Just like you, but different
The Knockout round! Round 2
Winners in these two matches get to face off in the next round. No draws it’s a winner takes it all. I’m tempted by the Netherlands and Greece today. Bookmakers have Costa Rica in mind though… based on my 50/50 results so far….
I think I’m right in saying that in the 2nd game neither team have made this stage previously and so therefore are defiantly in unchartered waters after this.
Mexico – Netherlands: The Netherlands line up 4-3-3, Mexico 5-3-2. Mexico have only let in the one goal so that works for them.
Mexico have the early play with a couple of long range shots, off target. Within 10 minutes Netherlands are forced into an easily change for injury.
15 minutes the Dutch team are being forced into playing the ball back a long way and are being hustled off the play. Mexico ding themselves on attack and take too long to take a shot, any one of 3 players could have had that shot the final result was a scuffed ball wide. Mexico attack again and get their first corner that is closed down well.
Not quite the Netherlands that people might have expected today. 30 minutes in the game slows to walking pace from the Dutch looking to set up the Mexico defence.
Cooling break! The first ‘official’ break for hydration, this shouldn’t interrupt flow as there doesn’t seem to be any particular upper hand in this passage of play. Mexico are going to have angst over the number of opportunities missed this game, and the Dutch are going to build in their efforts the 2nd half should be interesting.
With 7 shots (4 on target) Mexico are showing how dominant on attack they’ve been.
Mexico start the half much the same, a substation the only change, and 3 minutes in a shot unleashed from distance and it’s 1-0 Mexico !! Dos Santos gets the party started.
Mexico goalkeeper called into action with a point blank save, a set piece move from the Dutch, clearly looking their best option to score. Good save though onto the post and away.
20 minute into the half and the Dutch have waves of attack and unconverted corners, it’ll get testy shortly as time get short.
Last 15. Urgency and execrations from the Netherlands team on the rise, You sense that the Netherlands have a goal in them, but it might just the Ochoa the goalkeepers day today, a moment of individual brilliance is needed I feel.
Corner 10 – and it’s headed to the edge of the box and Sneijder with a thunder blaster and the ball drills into the net –
1-1 and they’ve worked so hard for that. the Dutch don’t want to go to extra time and are really pressing for the winner, which would be remarkable.
Penalty! the Netherlands get a penalty, Robben felled in the area, oh my word. Robben makes a meal of it and it’s enough to sway the ref.
Harsh penalty perhaps, but it’s in the books and the penalty is scored and it’s 2-1 Netherlands.
Costa Rica – Greece: This game cannot match the last can it? Both teams slow scorers and this could well end up with no goals the first half.
It’s a nervous start for both teams, a lot riding on this. Greece with any early chance but it’s flashed over. Costa Rica work themselves into a great position and its flailed over the bar…
It then went all pedestrian…. With 25 minutes gone the crowd are beginning to entertain themselves…. oh dear.
Greece getting caught offside a few times, they need to be better there. Greece are having the best of the closing minutes.
A total of only 9 shots on goal, Greece with 7 of them, and with 4 of those on target. 13 stops in play. It’s all a bit dour. Penalty shoot out anyone ?
Greece start brightly again, but there is little urgency.
From out of nowhere really Costa Rica surge in attack and from the edge of the box, a low hard shot and it’s 1-0 Costa Rica, goalkeeper flat footed and helpless.
Referee might have missed a handball there, Costa Rica loa on fire and pressing on attack.
65 minutes and stupid play from Costa Rica and they’re down to 10 men. Can Greece make something of this. The game then went into a period of players falling over and being felled by mysterious snipers in the stand and it got all niggle and arm waving.
The Greece team are chasing this game, obviously, but they seem to lack idea, and their passing is a bit average. Costa Rica masters of slowing the game down.
5 to go. Greece will regret trying to walk the ball into the net there, the goalkeeper nips it off the foot of the striker too close to him.
I typed this “Greece will regret their lack of flair and finish as they bow out.” and what do you think happened next, of course…
Goal 1-1 Greece, pressing hard they play a ball into the box and they have 4 players lined up, it only takes one and bosh it’s in. Greece save this game in the most improbable of ways.
now I write that Costa Rica might be dead on their feet, a player short and now wishing they hadn’t wasted so much time near the end.
Greece tails up being out a great save from the goalkeeper, oh so close to taking that at the end.
All Greece, but lacking drive in the final yards. Still 1-1. the game is near walking pace some of these players have given it all, but you need guts to get glory.
Costa Rica goalkeeper performing, he has a warning for time wasting it would be tragic if he was warned again. Greece are being very casual and have two really really good chances that they just don’t take.
Right at the whistle Greece don’t take another chance, but have a corner, referee has seen enough and its penalties. Greek coach get sent off for something or other, takes a lifetime to move.
and the Greece team go home. The Netherlands are going to chew Costa Rica up.