Day 14…my latin brothers

Day fourteen 

Italy v Czech

Lippi has gone crazy and selected a 4-4-1-1 formation for a game which
Italy may well need to win if they are to progress to the second round. This group is wide open with every team still capable of qualifying. The prolific (30 goals in serie A last season) Luca Toni has been dropped and replaced by Gilardino. Totti will play just behind him. Into the midfield comes my arch-enemy, some people say my doppelganger, Mauro ‘stool-pigeon’ Carmoneresi, and also one of my heroes, the argumentative General Gattuso. The defence surprisingly stays as it was in the last game, surprising because Zaccardo scored arguably the worst home goal ever scored…
 

I am obligated to worry about the Italian team, given my blood, and as always, I have no idea which Italy we will see today. Their energy has been outstanding so far, brilliantly directed in the first game, but  disgustingly focussed in the second…Awe inspiring or Self-destructive….No in-between. This could be a chance for Totti to show why despite his obvious nastiness, he remains in the national team… 

The Czechs are missing a few key players… 

Anthem watch  

Czechs: Cheeky wink from Barros..his first game in the tournament, after recovering from injury..
Italy…
Affectionate but obviously rehearsed… 

Gattuso growls the anthem with pride…..He wants to fight…yesterday Gattuso said 'Nedved falls over very easily’….Totti definitely looks older and more mature, more professional… 

Koller is on the bench…
Italy will have to be very watchful of Rosicky..
Mexican ref..Cannavaro sharing a joke with juventus team-mate Nedved, the two captains/.. Zaccardo IS REPLACED, thank god, for Grosso…. Italy defence shows as Zambrotta, Nesta, Cannavarro, Grosso….

1T

Grosso is playing at left back and Zambrotta in his slightly more natural, right back position.. 

History shows 10 Czech wins and 9 ITI wins… 

Poor looking pitch, a bit bare.. 

2- Nedved gets his heels snapped by lovely Nesta slide… 

Barros has shown in the past the when he plays for his country he can perform at a world class level… 

4- Corner for CZECH Poborsky> adequately defended… 

5- Nedved trips over Gattuso,, who falls, then smiles as Nedved helps him back up… 

Grosso is looking useful on the left flank for the Italians…

8- ITI corner>>Totti….Czech counter-attack leads to chance for Barros in the 18 yard box but Buffon rushes out quickly to block the angle. Czechs had fouled Pirlo in the buildup..fuckers… 

11- Gattuso chops Nedved…2-1 to Gattuso now on fouls between the two… 

12- Nedved lines one up and thumps it from 25 yards out, Buffon gets down on the deck well to save and hold the ball in his sticky arms… 

I don’t know why Lippi chose Gilardino over Toni, the giant Toni has been far more impressive in the previous two games… 

15- Barros wins a cheeky corner off Nesta’s chest..Nedved>>headed away but then the Italian defenders watch the ball bounce before trying to clear it to safety…shouldn’t ever let the ball bounce in that situation…. 

16- Nedved tries another shot from 22 yards, Buffon saves, then is up quickly to deny Jankulowski who was primed to pounce… 

17-SUB  Materazzi, who is renowned for his ill-discipline, replaces the slightly injured Nesta..he is a fucking animal. A beast.Nesta has a muscle strain…physios go to work to get him ready for the next game, that is if there is a next game for Italy.. 

The crowd whistle with disdain as the Italians play the ball around, going nowhere. 

Gilardino hasn’t touched the ball yet, but thankfully neither has Rosicky.. 

23- Rosicky runs across the edge of the box, but gets mashed by Cannavaro.. 

Mexican referee is perfect. 

25- Totti picks out the arriving Gattuso on the edge of the area, who tries an intelligent header for the far corner..only a foot over…good football. 

26- Totti Corner after good pick up in the box from Gilardino… 

GOAL the fascist bastard, Materazzi, powers in a header from Totti’s corner…Excellent jump with two defenders around him, and a quality finish pumped hard into the left of the net…1-0
ITALY……superb header….
 

Can Italy now weather the hysterical spell that seems to come whenever they score a goal?? 

31- Gattuso is BOOKED while Carmoneresi remonstrates with the ref…Gennaro had fallen to the ground before rugby tackling Nedved…..silly yellow really. 

My TV is fucked..it looks like snow and heavy fog in
Hamburg from my position.
 

35- Polak is booked for stamping on Carmoneresi…horrible tackle…I feel sorry for the Argie.. 

37- Nedved in great position to shoot, 20 yards straight out from goal, but as he swings his leg, his right foot is met by two boots worth of Materazzi studs…..the ref then fails to give the obvious corner..I guess it is better for the flow of the game for this ref to continue his laissez-faire policy… 

40- Grosso wins a corner for and ITI corner>>>Totti>>headed clear by defence… 

Carmoneresi is lying down in the area…Polak got him !… his neck may be broken…Replay shows that the Argentine placed his firm header into the spine of the very robust Polak… 

Cannavaro and Zambrotta exceptional as always… 

Gilardino has a very good first touch, this is why he is playing as the lone striker. 

Perrotta is  athletic and full of tagliatelle.. 

46- Cannavaro stops Barros in the area with an inch perfect challenge..like a hawk, he waited and watched the striker, then dived in when the moment was Right..A Pro. 

47- Polak get second BOOKING..for a bone shattering tackle from behind on Totti…Polak can have no excuse, he has been doing his sterling best to cripple Carmoneresi during the first 45 mins, and the tackle on Totti was pointless and obviously Wrong…A true dickhead if ever I saw one.. 

HT 

Well, though I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I have been jumping around with joy, I certainly have enjoyed the first half from an Italian point of view. Because Lippi changed the system, it was always going to take some time for the players to adjust accordingly once on the pitch. Similar to the first 20 minutes against the Yankees, Italy began very cautiously, committing nobody from midfield forward, relying on the full backs to provide the attacking thrust, allowing the Czechs to encroach onto the resolute, well organized midfield and defence. However, they didn’t look like conceding a goal to the lively Nedved and co who were restricted to shots from 20 yards+ and after 23 minutes on the clock, the Italians began to venture forward. A few moments later and the ball was in the net after a superb jump and header from Materazzi…Since then Italy have dominated the game; Cannavaro and Zambrotta in defence  have been typically outstanding, Perrotta, Totti and Gilardino have been going about their business in a very professional manner, and the rest of the lads in blue shirts have performed respectfully. A few nasty tackles have gone completely missed or ignored by the referee, but he is fast becoming my favourite because the game has been allowed to flow like a small river when it could very easily have been dammed up to a trickle… 


Italy have had one shot, one goal..Best player on the park is undoubtedly Cannavaro.
 

2T 


Ghana are leading 2-1 against the Yankees which puts the Czechs, losing here 1-0, OUT of the world cup finals and the Africans through… The Czechs must now attack and do everything they can to win the game, but is that possible when they are down to ten men against an Italian team sitting on a 1-0 lead???I doubt it, but you can never say never in football…Gillingham would NEVER beat Italy, who are one of the few teams who would beat us even if they played the worst game of their lives, and the Gills churned out their best..that is a NEVER..a good example though not nice to admit publicly..
 

47- Gattuso gritting his teeth..Totti FK 35 yards>>bad decision, his shot barely reaches, then crosses, the touchline for a goal kick.. 

Czech Sub STEINER for ??????? 

The Czechs need the ‘Bruce arena blueprint of gallantry’ 

53- Totti has a pop from 30 yards…it was sneaking in, well saved by Cech….Corner Totti>>counter>>>Nedved charges down the left channel of the Italian 18 yard area, then hits a powerful shot which Buffon saves well, and the ball is cleaned up by the defence…. 

Totti feverous for a goal.. 

55- Gilardino crunched to the floor on the right edge of box by Jankulowski..FK Totti>>20 yards out..Chips to Pirlo who finds Cannavaro who volleys spectacularly just over the bar….lovely routine..one touch football.

This is a contest between wolf and a jack-russel. 

60 ITA SUB Gilardino off for Pippo ‘the rat’ Inzaghi…a world glass-class goal-poacher.. 

62- Barros sends flying header a few feet over Buffon’s bar… 

This is the 50th international appearance for both Inzaghi and Barros.. 

Materazzi, naturally left-sided,  has been very composed..

63 Carmoneresi wins a corner Totti>>>Finds the argentine who heads just wide…it was a good chance… 

64- CZE SUB Barros off for Jarolim…who plays regularly on this pitch for Hamburg FC.                                                                                   

66- Italy have already taken 6 times as many shots as they did in the first half…

67- A lucky ricochet places the ball at Inzaghi's feet in the area, but the light-weight striker fumbles the shot well wide…..A bad miss, but Cech made the angle tiny. 

Grosso at left back for Italy is mobile and solid in the tackle…

70- Nedved delivers a thunderbolt with his right boot from 22 yards out…great save by Buffon>>Corner>>>>defended…

72- Gattuso lies on the grass, injured..ref calls for stretcher…his knee is a bit twisted..Maybe he just wants a drink???I think so… quick bring his bowl, Lippi…. 

74- ITA SUB Carmoneresi makes way for Barone.. 

Twice now I have seen Totti showing solidarity by helping his team-mates up of the ground. maybe he does care.. 

78- SUB CZE Kovac off for Heinz.. 

79- Barone’s first action in the finals is the worst pass of the match, maybe of the tournament…He will be ashamed of himself.

80- Totti tries for the second time to chip Cech but each time he tries this the ball floats calmly to the hands of the keeper who doesn’t even need to adjust his position….Maybe Totti should come off,,.,. 

82- Barone redeems himself by slicing through Jankulowski…FK>>Buffon catches… 

83- Pirlo breaks through down the left, sets up Inzaghi who woefully heads wide from 5 yards out and in a great position…again, terrible…..Inzaghi is pathetic…my great friend Mario would do better for Italy than Pippo. He has a better touch, and infinitely superior technique.. 

87– Inzaghi is put through>>he runs towards Cech…rounds him well, then slots the ball into the net for a deserved 2-0 GOAL….. 

Materazzi and Buffon share a warm embrace….

89- Materazzi takes the full weight of Heinz on his back and falls to the floor in pain….Stretchered off!!

FT
Italy top the group. Czechs are OUT…
 

Nedved is distraught, Cannavaro consoles him…. 

The second half was a stroll in the park for the Italians and if the truth be told, they should have scored at least another two goals. I can’t recall one moment when the Czechs had a real opportunity to score, from inside the box. Cannavaro is one of the greatest defenders in history, not just of this generation. Game after game he plays without error, without ill-discipline and WITH the utmost class and professionalism… Next to him, Materazzi played honourably..Grasso and Zambrotta were terrific. Totti is getting fitter, but obviously still lacking match sharpness as his late shooting testified.
Italy weren’t exciting or entertaining in any way, but they didn’t ever look like losing this game. A job very well done.
Czechs showed that the FIFA world rankings don’t necessarily show the teams in the correct order of form or overall quality…3 games, 7 points and a second round match looking like Australia instead of Brazil…no reason to complain….

MOM Cannavaro…from a fellow defender like myself, he constantly inspires admiration and respect…                               

GROUP E FINAL STANDINGS

1-Italy> Won 2, Drawn 1, +4 GD, 7 points.

2-Ghana> Won 2, Lost 1,  +1 GD, 6 points.

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

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

Australia v
Croatia…
 

The biggest game in Australian football history. The Socceroos need only a draw to be sure of their passage through to the next round…Kewell comes into the team to add some attacking flair and flimsiness. Kalac, is brought in to replace Schwarzer.. 

Robert Kovac missing for the Croats.. Prso is their main threat.
Australia are a better team of players with a vastly superior coach..they should win this one…
Prediction..aussie spirit and organisation will see them through>>>3-0…

1T 

2- Viduka goes through the back of Kovac and concedes a free kick 22 yards out , central…FK>>>Srna>>GOAL…it's in..amazing free kick…..hit with pace and curl over the wall into the top corner of the goal…no chance for Kalac….Worst possible start for Australia but a special goal from Srno…1-0
Croatia…

That was Croatia’s first goal of the finals… 

Viduka must shoulder a portion of blame for his reckless tackle from behind that led to the free kick been awarded..

7- Viduka goes down in the box, appeals for a penalty,, he was held back but went to the floor too theatrically..shouldn't be looking for it so blatantly… 

9- The ball finds Viduka in the area but he looses his footing, and has to check back to collect the ball… 

15- Sterjovski tripped over wide on the right wing FK>>>Good position>>Defended… 

17- Culina shot wins a corner >>>18>>shot by Cahill beaten away by defence… 


Australia creating more pressure, putting some useful crosses into the Croat box….
 certainly not giving up. They know they only need one goal.. 

30- Cahill wins a header in the box, but his effort is easy for the keeper to grab out of the air… 

30- Kewell has a go from 25 yards out, using his right foot..good effort,. Wins a corner…>>comes to nothing… 

32- Simic gets a yellow for throwing the ball away after losing his appeal for the throw…. 

33- Culina runs across the edge of the 18 yard area then tries one with his right boot..striking the ball a fair few yards wide of the target…lack of quality. 

35- Good work from Sterjovski finds Viduka in the area who fights to win acorner….Prso heads away..Bad deliveries from set-pieces so far for
Australia.

37- Cahill dives for a penalty, then Stefan Thomas perhaps handballs..PENALTY for
Australia…
Tudor BOOKED for arguing with ref.. 

Craig Moore?????got to score

38- ??does so!!!!!!!!GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL 1-1
Australia equalize..and by god they've deserved it, because since they went a goal down they have done everything they can to get back to parity….crucial strike…went straight down the middle but who cares….
A hurricane is created as everyone in Australia breathes a big sigh of relief,…… 

Now Australia seem hell-bent on continuing their attacking focus, strike again while the bastards are down eh? Why not…….. 

Test of nerve for Craig Moore, which he passed. Typical, commendable aussie bottle….. 

41- Kalac drops the ball from an easy cross!!!!but manages to regain control promptly…a terrible keeper whose only worthy skill is height, or more generally shape and size… 

 Ht

Australia deserve to be equal if not leading in a match in which they were rocked by the early goal by Srna but rallied quickly and bombarded the Croatians until the ball was put in the net from the penalty spot by Craig Moore,,,,they need to stay secure at the back now, and try keep it calm and simple…. 

Australia been more powerful but
Croatia still looking dangerous on the counter..
 

2t 

55- Kalac destroys Australia’s best chance ever of reaching the second round of a world cup.. 

Niko Kovac shoots from 20 yards out, Kalac dives, but completely fucks it….and the ball bounces over his static arm and into the net behind him..The worst piece of goalkeeping in world cup history…GOAL
Croatia lead 2-1
 

the Socceroos are yet again staring down the barrel…. 

62- FK in wicked position for AUS….20 yards out, central..YELLLOW for aussie born, but playing for Croatia, Simic…Fk> Chipperfield>>>straight at wall….. 

63- AUS Sub Grella off for the steamroller, Aloisi…can the big man pull them back in it…??? 

64- Cahill hit in the face by Babic, FK>>Viduka wins the header but sends the shot high and wide… 


Brazil are beating the Japs 3-1…..
 

Come on you cockatoos!!! 

65- CRO SUB Krancja the coach’s son, replaced by  Leko who is nicknamed ‘super-sub’ 

my body clock is badly confused… morning has become sleep time and afternoon is now when the alarm rudely wakes me from my slumber. Regardless off the crazy notions I originally had about covering every game whilst maintaining my job and girlfriend, this project will still serve as great writing practice and a worthy blueprint for a future, better prepared attempt to make a diary 100% accurate of every single moment of every single match…a blueprint… 

622am…The last few days I have had to concede some kind of defeat, not total failure…I’ve come so far, it would be downright reckless of me to stop now…the defeat was 3 games missed, but if they hadn’t been missed I may well have caused un-healable scars in both my relationship and in my vehemently despised but desperately required career….I was at a stage where I couldn’t consider making the trip to work the next day and also, more importantly, I couldn’t find the energy to speak to my lady….those 3 games I let slip by gave me my first full 8 hours of sleep, warm time with my lady and most comfortable day of work, since the tournament began….I was late to work again this afternoon. But this time it wasn’t down to my inability to rise from the bed. The trams were out of power, and the trip to work which usually takes one tram 35 minutes, took 95 minutes and I had to use 3 trams…worse still was that I was desperate for a piss for much of that time..In the Office, I was intentionally aggravated by a contender for ‘the geek who got big’ award, and despite saying publicly that ‘ I don’t want to speak about this because I have had only a few hours sleep and I am extremely irritable’, I did allow a few sparks to jump from my foul mouth…. 

GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL GOAL Kewell…they deserve it………….what a goal….Bresciano delivers, Aloisi flicks it on, ball falls to Kewell who lets it drop then score the most important goal of his life and
Australia’s history……2-2
 

71- SUB AUS Bresciano comes on for Sterjovski….

71- Kewell runs into the box and shoots from 8 yards, but his shot is straight at the keeper.. 

The Aussies are turning the screw…but they need a hammer… 

Aussies celebrate after they bundle the keeper over the goal-line, but the ref calls a free kick         

 

93 FT-

They've done it. Gus Hiddink and the lads are making history with every match they play. Despite the despicable mistake from Kalac, and the odd occurence of that traditional Australian problem of playing AGAINST themselves, the Soccerroos looked more up for this one than the croatians. Difficult to be overly joyful because they very nearly lost it….overall a very lucky, but merited on spirit alone, point is enough to push the Aussies onto a mouth watering, stud-sharpening date with the Italians who are sure to make bolognese out of the true blue aussie spirit…enjoy it while it lasts you bastards….my latin brothers are right now, placing you in their sights….   

GROUP F FINAL STANDINGS

 Other result: Brazil demolished the Japs, 4-1…

1. Brazil> Won 3, +6 GD, 9 points.

2. Australia> Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 1, 0 GD, 4 points.

3. Croatia> Drawn 2, Lost 1, -1 GD, 2 points.

4. Japan> Drawn 1, Lost 2, -5 GD, 1 point.

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6 Responses to Day 14…my latin brothers

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  3. suerglograsse says:

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