World Cup – Saturday 19th June

The Day After Yesterday

This evening’s world cup update comes a little early. You see I’m off to the pub so the evening match hasn’t yet kicked off. Don’t panic – aside from my blog you can actually catch world cup matches live on television and via the internet, while there has also been some newspaper interest in reporting events in South Africa.

Results – Saturday 19th June

  Group E: Holland 1 – 0 Japan
  Group D: Australia 1 – 1 Ghana
  Group E: Cameroon L – L Denmark
Post Match Review
 What a refreshing game we saw today between Australia and Ghana after yesterdays rubbish from England. The Aussies got a pummeling in their last outing against Germany so they were out to make amends today and when they took the lead there looked to be a way back for them in this competition. Then striker Kewell handles the ball in the box and gets sent off and it’s backs against the wall. Don’t forget they had Cahill sent off in their last match too. Ghana scored from the spot and kept on coming against the 10 men. It really was squeaky bum time but they held on in the end for a point. They like to do things the hard way down under.
 That’s right Ron. If Kewell had just taken the catch cleanly then the Ghanaian striker would have been back in the pavillion and the other team would have been a man short. Instead he spills it and it’s a penalty. Captain Lucas Neil will be asking himself why he didn’t move Kewell to a deeper fielding position against that sort of pace attack. It’s that old footballing cliché again – “catches win matches.”. It’s hard to see the Australians winning the world cup ashes now. They need to win all their remaining matches and I can’t see that happening.

Fixtures – Sunday 20th June

  Group F: Slovakia vs Paraguay
  Group F: Italy vs New Zealand
  Group G: Brazil vs Ivory Coast
Gazza’s Daily Football Factoids
 New Zealand striker Rory Fallon plays for League 1 Plymouth Argyle. His father was manager of the national side in their only previous World Cup finals outing in 1982. People from New Zealand are always amused to be mistaken for Australians.
Mystic Ron’s World Cup Horoscope
Mystic Ron Ooh – is it that time? It’s earlier than usual – what’s going on? I’ve only just finished a pack of digestives and I haven’t even opened my evening ration of ginger nuts! I don’t even know who’s playing tomorrow. I’ll stick a hair pin in the TV guide to predict the results – that is as scientific as my other methods. Here goes…

…Paraguay to beat Slovakia…
…Italy to beat New Zealand… – this seems to be working!
…and Brazil to beat Antiques Roadshow.

There. Do I get the evening off now? That means I can watch “Mary, Queen of shops”. Anything but this bloody non-stop football. I’m sick of it!

Pre Match Comment
The competition is really starting to hot up now and Brazil’s match with Ivory Coast has been hotly anticipated since the draw was made last year. Brazil seemed a little subdued by their own standards last time out while Ivory Coast will feel they have something to prove so this could turn out to be the match of the round. Mind you, we have said that about other matches and been bored to tears. I’m just hoping that Robinho produces his international form instead of his club form, and that Drogba reproduces his club form and not his international form.

England Update

Injury Report
Bones I’m afraid there’s bad news to report from the sick bay. Emile Heskey remains as fit and skillful as a carthorse. FIFA rules prevent me from using my phaser on him. Not even with it set to stun.
Tabloid Roundup
Scum Reporter We salute David James for his bristling sarcasm when interviewed after England’s bore draw with Algeria. There’s also reaction in todays paper (and tomorrows chip paper) about Rooney’s criticism of the crowd for booing after the match in our feature article “Roo Boo Stew”, and we have an interview with the fan got into the team dressing room after the match and managed to talk with Becks. We think this could have been a potential security disaster. I mean what if it had been Posh?

View from the sofa

I have been absorbing events today minus the sound as I don’t want to listen to endless speculation about England. That’s made for an interesting experience and also meant I have missed a few key moments because I have been looking away and didn’t hear the crowd roar.

Here’s a roundup of a few things that have caught my attention in the last day or so…

  • In case you haven’t already seen it there’s a fabulous video clip from an interview with Maradona in which an innocent interview question is lost in translation. Even if you have already seen this I know you won’t be able to resist watching it again.
  • Four North Korean players are rumoured to have defected – a claim denied by the team coach. I don’t know if it’s true but it raises questions about North Korea’s claims to be an eden of democracy. I do hope they aren’t fibbing
  • French striker Nicolas Anelka is reported to be going home following a huge row with manager Domenech. For the first time in his career Anelka appears to have done something the fans can respect him for. Well done!

There. That’s your lot for today. I’ve got a pub to go to…

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