Day Eleven…21C- possible storms…


Togo v Swiss

TOGO:The Togan team almost didn’t make it to this game after problems over payments erupted into the threat of a player-strike…FIFA stepped in,  and have ‘persuaded’ the African squad to maintain their group match commitments.SAUDI: Kader was lively in the first game…he knows where the goal is. 


2- Togans going in hard for every ball….

6- Vogel shoots from 25 yards for Swiss…A defenders strike if ever I saw one..

6- Kader goes close after finding room in the 18 yard box… 

More excitement shown in the first 7 minutes than I saw from either of these two teams in their opening fixtures… 

10- Adebayor, the giant but ungainly Togan striker heads wide from 8 yards was a free header… 

15- Vogle is pulling the strings in midfield for Swiss ..

17- GOAL for the Swiss….the constantly misfiring Frei shocks the crowd as he scores from 3 yards out( after a clever header played to him from Barnetta gave him the opportunity…..) 

25- Kader has looked impressive for Toga. Very agile, intelligent striker.. 

29- valuable chance for
Togo… but Asterni flashes his shot wide of the frame…the chance came from a defender’s flimsy attempt to clear a cross.(defender in question was Senderos)

35- Vicky is making some nice runs down the left wing for the Swiss…

31- Adebayor goes to ground in the box, he wasn’t even touched the ref says ‘get up, get on with it, you cheating golem’..and I agree. 

45 Ht 

Toga have hade lots of chances, carving the Swiss midfield and defence to ribbons whenever they surge forward like bats out of hell with razor sharp teeth….Their sheer physical power should see them find the equaliser, and maybe even a victory…they are far more fired up than in their first match…Kader has made some brilliant runs,..and if he continues in the same vein, is bound to find the net sooner rather than later…The Swiss look mechanical, grinding moves out, bereft of ingenuity, flair, passion and talent…Much more organized than their African opponents. 


47 -YELLOW for Adebayor..the culmination of constant whingeing…

50 –Barnetta hits a left foot half volley hard at the goal..well saved…. 

53- Romao booked for TOG..banned for final group game…so this is maybe his last taste of the world cup energy and atmosphere…

53- Yakim shoots just wide of the top left corner after ref allows advantage to develop into goalscoring opportunity…good work, ref… 

58- Frei fucks the chance to make it 2-0 after driving into the area between the defenders..deflected shot Corner… 

Swiss look like they had a good talking to at half time..much more interested in all aspects of the game…

64- Superb save denies Yakim for Poles. whose shot from 15 yards had real venom…good stop… 

Poles now look the more likely to score….

69- SUB Togo Senaya on for Dossevi… 

77- Cananas off for Streller….POL

80- Frei spots the keeper off his line and has a go from 45 yards./////lands on the roof of the net!!great effort/.. 

Senderos almost gifts Toga an equalizer, with failed clearance-attempt in the penalty area….he has been a liability for the Swiss… 

87- Standing ovation for Frei as he is subbed for the gnarly Spinely….who looks up for a scrap..

88- GOAL..Barnetta steals in from the right flank, where he has been dangerous all match, gets on the end of a lovely flowing move, then hits a splendid drive into the far left corner of the Togan goal….2-0 the Togans are out….. 


The Swiss go through, and deserve it really after their second half showing which more than soured the African’s hopes of making it of this group alive. They aren’t exciting to watch, but their defence will prove hard to break down for some of the better teams in this year’s finals…Togo-dead and buried…..but they made a valiant fight of this…Good work for the patient, meticulously structured Swiss.. 

Saudi v

21C possible storms.. 

The cooler weather will suit the eastern Europeans… 

Ukraine’s world cup debut against the Spaniards was depressing. They got thumped 4-0 and looked totally use-less.
The Saudis on the other hand put on a good show against the Tunisians, complete with a dream cameo by veteran striker, Sami Al Jaber (though ultimately, they drew). 

Rebrov has been brought into the starting Ukrainian eleven, and there are three other changes to the team, all of which make the formation more attack-focussed.If Rebrov and Shevchenko hit it off, those two could liquidate the Arabs…

Ukraine 5-2


3- Saudi keeper unproffessionally fails in an attempt to grab the ball close to his chest.. 

4- GOAL UKR..from a corner..Rusol scores with a badly hit shot that trickles between the keeper's legs…1-0

The Saudi keeper has already shown himself to be incompetent…everything he attempts, invariably he fails…

13- Shevchenko looking dangerous at set pieces…..3 consecutive UKR corners….>This one finds Shevchenko whose header is kicked of the line by a defender>>the follow-up pushed high over the bar by Rebrov…Good chance..first-rate block by the man on the chalk…the keeper was beaten, unsurprisingly.

17- ref sticks a leg out and deflects the ball into the path of Voronin who plays a through pass that is inches short of Shevchenko’s boot in motion….unlucky ref! (Ref is English, Graham Poll)

21- Shevchenko allowed the time and space to shoot from 22 yards..but his measured drive is too central, saved.

22- YELLOW for Menachnyi due to the Ukrainian’s cynical two-footed swipe on the Saudi right winger.2-7
Ukraine winning the shot-count.

Rain!!!!!let the heavens open to flood the German air with a crispness and vigour which the Engles will thrive in… 

35- GOAL…wonderful strike by Rebrov from range…28 yards out, to the right of centre, he needed just a couple of touches to position himself and the ball, then cracked it full-blooded, with his right boot into the far corner of the net…As good as any goal seen so far in the finals…..breath-taking./….
Ukraine 2-0

41- YELLOW for Dokki after two-man pile up leaves both players floored…caused by Dokki elbow-barge.

43- Rebrov tries his luck again from distance, but on this occasion, his low daisy-cutter, whizzed a yard past the post.

44- the uneconomic Voronin spoons the perfect opportunity to put his team 3-0 up…. 

46- HT 

An colossal improvement from the Ukrainians who should be leading 4 or 5-0 by now. As for the sorrowful Saudis there is really no hope. From the start the tempo and direction of play has been completely dominated by the Ukrainians, with only two Arabs showing any sign of self-respect or patriotism, namely Montashari in defence and Al Kahtani in attack. Strangely, one of the few Ukrainian players who have failed to impress against this decidedly chicken-hearted Saudi team, is none other than
Chelsea new-boy, Andrei Shevchenko, who is obviously taking time to regain match sharpness(the marksman only recently recovered from a 6 week injury lay-off). In goal for the Saudis, Zaidi, has performed like a jester, but it will be no joke for his team-mates if Shevchenko wakes up. They do have another keeper, Al Dair, on the bench, who is highly experienced (three world cup campaigns), and I feel ,a much more formidable stopper….


45- GOAL–Shevchenko….Kulinichenko’s dependable right boot delivers a teasing cross which the attacker reacts to the quickest, ghosting in between the defenders to head past the clown masquerading as a goalkeeper, Zaidi.
Ukraine lead 3-0

Kulinechenko possesses creditable distribution skills.
Ukraine dictating the action.

55-SUBS SAUDI- Dokki and Amin OFF.    Hawsawi and
Kahtani ON.
right back and midfielder replaced by an attacker and defensive mid.

57- YELLOW for Omar Ghamdi who went down in the area as if he’d been garrotted…..The problem with this routine was that the protagonist(Omar, himself) was a yard away from the nearest opponent. Easy decision for Graham Poll who mouths ‘diving, good for nothing, lowlife’ whilst producing the card… 

64- a powerful effort by Rubichenko crashes against the bar, this time courtesy of his left foot….

65- Zaidi, the Saudi keeper, gets flattened by a combination of Voronin and one of his own centre-back…this could be a blessing in disguise for the Arabs, as Zaidi has been nothing short of shocking and a disgrace to his trade.

67– Zaidi is OK to continue….good news for Ukraine.

71-  SUB UKR Rebrov off for Rotan. 

The old Pro seen tying his laces….AL Jaber.. 

77- SUB SAU Sami AL Jaber comes on for Noor.

78- SUB Voronin, who has done well, is applauded by the crowd as he makes way for Gusin. 

The Saudi players look demoralized. Sulmani’s shot from 35 yards is anything but useful and he berates his team- for what I can’t imagine- as the ball drips over the line, just missing the corner flag. 

84- Shevchenko steamrollers down the left, cutting in ,then unselfishly pushing the ball into the path of Kulinichenko, who makes no mistake from 5 yards, hitting the ball first time into the Saudi net for 4–0 GOAL 

86- SUB Milovesky replaces the increasingly composed Shevchenko. The front-man leaves the pitch to raptures from the Ukrainian fans….he raises his fist in salute, then pumps his chest like an ape. 

Before this game, the Ukrainian coach, so enraged by the nature of his team’s 4-0 humbling at the hands of the Spanish, told his players this:If any of you play like you did against
Spain, you will never represent your country again
”. Stern words, but they seemed to have worked.

Timushuck, the Ukrainian left back, lets one go from 30 yards out on the flank…his shot drifts a few feet wide of the top corner of the frame.. 

Confidence is flowing through this Ukrainian team like
Niagara Falls…


all smiles for
Ukraine…the Saudi dream put to the sword….

Spain v

The Spanish looked good against the worst Ukrainian side you will ever see, but weren’t tested at all defensively…The Tunisians, were very fortunate to escape with a draw from their encounter with Saudi Arabia, though they did play some nice football at times…Still, after seeing what the re-incarnated Ukraine did to SA, on paper, this game looks like a sure win for the dirty Spaniards!Prediction….Lets go for something a bit different to my monotonous 5-0……3-2 for
Can the stars of Torres and Xavi shine as brightly in an African sky?1T 

7- GOAL Mnari scores for Tunisia ….Jaziri fought against Puyol, won that battle, then played the ball to Mnari whose first shot was saved, but he was there to put the ball away at the second time of asking (from the rebound). a surprise early goal for
Great start for the North Africans!

9- FK for Spain, Villa..30 yards out….>well hit but saved by the keeper.

Spain take free kick too quickly…very eager to get the goal back…….
Tunisian keeper is 40 years old and screaming like a killer at his defence..he needs to see the ball. His voice can be heard all over the pitch..incessant wailing, roaring…is he in pain???

18- Even game, both teams maintaining a good rhythm.

29- Al Zairi show great awareness on the break sending a ball over to Trabelsi on the right wing who charges towards the box only to be halted illegally by a desperate Puyol, who concedes a dangerous free kick and gains a yellow card…FK> 22 yards out>respectable effort but straight into the keeper's grateful arms.

34- Torres fights back the tears of agony after he was flattened by the brute, Jairdi.

39- Trabelsi BOOKEDThree-pronged attack of Spain’s Torres, Villa and Garcia.. 

43- Torres allowed to run and shoot from 20 yards out, brilliant effort kept out by the ancient fingertips of the Tunisian stopper.

44- (TUN)defender, Airae keeps his team ahead by blocking Alonso’s goal-bound effort on the Tunisian line… 


A tremendous display by Tunisia who deserve their lead at half time having fought tooth and femur for every ball. The Spanish, historically, aren’t the most physically imposing of players, and their domestic game is based on a slow pace/lots of flair approach which is lovely to watch, but not useful when your team has to play a bunch of players who will scrap like rabid wolves. This Spanish team desperately needs a domineering defensive midfielder and a rock with technique to slot in at the back alongside Puyol. The way to play against the Spanish is to deny them the time and space they are used to getting week in week out in la primera. Get in their faces, show them you mean business.

The worst move Tunisia can take would be to over-defend their lead because that will give Spain the time and space they crave and can utilize with world class technique to often devastating effect.


45- Sub Fabregas and Raul are brought on for the Spaniards48-
Spain winning 9-0 on corners…

49- the players are drenched to the bone by driving rain coming down in torrents from the dark skies above the stadium… The Tunisians need to keep hold of the ball …

53- only one Tunisian player in the Spanish half.

56- SUB Bouazizi off, Ghodhbane on,

57- SUB Ayari off, Yahia on.

Ayari is livid at the decision to be brought off the field of play….He shouts and swears through gritted teeth, as his whimpering team-mates flee with haste to make room on the bench…..

 Jaidi has been typically firm, flying into every challenge with scant regard, if any, for the laws of the game pertaining to two-footed tackles… 

70– Jairdi is BOOKED for grabbing the balls of Torres… 

72-’s been coming for a while…scored by RAUL… 

76- GOAL the Spanish onslaught is finally reaping dividends…clinically scored by Torres, who had taken up a useful position in the left channel of the 18 yard area…..the pass from Fabregas to make the chance was superb….Torres is in a rich vein of form.

80- Gmamdia BOOKED for time-wasting…

85- Jaziri BOOKED for accusing the referee of un-sportsman-like conduct..

90– Fabregas BOOKED after urinating on the frame of the Tunisian goal.

90- GOAL Torres, the man of the moment, patriotically converts a penalty which was given because Yahia (TUN) tried to take the shirt off the back of Torres, in the area, before the final whistle had blown..To my great disappointment, the Spaniards win 3-1.      . 

The Tunisians deserved to be punished after adopting the only tactic which was a certainty for disaster:>shut up shop and defend. Torres and Raul demonstrated why it is never a good idea to sit back and give the ball to Spain and say 'Go for your life you crazy bastards!!you will never break us down!!' if you are Saudi Arabia or any other non-world class team. I begrudgingly have to hand it to the Spanish; from the start of the second half, when Fabregas and Raul arrived on the field, they were exceptional, and could have won this game 8-1 with a bit more luck…The spanish attacking play is second to none, and Torres in particular appears to be in fine form. The only negative remark I can make with any sincerity is that the Spanish defence has yet to be tested against a group of world class attacking players.


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