Saturday, June 24, 2006

Will 'they' do it?

The 48 group games have been played, and while I've enjoyed most of them - and a high number of them have been hugely entertaining - my all out favourite has got to be the Argentina v Serbia game, with that wonder team goal.

"They've done it!" screamed the commentator... and it was 'they' indeed. Cambiasso may have finished the move, but if ever there was a prize for the greatest ever team goal, and the most ingenious passing, it will have to go to this one.

Diego thanked his hombres for a good workout in Gelsenkirchen

A quick check from the SoccerNet stat files revealed that this match was incidentally the top rated match so far, at a score of 8.9. Croatia v Australia (2-2, at 8.7) and Czech Republic v Ghana (0-2, at 8.6) were close behind.
England v Paraguay was a yawning 45th, with 4.5.
Did you know...
Sanderos, Gerrard, Materrazi, Ljungberg, Koller and even le' lankster Crouch may have scored some of the more popular headed goals, but it is Ecuador's Carlos Tenorio who heads (sic) the list of headed goals by 2. Watch out England!

Its suprising that the two best rated goalkeepers are Korea's Lee Woon-Jae and Trinidad's Shaka Hislop, both with a joint rating of 8.1.

"Come on, mon... show me some lurve"

Ironically, both teams are not in the last 16. Of those teams who qualified only Buffon, van der Sar, Abbondanzieri, Ghana's Richard Kingston, Casilas and Dida rated above 7.0.

I can't argue with Deco, Juninho, Riquelme and Xabi Alonso in the top 5 spots as best rated players, but Man Utd / Korea's Park Ji-Sung at number 1 (8.4)???

Against this, Gerrard is joint 14th (with Fabregas, at 7.3), while tournament leader Ronaldinho is joint 20th (with Cambiasso, Ljungberg, Castillo, Frings and Aaron Lennon, all with 7.1)

Singapore's Shamsul Maidin is the best rated official at 7.5 (wow!), with Italian Roberto Rosetti in at 2nd with 7.0, and Mexican Armando Archundia, Australian Mark Alexander Shield, and Japan's Toru Kamikawa joint 3rd with 6.5.

The well coiffeured Marco Rodriguez from Mexico with his can of Brylcream comes in at 18th with 4.5.

Michael Corleone said "Keep your cards close, but keep your whistle closer"

I'm not going to bother with predictions for the 2nd round, as fellow football kaki Spiller and Daniel have already done a great job with theirs, and I really have little to add.

But I will leave you with the commentary from that brilliant Cambiasso goal, which you can also watch here.
Was the commentator stunned, or just in awe?

...(caught by) Maxi Rodriguez...

Maxi Rodriguez again. Here's Sorin.

Maxi Rodriguez to Sorin. To Mascherano. To Riquelme. Cambiasso. Mascherano.

Maxi Rodriguez forcing it wide. Here's Sorin. Cambiasso. This is where Argentina can be very patient indeed. I've watched their youth teams do this, just play the ball endlessly around the egde of the opponent's penalty area, then suddenly break with devastating consequences.

Saviola... Cambiasso... CAMBIASSO! They've done it! They've done it... and scored a fantastic goal!

How many passes did they put together there? You'll need a calculator.
The inter-passing here was just devastating.
Have you ever seen a better crafted goal at the World Cup finals. This will be shown in training manuals all around the world.


mama bola said...

Haha... very farnee Keropok. That Mexican ref is a stylo-mylo fella indeed. His hair didn't move a single bit in the entire 90 minues. I can picture his concentration in the dressing room b4 the game as he smothered the hair cream and slicked his hair back. With mariachi soundtrack playing.

Argentina is hebat man!

Daniel Franklin Gomez said...

Argentina do look extremely convincing. And if they do dispatch Germany, I hope that they go on to lift the World Cup trophy. Screw the Brazilians. :-P

For England fans, it's time that you pick up a new hobby, maybe Synchronized Wanking at your local English pubs? LOL

Metria said...

Why isn't there a rating of the most handsome footballers? I demand one!

kickciggys said...

'that' argentinian goal will definately be remembered forever.what about a rating for most screwed up ref?mister graham poll will take that honour by a mile.a lad by the name of joaquin certainly lighted up the spanish squad against the saudi's..dont be surprised if his name popped up at the end of the tournament.and lastly...i agree wit daniel...england fans..go pick up dat new hobby of yours...

Mr D said...

Was very concerned that the Mexicanos would make tacos of the Argies but thank the stars for Maxi R and his fantastic left foot. Poll's stuff up must be the worst mistake s far and lucky the Aussies got through. England should make a meal of Ecuador but the kick off (5pm local time) and heat may play its part!! Still Argentina and England in the final

spiller said...

did u guys ever notice that, in all England's WC appearances, the way they loose a match seems to always more glamour than the way they win a match?

Jap/Korea 02, we only remember that famous Ronaldinho goal in q-final.

France 98, we only remember Beckham's scorpion kick in Eng v Argentina match, which they lost.

USA 94, did not qualified.

Italia 90, we only remember how Gazza cried and how Eng lost to Germany in s-final.

Mexico 86, for sure, we only remember how we see The Hand of God!

So this time, they will exit in style, when they play really well, finally. Hehe.

Daniel Franklin Gomez said...


It is just before the England v Brazil match. Ronaldinho goes into the Brazilian changing room to find all his team mates looking a bit glum.
“What’s up?” he asks.

“Well, we’re having trouble getting motivated for this game. We know it’s important but it’s only England. They’re sh*t and we can’t be bothered.”

Ronaldinho looks at them and says, “Well, I reckon I can beat them by myself-you lads go down the pub.”

So Ronaldinho goes out to play England by himself and the rest of the Brazilian team go off for a few jars. After a few pints they wonder how the game is going, so they get the landlord to put the teletext on. A big cheer goes up as the screen reads:

“Brazil 1 - England 0 (Ronaldinho 10 minutes)”. He is beating England all by himself!

Anyway, a few pints later and the game is forgotten until someone remembers, “It must be full time now, let’s see how he got on.” They put the tv on.

“Result from the Stadium: Brazil 1 (Ronaldinho 10 minutes) - England 1 (Lampard 89 minutes).”

They can’t believe it; he has single-handedly got a draw against England!!

They rush back to the Stadium to congratulate Ronaldinho. They find him in the dressing room, still in his gear, sitting with his head in his hands.

He refuses to look at them. “I’ve let you down, I’ve let you down.”

“Don’t be daft; you got a draw against England, all by yourself. And they only scored at the very, very end!”

“No, no, I have, I’ve let you down…I got sent off after 12 minutes.

xazuru said...

nice post here... keep on the good work.. thnx for commenting on my blog.

visithra said...

lol hehehe thats a good pre game joke heheh

Keropok said...

!Daniel: Kick-ass joke, man. I'm loving it! Been torturing the England fans at the office (and they're a number of them... can you imagine my day!!!)

!Metria: my choice for best looking footballer goes to France's RIBERY, followed closely by Carlos Tevez from Argentina. Go check 'em out.

!Mr D: I think whoever wins Arg v Ger will emerge champions. AndI don't see England beating Portugal or Spain or Brazil en route to the final (not even against a woeful France!)

!kickciggys: aPOLLing refereeing from Graham. And the Russian ref yesterday. I got no argument with the cards and double-yellows - it seemed like both teams came ready for a bloodbath.

What I didn't like was the ref didn't take charge, close the game down and talk to the players more. He looked shit-scared.

Why didn't Michael Corleone referee instead. He was 4th official I think.

!Spiller: True, true... England always spectacular on their exit match. Let's hope they have a great game against Portugal.

!xazuru: I don;t quite know how to pronounce your name... but thanks for stopping by mate. See you soon.

!visithra: Pray for Portugal, my friend... unless you want the warped amusement of seeing Brazil despatch England in the semis.

visithra said...

I am praying for portugal - i so wanna see eng out - theyve had too much luck

A Shabby Singh said...

my predictions for coming matches:

italy 3-2 australia
brazil 3-1 ghana
switz 2-1 ukraine
france 3-2 spain

germany 2-4 argentina
italy 2-0 switz
portugal 4-1 england
brazil 3-0 france (payback baby, yeahhhh...)

argetina 3-0 italy
brazil 2-1 portugal

brazil 3-1 argentina

K. M. Phang said...

sure ornot shabby singh.......
last time ur predictions all lari la wei.......

Daniel Franklin Gomez said...

Oh no, not another shabby prediction! *YAWNS*

Apparently I heard that Figo may be banned because of the headbutt incident. The Portuguese will severely depleted with creativity, no Deco, probably no Ronaldo and possibly no Figo. Still hope they screw the English!

Keropok said...

!visithra: Do one big pooja for them la! Porto-pooja!

!Shabby: Dude, whoever you are, your predictions are quite teruk man.....

Thanks for stopping by anyhow. how do we reward you if you're 100%

!k. m. phang, daniel: I kinda like Shabby's predictions, actually... esp the England-Portugal one, but certainly not Brazil beating Argentina.

kickciggys said...

a certain 'eric cantona' beautiful..but what happen'd today morning was totally the opposite..we dont need that shit..i would settle for more goals than that bloodbath.and as for the portugal-england match is concerned..the 3 lions aint gonna get anywhere with dat dumb formation of theirs.lastly...hope the aussies spring a suprise over the azzuris

jennifer said...

god...i love your entry. i remember the commentator said this: "This is where Argentina can be very patient indeed. I've watched their youth teams do this, just play the ball endlessly around the egde of the opponent's penalty area, then suddenly break with devastating consequences." and they scored in deed. just like the commentator has expected. brilliant!and i still in pain of argentina's defeat everytime i read about em. apsal la diorang kalah plak dgn german? :(

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