Archive | match report RSS feed for this section

Match Report: Netherlands 0-1 Spain

11 Jul

Its the BBC’s coverage for Twinty Tin tonight, a decision vindicated by the probing questioning of Damian Johnson who asks an orange tracksuit clad Clarence Seedorf  “Still going for Holland?” The BBC have at least given the occasion suitable gravitas by ensuring their presenter and pundit panel are in full suits tonight rather than their usual Gentlemen’s Club shirt and trousers. And of course the other reason for opting for the Beeb’s coverage is that they know how to put together a damn good sporting montage, the one they produce in the lead up to kick-off being particularly superb. Continue reading


Match Report: Germany 3-2 Uruguay

10 Jul

The rain is falling in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, but that’s not going to stop the World Cup’s evil overlord as Sepp Blatter makes it out onto the pitch to meet the teams. The Uruguayan squad are not vieiwing the third place match as anything other than another battle and at the culmination of their National Anthem most of the squad break out into some old school warm-up exercises, all running on the spot and squat-thrusts. Germany have made a few squad changes meaning Bastian Schweinsteiger has taken over as captain from Philipp Lahm, the former possessing that rarest of things, a neck wider than his own head. Continue reading

Match Report: Germany 0-1 Spain

7 Jul

Has it really taken until the semi-final for one of the mascots to get above their station and give a cheeky wink and a wave to the camera as it pans along the line during the Anthems? Someone at FIFA does have a sense of humour though it seems, having ensured one of the tallest mascots of the tournament thus far is placed next to Philipp Lahm. With the match underway Guy Mowbray describes the opening exchanges as being “cagey”, though perhaps it may be fair to wait a little more than two minutes in is a little early to be sure. Continue reading

Match Report: Netherlands 3-2 Uruguay

6 Jul

Even on my relatively small screen television I can effectively count Diego Forlan’s nostril hairs during the Uruguayan National Anthem as the cameraman zooms in unsettlingly close to the stand-in captain. During the Dutch Anthem Wesley Sneijder appears genuinely curiously surprised by the presence of the camera in front of him, like he’s just caught sight of himself on a television in the window of Dixons. Clive Tyldesley has already curiously described Netherlands as “the pin-up team” of the competition, but he does go on to point out that they have become “prepared to win ugly”, the camera cutting to a close-up of Arjen Robben on the last word of that phrase with impeccable timing. Tyldsley is flying solo tonight as the hardest working man in showbusiness Jim Beglin has worked too hard. After a month with Tyldsley he can stand no more and has been taken ill. Continue reading

Match Report: Paraguay 0-1 Spain

3 Jul

The final quarter-final begins with more messages against racism from the two captains, though Paraguay’s Justo Villar looks slightly less composed as he initially forgets to turn on his microphone. I am quite fond of Villar, primarily because he seems to be one of the few players in the tournament to be genuinely enjoying himself, he’s like a jocular sitcom neighbour. Nelson Valdez on the other hand is a particularly stern looking man, his face is all angles, he looks like a cubist painting of Antonio Banderes. Paraguay have made six changes to the side that edged past Japan on penalties in the second round and just as Mark Bright and Jonathan Pearce are effectively writing off their prospects they create the game’s first chance. Oscar Cardozo a man apparently nicknamed The Big Pain, feeds Jonathan Santana and he has a low shot from the edge of the area but Iker Casillas gets down to make a comfortable save. Continue reading

Match Report: Argentina 0-4 Germany

3 Jul

Argentina versus Germany in Cape Town and what commentator Steve Wilson calls “a bona-fide clash of the titans”. I moved house this morning and yet my to do list was still shorter than that of the respective teams and captains once they’re out on the field. Escort mascot. Read out anti-racism message. Sing National Anthem. Shake hands with everyone. Quick Warm-up. Pose with big anti-racism banner. Do coin-toss. All these chores finally done, the two teams just have ‘advance to semi-finals’ left scrawled on the back of an envelope and so we finally get the game under way. Continue reading

Match Report: Ghana 1-1 Uruguay (2-4 on penalties)

2 Jul

In case you weren’t aware ITV pundit Marcel Desailly is Ghanian. He’s so proudly Ghanaian that he made 116 international appearances… for France. And because Marcel is now Ghanaian again, and because they just can’t cope with the idea of an independent sports broadcaster ITV have decided that they too are rooting for Ghana. So much so that they have dispensed Ned Boulting to Accra, so swiftly that he didn’t have time to pack a coat and so he’s spent the day traipsing round the Ghanaian capital, well, at least one street of it, in a sodden t-shit interviewing the locals. I suspect that poor Boulting, who sits in the tiny overlap on the Venn Diagram of ITV Sports Coverage and Presenters I Genuinely Like didn’t even know he was going, and was in fact drugged and put on the plane in his sleep akin to the way the A-Team got Mr T in the air. Continue reading

Match Report: Japan 0-0 Paraguay (3-5 on penalties)

29 Jun

Its time for the game no-one wants to predict. Nobody. Even those paid to do so. Adrian Chile asks Gareth Southgate who will triumph and his reply is “Oh why did you have to go and do that?” A little less pomp and ceremony in the Loftus Versfeld Stadium that at other venues, but this is only because the tunnel is too narrow for both the big flags and an unecessary ball plinth. Still what we do have is my favourite supporter of the tournament thus far, a suited Japanese dignitary complete with bright blue Makarapa hard hat. As the teams  stand for the Anthems the Japanese supporters unveil a giant National flag and then during the Paraguayan anthem they appear to be turning it over as if they somehow got it upside down. Continue reading

Match Report: Brazil 3-1 Chile

28 Jun

In the crowd the television cameras pick out a group of six Brazilian fans collectively wearing one extended t-shirt that spells out Brazil. Adrian Chiles suggests getting one which reads ITV Sport for he and his pundits panel to wear. If Andy Townsend’s paisley print number is anything to go by it can only be an improvement. The teams get ready for the National Anthems and Clive Tyldsley suggests that we are “not likely to unearth the next Susan Boyle or Olly Murs,” and thereby filling his contractual obligation to mention the network’s flagship show. Continue reading

Match Report: Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia

28 Jun

In the BBC studio Gary Lineker presses Clarence Seedorf on the key differences in the coaching methods between football in the Netherlands and England. It has the makings of being quite an interesting conversation and then Alan Shearer stomps over it with an inane point about the Dutch at this tournament not being tested yet and the moment is lost. Perhaps its an unwillingness to listen that’s hampering the English game? In the tunnel the camera focuses on Arjen Robben. He is younger than me by a good year, but he looks old enough to be my dad. Continue reading