Sunday, June 18, 2006

World Cup Diary - Day 10

Japan and Croatia both lost their first games so they both needed a win. Both teams were intent on going for the win but Croatia were more successful and should really have scored more than a few times. Japan, for all their good passing were mostly restricted to long shots. All in all it was a very entertaining nil nil draw.


Brazil had a bit of a point to prove in their game against Australia. On the other hand Australia were confident of getting something out of the game. In the end Australia managed to stay with a below par Brazil until just after half time. After the goal Australia had numerous half chances to score a goal but could convert any of the chances. Late on Brazil got a second and finished Australia off. The scorer was FRED, not Fredinio or Fredaldo just plain FRED.

This game highlighted the difference between good solid, hard working teams like Australia and the teams above them like Brazil. Teams like Brazil have the ability to convert the half chances that they get. Overall both teams got a similar number and type of chances but Brazil were able to convert a couple of their half chances whereas Australia couldn't convert any of their half chances. Adrianos goal was a half chance at best, being at the edge of the box with a defender in front of him. But he had the ability to convert the chance into a goal.

I think that this world cup has shown that most of the teams are well organised and hard working but the better teams have a couple of players (in the case of Brazil 3-4 players) who can make or convert a half chance into a goal. This is the only difference.

Australia still have a strong chance of getting through to the second round and Brazil are slowly getting better.


France needed a big performance in order to give their supporters confidence in the team. I only heard the first half on radio but France seemed to have good half. Henry scored and all was well for 'Le Blues'. However in the second half things changed. It seemed as though France thought they had the game won. It was understandable that they thought this way because S Korea did absolutely nothing in the first half (For the first 80 minutes to be honest). France didn't go for the second goal with any purpose in the second half and this lack of adventure eventually cost them when S Korea scored a goal that drew the game. France were trying to stroll to a win but S Korea didn't stop trying and finally got their goal.

This result leaves France in a precarious position because they will have to beat Togo by to clear goals in order to be sure of making it out of the group stages.


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