Sunday, June 27, 2010

FIFA: WC 2010 Round of 16 is on its way

The round of 16 started this weekend. Unlike the first round, in this round, the teams only get one chance of qualifying for the next round, the quarter final. Each game has to produce a winner, if not in the allotted 90 minutes then the teams have to play for two additional 15 minutes. If by then none of the teams scored a winning goal, the players proceed to penalty kicks. Games could become very long but exciting.

Yesterday, Uruguay and Ghana became the first teams to qualify for the quarter finals!!

Uruguay has been incredibly strong in this world cup. The team plays with eyes open, passing the ball to each other at the right moment. They have also shown creative ways of opening their opponent's goal. The first goal they scored against South Korea, yesterday is an example of such masterful game making. Forlan saw Suarez in the right spot, he passed a beautiful ball which reached Suarez with no blockage from South Korean defense. Suarez sent the ball in the goal with a right kick. Beautiful finish!

And so Uruguay has a rightful spot in the quarter finals. Its next game will be against Ghana.

Yesterday, Ghana and USA played a very intense game which produced a 1-1 result at the end of 90 minutes and many yellow cards for players of both sides. Prince produced the first goal for Ghana and Donovan from the USA squad shot the equalizer penalty kick for his team. "Gyan scored the winner with a classic front-runner's goal, outmusceling US captain Carlos Bocanegra - Gyan's friend and team-mate with French club Rennes - before crashing a shot past Tim Howard."

Ghana being the only African team left in the World Cup is considered the "Pride of Africa"!

Uruguay will play against Ghana in the quarter final.

Let the best team win!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

FIFA: WC 2010 Day 4 Intensity as the defending World Champions nearly loose to Paraguay

Blame it on rain, that the Italians were 1-0 behind at the end of the first half. Anyone who watched the game saw that Paraguay's defense was strong and Antolin Alcaraz first goal was beautiful. Here is what Gerardo Martino, Paraguay's coach had to say about the game: "We played this game equally against the current world champions," he said. "To play against a rival with such skills is a very good sign for us. It gives is a lot of confidence going ahead in this tournament."
In the second half the Italians took possession of the ball most of the time. They put a lot of pressure on the Paraguay team. Finally, Daniele De Rossi scored the first goal after 63 minutes to make it equal.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

FIFA: WC 2010 Day 3 A hand ball followed by Solvenian dance

Controlling the ball with hand is foul according to football rules. The likelihood of this type of foul increases in proportion with the competitiveness of the game. The outcome, however, should be the same. "...if the player touches the ball with his hand, he must be penalized with a direct free kick and a disciplinary sanction if required." quote from Law of the Game 2010.

World Cup 2010 has produced an anomaly: two hand balls with two different outcomes. In one case the referee ignores the foul and as a result sends the team to the World Cup, France vs Ireland, in the other the referee (correctly) sends the player who performs it out of the game and makes the way for the opponents to win the game, Algeria vs Slovenia. ha!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

FIFA: WC 2010 Day 2 is all about Maradona

Diego Maradona is the man of the hour, even more than Gabriel Heinz who scored the winning goal for the team in the game against Nigeria; he has shown extreme characteristics through out his sport career, as a player for Argentina's national team, to its captain leading the team to winning the FIFA World Cup 1986, and to its coach today.

Watching him exhibit great emotion from the coach seat, Diego is holding a bracelet/rosary in his hand, which I think demonstrates some sort of superstitious belief. He is waving his hand in the air, and screaming something to his team, as if they can or should hear him.

As for the team itself, after watching 60 minutes of the game against Nigeria, I would be very surprised, if they make it beyond round 2. They are not that good.

Friday, June 11, 2010

FIFA: WC 2010 The magic of opening match

Dear soccer/football fans around the world,
South Africa is playing against Mexico to kick the FIFA World Cup 2010 games to a start.
The odds are for the South African team, being the host country with no defeats in the past 13 games, they beam with confidence. The Mexican team on the other hand had to overcome many bumps in the road, lose against USA, and Honduras in the WC qualifying matches, to make it this far; they are ready.

So, who do you think will win this game?

We are set for an exciting opening match!