Day Twelve…the ruthless expression on the face of Luis Suarez

Germany V
Ecuador
 

The Ecuadorians have been one of the most surprisingly impressive teams in the first two rounds of matches, scoring some lovely goals and managing to avoid conceding … 

ECA-DelGado and Tenorio are injured…Kaviedes is in… 

These teams have never played each other.

Warm embrace for Ecaudorians…close huddle… 

Espinoza and Hurtado have been magnificent at the back for
Ecuador.
 

Both teams already qualified for the second round..The winners of this match will probably avoid facing England, ending up with
Sweden.
 

Roberth Huth, of
Chelsea, comes in to the centre of the German rearguard.
Podolski continues up front 

Should be entertaining, with safe passage to the next phase already established, the players can afford to open up and hopefully perform vibrantly.

1T 

2-
Valencia does well down the right channel, before flashing a cross across the area which just misses the eager Kaveides…
 

4- GOAL an over-hit cross finds Swinesteiger, who plays the ball to a well positioned Klose, who hits a accurate low drive into the far corner of the net…1-0 to the Krouts 

Swinesteiger showing the same excess of enthusiasm seen in past two games for his country..

6- FK a few yards of the left corner of the penalty area..Ballack runs across the box and gets hacked down again, this time by
Valencia..

7-FK. 25 yards out, central…Ballack>>couldn’t beat the wall….Kaveides has played in England, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and his native
Ecuador. A well travelled man.
 

Ballack is getting battered. Good preparation for his soon to commence Premiership career… 

Luiz Suarez, the manager of
Ecuador, has the demeanor and composure of a hit-man.
 

17- First shot for the south Americans by Mendes, indicates more target practice is needed in training…. 

19- Lahm gets down the left wing then plays the ball deep to Frings who volleys over from 14 yards out. 

20- Sweinsteiger kicks Kaviedes in the ear….the veteran striker recovers.. 

Pattern developing of vast periods of Ecuadorian possession interspersed by sporadic, lighting fast counter attacks by the Krouts… 

Ballack yet to show his true colours, but perhaps he is still regaining match sharpness after his recent injury.

30- Podolski is put through, but Mora is quickly out of his area to clear the ball to safety…

31– A cross from the right wing isn’t cleared>>> a chance for Klose to try a left foot half volley from inside the area which he screws horribly high, wide and as ugly as they come… 

33-Klose tries another volley, this time with his right boot: same result > morale-sapping. 

34- Mendes crushes Ballack as they both jump for the same ball…..replay showed an elbow hitting the German’s neck! No wonder he is down on the floor…. 

Germans have good width…Lahm, Scneider,Scweinsteiger.. 

41- Lehman receiving treatment on his goal-line…The game is stopped, then the ref puts it to him straight: 'if you need the physios, get off the fucking pitch’ 

43- Ballack chips a clever through-ball for Klose to battle bravely through the keeper and past a defender to collect, before finishing with a calm shot into the open net from 6 yards…Well made by Ballack…GOAL 2–0 to the krouts…. 


Ecuador patient, but too cautious.
 

HT 


Germany have played well from the start, displaying the same thirst for victory that has been seen in all their games to date. Neither of Klose’s goals have been particularly pretty or even entertaining, but they count, and he has put his team steadfastly on course to winning the group.

Ecuador have seen so much of the ball, but severely lack penetration. The game now pits a hungry, confident
Germany that sits back and lies in wait for the obvious Ecuadorian attempts to get  something out of this match, to create some gaping holes for Schweinsteiger and co. to burst into with impressive energy…
 

This is the best German start to a world cup since 1974…. 

2T

49-
Valencia makes a late, full-blooded challenge that smashes the shin of Ballack….YELLOW.

52- Lahm makes the most of a terrible piece of defending by Agwa, setting up Podoloski to shoot badly, 20 yards from goal…. 

56– Mendez hits a decent effort from 30 yards..Lehman tips it over the bar…3rd corner for
Ecuador…comes to nowt…..but Germans counter instantly…

59-GOAL…Podoloski finally gets his goal… 

Shcneider on right wing looked up, then delivered a perfect cross for the shoot past the keeper from 6 yards…deadly counter-attacking by the krouts who now lead 3-0. 


Ecuador have lost the plot..
Ballack is given the ball in midfield by a sloppy Ecuadorian pass, he plays it over the defenders, into the path of Klose whose shot is well saved by Mora… 

63- SUB
Valencia off for Lara ECA (the little devil)
 

66- sneaky effort from Lara, 30 yards out, which nips a few feet wide of Lehman’s right hand post. 

67- SUBS Klos and Frings go off, on comes  Neuvillle and Borowski(‘most improved player in
Germany’)
When Klose reached the bench, he gave every member of the German entourage a well rehearsed high-five. 

The ruthless expression on Luis Suarez’s face is permanent. 

69 Benitez injures his wrist as he falls to the ground after malicious slice from behind by Borowski..FK>>Mendez hits it just over..

72- GER SUB Schneider comes off for Asamoah. 

75- YELLOW for Borowski for bringing his foot down on the ankle of Ambrosi… 

77- Lovely shot from 30 yards out by Ballack skims just over the bar… 

85- Scweinstiger thumps one straight down Mora’s throat, from just inside the 18 yard area… 

87- Mora takes two attempts to save a pile-driver hit from just outside the box by the fast-improving Ballack.

91- ref gives a FK to Ecuador, out of pity…20 yards from goal..can they salvage some pride….The answer is a resounding no… 

FT:
Germany have more braun and skill than I had previously thought. Ballack really started to come back to life in the second half, and as well as orchestrating the majority of his team’s best attacking endeavours, he also served as a dependable anchor man to protected the defence. Against the Poles they lacked some of the zest displayed today and in their first group game, but if I am looking at the average form of the Germans, I have to say they look increasingly solid in attack and midfield and will no doubt cause whoever their opponents happen to be, many problems in the 2nd round. Like the Spanish, the Germans have yet to play against a decent team. This
Ecuador team was missing too many of it’s obviously vital components. Injuries and suspensions may ease up by the time their second round match dawns, but tonight they showed how poor the Costa Ricans and Polaks really are. The South Americans had 67% of the possession but were unable to use it to make any meaningful in-roads towards the German goal….
 

The Krout Crusaders Cruise to victory… 

Final GROUP A STANDINGS

other result: Costa Rica 1-2 Polan

1. Germany> won 3, +6 GD, 9 points.

2. Ecuador> Won 2, lost 1, +2, 6 points.

3. Poland> Won 1, Lost 2, -2 GD, 3 points.

4. Costa Rica>Lost 3, -6 GD, 0 points. fucked it totally.


England v Swedes
 

Sweden may need at least a point from this match depending on how well Trinidad can do against
Paraguay.
Paraguay are itching for a victory and I fully expect them to get their just desserts.
 

With qualification for the second round already assured, England can afford to start with two unfit strikers, Rooney and Owen, and also rest Gerrard and Crouchy due to suspension worries(they both already have one yellow card, another one today and the one match suspension would carry through to the next round). The flip side of the coin shows an opportunity for Hargreaves to stake a claim for a regular defensive midfield berth, and of course: more time for Owen and Rooney to regain match-sharpness. When Lampard and Gerrard play together for England they are rarely equal to or greater than the sum of their individual parts. With Gerrard on the bench, Hargreaves will play right in front of the defence, allowing Lampard, finally, to play a game for England in the same role that he plays consistently superbly for Chelsea. 

Big Ibrahimovic is missing for the Swedes due to an injury. He is replaced by the swashbuckling Allback.

A draw is enough for Sweden so I am not expecting fireworks from this one, but then again, Rooney is playing, so the sparks will certainly be flying around, whether they will catch is another matter… ‘It takes two to tango, three to waltz’We haven’t beaten
Sweden for thirty eight years.

The team that wins this group will avoid:>
Germany…

1T

We’re off…

2- Owen falls to the ground after playing a simple pass… replay shows ugly twist of his ankle… 

3- Rooney lays the ball off to Lampard who shoots with great technique towards the Swedish goal, but his effort lacks accuracy…

4- Owen off on a stretcher…looks bad.

SUB big Crouchy replaces the crippled, terribly unlucky, Owen…The big man will have to be careful to avoid picking up another booking, else he will miss the next game…

7- Lampard is allowed to run at the defence…he tries one from 20 yards with his left foot, but Isaaksson saves welll… 

Already we are seeing a more adventurous Lampard, who is making the most of leaving most the defending in midfield to Hargreaves. 

Little Rooney is flying around like a starving vulture. 

17- two corners in succession for the Swedes.. 

21- Joe Cole makes his way towards the area, then has a shot from 20 yards, which is blocked but the imp gets his boot on the rebound to send a firm shot a few feet just above the bar. 

Whistles from the crowd as Kallstrom wastes a useful looking Free Kick… 

25– Fourty yard pass from Beckham is brought down with one touch by Rooney in the Swedish box, but his shot is blocked out for
England’s first corner kick…
 

28- English pressure on the left leads to foul on J.Cole…good position for FK>>FK Beckham>wide left…put in with evil intent, his curling cross/shot is tipped over the bar for a corner… 

32- a flying kick by Joe Cole on Alexandersson gives the Swedes a FK 25 yards out on the right flank>>>defended… 

34-WHAT A GOAL….Joe Cole..scores stunning long range strike…..Brilliant…fucking wonderful….The little man skilfully cushions a high pass with his chest then hits a sweet volley with the outer side of his right foot, looping the ball over the keeper and perfectly, delightfully, beautifully into the top corner of the net….fabulous hit…. 

Engles lead, deservedly 1-0 

The crowd sings ‘god save our queen’ I can feel their energy…..Part of me is buzzing with excitement…my toes are tingling. 

40- Joe Cole combines with his
Chelsea team-mate Lampard, who cracks a 30 yarder inches over the bar…
 

43- first real chance for Rooney to shoot, but his touch was a bit wayward sending the ball like a bazooka discharge a metre above the goal… 

Everything about Lampard’s game is better when he plays in a more advanced midfield role.  

46- clever one-two J.Cole>Lampard ends with tame shot straight as Issaksson. 

HT 

Nothing short of outstanding. The defenders and goalkeeper have not given the Swedes even the hint of an opening, in midfield: Hargreaves has been superb; officiously hacking at every Swedish forward thrust and playing simple but extremely effective passes whenever the ball-rather than an opponents ankle, finds its way to his studs….To be more objective, Hargreaves has played like Didier Deschamps used to for the French i.e. doesn’t look impressive but does his job with extreme professionalism, and the job of Anchorman (or ‘water carrier’) is vital for any team to work…I can’t make sense of this….my excitement has been almost subdued by a greek-australian TV pundit who has just launched a tirade of denigration and general mockery in the direction of the English dressing room. I for one, am extremely happy with Lampard, Hargreaves, Ashley Cole, Beckham, Carragher and Rooney, who have all performed with real enthusiasm to both win the match and play some nice football. Either the Swedes are shit or
England are becoming noticeably stronger but could this be simply because the pressure is OFF??I mean because they have already qualified for the 2nd round, now they can relax, and a relaxed player/team is often a better player/team….I hope that isn’t the case because that wouldn’t bode well for their chances in the high pressure excitement of the knockout phases….
 

I will never complain about an England team playing like this, so ‘fuck the haters’ as Erikkson himself said last Friday when questioned by myself after exiting a strip club in Munich.Rooney isn’t wearing his shooting boots, but his mind and body seem sharp as a samurai sword, and just as deadly… 

2T

48- Beckham gives Ljunberg a little tap of recognition as he trots by then looks sincerely hurt when his public show of friendship is completely ignored by the pug faced Ljunberg…. 

50- Ljunberg makes space for a shot in the area, which is blocked by John Terry, corner>>>GOAL the Linderoth corner was met at the near post by Allback who looped the ball over the crowd of players, including Robinson, and onto the head of Ashley Cole who tried in vain to clear the ball but if anything only helped steer it into the roof of the net…..fuck….1-1 To be fair it was a perfect header…1-1 

54- SUB Wilhelmsson replaces JohnsonCorner>>Kallstrom corner floats to Larson whose challenge results in the ball hitting the bar and bouncing clear.. 

Too many corners for
Sweden, where they look suddenly very threatening.
 

56- SUB
Rio off for big Sol Campbell…good to see him back..
Another corner for
Sweden..7 now >>>Mellberg gets on the end of a knock down by Lucic, and the big defender powers a shot past the post…close…

England need to steady the ship, we have found ourselves in treacherous waters, all hands to the deck….
 

64- brief respite for England as Beckham takes a corner>>Crouch jumps the highest but the ball flies a couple of yards wide of the post. 

67- The game has calmed down to a slug’s pace. Only Allback and Rooney seem determined to give their all for a goal… 

69- Hargreaves lucky to escape a booking for chop on Ljunberg.. 

69- SUB Rooney off for Gerrard…who I guess will play as a second striker…Rooney punches the dugout, showing his frustration at been subbed!!!!he is just so desperate to play… 

Now all I can hope for is that we neither concede a goal nor see a yellow card for Gerrard.. 

71- Kallstrom strikes a drive towards the far corner which beats everyone in the area except Gerrard on the line who clears to safety…. 

82-England are coming back into the game now. The defence has settled.

85- Joe Cole plays a long chip to the far post where Gerrard is waiting to power a header past Issaksson…GOAL
England lead 2-1

91- Confusion in the English box culminates in Larrson sticking  a boot through the melee of players, which fortuitously finds the ball, knocking it to the left of the bemused Paul Robinson and into the net for 2-2 GOAL

FT

The first half belonged well and truly to England, and the second to the Swedes. However, England managed a brief flurry towards the end, so I would say on balance that they deserved to win. But true to their tag of ‘England’s bogey team’, the yellow-bellied bastards snatched a draw.

A shame for Owen, who is reported to be out for up to five months after damaging his cruciate ligaments, but on a brighter note : Gerrard showed, again, that he can be damn useful in attack.

If Gerrard had not have come for Rooney, in the 69’ minute, would anybody have been on the line to stop Kallstrom’s goal-bound effort on 71’ ?

MOM: Gerrard- Saved a goal and scored a goal. Not bad for 20 minutes work…..

We win the group and therefore avoid playing the Krouts in the second round;
Ecuador will be our opponents, who I am sure we can and should beat..

 

FINAL GROUP B STANDINGS

Other result: Paraguay 2-0 Trinidad

1. England> Won 2, Drawn 1, +3 GD, 7 points.

2. Sweden> Won 1, Drawn 2, +1 GD, 5 points.

3. Paraguay> Won 1, Lost 2, 0 GD, 3 points.

4. Trinidad> Drawn 1, Lost 2, -4 GD, 1 point.

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