Just like you, but different
Almost a labour of love this, 4 Games ! Iran could advance if they win convincingly, Switzerland need a big win too.
Luis Suarex though seems to be ‘the’ story overshadowing the tournament.
Nigeria- Argentina – Nigeria 4-4-2 v’s Argentina 4-3-3 in formation. Crowd is awash with blue and white stripes.
Game starts with a foot stomp missed by the ref from the quirky Odemwinge, Argentina seem to settle into the game quickly though and string some passes together. Stunning pass the left wing forward who has a shot that goes under the goalkeeper, cannons on to the post, back on the goalkeeper, bcd onto the post, then into open play where it’s thundered into the net 2:30 and 1-0 Argentina All onside, all magnificent – Messi with the goal there . What a start.
Nigeria with it all to do. Argentina burst again from the kick off, but it’s picked off and Nigeria look to counter attack, again to the left wing forward, who sets up and slams the ball into net!!! Goalkeeper flailed and missed it. Stunned silence.
Unbelievable as it’s 1-1 #scenes 4 minutes in and 2 goals. That’ll get the tired out of your eyes. Argeninta managed the lead for 80 seconds on the game clock.
So where were we, neither side want to lose this match……
Long range shot from Argentina beaten away, Argentina are here to win, and set up again for a ball through the right side of the defence but it’s wide. 10 Minutes in of an all action game that Nigeria do not look defensively up for.
20 minutes in. Argentina just the better team overall. The next 10 appears to be a series of long range shots and of consolidation. Argentina with 63% of the possession in this game. Nearing the end of the half a fine free kick effort well saved by the nigerian goalkeeper. Another free kick in the same place moments after and Messi this time goes for finesse and the goalkeeper flat-footed as the ball find the back of the old onion bag for 2-1
Someone lit a rocket under the Nigeria team as they start the 2nd half quickly and pressing the Argentina defence, route 1 pays off as the through ball pays dividends and it becomes 2-2 very good finish.
Argentina of course spark up and another fine save from a long raven shot results in a corner, and its in !!!! 3-2 Argentina #Scenes a remarkable game. Nigeria now picking up some caution yellow cards though. This may not end well.
Nigeria defence still looks brittle and Argentina look like they have more goals in them, the goalkeeper is earning his dinner today. In the first 10 minutes tho half the n2 goals and 3 or 4 good saves from the Nigeria goalkeeper. 8 corners kick to none for Argentina so far, you can tell who’s pressing.
A chance spurned at the 60 minute mark for Nigeria.
In the weirdest of accidents from a thunderbolt shot that was into the player Babatunde the Nigeria player appears to have a broken forearm , thats a horrible horrible injury.
Game continues, a couple of substitutions made, Nigeria still need to get a goal to be sure of advancing from this pool. Possession will be coming back to Nigeria as Argentia close up, fancy play from a free kick by Argentina bedazzles the Nigeria defence but it goes out for a corner. A break by Nigeria gets some good defensive work to keep it out.
The game is very open though and at 80 minutes an open Argentina player heads it just wide. More goals anyone as we get the last 10 minutes. Cracking save from the Nigeria goalkeeper! 5 to Go and Nigeria on attack have a ball just wide into the side netting for a rare corner, but it’s cleared.
3-2 Argentina over Nigeria, in what was, for me, one of the most entertaining and enjoyable games for a long time.
Bosnia & Herzegovina – Iran – Iran do need to win this, need a few goals as well to be a better goal difference to get ahead of Nigeria and into 2nd on the table.
Bosnia & Herzegovina set up with 2 men up front, Iran just the one striker. Compressed game in the opening minutes Bosnia & Herzegovina seem to have the upper hand. All the action is from set piece moves, and in the opening 15 Bosnia & Herzegovina taking over 70% possession so far.
Bosnia & Herzegovina not only doing most of the attack but are very well set in defence, and at 22 minutes from a defensive position move the ball quickly to the strikers and Dzeko makes no mistake for 1- 0 on 23 minutes from distance. Disaster for Iran.
In the frantic minutes after the glow Iran have a shot against the bar! But it remains 1-0. Fine save again by the goalkeeper as Iran try hard to get level. A game that seems to have a lot of stop start and no flow. Bosnia & Herzegovina taking 66% of the possession and having more shots on goal, Iran have few ideas and creativity to break this down.
1-0 at the half that had 20 stops for free kicks, around 1 every 2 minutes.
Iran desperate for goals, at least 2 as many as 3, and in 2 1/2 games so far they’ve managed exactly none. Opening 10 much the same as the first half.
58 minutes, Iran give up the ball in the midfield, and route one again sees the striker with space and he makes no effort to put Bosnia & Herzegovina 2-0 up in this game.
Iran players are all arms and waving and gestures as they set for the restart, they’re not happy about something. and then it kicks off! major handbags and arm waving. Storm over game continues.
65 minutes, this game has good intentions and promise that doesn’t eventuate, and the Mexican wave from the crowd says a lot about the entertainment level. Bosnia & Herzegovina contrive not to score with chances galore in one particular passage of play in the box.
10 to go, nothing to write home about. Even the weather went south. Corner kick Iran and three attempts at getting the ball into the area and Iran score!!!!! 2-1 #scenes Their drought is broken and this could really be lively in the next 5.
How short that belief was as Bosnia & Herzegovina break from the kick off and it’s 3-1 #scenes and Iran must now be beaten.
Iran have a player book for simulation in trying to get a penalty, Bosnia & Herzegovina still looking to break and score at the other end , but it ends 3-1 in a game that had it’s moments but they were few and far between.
Both teams going home.
Honduras – Switzerland – A win for the Swiss could see them through if Ecuador can’t beat France, a draw is no good.
Very quick start Switzerland and two chances in front of goal not taken. 5 minutes and this drive and desire and from a wonderful strike from 20 yards it becomes 1-0 Switzerland – goalkeeper no where and no chance.
That’s a start they need another. At 9 minutes Honduras have their best chance but it’s not taken.
A well mannered and even tempted affair in general for the first 30. Honduras are a physical team pushing their luck though.
31 minutes, a fortunate through ball and Shaqiri one on one with the goalkeeper does not miss and 2-0 Switzerland.
Honduras defence is being exploited by Switzerland can’t find the final touch and the half ends 2-0
Sluggish start by Switzerland to the 2nd half Honduras go goose to gutting one back. Honduras really going for this and they can’t buy a goal as on 51 minutes a shot is hacked off the line with the goalkeeper well beaten saving Switzerland again.
Switzerland not making the most of their opportunities at the other end.
Again Switzerland ride their luck as on the hour Honduras have a good appeal for a penalty declined.
Switzerland finish the game off on 70 minutes with a hat-trick 3rd goal for Shaqiri making it 3-0 #scenes You don’t get to score 3 often, and not often at the world cup.
the 50th of all Word Cups.
Honduras have the last say 10 minutes from the end with a header straight at the keeper.
The game finishes 3-0 to Switzerland who should be safe to go through to the knockout stages.
Ecuador – France – Ecuador looking to set up their next game which could be against Argentina.
Standard fare in the first 15, and onto 20, and 30. France haven’t been able to convert their chances and Ecuador don’t appear to be able to make headway.
France shade the possession and the shots on goal Ecuador concede 10 free kicks, 0-0 at half time. Ecuador need to come out firing on all cylinders in the 2nd half.
Second half starts and France hit the post, good save !
Clumsy tackle sees a 20 man huddle around the stricken French player. I have no idea what the ref was thinking but the Ecuador player, their captain, gets a straight red card and is off. Not a lot of argument about that from the player though, and the rest of the players were calm well mannered. Good work from all parties.
Playing with 10 Ecuador are still looking to win this and don’t take a guilt edged chance in front of goal , not the best work from Ecuador there.
60 minutes. France struggling to capitalize on the extra man advantage. 20 to go. France employing the shoot from distance tactic still and that hasn’t worked so far and doesn’t look like working.
10 to go. Ecuador will rue their poor finishing as they are making good chances on the break. Final moments of the game, Ecuador goalkeeper throws the old tweaked hammy strategy to take some time off the clock.
0-0 full time.