Guten morgen and willkommen to the daily World Cup column on Soccerlens.
Three words: England…Germany…versus. Rearrange!
Here’s this morning’s World Cup news round-up…
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Uruguay 2-1 South Korea…
A brace of goals from striker Luis Suarez made sure that two-time winners Uruguay would be competing in the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1970, after seeing off an industrious South Korea side in a rain-drenched encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
La Celeste took an early lead in the eighth minute, when Diego Forlan‘s dangerous left-wing cross evaded South Korean ‘keeper Jung Sung-Ryong and found the unmarked Suarez breezing in at the far post – the unmarked Ajax striker left free to cooly slot the ball into the partially-vacant net.
The Asian side then pressed in search of an equaliser and saw a hatful of chances go begging before finally restoring parity in the 68th minute, when winger Lee Chung-Yong capitalised on Mauricio Victorino‘s botched clearance to nod home.
With both sides fairly evenly matched, the final period became increasingly tense – that was until a moment of pure inspiration restored Uruguay’s advantage just ten minutes from time.
A deep corner found Suarez lurking on the far side of the South Korean box and, after cutting inside to create an angle for himself, the 23-year-old forward unleashed a sublime curling shot which clipped the far post on it’s way in.
Read the Uruguay v South Korea match report.
USA 1-2 Ghana…
Ghana kept home-continent interest alive in South Africa after beating the USA in extra-time, thus becoming only the third African side ever to reach the last 8 of the World Cup.
The Black Stars went in front with only 5 minutes on the clock – Kevin-Prince Boateng beating Tim Howard at his near post with a daisy-cutter, after marauding forward from the half-way line.
The shell-shocked Americans struggled to regain their wits after suffering such an early blow, but a half-time pep-talk from Bob Bradley Snr. seemingly restored the Yank’s composure.
Quarter-of-an-hour after the break, the USA got themselves back on level terms through a near-perfect Landon Donovan penalty, awarded when Jonathan Mensah unceremoniously brought Clint Dempsey‘s piercing run to an abrupt end inside the area.
The bottom fell out of the game during the latter stages of normal time, although Bradley’s men had sporadic chances to nudge themselves in front – Richard Kingson denying both Bob Bradley Jnr. and Jozy Altidore with impressive saves.
The US were then made to rue their wasted chances when, in the third minute of extra-time, Asamoah Gyan raced onto a looped through-ball to smash a powerful left-footed strike past Howard.
Read the USA v Ghana match summary.
- Ghana had not managed to score two goals in one match during the whole of 2010, until breaking their duck against the US.
A game like any other…
England coach Fabio Capello has urged his players to forget about the historical significance of their upcoming game against Germany, and treat the tie like they would any other in a bid to focus their minds on writing a new chapter in the record books.
Speaking to a press conference, Capello said;
“We have to play against all other teams here. We have to beat the big teams, and Germany are one of those. But this game is not about anything more.
There is pressure, of course, but that is normal. The game against Slovenia was very important for us because I saw the spirit of the team again.
We played very well – passed it well, switched the play well, everything was really good – and created chances, so I have big confidence in my team.
The spirit is back. It has been like that in training this week, too.”
Capello is widely expected to name an unchanged side to that which beat Slovenia on Wednesday, although it is being reported that Matthew Upson may be replaced in the centre of defense by Jamie Carragher – who returns after serving a one-match ban.
Gerrard issues a rallying call…
England captain Steven Gerrard has called for his teammates to ‘stand up and be counted’ in this afternoon’s potentially ‘career defining’ clash with Germany.
“This is a game where you have to stand up and be counted. When you are growing up, it is the stage you want to be playing at.
There could be a big moment in the game that can define any player’s career. But you look forward to it. It is a fantastic game to play in. Everyone is excited.”
I know what you mean Stevie. I’m so excited I’ve had to put a tarpaulin down.
‘Schweini’ boost for Germany…
Midfielder general Bastian Schweinseiger came through a full-training session unscathed yesterday after suffering a thigh injury during Germany’s Group D game with Ghana on Wednesday night.
The Bayern Munich star had been a serious doubt for Die Mannschaft‘s crunch last-16 tie with England, but it now seems that the 25-year-old string-puller will be fit to start.
One player who won’t be featuring for Joachim Loew’s side this afternoon will be striker Cacau, who has been ruled out of the match after pulling a stomach muscle.
Aguirre: ‘Mexico will prove doubters wrong’…
Mexico coach Javier Aguirre has sent out a message of defiance to all those who believe that his side are as-good-as-out, even before El Tri take on Argentina in the second of today’s second round fixtures.
“Nobody is betting a bottom dollar on us, the analysts are saying we’re dead and gone. We will see.
I think Mexico are nobody’s favourites, they don’t believe we have a possibility [to beat Argentina] but we will see after the 90 minutes whether we can change history.”
That’s the spirit old bean, pip pip!
Maxi in for Seba?
Argentina badger coach Diego Maradona is poised to replace trusty veteran Juan Sebastian Veron in his midfield with the altogether sprightlier Maxi Rodriguez.
Joint tournament top-goalscorer Gonzalo Higuain and captain Javier Mascherano are also set to be reinstated, after both being rested for the Albiceleste‘s final group game against Greece.
The ‘Spain vs Chile’ officials undergo some rigourous(ly choreographed) warm-up exercises.
Self-awareness? What self-awareness?
Quote of the day…
“The whole world knows that Maradona loves me. He adores me.”
Brazilian legend Pele responds to El Diego‘s constant jibes.
And in other news…
England midfielder Gareth Barry has told his teammates to ‘play without fear’ against Germany. (F365)
US star Landon Donovan believes that his side were ‘naive’ to lose to Ghana (Goal)
Mexico striker (and Manchester United new-boy) Javier Hernandez is officially the fastest player at the World Cup so far, after being clocked running at 32.15 kph. Impressive! (Dirty Tackle)
Soccerlens Fantasy Football…
Soccerlens Fantasy Football gives you the option to go against friends and fellow competitors over a day’s games.
This means that you should pick your fantasy team from players involved in the games happening on that specific day. It also gives you the option of picking your fantasy team with the players you might be more familiar with.
Either way, it’s fast and action packed. So pick the specific round(s) you want to join from the home-page and join a competition!
You can also challenge your friends over a specific round by creating a private competition
Today’s (Sunday 27th June) round is as follows:
- Germany vs England
- Argentina vs Mexico
Give it a go and you may come away with a cash prize!
The 2010 World Cup on Soccerlens…
There will be comprehensive coverage of the World Cup on Soccerlens over the coming months.
With the dedicated World Cup section (chock full of info, including fixtures and stats – and even links to buy replica shirts) on SL, there really is no need to go anywhere else for your World Cup needs this summer!
Also on Soccerlens…