Monday, June 12, 2006

The next 3 games

Holland 1-0 Serbia and Montenegro

A good game that lived up to its stereotype: The attacking prowess of the Dutch up against the mean defence of S & M. Holland looked outstanding going forward at times, Arjen Robben was quite brilliant, scoring an excellent goal after a nice through ball from Van Persie, his dribbling and creativity a joy to behold. A good performance going forward from the Dutch. S & M showed off their defensive skills well, however on going behind it was very difficult to see where an equaliser was coming from. Their free kick execution was poor, Milosevic's shooting was average and Kezman never really lived up to his billing.

Mexico 3-1 Iran

A highly absorbing contest in which Iran really played their part. Mexico generally looked quite good, and Bravo was quite clinical with his finishing. Sanchez in goal did well, on an emotional day for him so soon after his father's death. A bit of a worry to see Borgetti limping off though. Marquez was instrumental also. Iran seemed really at home, attacking well and really contributing to the game, demonstrating they are not simply the easy beats many would expect.

Portugal 1-0 Angola

A closely fought affair much to many's surprise. Portugal could have so easily opened the scoring after only 16 seconds, Pauleta's shot drifting narrowly past the post. Angola didn't heed the warning and a matter of a couple of minutes later Figo speedily rounded the defender and crossed for prolific goalscorer Pauleta to open his account. Cue expectations for a goal rout. However this did not eventuate, Portugal had a few more reasonable attacks in the first half but were very defensive in the second half - Ronaldo seemingly very angry to be subbed as Scolari shored his side up defensively. Their fans gave them a rollicking but ultimately 3 points is 3 points. Angola had a shaky start but after 20 minutes or so came into the game. They tended however to be reduced to long range efforts. Their second half showing was even better, and had they found an equaliser it wouldn't have been undeserved. Group D may not be as straightforward as initially thought, although expect Portugal and Mexico to march on in the end.

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