kick after the ball was flicked on by Able Aguilar inside the box.  Javier Rodriguez finished off the scoring with a stoppage time goal.

Uruguay-Costa Rica 1-3 : Even without Suarez starting, Uruguay figured to be the favorite against the even smaller country of Costa Rica.  Not to be, as we will see.   Uruguay opend the scoring with an  Edinson Cavani PK after Diego Lugano was fouled in the penalty area in the 24th minute.  

England-Italy 1-2 : After a mechanical first half hour, seeing Italy control the flow with a patient, building attack featuring only a few chances, Italy open the scoring in the 34th minute with a score from outside by defender Marchisio after a corner-kick dummy by Pirlo for only his 4th all-time Italy goal.  England equalized less than three minutes later with a goal by Daniel Sturridge in the 37th minutes from a Wayne Rooney cross.  England controlled the start of the second half, bringing the game to the Italian half until Italy brought it back with a great Balotelli header in the 49th minute to take back the lead at 2-1.  England had a few chances in the last 30 minutes but had to settle with coming close.  Both Sturridge, Rooney, Barkley and Johnson had good chances down the stretch but shot just wide.  The last half hour was frankly fairly pedestrian, other than the Pirlo free kick that boinked off England''s cross-bar.

 

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Ivory Coast-Japan 2-1 : Japan looked to be in control of this game for the first hour, leading by a goal from Keisuke Honda in the 16th minute.  Japan held firm until the 64th minute, when a pair of driven headers within a span of 98 seconds put the IC Elephants on top for good. Both were served in by right-back Serge Aurier, then headed in at opposite posts, the first by Wilfried Bony and the second by Gervinho at the 66th minute.

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