Tag Archives: quarter-final

On this day… 10th July 1994

10 Jul

Germany play in the third place play-off tonight, and if any nation’s presence in the last four should come as no surprise it should be theirs. The 2010 World Cup represents the twelfth time Germany (or West Germany) has appeared in the semi-finals, that’s one more occasion than the rest of this year’s semi-finalists combined. Only twice in the last eight tournaments have Germany failed to reach the World Cup semi-finals, the first of which came courtesy of a shock quarter-final defeat to Bulgaria which happened on this day sixteen years ago. 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 Preview 60: Spain vs Paraguay (quarter-final)

3 Jul

Spain have recovered from a poor start, and a short-lived identity crisis, to contest the quarter-finals against a Paraguay team who shouldn’t be underestimated.  Continue reading

Match Preview 59: Argentina vs Germany (quarter-final)

3 Jul

For those who appreciate free-flowing, attacking football, this is the stand out tie of the quarter-finals.  One which seems to have developed something of an edge in the pre-match build up.  Phillip Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger have both spoken of ‘the South American temperament’ and ‘bat-shit crazy’ Diego Maradona has responded by putting on a mock German voice and suggesting the opposition are scared.  Much of this hostility is a hangover from the last time the two sides met in 2006, where a post-match brawl ensued and Leandro Cufre received a red card for kicking Per Mertesacker in the groin. 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 Preview 58: Uruguay vs Ghana (quarter-final)

2 Jul

Africa’s remaining hope against the former footballing giants.  Coming into this summer’s World Cup not many pundits would have tipped either Ghana or Uruguay for a potential semi-final berth.  While some may argue that the form of France and a relatively weak side of the draw has aided their respective causes, it would be churlish to say they aren’t good teams who are in the quarters on merit.  Continue reading

Match Preview 57: Netherlands vs Brazil (quarter-final)

2 Jul

Netherlands versus Brazil is a match which elicits some of the greatest World Cup memories: Johan Cruyff’s volley – to some, the seminal moment in the Total Football revolution – Branco’s free-kick, Bebeto’s celebration, Patrick Kluivert’s header.  All of these moments are etched into the tournament’s folklore.  Great snap-shots from the histories of the two most attacking teams of all time.  Continue reading

On this day… 1st July 1990

1 Jul

Tomorrow Ghana face Uruguay in Johannesburg, becoming in the process only the third African side to contest a World Cup Quarter Final. Despite Peter Drury’s pre-rehearsed histrionics each time they score or win a game The Black Stars have advanced to this stage in a fairly understated fashion, won one, drew one and lost one in their group, before an extra-time victory over the USA in the second round. Had this tournament not have been in Africa, Ghana’s progress would hardly have been remarked on. Their continental predecessors at this stage grabbed decidedly more headlines. Senegal of course defeated the holders and the hosts route to the 2002 Quarter Finals, where they were beaten in extra-time by Turkey. And before them came arguably the most impressive of all African World Cup showings, Cameroon, who having also beaten the hosts in their opening game, made it through to a quarter-final with England, played twenty years ago today. Continue reading

On this day… 21st June 1970

21 Jun

For many people the 1970 World Cup in Mexico remains the benchmark tournament. It had a lot going for it of course, the first to be fully broadcast in colour and the first overseas tournament that didn’t involve a two-day wait for film highlights to be ferried back. It saw the debut of the iconic Adidas Telstar matchball, the template for every cartoon football ever drawn since. And of course it was won by what most perceive to be the greatest team, Brazil, led by the man commonly regarded as the greatest player Pele. On this day, forty years ago, Brazil were crowned World Cup Champions. Continue reading