NETHERLANDS VS MEXICO: ORANJE STOLE THE MATCH FROM THE GREEN BUT NOT THE SHOW

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 – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

BRAZIL VS CHILE: CHILE DESERVED THE WIN AS WELL

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 – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

BRAZIL VS CHILE: HOW THE FIRST ROUND OF 16 MATCH PROVED OUT TO BE A WINNER FOR WORLD CUP FANS

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

ENGLAND VS URUGUAY: ENGLAND WERE AT PAR BUT IT WAS SUAREZ’S DAY

Now that Italy’s unexpected loss to Costa Rica (though nothing is unexpected in a Football World Cup) has eliminated England from the FIFA World Cup 2014, the added layer of critique, the scrutiny of the English team performance, that was already there with England’s two defeats in first two matches, has taken more acerbic shades.

After losing the Uruguay match, England were almost out of the World Cup, depending on Italy’s performance to continue further. Italy needed to win its next matches and England’s performance coupled with some statistical equations could have ensured its survival. But that didn’t happen.

And the scrutiny has become the outright criticism now, especially by sports commentators and English fans.

But it was not what is being written, especially for someone like me, who doesn’t watch the professional Football but is a World Cup enthusiast. I enjoyed the game by the English team. They played well and were equal and at par in both of their matches.

Yes, the rivals teams did walk away with the win but none of the games were one-sided affair. In fact, none of the days were for England (it is the story of some missed chances Vs some chances that scored).

In the match against Uruguay, it was indeed Uruguay’s and Suarez’s day. Luis Suarez was the differentiator. Wayne Rooney could never be what Suarez was able to do (after returning to the ground from a knee surgery).

Yes, Uruguay was better at times but England did try to catch up sincerely and it reflected in many moves they made in the 2nd half but except Rooney’s first World Cup finals goal (yes, he could get it, finally, in the 75th minute of the match), none of the moves hit the target. In the meanwhile, the day came to favour Suarez to score over the equalizer by Rooney (after his first hit in the 39th minute).

Suarez proved the winning card for Uruguay backed with a good overall team performance. England played at par as well if we see the overall show but it was Uruguay’s and Suarez’s day in this do or die match for the two teams. Yes, Uruguay remain and England are out of the World Cup now, but let’s not say they ‘crashed out’. They played spirited Football in both of their matches.

No more full length watching of matches on TV for two days now. Match highlights are good enough. The next match I have planned to catch is USA Vs Portugal 3:30 AM 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 – it’s so charming, so loving, so captivating.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ENGLAND VS URUGUAY: HOW THE SHOW WENT ON

It was a do or die match for the former world champions and England and Uruguay played brilliantly to outperform each other. Uruguay did certain things better and walked away with victory leaving England almost out of the World Cup 2014. England had all the chances to win based on the quality of their game but it was Uruguay’s day we can say.

I am from a country where the first love for a game goes to Cricket and I don’t know much about game terminology of Football and its teams and players (except the global Soccer names) but I love the speed of on-field maneuverability and the beauty of the presence of mind that requires instant decision making every next moment.

And in case of a good FIFA World Cup match, like this England Vs Uruguay match, its so action packed that it doesn’t allow you to leave you the TV set even for a moment. This is how this one went for me (I love to write for ‘myself’ on anything that pulls me and I share a part of it on my blogging platforms):

England Vs Uruguay – the do or die match for England and Uruguay both, it begins now

England Vs Uruguay – 15 minutes into the game – Rooney and Suarez got chances – in 15th minute, Uruguay (Rodriguez) missed after hitting the goalpost – score 0-0

England Vs Uruguay – 30 minutes into the game – score 0-0 – personally, Uruguay better so far on maneuvering across the ground

England Vs Uruguay – Rooney’s header and England miss again – 32nd minute

England Vs Uruguay – Suarez delivers for Uruguay – pushed the header inside the goalpost – 39th minute

England Vs Uruguay – close chance for England and Sturridge in 41st minute – can England equal before the half time?

England Vs Uruguay – half time – England and Uruguay give us good fight to watch – Uruguay ‘slightly’ better so far and with lead now

England Vs Uruguay – with 1-0 lead, Uruguay can frustrate England by determined defense and spirited attack leaving England with no goal

England Vs Uruguay – 1st half-now England have the real chances to lose – and Rooney is yet to score his 1st World Cup goal, can he now?

England Vs Uruguay – half time: with Uruguay having lead, will England be losing the match and be forced to wait to be knocked out?

England Vs Uruguay – 2nd half begins: let’s see if England give it back and Suarez Vs Rooney debate lives up to

England Vs Uruguay – 7 minutes of the 2nd half – Uruguay charging up – close misses in 49th and 52nd minutes of the match for the team

England Vs Uruguay – 53rd minute: Rooney comes close – Uruguay’s goalkeeper saves goals in 53rd and 54th minutes

England Vs Uruguay – some better moves and counter-moves – better attacks and defenses by both the teams

England Vs Uruguay – yes, it is, Rooney finally gets his first World Cup finals goal, in 75th minute – England-Uruguay 1-1 now – match more open now – let’s see who score first now

England Vs Uruguay – its Suarez again – 85th minute – Uruguay get their 2nd goal – lead 2-1 – can England equal and win?

England Vs Uruguay – England almost out of the World Cup after losing 2nd match – but it would not be a ‘crashing out’- they played brilliantly and at par – it was a good fight overall

England Vs Uruguay – Suarez proved the winning card for Uruguay, backed with a good overall team performance – England were good as well – but, it was Uruguay’s day

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SPAIN VS CHILE: HOW THE MATCH UNFOLDED FOR A WORLD CUP ENTHUSIAST (WHO IS NOT A SOCCER FAN)

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 – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

BRAZIL VS MEXICO: HOW THE MATCH UNFOLDED FOR A WORLD CUP ENTHUSIAST (WHO IS NOT A SOCCER FAN)

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 – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ITALY VS ENGLAND: HOW THE GAME UNFOLDED FOR A WORLD CUP LOVER (WHO IS NOT A SOCCER FAN)

Every FIFA World Cup match is interesting enough to watch but to say frankly, not every match can be watched. One needs to prioritize, like I have done, like many others do.

So after the Spain and Holland match, the focus was fixed on the England Vs Italy fixture.

And in spite of being played in the extreme odd hours of the day, 3:30 to 5:30 AM India time (June 15), that pushed me to ignore it initially, the uplifting quality of the game lifted the spirit high enough to push the sleeping hours away and motivating and thrilling enough to share the moments with others.

It is how it unfolded for me, who happened to be a Cricket fan – my Twitter feed updates (minus Twitter modification of words):

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©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ITALY VS ENGLAND: TWO EUROPEAN FOOTBALL GIANTS GOT TO THE BUSINESS THOROUGHLY PROFESSIONALLY

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 – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/