FIFA World Cup 2014 – Tuesday 24 June 2014

The early games yesterday saw Group B played to a conclusion and in all fairness didn’t hold a lot of drama, given that Netherlands and Chile were already through and Spain and Australia were out. Of course there was top place to play for and at the other end avoiding the wooden spoon.

In the end it was the Dutch who took top spot with a 2-0 over Chile. Both goals came in the second-half from substitutes Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay. In between the goals though, Chile might reflect that they were unlucky not to get a penalty. From a corner, Dutch defender de Vrij appeared to hold back Jara and to compound the issue then made contact with the ball using his arm. It wasn’t to be and the Netherlands took the points leaving Chile as runners-up in the group.

Australia ended up with the wooden spoon in what was a pretty comfortable 3-0 win for Spain. The Spanish dominated from the off and it was a surprise that it took until the 36th minute before they scored. Juanfran got behind the Australian defence and his cross was cleverly back-heeled home by David Villa. It was much the same in the second-half as Australia got pulled apart at the back, with Torres and Mata completing the scoring.

The only fun to be had was in Group A. Cameroon were already out and were up against Brazil who were all but through. So it was the Mexico v Croatia game that was the one to watch. The Mexicans knew that a draw would be enough for them, whilst Croatia needed a win to progress.

Given the importance of the game it was no surprise that the game got at times a little physical with players all too willing to square-up to each other at times, handbags et al. Despite Croatia needing to win to progress, it was Mexico who had the better first-half chances, although the game remained 0-0 at the break. This World Cup has seen the officials be very good with the spray cans, but I would have like them to have been better at the ‘real’ elements of their job during the games. Here in the second-half there was another glaring mistake from an official, as Srna blocked a cross using his arms denying Mexico a penalty. However, it wasn’t long before the Mexicans went ahead when Marquez headed home. Within three minutes they went 2-0 up, as Guardola fired home. Croatia were now looking ragged and they were exposed once more on 82 minutes as a cross found substitute Hernandez for an easy finish. The Croatians though had the final word as a well worked goal saw Perisic finish cleanly. However, there was one last incident in what had been a frantic last fifteen minutes when substitute Rebic was sent-off for a nasty challenge on Mexico’s Carlos Pena.

In the other Group A fixture, the game was won 4-1 by Brazil, which sealed top spot, with Neymar Junior getting two goals.

Following those results it means that the fixtures for the next round are as follows:

Brazil                     v              Chile

Netherlands       v              Mexico

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Posted June 24, 2014 by Editor in category "World Cup 2014 diary

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