Cameroon vs. Mexico
I’ve always had a soft spot for Cameroon. They were a standout from Italia ’90. I honestly don’t even remember watching them but I know that they’re good. And I can see how Benoit Assou-Ekotto will do. He was one of my favorite Spurs players.
Mexico on the other hand…
Look, I’m not a big enough fan of the US national team to really care about that rivalry. But when I think of Mexico I think of Chicharito and Dos Santos. A Man U player and a Spurs bust, respectively. Suffice it to say that El Tri is not my favorite.
Cameroon proved to be disappointing, though. Mexico outplayed them and was denied two goals that weren’t offsides. Giovanni dos Santos’s volley would have been one of the goals of the tournament for me if it had been allowed. But, then Oribe Peralta slotted home and Mexico won.
Spain vs. Netherlands
After Xabi Alonso’s penalty, I didn’t know how this game would go but it was entertaining as hell to watch.
I’ve been a Netherlands fan ever since reading Brilliant Orange. I was rooting for them in the final in 2010. So, this game was long overdue. Van Persie’s flying Dutchman header will certainly be one of the goals of the tournament and it gave me hope that all was not lost. It turns out the only thing that was lost was that Spanish team. I’d heard that Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique hate each other and they certainly played like two men who don’t speak. Arjen Robben carved through them for the go ahead goal. Three goals later, the Spanish were demoralized. A deserved victory for the Dutch.
Chile vs. Australia
To say I had nothing invested in this would be an understatement. But I was surprised. Chile is a strong team and they play entertaining soccer. They took it to Australia and their two quick goals made it look like they were going to run riot over the Socceroos (weirdest nickname in the tournament, by the way – Black Stars is the best nickname but we’ll get to Ghana later).
But then Tim Cahill had a powerful header to pull one back and all of a sudden, things were even. Australia started to really play and Chile’s menacing play disappeared.
I was a little heartbroken to see Beausejour put it away but that’s what he did. Chile 3 – Australia 1.
Xabi Alonso – converted a penalty
Robin van Persie – Such a great headed goal off a cross from Blind
Arjen Robben – He settled the ball in the box and struck it well, this was the beginning of the end for the Spaniards
Stefan de Vrij – He snuck this header in at the back post. Good goal.
Robin van Persie – Off a defensive mistake, he finished.
Arjen Robben – He twisted the knife with another great strike.
Alexis Sanchez – There was some confusion in the box but he finished for the first goal of the match.
Jorge Valdivia – Now THAT was a good goal, only a few minutes after the opener.
Tim Cahill – He scored a header that gave his team a lifeline.
Jean Beausejour – He finished it off.