FIFA World Cup 2014 – Wednesday 18 June 2014

Group H

 Belgium (0) 2 – 1 (1) Algeria

Good managers made decisive decisions that change the course of games.

At half-time Belgium were behind to a penalty converted by Feghouli and were frankly struggling. Marc Wilmots made three changes during the second period and two of them, Fellaini and Mertens came up with the goals that won the game.


Group A

Brazil (0) 0 – 0 (0) Mexico

Only the second draw of the Finals so far, but one that Mexico more than deserved.

Ochoa was outstanding in goal for Mexico making three brilliant saves, but the Mexicans were also an attacking threat with several shots on goal in the second-half.

The more I watch Brazil in the tournament the more I dislike them. As in the game against Croatia, it was Marcelo who irked me as he threw himself to the floor to try and win a penalty with two minutes remaining in the game.

Note to FIFA: ability to retrospectively book players should be considered.


Group H

Russia (0) 1 – 1 (0) South Korea

The day ended with another game low on quality, but high on goalkeeping errors. Neither Korean custodian Jung Sung-ryong nor his Russian compatriot Akinfeev will look back on this game with any distinction.

Akinfeev had looked vulnerable to long-range efforts in the first-half, but his clanger to give South Korea was horrible to watch, as a shot from Lee Keun-ho squirmed from the keepers grasp and over the line.

Jung Sung-ryong in the Korean goal was also unconvincing during the game and he will have be disappointed in his part in the Russian equaliser, as his attempt to stop a cross-shot was only palmed away, where Kerzakov gratefully swept it home.

Note: I bet Rob Green enjoyed watching this one…


* * * * * * * * *


In previous tournaments things haven’t got interesting until the second round of group fixtures. Brazil 2014 has bucked that trend, as the opening round of games have for the most part been open and full of goals. The reality is that for some teams their World Cup will be over after the second round of games. Today nervously looking at their room reservations are the following:


Group B

Australia v Netherlands

Of course the obvious thing to say is that the Dutch will win this at a canter after putting the World Champions to the sword in their opening game. Australia don’t exactly look like a team in form after their opening 3-1 beating at the hands of Chile. But this tournament has not been easy to call at all – could there really be an upset?

These sides have met three times previously, with two draws and a win for Australia in 2008, when a Harry Kewell penalty and a goal from Joshua Kennedy saw them win 2-1.

Can they? Really?


Spain v Chile

The big question is whether Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque will make significant changes or will he keep faith with the side that collapsed so spectacularly against the Netherlands? Chile have never beaten Spain in their 10 meetings, but will be hoping it is third time lucky in terms of World Cup games against Spain.

The teams played each other in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, when Spain emerged 2-0 winners and in South Africa in 2010, when the Spaniards won 2-1. Both games as with this fixture were at the group stages.

A draw tonight would make the last round of games very interesting…


Group A

Cameroon v Croatia

These two sides have never played each other before and having lost their opening game, this meeting is hugely significant as a loss for either is check-out time. Croatia will feel slightly aggrieved with their loss to the hosts in the opening game, and if they use that injustice in a positive way they could collect a win here.

Tantrums and fouls aplenty as a draw is played out?


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Posted June 18, 2014 by Editor in category "World Cup 2014 diary

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