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Showing posts with label football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label football. Show all posts
The End of the Affair - A Last Bit of World Cup Spoofery

The End of the Affair - A Last Bit of World Cup Spoofery

SUN 13th July Germany 0-0 Argentina (1-0 aet) (PREDICTION 1-0) So Germany went and did it, won their first World Cup in 24 years and typically the German player who infuriated the most over the tournament, Goetze, goes and bags the winner. Unusually for a World Cup final it actually started well with an excellent first half of football but unfortunately the second half stank, only for a few sparks of excitement to re-emerge in extra time. As you may remember I cautiously predicted either Spain, Germany, Brazil or Argentina would win the World Cup so I'm sitting pretty (3 of the semi-finalists at least) and to be fair to Germany they were consistently the best team throughout the month and deserved it. Doubts about a future domination by them persist but when you realise Reus, Gondogan, Badstuber and at a stretch Mario Gomez can come back into the squad you never know, just need to find someone good in beside Hummels and they're set. SAT 12th July Brazil 0-3 Netherlands

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Nearly There Now - More World Cup Spoofery

Nearly There Now - More World Cup Spoofery

FRI 4th July France 0-1 Germany (Prediction 2-2, Germany on penalties) Brazil 2-1 Colombia  (Prediction 1-1 at full time, Colombia on penalties) Missed first game due to sister getting married (very selfish of her) but snuck away from the dancefloor long enough to catch Brazil kick Colombia and Rodriguez off the pitch, a tactic that led to Colombian players losing their rag and ultimately Neymar getting a fractured vertebrae from a reckless challenge. Brazil promptly went into mourning. SAT 5th July Argentina 1-0 Belgium (Prediction 0-0, Argentina to win in extra time) Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica  (aet)  Netherlands through on penalties (Prediction 2-0) Higuain finally contributed to this World Cup with a great finish from outside the box early on but the game was ultimately a dud, very surprised that Belgium didn't have a right go until the very end and Januzaj didn't come on to get some pace into the team after Hazard came off after another poor performance. Wilmo

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And then there were 8 - More World Cup Spoofery

And then there were 8 - More World Cup Spoofery

MON 30th JUNE France 2-0 Nigeria (Prediction 1-0) Germany 0-0 Algeria (2-1 aet) (Prediction 2-0) France go through after a couple of late goals and Nigeria crying foul over a couple of refereeing decisions. Germany took even longer to break Algeria down who looked better than them in the first half with the Germans playing a very dangerous high line that had Neuer playing sweeper way too often, a tactic which could cost them against France. TUES 1st JULY Argentina 0-0 Switzerland (1-0 aet) (Prediction 3-1) Belgium 0-0 USA (2-1 aet) (Prediction 1-1, USA on pens) Messi again manages to drag Argentina along with a fine run and pass for Di Maria to grab the winner, felt sorry for Dzemaili whose double miss for the Swiss reminded me of myself out on the astro pitch, not the goal fest I expected with the ramshackle nature of both defences. Belgium needed Lukaku to come on and use his pace and strength when the American defence, who had a particularly brilliant Tim Howard beh

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A Touch of Klass - More World Cup Spoofery

A Touch of Klass - More World Cup Spoofery

SAT 28th JUNE Brazil 1-1 Chile (Chile on pens)  (Prediction 2-2, Chile on pens) Colombia 2-0 Uruguay  (Prediction 3-1) So the goalfest I was hoping for from Brazil/Chile didn't happen but it was an entertaining enough game throughout and Chile were unlucky not to steal it, David-Platt-style, when they hit the bar in the 119th minute. Brazil showed some nerve in the penalty shootout, I was expecting them to fold under the pressure but instead they pulled through and now face Colombia in the quarters. Only saw very miniscule highlights of the second game, but both Rodriguez goals were great for different reasons, one an individual display of technique and skill with a powerful volley, and the second a well worked goal including a very clever header at the back post by Cuadrado for Rodriguez to strike. I would do a toothless Uruguay joke but I've been well beaten to it at this stage. SUN 29th JUNE Netherlands 2-1 Mexico  (Prediction 2-0) Costa Rica 1-1 Greece  (Costa Ric

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Müller Delight - More World Cup Spoofery

Müller Delight - More World Cup Spoofery

Thursday 26th June USA 0-1 Germany (Prediction 1-2) Portugal 2-1 Ghana  (Prediction 1-2) So the "match-fixing" between the Germans and the U.S. never materialised, instead Germany got a narrow win in the teeming rain when Mueller finished brilliantly from a Tim Howard parry. Both sides go through though as a high scoring win for neither Portugal nor Ghana came about. Cristiano got a goal at least and Gyan got his sixth World Cup Finals goal, making him the highest scoring African player in World Cup History. Records wise it's been a very bad tournament for Roger Milla who previously held that particular record and also the oldest player at a finals until Mondragon came on in goals the other night much to Didi Hamann's bemusement . Ghana go out after sending a plane with $3 million in cash to cover players appearance fees and sending home both Muntari (slapping a Ghanian FA representative, flupping 'eck) and Boateng (insulting his coach ) before today's

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Shaqiri scores whenever, wherever - More World Cup Spoofery

Shaqiri scores whenever, wherever - More World Cup Spoofery

Wednesday 25th June Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-1 Iran (Prediction 1-1) Nigeria 2-3 Argentina  (Prediction 1-3) Bosnia found some solace in a decent win against Iran, yeah too little too late, but at least they've gone home with something. Iran pay the price for not having a go against Nigeria in the first game and go home with just that point in the end. Their performance against Argentina did earn them some credit, in my eyes at least. Messi and Musa provided most of the goals in the other match, two each. I must mention Enyeama, the Nigerian keeper, surely he could have made more of an effort to deal with Messi's free kick which snuck Argentina ahead just before half time. Both teams go through, but Nigeria did enough to suggest the Argentinian defence can be easily got at.  Incidentally I'm with Kenny Cunningham on the Lavezzi/Sabella squirt , and only that. Honduras 0-3 Switzerland  (Prediction 1-3) Ecuador 0-0 France  (Prediction 0-4) An impressive hat t

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Costa Rica say GREECE me up - More World Cup Spoofery

Costa Rica say GREECE me up - More World Cup Spoofery

Italy 0-1 Uruguay (Prediction 2-0) Costa Rica 0-0 England  (Prediction 0-2) Well England are put out of their misery finally after playing out a pretty tepid 0-0 with the group winners, my adopted Costa Rica who now have the misfortune of playing the Greeks in the second round. Italy Uruguay played out like a boring indie movie with a not too surprising ending and unrealistic psychopath character biting another lad. Godin scoring with the back of his shoulder from a corner near the end was enough to separate the two teams, but in fairness Italy only started creating anything of note and showing some skill after going behind, too late.  Japan 1-4 Colombia  (Prediction 1-2) Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast  (Prediction 0-1) Colombia topped off their fantastic group phase performance with another win. Rodriguez came on in the second half and seemed to spring Colombia into life who yet again showed some clinical finishing and should be too strong for Uruguay in the last 16, but who kno

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 All's FER in Netherlands V Chile - More World Cup Spoofery

All's FER in Netherlands V Chile - More World Cup Spoofery

Monday 23rd June Australia 0-3 Spain (Prediction 1-3) So Spain bow out with a win against an Australian team that seemed a bit jaded from their efforts in the previous two games. David Villa scored a typically exquisite backheel, his 59th goal for Spain and got very emotional when he came off as his international career drew to a close. Torres finished well from a great defence-splitting pass from Iniesta before Mata, on as a sub and should have played a lot more in this tournament, got the third. Netherlands 2-0 Chile  (Prediction 2-1) Netherlands versus Chile wasn't up to much, no surprise with both sides already through although it was almost hypnotic looking at Blind fouling Sanchez every few minutes. The goals finally came late on in the second half, a free header from Fer from a corner and Memphis Depay scoring in injury time after a Robben break from a Chilean corner. The Dutch, I'm sure, delighted with three wins out of a possible three and topping the group.

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AL-CHEERY-A: More World Cup Spoofery

AL-CHEERY-A: More World Cup Spoofery

Saturday 21st June Argentina 1-0 Iran (Prediction 4-1) Messi saves the day with a world class strike but I have to say credit where credit's due, Iran were excellent and defeat was harsh on them, defended really well but this time they looked to do something with the ball at every opportunity and created some really excellent chances. It's a real shame they didn't attack the same way against Nigeria, they might have won that game if they had. Argentina really got away with it though and a lot of their players need to step it up a gear, but two wins is two wins. Germany 2-2 Ghana (Prediction 3-1) What a second half of football, non-stop attacking and terrible defending conspiring to entertain the masses. Ghana did amazingly well to go 2-1 up and could have even gone 3-1 up with better decision making near goal but then Germany just threw on Schweinsteiger and Klose and went up a level to claim the draw. It's worth noting that a lot of the German players tired v

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COSTA-HURT-A - More World Cup Spoofery

COSTA-HURT-A - More World Cup Spoofery

Thursday 19th June Colombia 2-1 Ivory Coast  (Prediction 1-1) Didn't get to see most of this but Colombia are looking very good, aren't they? Ivory Coast should beat Greece handily enough and go through as runners up. Greece are really nothing to fear, but then again the tragedy in the Toure family could mean things are up in the air for the Ivory Coast.... England 1-2 Uruguay  (Prediction 2-1) Whenever I think England are going to do something they shoot themselves in the foot, although they were ultimately unlucky if you ask me. They created a lot of close chances and the winner came from an attempt at a clearing header by Gerrard, but it seemed England's back four/five were lacking when it came down to it. Also Dunphy gets away without having to wear a dress on air after the Italy/Costa Rica result the next day, shame. Japan 0-0 Greece  (Prediction 2-0) Eh let's just leave it at that.... Friday 20th June Italy 0-1 Costa Rica  (Prediction 2-0) Dr

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Ok so Spain aren't going to do it this time - More World Cup Spoofery

Ok so Spain aren't going to do it this time - More World Cup Spoofery

Monday 16th June Germany 4-0 Portugal (Prediction 3-1) So Germany looked very decent but are still an injury or a suspension away from being in trouble if you ask me although Müller looks very much in the mood. Thought his reaction to Pepe's arm was a bit out of order, but then I remembered it was Pepe involved, so sod him basically. Coentrão out and Ronaldo not fit means Portugal's involvement in the later stages hangs in the balance, although playing USA next who didn't exactly look ultra-threatening going forward. Iran 0-0 Nigeria (Prediction 0-1) Pure shite, I know as an Irishman I can't really complain about a team who set up to defend and get a draw but I will. Then again, as annoying as Iran were, Nigeria did absolutely nothing to deserve a win, very poor with the ball which they had a lot of. Still, interested to see how Bosnia and Argentina go about beating both of them. Ghana 1-2 USA (Prediction 1-1) Entertaining match, but Ghana's disc

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COMPUTER SAYS GOAL - More World Cup Spoofery

COMPUTER SAYS GOAL - More World Cup Spoofery

Thursday 12th June Brazil 3-1 Croatia (Predicted 2-1) Jammy is a word that springs to mind about this one, dodgy penalties, goals ruled out for no reason but all in all, the Croat keeper should probably have stopped all three goals if you ask me, even though you didn't. Brazil starting very slowly but wouldn't rule out momentum building just yet, and the Croats looked good particularly Modric and Rakitic in the middle. Fri 13th June Mexico 1-0 Cameroon (Prediction 1-1) A flummoxed linesman was the only reason that Mexico didn't win this game more convincingly, and I have to say Mexico looked a lot more organised than I thought they would be, so my following predictions for them in the rest of the group maybe unfair on them, Cameroon looked listless. Spain 1-5 Netherlands (Prediction 0-0) Now don't worry I do remember saying Spain haven't got much worse since the Euros you won't have to remind me, they didn't really do much going forward, X

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Brasil 2014 - Here We Go! - Shola's World Cup Spoofery

Brasil 2014 - Here We Go! - Shola's World Cup Spoofery

IT'S FINALLY BLOODY HERE! So here we are, the day of, and I have way too much information going round inside my head so I've clearly over prepared, I'm not really sure of anything anymore so I've decided to chuck everything from my mind and make ridiculously knee-jerk gut reactions (sounds painful I know and biologically suspect). Now predictions wise, I said Italy in 2010 and France in 2012 so I'm going to calm myself down a bit and go for Brazil, Spain or Argentina or Germany. I honestly think Spain can do it again, they haven't got any worse to be honest. As regards Argentina, it all depends on how their defence shapes up this time, Brazil's second round opponents being either Spain, Chile or the Netherlands (or Australia!) will be interesting and go a long way to deciding their fate in the tournament and Germany I'm just not sure about. I'd like to see Japan doing well, I've always enjoyed watching them play and the group draw is gen

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Euro Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go...

Euro Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go...

Right so I've been sick the last while in case you were wondering what happened to my *award winning coverage of the Euros and a lot has happened, in fact the entire knock-out part of the competition. QUARTER FINALS Czech Rep 0-1 Portugal (Prediction 1-3) Greece 2-4 Germany (Prediction 0-4) Spain 2-0 France (Prediction 1-1, France on pens) Italy 0-0 England (Italy 4-2 on pens) (Prediction 1-1, Eng on pens) The Czechs never really offered anything going forward so it was only a matter of time before Portugal scored but they still made hard work of it, they really need to find a striker from somewhere. Germany changed their front three for no reason, and could have possibly been the reason why they lost momentum, obviously scoring four was great but conceding two against a very average Greece side was poor. Spain brushed aside France who went out with a whimper and I'd say Blanc was only too happy to walk away, I apologise to him wholeheartedly for backing them public

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We finished 16th!!

We finished 16th!!

GROUP A - Sat 16th Czech Rep 1-0 Poland (Prediction 1-2) Greece 1-0 Russia (Prediction 1-3) Well congrats to any crazy person out there who predicted the end of this group. How Russia couldn't pull together and get a draw I'll never know, Greece seemed to show Ireland what we should have been doing, with Samaras and Salpingidas being very clever when holding the ball up and Karagounis spreading the ball well whenever he got on it. The match also provided my highlight of the tournament so far with Karagounis's meltdown after getting booked for diving when he should have got a penalty and realised he'd miss the quarter finals. It wasn't long before they had to take him off and he was still going mad on the sidelines. As for the Poles they kind of just petered out in the end and the Czech's looked quite comfortable, but be surprised if they do anything against the Portuguese in the next round. GROUP B - Sun 17th Denmark 1-2 Germany (Prediction 2-2)

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I Am The Torres-urrection And I Am The Light...

I Am The Torres-urrection And I Am The Light...

GROUP A - Tues 12th Greece 1-2 Czech Rep (Prediction: 1-2!!!) Poland 1-1 Russia  (Prediction: 2-2) Woohoo! My second correct scoreline of the tournament was the only interest for me in the first match, Czech took a deserved early lead but let Greece back in towards the end which will surely give Poland hope, as will the way they played against Russia in what turned out to be a really entertaining end to end game which neither team deserved to lose, although how Kerzhakov keeps managing to start for Russia ahead of any other striker they have is beyond me, maybe the coach thinks Pavlyuchenko is too laid back or something. GROUP B - Weds 13th Denmark 2-3  Portugal  (Prediction: 2-1) Netherlands 1-2 Germany  (Prediction: 2-2) Poor ol' Bendtner, my outside bet for top scorer, on Paddy Power ironically, couldn't do enough to steal a draw in the end, Portugal looked alright, Ronaldo still not firing on all cylinders and it's possibly time to move him central, up front

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You'll Probably Beat The Irish...

You'll Probably Beat The Irish...

GROUP A - Fri 8th Poland 1-1 Greece ( Prediction:  3-0) Russia 4-1 Czech Rep   ( Prediction:  1-1) Well, there was a great start to the tournament, opening was game full of drama. 10 man Greece managed to fight back after being outplayed in the first half, Poalnd then had Szczesny sent off after an hour and the replacement saves the penalty. Shame Poland couldn't keep it going in the second half, thought I was onto a good thing with Lewandowki but it's a big ask for him now to get top scorer. As for the Russians, wow, 0-0 we got looks even more unbelievable after that performance, but also on the other hand Czechs were very poor. GROUP B - Sat 9th Netherlands 0-1 Denmark  ( Prediction:  2-1) Germany 1-0 Portugal ( Prediction:  3-1) Now I didn't get to watch these matches live, only highlights because friends of mine decided to get married, I know, selfish! A request for a reschedule went in but it was denied, they made up for it though setting up a marquee for us to

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Euro 2012 - Here We Go

Euro 2012 - Here We Go

And so it begins. 10 years is too long a wait to see Ireland really struggle in a major championships and I for one can't wait for it. The draw, while on one hand, was incredibly unkind to us, giving us the remotest chance of progressing, but, in my opinion, does at least guarantee us three great oppositions and matches and means we don't have to endure anything in any way similar to Egypt in 1990. Also you could argue being the underdog in every game suits us, but in Croatia and Spain anyway you have two teams who will really relish having the ball for 89 minutes and could do some real damage to us if they're up for it. Been hearing a lot of people expecting us to progress which is insane, hoping's fair enough. So who to back as overall winners, now this is where it gets tough. Spain, surely can't win 3 tournaments in a row, Germany maybe, but for me it could be France, now you'll guffaw I'm sure but I genuinely think if they emerge from the groups the

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The World Cup has turned and left me here......

The World Cup has turned and left me here......

So Spain it is, a victory for football by all accounts. The final, while not a great game of football, was crammed full of incident and drama, amazing refereeing decisions and even crazier challenges by players (see above photo) so Webb never stood a chance, and therefore the Dutch daring to have a go at the ref is just stupid. My major gripe with the Dutch is that they could have easily have won that final if they tried to play football for a few minutes, Spain's defence showed on a number of occasions they weren't up to scratch and could easily have been got at, but van Marwijk must have decided he had too many average players and decided they couldn't do it. So my prediction of 2-1 fell arseways again, but that was down to masterful goalkeeping at both ends rather than anything else. The third place playoff turned out to be a cracker with both teams going gung ho, and I must admit it was a little bit heart wrenching to see Forlan's free kick in the last second bou

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