Spain vs Netherlands 6/13 11am AKDT
Final: 5-1 Netherlands
After the final whistle, one of the commentators: “Even as an underspoken Englishman: ‘Wow.'”
In the first half, it seemed an even game. Spain even went up first on a penalty kick.
Van Persie scored the first of his goals just before halftime with a great run up and a header right over the goalie. Beautiful play.
Going into the half, 1-1, I don’t think anyone, even the Dutch, were expecting what happened in the second half.
Shortly after the second half began, Robben got the first of his goals, on a beautiful passing play to put the Dutch on top 2-1.
10 minutes later, the Dutch scored again on a scrum in the goalie box. One of the offenders blooped in a goal in the middle of it. After the goal, you could see the Spanish give up and not put as much effort into the game.
Which led to the Dutch running away with it. Two more goals would be scored, one each by Van Persie and Robben, to yield a blowout game. You could tell that after the 3rd goal, Spain kept participating in the game, but stopped trying for it.
The Spanish had some high expectations, but perhaps Netherlands was waiting for their revenge after the 2010 World Cup final.
What a blowout.
Mexico vs Cameroon 6/13 8am AKDT
I caught the game ~20 minutes in. Apparently Mexico had a goal called back in that time. I haven’t looked into that incident, can’t comment.
I did see the second called-back goal by Mexico. On Mexico’s corner, the sideline referee didn’t quite pay attention, or doesn’t quite understand offsides, but made a horrible call. Should’ve been a goal.
The game went into 0-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Mexico strung together a beautiful play, threading some defenders and taking a great shot. CMR’s goalie had a beautiful, great save, but was only able to parry the ball. A trailing Mexican offender was able to finish the rebound off the keeper to score the goal.
Mexico was definitely the better team, but perhaps didn’t take Cameroon’s offense as seriously as they should have. Cameroon had some great chances.
Brazil opens the World Cup in strange fashion. In a 3-1 win over Croatia, Brazil scored all the goals in the match.
Truly, Croatia looked like the stronger team throughout the first half, and definitely in the last 15-20 minutes of the game. If they had scored all of their chances in the end, Croatia would’ve won.
A strong attack by Croatia 11 minutes in yielded some sloppy defending by Brazil, scoring on themselves.
Later in the first half, Brazil evened the game with a perfect-placement goal. Truly, it seems like the Croatian goalie wasn’t paying attention and didn’t cover in time.
In the second half, Croatia certainly wasn’t helped by the referee. A Brazilian forward threw a dive while handling the ball in CRO’s penalty area, fooling the referee into giving a PK. Go-ahead goal despite the keeper getting to the shot. Any other professional keeper in the world, with two hands on a ball like that, would’ve stopped it.
Croatia had lots of strong attacks as the game wound to a close, and another strange call by the referee stopped up an attack that had Brazil’s goalie out of position, fallen on the ground. What would’ve been a goal by Croatia to even it had a mystery foul called by the referee to stop up the play.
As Croatia was running out of steam, they gave up on a Brazilian counterattack. Again, the goalie seemed not quite professional as he blew the timing on his leap to stop the ball. It was really a shot that you’d expect any professional goalkeeper to stop.
Croatia blew their chances. They’ll need to stop up their mistakes to make it out of group stage this year. Even if they’d tied the game, you could still make a Caddyshack-inspired Cinderella Story joke out of it.