FIFA World Cup 2014 – Tuesday 01 July 2014

Having played in goal over the years I tend to focus on the men between the sticks when I watch a game. To me it is the position with the biggest responsibility as any mistakes are generally fatal for a team.

Take the France v Nigeria game – which like so much of this World Cup – was an intriguing encounter. Both French keeper Lloris and Nigerian Enyeama were excellent as they kept the score at 0-0. Then with just eleven minutes remaining, the Nigerian No: 1 flapped badly at a cross and Pogba was able to head home. In that one instant, all his previous good work had been undone and cost his team the lead. As a consequence Nigeria had to take more risks as they searched for an equalizer, but then conceded a second in time added on.

In the Germany v Algeria game we saw German keeper Manuel Neuer play as a sweeper. Whilst it worked for the Germans last night in allowing them to play further up the pitch, it is a risky strategy. I certainly got nervy watching him charge out of his area, so goodness knows what the German fans felt like. Last night the strategy worked as Germany emerged winners against a lively Algerian team who were not disgraced at all in taking the game into extra-time.

The remaining last sixteen games are played out later today with Argentina v Switzerland and Belgium v USA. It would be all too easy to say it will be a stroll for Argentina and Belgium, but their fates are literally in the hands of Messers Benaglio, Romero, Courtois and Howard.

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Posted July 1, 2014 by Editor in category "World Cup 2014 diary

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