Netherland’s Arjen Robben (L) celebrates his goal as Slovakia’s Vladimir Weiss reacts with dejection during their 2010 World Cup second round soccer match at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Paul Hanna
The second round in South Africa is over. Actually, there is no surprising result for me except the game between Ghana and United States. I was expecting a more challenging game from the USA but Ghana kept them under control and defeated them with the fabulous strike of Gyan Asamoah in overtime. Ghana will play against Uruguay which defeated South Korea 2-1 with the marvellous play of Ajax striker Suarez. His second goal will be remembered as one of the most beautiful goals of the World Cup history.
Argentina’s Carlos Tevez celebrates his second goal during the 2010 World Cup second round soccer match against Mexico at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 27, 2010. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Germany ousted England with a remarkable score: 4-1. Thomas Müller, the young winger of Bayern Munchen had a splendid performance by scoring two goals and giving an assist. Frank Lampard was the unlucky guy of the day as he had been once denied by a post and a certain goal of him was disallowed by the referee, Jorge Larrionda. If the score had been 2-2, the game would come up to a very different point. But in my belief, Germany would somehow win the game in the end as they had a very organised team on the pitch in all 3 blocks. Sami Khedira is the shining star of the team as he organizes both part of the game successfully. Germany will play probably the most challenging game of the campaign against Diego Armando Maradona’s Argentina. Mexico was their latest victim and the referee Roberto Rossetti was the target man as he did not disallow the first goal of Carlos Tevez who was totally offside. He was expected to run the final as referee but now he has no chance. Besides this, Lionel Messi still seems to have lack of concentration. He has not scored a single goal since the beginning of the tournament.
Chile’s Alexis Sanchez is brought down by Brazil’s Ramires during a 2010 World Cup second round soccer match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
Brazil was the most comfortable team in this round as they surpassed Chile with an easy win: 3-0. For me, it was Ramires that has a huge impact over the game. He is not only a technical player but also a good defender. The form level of Kaka is also pleasing for Dunga and the team as he had struggled with injuries in the recent season. Brazil will clash with the Netherlands on Friday. The Netherlands are more comfortable after the return of their star player, Arjen Robben. He scored once as they won against Slovakia 2-1. Robert Vittek was again on the scoresheet surprisingly. He completed the tournament with 4 goals amazingly.
The last day of the second round began quite boring with the game between Paraguay and Japan. The score was 0-0 at the end of 120 minutes. There were a few threatening positions by both sides but it is not worth talking much. Japan was more unlucky as they missed once in the penalty shootout. Their rival in the quarter final is Spain which defeated Portugal after a very balanced game. David Villa was the hero of the night with his right foot flicker. He will be the one for Paraguay to be clearly defended as he is certainly one of the fittest players of the cup although his partner Fernando Torres has lack of form in the past games. Llorente can be a good substitute for him as he was one of the creators of the victory against Portugal.
The quarter final games are as following:
One thing that we are not hearing about with any regularity is reporting on the experiences of World Cup fans in South Africa. This is probably a good thing considering the fear build up that occurred for years in the world press with increasing frequency leading up to the event. It is undeniable that many of the individuals who ‘braved’ the conditions to attend the World Cup this year in South Africa did so because they could tie it in to a grand tourist adventure in the country alongside their attendance at games. These itineraries have probably included the major tourist sites in South Africa including Robben Island, the vineyards around Cape Town, Kruger National Park and various other safari ventures around the country as well as visiting sites to experience the variety of different ethnic groups within the country, particularly Zulu. It is this journey into ethnicity that has marked some pretty interesting parallels for the World Cup.
Ranked near the bottom of the 32 teams on the field in South Africa, facing odds estimated at 400-to-1 and four straight pre-tournament losses to boot, Japan was not even expected to win a game in this year’s World Cup, let alone advance to the knock-out round.
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from Dipnote – U.S. Department of State Official Blog