Cup Finals Blog

The World United Through Football

Group B – Spain’s Reputation in Tatters

The World Cup holders’ billing as ‘the team to beat’ in Group B sank quicker than the Spanish Armada, as their fellow 2010 finalists, Holland, became the new team to back for a direct, attacking route to the knockout stage.

Oh, the pain in Spain as the current World and European champions looked a shadow of their former selves.

Perhaps the Dutch assault was inspired by an earlier penalty awarded against them for Diego Costa’s trailing leg theatrics.

As the perceived villains of the South Africa 2010 World Cup Final, Netherlands needed to restore their reputation as a footballing nation, and banish Spain’s to the archives.

Iker Casillas has never looked so all at sea with his hands by his side as Robin van Persie’s dipping header, just before half-time, floated over his head.

After watching Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique later pirouette cluelessly in front of him, to allow Arjen Robben a clear view on goal just after the break, Casillas himself flapped at a free-kick to play a part in conceding the third, and lost concentration to be robbed of the ball for the fourth.

Were it not for a double save later on, and an earlier rattle of the woodwork Spain’s total collapse could have been much worse than five.

A few hours later, Chile proved too hot for Australia and will probably relish their meeting with a deflated Espana in Rio de Janeiro, on Wednesday.

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June 14, 2014 Posted by | Australia, Brazil 2014, Chile, Holland, Match Reports, Spain | , | Leave a comment

2014 World Cup Preview – Group B

As World Cup holders, Spain will want to – and should – reach the knockout stage. Much will depend on how the Spaniards get on in their opening match; against the Dutch, in Salvador de Bahia.

If Holland’s Louis van Gaal can forget about Manchester United for a fortnight and focus on the job in hand, we could be in for a treat.

It’s not guaranteed that both the European teams will advance from Group B, as Chile look a hot prospect for one of the places; especially if they start with a comfortable win against the Aussies in Cuiaba.

The Socceroos might steal a goal or two in their group matches but will most probably score zero points out of a possible nine.

Australia may only be making up the numbers in Brazil, but they could get lucky and host the tournament in 2022; if the Qatar bribery scandal gathers momentum.

June 11, 2014 Posted by | Australia, Brazil 2014, Chile, Holland, Spain | | Leave a comment

Spain in a Class of Their Own

Spain vs Italy
Olympiyskiy Stadium, Kiev.

David Silva

David Silva of Spain (Photo: Wikipedia)

Could Spain make it a third major trophy in a row or would Italy be crowned new kings of Europe; by beating the world champions in Kiev?

Who would have thought it would have been so one-sided.

Spain began the Euro 2012 final with some quick interchanging of passes and even a couple of early shots on goal.

The World United Through Football Spain 1 – Italy 0 (14mins)
A goal was on the cards as Italy struggled to cope with Spain’s passing and movement; Cesc Fábregas ran into the right side of the penalty box then flicked the ball up for David Silva to power into the goal with his forehead.

With Pirlo neutralised, Italy were finding it hard to get back into the game.

The World United Through Football Spain 2 – Italy 0
Spain’s lead was doubled just before the break thanks to Jordi Alba’s quick running on the left and Xavi’s perfectly weighted ball into the left-back’s path.

Half-time: Spain 2 – Italy 0

Italy never really came into the game in the second-half.

The World United Through Football Spain 3 – Italy 0 (84mins)
Just when it seemed the fans had gone to sleep, Fernando Torres made it three for Spain; three goals and three winners medals on the trot.

The World United Through Football Spain 4 – Italy 0 (88mins)
Juan Mata came on with four minutes to play and soon scored the fourth for Spain; quite possibly the best world footballing team since the Brazil of 1970.

Final Score: Spain 4 – Italy 0

Teams

Travel to Spain
1-Iker Casillas; 3-Gerard Piqué, 15-Sergio Ramos, 17-Álvaro Arbeloa, 18-Jordi Alba; 8-Xavi, 14-Xabi Alonso, 16-Sergio Busquets; 6-Andrés Iniesta, 10-Cesc Fábregas, 21-David Silva.

Travel to Italy
1-Gianluigi Buffon; 3-Giorgio Chiellini, 7-Ignazio Abate, 15-Andrea Barzagli, 19-Leonardo Bonucci; 8-Claudio Marchisio, 16-Daniele De Rossi, 18-Riccardo Montolivo, 21-Andrea Pirlo; 9-Mario Balotelli, 10-Antonio Cassano.

July 1, 2012 Posted by | Euro 2012, Italy, Match Reports, Spain | , , , , | Leave a comment

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