Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup
closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as
a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of
the World Cup.
Read earlier columns
Paraguay, Slovakia, Japan, The Netherlands IN Last 16; Italy, Denmark, Cameroon, New Zealand Out of Last 16
The games of today were: Paraguay vs New Zealand; Italy vs Slovakia; Holland Cameroon and Denmark vs Japan.
The shock of the day was that Italy lost 3-2 against Slovakia. The Slovaks were up 2-0 and Italy reduced the score 2-1 on a penalty kick. However, the Italians lost their concentration in the back and gave a goal on a simple throwing and suddenly the Slovaks were up 3-1. This was not an Italian defense at all and that was the reason why the Italians have lost the game. The Italians did fight to get the equalizer; they were able to score a magnificent goal to make it 3-2. However, they came close to get the equalizer in regulation, but it was not meant to be. Congratulations to the Slovaks who believed in themselves and with that belief they earned their ticket to the second round. The two finalists of 2006 World Cup, France and Italy, did not pass the first round of the tournament. Both countries will definitely review the cause of their eliminations so they can avoid this early exit in the next World Cup.
The other game was Paraguay vs New Zealand. The game ended up in a tie. New Zealand had to win to ensure their qualification process. However, the Paraguayans are very well organized and disciplined. They are able to control a game defensively and offensively when they really have to. They did not have to win to win their group; they only needed a tie and this is what had happened. On the other hand,The All-Whites of New Zealand have given their best and they must be congratulated for putting a good fight. They have finished 3rd in their group and Italy finished last. This is a consolation for the people of New Zealand.
In Group F, Paraguay and Slovakia have earned their tickets to the next round, while Italy and Slovakia did not make it. Paraguay will face Japan and Slovakia will face the Netherlands.
There were also games in Group E as well: Netherlands vs Cameroon and Japan vs Denmark.
Netherlands Vs Cameroon played a very entertaining game. The Dutch had already booked their tickets for the second round and Cameroon had to play to honor their people. It was an attacking game and both teams did play attractive football. The Dutch took the lead on a goal scored by Van Persie early in the first half to be up 1-0 and Cameroon tied the game on penalty kick by the talented Samuel Etoo. In the latter stage of the game, it was a brilliant technical move by the talented Arjen Robben who blasted the ball to the post and Klaas- Jan Huntelaar received the rebound and put the Netherlands up 2-1. The game ended 2-1 in favor of Netherlands.
In the same group, Japan was playing Denmark. This was a very entertaining game because both teams needed a win to ensure a spot in the round of 16. The Japanese put a show on D and they were determined to put Denmark’s players on their heels. Keisuke Honda and Yasuhito Endo both scored free-kicks to give Japan a 2-0. Honda has played an exceptional game and he was the best player on the field. The first half ended 2-0.
In the second half, the game became very entertaining and Jon Dahl Tomasson reduced the scored for Denmark on a rebound from a penalty kick (pk) after missing the pk. The score, at that point, was 2-1 in favor of Japan. Despite the goal of Tomasson for Denmark, the Japanese kept pushing forward and Honda invented a majestic move by leaving the defender helpless and then passed it to Shinji Okazaki who buried the ball into the net to give Japan a much deserved win: 3-1. The game ended 3-1 and the Japanese earned their tickets for the round of 16. Congratulations to the Japanese who finished second in their group; The Netherlands finished 1st in their group; Japan 2nd; Denmark 3rd and Cameroon 4th.
Today we have seen Italy lost their concentration. We have seen the Slovaks remain focused to earn their tickets to the round of 16. We have also seen a disciplined Paraguay National team and a courageous New Zealand national team. We have also seen a talented Japanese national team. We have seen a Denmark national team who have fought hard to be in the round of 16 but it was not meant to be. Finally, we have seen the Netherlands National team, a solid contender to win the World Cup. We have also seem a wounded Cameroon national team trying their best to give joy to their people.
There will be games in Group G and Group H later today. In Group G: Brazil vs Portugal and North Korea vs Ivory coast. Unless a miracle happens, Brazil and Portugal are the teams to be in the 2nd round. In Group H: Spain vs Chile and Honduras vs Switzerland. The game of the day will be Spain vs Chile because Spain is in danger of not making it to the second round. Will Spain follow France and Italy? We shall find out later today.
Continue to enjoy the games! It is getting excited!
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