It was much, much better match today between Netherlands and Mexico.

Mexico had almost won the game till the 88 minutes – but this is what the thrilling uncertainty of the Beautiful Game – in six minutes, the Dutch were all around – scoring 2 goals to take home the victory 2-1.

And yes, the equalizer came in style, with plenty of substance when Sneijder hit a superb kick that looked made for the Mexican goalpost only, two minutes before the regular time of the match was to end – in the 88th minute.

And Marquez’s mistake gave the Oranje the opportunity that they were destined to encash – the winning hit – and Jan Huntelaar scored the winner by converting the penalty sending it past the goalkeeper – yes, the penalty is raising questions – but it is done now – but is a good food for thought that it could have given us more heart-stopping moments given the pace and the style the match had come to gain by then – post 88 minutes.

Yes, it seems it was not a day for Ochoa today, the hero goalkeeper of Mexico, who had conceded just one goal so far – the last six minutes changed that – when the Dutch had their goals giving them the winning edge.

Yes, it was an unbelievable comeback that melted the cooling breaks taken for the first time in the World Cup.

It was Yellow the day before yesterday – it was Orange yesterday (India time) – two different games – the different delivery of the outcomes – with a superior overall game on display today than yesterday.

Brilliant team performances – brilliant individual feats – brilliant cohesive maneuvers – thanks folks..

The much talked about Mexican defense held till 88 minutes – but, then, a thrilling World Cup match is all about such unexpected and stunning endeavors.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


It was Yellow Vs Red – it was the sea of Yellow in the stadium – in the biggest sports event being held in Brazil – making ‘Yellow’ the global flavour – in India as well – Brazil were unbeaten against Chile at home so far – and they remained unbeaten – the ‘Yellow’ crowd was humming loud – as heard and visible on my TV set.

Brazil Vs Chile – the first match of the ‘Round of 16’ of the FIFA World Cup 2014 was overall a quality World Cup game of 127 minutes – (45+1+45+3+15+1+15+2) – obviously excluding the minutes of the Penalty Shootout.

Brazilian attack and Chilean defense were at par. In fact, if we see the match as the World Cup enthusiasts (that I am) and not as die-hard Football fans, it was a dramatic game where Chile bettered their game beating expectations while Brazil were not what a Brazil’s fan expects from the team.

But then the outcome of the game is also day-dependent some times and it was one of those days and we can give Brazil the benefit of doubt. And we need to see it in the context of the brilliant Chilean defense and their game, especially in the second half, that frustrated every move of Brazil, including some very close ones.

The first half was good for Brazil with first goal, though not a brilliant one, coming early in 18th minute. Though Brazil kept their game up, outshining Chile but the Chile equalizer was a brilliant goal by Alexis Sanchez in 33rd minute.

Then it was for the sluggish moments of the second half. Whether it was tactical or temperamental cannot be said, but the game slowed down painfully. Brazil’s show came down. Chile picked up, until Brazil started mounting up the pressure that begin after 70 minutes and sped up post 80 minutes.

And it can be said the sluggish moments were compensated well in the last when the 1-1 tie pushed the game to the extra time (ET) that also failed to produce any result after 33 minutes of the game (15+1+15+2).

And now it was time for the Penalty Shootout – requiring steely nerves, and luck of the day as well.

A Penalty Shootout is always a sad end to a great Football match, and especially in this case, where Chile played much better than expectations, it hurt. In spite of the elevated game, where they were equal claimants of the victory based on the show of 127 minutes, Chile were knocked out 3-2.

The Brazilian goalkeeper, Julio Cesar, emerged as the winning player for the country though he saved two goals, same as the Chilean goalkeeper. The last kick by Jara hit the post and Brazil won.

So, now, the yellow is to spread – and the humming is to get louder when Brazil play their next match – world’s favourites advance to the next round – but Chile deserved that as well.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


June 28, 2014 – 9:30 PM India Time

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – to begin now – Brazil unbeaten against Chile in WC finals at home so far – let’s see today – crowd humming loudly, as my TV shows

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – round of 16 rounding up

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – yellow Vs red – sea of yellow in stadium – yellow is d global flavour – in India as well – Brazil miss 1st chance

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – 1st 10 minutes – Brazil looking up relatively so far – Neymar having some trouble

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – Chile get 1st close chance in 11th minute

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – a good hair-raising Neymar moment – Chile’s 1st yellow card – Brazil free kick in penalty arc area

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – Brazil get 1st #goal and lead – stadium erupts – Brazil 1 Vs Chile 0

15h – Brazil Vs Chile – 18th min gave Brazil their 1st #goal by David Luiz

14h – Brazil Vs Chile – 1st 25 minutes – Brazil clearly up – by game, by 1-0 lead

Continue reading


Ambition, hunger, conviction – when Xabi Alonso mentioned these words while reacting on the second consecutive humiliating loss of his team Spain that sent them packing from the World Cup 2014 – it showed the scale of loss – that was absolute.

Yes, in both of the games that Spain lost (and lost badly), Spaniards looked down to play with ambition, hunger and conviction to retain their World Cup 2010 title. Records say it is the worst performance by a defending world champion in being knocked out so early of the tournament.

The huge 1-5 loss against Netherlands was enough to bring down the morale of Spain, the team which had looked resigned in the later half of the game. And to regain the confidence, they needed to hit back and strike first in their next game, a must for them, to remain in the tournament.

But it didn’t happen and Spaniards, missing the elements of ambition, hunger and conviction to perform and win, could not respond to the Chilean aggression. And their ‘lost’ composure added to their misery by helping Chile when the winner of the match scored 1st goal in the 20th minute.

The game that made Spain the world champion in 2010 is gone, the two matches, from Friday to Wednesday (Brazil time), show us. If its remnants were there – were seen in flashes only – certainly not enough to bounce back after a huge loss against the team it defeated last time to win the World Cup.

And with the 2nd Chilean goal in the 43rd minutes, the pressure on Spaniards to come back and win the match became high enough to kill whatever spirit they could have had, it can be said.

The 2nd half resurrection that Spain needed badly after conceding 2 goals in the first half didn’t come. Probably, the psychological pressure of hitting back and wining the match after trailing 0-2 hit the mental composure of the Spanish players to the extent that could not convert even a single move to a goal despite making some really good efforts. It’s a common sense stuff that happens always and there is no need of some expert analysis on it.

Spain, the defending world champions, needed to deliver and score a handsome victory in this match to bounce back, to remain in the league, after their dismal show in the game against the Dutch. Instead, they collapsed even more.

It is sad to see Spain out of the World Cup so early but both Netherlands and Chile – they earned and deserved their victories.

Next match I have planned to catch is England Vs Uruguay at 12:30 AM India time tomorrow. This is do-or-die match for the former world champions. The team losing the match will be knocked out of the World Cup and therefore, they need to do all to outdo each other.

Will that give us yet another thrilling World Cup match? Let’s see.

It’s time for some good moments, some quality TV viewing time..

Enjoy the game. You don’t need to be a soccer expert for it. Football was never my first love, yes, but the FIFA World Cup is different.

The motion, the action, the crowds, all so volatile, all so paced up, like the high-pitched notes of every type of foot-thumping music – its so charming, so loving, so captivating.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Though it was not on my radar as didn’t fit in my schedule of the day but the name Brazil was a strong motivator and I could somehow manage to catch the Brazil’s fight with Mexico post 30 minutes its start (12:30 AM India time, June 18).

And what a blissful experience it was. In fact, it was a better extension of the ‘England Vs Italy’ match viewing experience with Mexico taking its game to higher level to become equal rival to the world’s most beloved Soccer team, Brazil.

I am not Soccer fan but I love the FIFA World Cup, more than the Cricket World Cup. This is how the brilliant 60 minutes of the Brazil Vs Mexico match unfolded (yes, with the combined 4 minutes of the extra time as well).

There were multiple rapid strikes and attacks to the goalposts and both teams efficiently tried to outdo each other but Mexico’s defense came out to be better and it was led by its goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, the hero of the day, not just for Mexico, but for the fans of the World Cup and Soccer, and he found respect from the rival of the day as well, a well deserved one.

Even if I could not watch the complete match, during the period I watched the match had four beautiful and miraculous moves by Ochoa saving the Mexicans and frustrating the Brazilians who could not score till last. The growing frustration was visible on the face of Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Brazil coach, as the match was nearing its end.

Both teams charged with the ball multiple times and were able to keep the ball in other’s half, in the area of penalty arc, for quite a significant time. In fact, I found Mexico doing better here though Brazil caught up later.

Mexico attacked superbly and Ochoa proved a wall for Brazil – an equal show – a fine game – a day of Mexico indeed – Mexico equaled and were better at times, frustrating Brazil, leaving them goalless – a true world cup game.

Next game in my prioritized list is Spain Vs Chile at 12:30 AM India time tomorrow. Spain, the defending world champions, need to deliver and score a handsome victory in this match to bounce back, to remain in the league, after their dismal show in the game against the Dutch.

It’s time for some good moments, some quality TV viewing time..

Enjoy the game. You don’t need to be a soccer expert for it. Football was never my first love, yes, but the FIFA World Cup is different.

The motion, the action, the crowds, all so volatile, all so paced up, like the high-pitched notes of every type of foot-thumping music – its so charming, so loving, so captivating.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


ISIS, Iraq Civil War and crisis, Ukraine crisis, Taliban spread, Al Qaeda resurgence and FIFA World Cup 2014 celebrations: Humanity’s paradoxes on swing with maximum display!!

Yes, it is.

Though the crisis hotbeds and the World Cup heat are two different and unrelated issues, the timing is the devil that pushes one to think on these lines, especially for someone who has much to do with the flow of news elements in the global media and thus come to know the developments mostly in the real time.

The information is always there, looking for you. There is bad information and good information. And there is information that is just given a pass. And there are elements that push you to think.

FIFA World Cup is an event having global fan base and is watched with rapt attention on TV broadcast across the world, even in the countries where Football is not a rage, like India.

And the biggest event on Earth is on. It is the time to celebrate its energy, motion and colours. And the fans are doing that.

But the fans in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ukraine are forced to face a different heat – the heat of terrorism – with mounting toll of civilian deaths – as the global powers keep on deliberating on options to check the spread of the militants affiliated to some of the most terrorizing outfits.

ISIS or ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/ al-Sham/ the Levant) has taken over the large parts of Northern Iraq including cities of Mosul (Iraq’s second largest city) and Tal Afar. They had also taken Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown (just 150 Kms from Baghdad) but reports say the Iraqi forces have retaken it. As reported, ISIS militants have killed scores of civilians and captured soldiers while moving ahead in Iraq. The run of brutal executions have been shown to the world by the ISIS propaganda videos.

It is said the jihadist ISIS has taken over the Syrian rebellion fighting against the Syrian defense forces. The Al Qaeda offshoot, notorious for its brutality (something that made even the Al Qaeda to disown it, as it is routinely said), has trained combatants among its ranks and their run is spreading fast into the neighbouring Syria.

The following lines from a CBC News report explain the horror ISIS is:

You only have to look at the ruined towns northeast of the Syrian city of Aleppo to understand what happened in Iraq’s Mosul. The names of “martyred” fighters line the walls, alongside invocations to obey Sharia law, through miles of crumpled buildings, rubble and unexploded ammunition. “These people use different names, so if one is defeated the other can claim victory,” says Col. Mohamed Saleh of the Syrian army as he surveys the wreckage of a factory in which 27 of his soldiers were killed. “They call themselves ISIL, al-Nusrah Front, Deach, but they are all the same.” These very same jihadis — which the Syrian forces have been defeating — are now surging towards Baghdad, some of them, perhaps, the very same men who fought Bashar al-Assad’s regime in northern Syria.
(CBC News, June 16, 2014)

Taliban is on surge again in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Taliban factions are challenging the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments with increased terror strikes as we have seen recently. Karachi airport terror strikes or attack on Indian consulate in Herat are just the front line much reported acts. They follow a stream of bloodbath that goes deep. The threatening video and audio messages have increased in frequency, sounding more chilling and menacing.

In Ukraine, dozens of Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a separatist attack in the Eastern part of the country demanding secession from Ukraine. Though Russia denies – the mystery around ‘Russia sending tanks to aid Kremlin backed separatists’ remains (as the BBC reports). Yesterday, Russia cut off the Ukraine gas supply putting the nation even in more peril.

And amid all this, the World Cup soccer fever is catching up. Over half of the world’s population is projected to watch it unfolding over a month. The social media trends are rooting for it. And this sense of joy is real. Human psyche needs some free, relaxing moments and watching a challenging World Cup is a treat.

But this joy is clouded and eclipsed by the sudden spread of Humanity’s ruin in many parts of the world when your smartphone flashes the breaking news of a terror strike killing dozens while your favourite player is speeding ahead to score a beautiful goal!

Humanity’s paradoxes on full display!!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


It was the next game of the ‘most interesting ones’ of the FIFA World Cup 2014, and for me, the stakes were even higher as I had to stay with my TV at that odd hour, i.e., 3:30 AM India time, and a dull show by both the teams or even a one-sided match would have made me question myself to stay awake till 5:30 AM when I had decided to go to bed around 3 AM.

Italy Vs England, the June 14 World Cup match (June 15, 3:30-5:30 AM India time) between the two former world champions, was an engaging affair till the last minute.

Yes, there were slack moments but were very few and can be ignored.

Four-time winner Italy and one-time winner England, two European Football giants, met each other and got to the business thoroughly professionally.

The ball was uniformly distributed on both sides. Defenses and attacks were at par. Players tried and they kept on trying till it was the time for the final whistle.

Marchisio scored first goal for Italy in 35th minute and England had their equaliser in just 2 minutes when Sturridge used Rooney’s pass to kick the ball in. ‘Super Mario’ Balotelli gave Italy lead again with his 50th minute goal that untimely proved to be Italy’s match winning goal.

Post it, England tried hard to equal the score and had more chances than Italy but, probably, it was not the day for England, as they missed all, including some heart-stopping moments.

First half was as good as the second half with a challenging fight between these two teams ranked 9th and 10th in the latest FIFA ranking.

Observations during and before a game that didn’t let me down for my decision to watch it at that odd hour of the morning:

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 14h
#EnglandvsItaly – #ITA win ovr #ENG 2-1. A game worth my time at this odd hour (even for me) (3:30-5:30 AM India time)

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 14h
#EnglandvsItaly – 90 mins – #ENG – #ITA 1-2, extra time begins, seems #ITA have it

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 14h
#EnglandvsItaly – #ENG-#ITA 1-2, did #Balotelli score winning goal for #ITA? #ENG charging but not able 2 convert

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 14h
#EnglandvsItaly – 75 mins into the match, worth my time so far (5 AM in India) – #ENG-#ITA 1-2

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 14h
#EnglandvsItaly – #ENG get 5th corner in 67th min but #ITA safe

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 14h
#EnglandvsItaly – #Rooney misses the post in a tense moment in 62nd min, #ITA the next min, #ENG again the next moment – what a game so far

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 14h
#EnglandvsItaly – #ENG mounting up to equal the score

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 14h
#EnglandvsItaly – 2nd #goal of #ITA by #MarioBalotelli came in 50th min

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 14h
#EnglandvsItaly – #ENG couldn’t convert the corner in 48th min – but #ITA score 2nd #goal the next min

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#EnglandvsItaly – 2nd half after the ‘worth your time’ 1st half begins

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#EnglandvsItaly – some heart stopping moments in extra time of 1st half – #ENG efficiently absorbed #ITA attack.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#EnglandvsItaly – 1st half 1-1 – ball equally distributed – 2 good goals – thrilling moments-#ENG and #ITA live up to
#WorldCup, #WorldCup2014

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#EnglandvsItaly – #ENG equaliser came in 37th min by #Sturridge on #Rooney’s pass #WorldCup,

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#EnglandvsItaly – WOW – #ENG equal the score so soon!!

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#EnglandvsItaly – #ITA score 1st #goal by #Marchisio with corner in 35th min #WorldCup2014,

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#EnglandvsItaly – 1st 25 mins – #ENG – #ITA 0-0 – defenses, attacks: matching-#ENG missed close chances in 24th min

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#EnglandvsItaly – 1st 10 mins: both #ENG and #ITA on par – building up the game

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 16h
#EnglandvsItaly – another high stake #FIFA2014 game between #ENG and #ITA begins with #ENG having 1st close chance in 2nd min.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 17h
#ISIS, #IraqWar n crisis, #Ukraine crisis, #Taliban spread, #AlQaeda resurgence and #WorldCup2014 celebrations: #Humanity’s paradoxes on swing

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 18h
#EnglandvsItaly – next big #FIFA2014 game. #ENG and #ITA meet in less than 2 hrs from now.

Next game in my prioritized list is Germany Vs Portugal at 9:30 PM India time tomorrow.

It’s time for some good moments, some quality TV viewing time..

Enjoy the game. You don’t need to be a soccer expert for it. Football was never my first love, yes, but the FIFA World Cup is different.

The motion, the action, the crowds, all so volatile, all so paced up, like the high-pitched notes of every type of foot-thumping music – its so charming, so loving, so captivating.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Yesterday (Brazil time or the local time – today early morning 12:30 AM India Time) was the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 all were waiting for – the first game between two equally tough challengers who were also the finalists of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa – where Spain emerged victorious over the Netherlands after scoring the lone goal of the match in the extra time and winning its first FIFA World Cup trophy – a game with some spectacular action was expected – but the end result was a mixed one with the Netherlands taking their game to an amazing ferocity in the second half while Spain completely lost the plot.

The first half was a true Spain Vs Netherlands fight.

The second half was Netherlands over Spain with no true fight on the ground and in the minds.

Observations during the game that kept everyone hooked:

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Spain lost its 1st match 0-1 in 2010 and went over to win the WC. Can they pull back from a 1-5 loss?

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Netherlands score amazing win over #Spain. Can Spain come back after this humiliating loss?

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – 1st half was like the world champ Vs the runner up of 2010. 2nd half, #Netherlands decimate #Spain.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – can #Netherlands pull another 1?

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands -#Robben and #VanPersie, 2 goals each, give #Netherlands winning lead 5-1. 5 mins lft. #Spain now look resigned.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – 10 mins left, #Netherlands score 5th, #Spain looks completely lost

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands -#Netherlands score 4th one, # Spain hands over the goal to the Dutch. Spain looking lost at the moment.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Netherlands looking more charged up, score 3rd goal, keeping the ball more with them.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Netherlands missed just another one. #Spain, heat up the rains.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Robben’s goal gives the Dutch 1-2 lead. #Spain mounts up.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h

#SpainVsNetherlands – the 1st #FIFA2014 challenger lives up to the expectations in the 1st half. Bravo! #Spain Vs #Netherlands like the 2010 WC final.

The 2nd such much awaited game is tomorrow, 3:30 AM India (today Brazil time) when Italy and England, the former two FIFA World Cup winners, meet up.

It’s time for some good moments, some quality TV viewing time..

Enjoy the game. You don’t need to be a soccer expert for it. Football was never my first love, yes, but the FIFA World Cup is different.

The motion, the action, the crowds, all so volatile, all so paced up, like the high-pitched notes of every type of foot-thumping music – its so charming, so loving, so captivating.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


During the college days, I was a crazy cricket fan. Playing cricket, it was like day in, day out, whenever the time and the elders in the family allowed.

Though playing took backstage with increased academic rigour after the college, the interest remained, with watching cricket, on TV, in stands, discussing it at home and with friends, interspersed with playing cricket occasionally.

Soccer or Football, whatever we say, not going into the technicalities of the nomenclature, was not that much in demand.

Yes, we did play football but it could never replace the craze for cricket, until….until the cricket fixing big started taking centrestage.

But all this while, the FIFA World Cup was a standalone, unique event that even pushed to the background the cricket-run whenever the tournament was on.

The motion, the action, the crowds, all so volatile, all so paced up, like the high-pitched notes of every type of foot-thumping music – it has been so charming, so loving, and so captivating.

And the time is again here. FIFA World Cup begins tomorrow 1:30 AM India time. The host Brazil is to take on Croatia. The opening ceremony is underway (June 12).

Its time for some good moments, some quality TV viewing time..


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –