Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BRAZIL 2014: NIGERIA VS ARGENTINA




With our victory against Bosnia; a lot is expected from the Super Eagles today as they tackle Argentina. And from what our technical analysts discussed, three of them former Super Eagles Austin Eguavoen  and Taribo West and retired international footballer John Fashanu; what is mostly expected from the guys today is defence. And I hope there won’t be any controversial incidents in this match like yesterday’s battle between Uruguay and Italy - the infamous biting episode where Uruguay’s Luis Suarez allegedly bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder and word is, this isn’t even Suarez’ first time but the third in the course of his career. I realise in football matches- especially international tournaments like the World Cup- there’s a lot of pressure but what the hell was Suarez thinking doing such a juvenile thing; and he wasn’t even punished by the ref! WTF was that? I sincerely hope that biter gets his comeuppance later, an act like that can’t be easily dismissed that way. 



Today...

The Super Eagles, looking excited and determined, recited the national anthem when it was played, followed by the Argentines; and led by goal keeper Enyeama- huddled together in prayer after the coin toss and the match began.
Not yet five minutes in the game, Lionel Messiscored Argentina’s first goal... didn’t not see that coming. But didn’t see this either, Ahmed Musa scored ours almost immediately! Wow... wow... wow!!! Good one, guys! But Stephen Keshi really irritated me the way he just stood there with his hands in his pockets- a little more show of positivity, Coach!
An attempt by Argentina but it went against the net outwards, thank God. One of the Eagles, Oshaniwa, committed a foul but I guess got a warning since no yellow card in sight. Emenike tried for our second goal but fell empty. Our Enyeama swiftly kicked away a potential goal, grinning triumphantly... okay, careful of overconfidence, my brother. Ambrose did his bit by defending and another potential goal for Argentina was stopped.
Like our analysts said, good defence from our side is one of the important things needed and so far, that’s what our defenders did.
Free kick for Argentina and a very good save from our Enyeama!
Later on, #13, Oshaniwa went down but luckily got up immediately- as a defender the team couldn’t risk him being injured so his quick recovery was a relief.
Messi almost got a second goal and it was close but the ball simply swept across that Enyeamba didn’t even have to stop it. Ditto Emenike but the Argentine defence was just tough as ours. One good attempt from Osaze but over the net went the ball.
Enyeama narrowly saved a potential goal and it would’ve been a good one considering the distance- but he managed it. Enyeama especially should keep cool and not allow anything distract him.
Sub call from Argentina cam eventually Lavezzi- for- Sergio Aguero, who went down with an injury. I’m not into tattoos and this guy was practically covered with them, (cute butt, though).
Both teams played very well, particularly when it came to defence and I don’t think I’ve ever watched a match where both teams score a few minutes after kickoff and within minutes of each other, it was just so unbelievable.
Mikel Obi got tangled with an Argentine (for God sake, this guy better be more careful as he’s the one in the team who got a yellow card) and earned Argentina a free kick.
2 minutes was added to the remaining time left and another taken by Messi and Argentina gotit this time, 2-1!  
And the whistle went for the end of the first half.


Second half...

The main hope was that the Super Eagles don’t get into trouble and commit fouls leading to the Argentines being awarded free kicks or worse, penalties.
Ahmed Musa equalized... 2-2; few seconds after the whistle was blown and no doubt the Nigeria Supporters Club went wild.  But bummer,  Omeuro got a yellow card... what did I say earlier about the Super Eagles keeping out of trouble,  we don’t want more free kicks for Argentina. Luckily, Enyeama saved it but didn’t save the goal from the corner kick. 3-2! And minutes later it was Oshaniwa’s turn to get a yellow card. 

Mikel almost made it 3 for us but it was saved... all the same good attempt. 
Argentina's man of the hour was called out and Alvarez went in place of him. 
Babatunde injured his wrist (poor chap) and got replaced by Uchebo.
Trust Enyeama not to go our like that, he blocked a potential 4th goal, keeping it 3-2. At least 3-2 is better than 3-0! 

Sub call from us, Osaze for Nwofor

Musa almost got a 3rd goal for us but got blocked by an Argentine defender... but it's not like the team didnt do their share of defense- Enyeama and our defenders did their very best. Emenike made a good attempt for our 3rd goal but it went wild... so close! Ditto for Argentina, Enyeama just managed to stop the ball. 

4 minutes left...

Side Net! Ambrose tried but got the side of the net! The tension was way high for both teams; the Argentines wanting a 4th goal and the Super Eagles doing their best to equalize again. 
Yet another sub call for Argentina- Higuain  (very hot player) for Biglia


And before we knew it the whistle was blown and the match was over. We didn't win but 3-2 is not bad at all. And the good news, with Iran defeated by  Bosnia 3-1; Nigeria, along with Argentina has made it to the knock out stage. 


EAGLES FLY HIGH; UP NIGERIA!!! 





Sunday, June 22, 2014

BRAZIL 2014: NIGERIA VS BOSNIA




Time for the Super Eagles to do battle again, this time with Bosnia and we all pray for them to have a better game than last time! But I must not forget to congratulate our neighbour Ghana for their surprising game with Germany( yet another team to contend with) which resulted in a 2-2 draw! Ha, majority of the men living next door were so sure Germany would bet Ghana but look what those determined guys were able to do! So let's hope the Super Eagles will be motivated tonight.

The game began rather shaky and Ozaze missed a huge opportunity to give us a goal at last, the ball just zipped past the goal post when he too the awarded free kick after Emenike was tackled. Musa lost a chance too, when he got the post and passed to... NO ONE. No doubt Keshi was at the bench grinding his teeth.
 SO CLOSE AGAIN, Mikel Obi took  the shot and MISSED!
And a hurried save from the Bosnia's goal keeper after an almost goal from Michael Babatunde; they are almost as vigilant as Iran... but let's hope the Eagles eventually get past them- we NEED this win.
Close call for us when Bosnia took a shot, in an off side position. And our keeper returned the favor  they've been showering on us- stopping our goals- by stopping theirs. Strong defense on both sides and very commendable I'm sure but Eagles, we need a goal.

AND IT'S FINALLY A GOAL FROM OZAZE!!! Thank you God... At LAST a goal since we started! *happy dance*



However several minutes later, our Emenike got injured and at first it looked like he would be taken out of the game and replaced but he decided he was strong enough to stay with his teammates. Musa went for a second goal for Nigeria but the Bosnia keeper was quicker.
And the battle goes on, both sides hot and bothered and time going... and before we knew it, it's three minutes before the end of the first half.
Yet another close call for us, an attempted goal from Bosnia goes right over the net instead of in.

And it's the end of the First Half!

We have a goal but the Super Eagles must not rest on their oars or be overconfident- a second goal will make a huge leap for us. Football after all is unpredictable, just about anything could happen.


SECOND HALF...

The Super Eagles and the Bosnian team return and it's back to the game... we're all rooting very hard for our team! Bosnia attempted and the ball went high.

Oh so very very close for a second goal for us but keeper Begovic  was  vigilant and then another attempt but defense remained strong! Grr...

But our Enyeama's just as vigilant as he saved one for us as well, good chap!

Babatunde attempts, so does Emenike but Begovic firmly blocked both... seriously they don't want us to get that second goal before they get their first one! Ha, get past us first, boys.

Musa is replaced by Ameobi- hope that turns out to be a right move.

Babatunde is injured, a tackle seemed to have caused him to move his shin the wrong way but soon he's back in the game.
But down he went again, probably severe cramp. A corner kick for Bosnia, and the ball over the net- close call.

Another sub call from Nigeria, and a limping Babatunde was  replaced by Ejike Uzoenyi.
Oh dear Oh dear... 15 minutes left... nail biting 15 minutes...

Ameobi down- will they STOP hurting our guys please??!- and a free kick is given to us but alas, too high.
Good effort from Ozaze but Begovic- grrr... stopped it AGAIN and oh no, yellow card (our first) to Mikel! Mikel better be more careful, as one of our top players we can't afford to lost him.
Emenike attempts, no go- no thanks to Begovic( who is this guy, The Flash??) the way he moved so fast to grab the ball by the skin of his teeth. Oh... Keshi's scowling again; so is the Bosnian coach, Safet Susic- who like our Keshi is a former footballer.

2 minutes left, plus added time...

A shot from Bosnia goes  wide, Enyeama better NOT keep his eyes off that ball for a second... we need this.
Good save!

Just a few seconds left...

AND A CLOSE CALL, Bosnia's desperate attempt to score resulted in the ball hitting the post!!!
And yay... the whistle is blown... Nigeria 1, Bosnia 0.

YES, YES, YES... FLY EAGLES, FLY... GOOD GAME!!!














Saturday, June 21, 2014

FATHER'S DAY: MEMORABLE DADDYS

I should have posted this on Father's Day but sorry to say I was under the weather that day. My father sadly died on 2010 and though he was strict with us kids, I found myself thinking of him as I got this post ready. Thanks to his insistence we read as many books as possible, my interest in writing was born. So far I have two blogs and two children's books on the stands- and I pray to God for His guidance in writing more.
Any how, Father's Day is a day when Daddys all round the world are celebrated and below is a small list of movies with memorable fathers.






Alberto Rodriguez in THREE HUNDRED MILES FOR STEPHANIE 



Based on a true story (and a heartrending one) a police officer  was devoted to his little daughter Stephanie, despite her severe health problems  and physical disability and refused to give up on her. When Stephanie fell ill yet again and Alberto was told her illness was terminal, he prayed to God- "Let me love her just a bit longer" and promised  he would embark on  a 300 mile marathon from San Antonio to a sanctuary  in San Juan de los Lagos to give thanks if Stephanie lived to see her fifth birthday- an act of faith, hope, patience and love. This memorable event was in 1977 and  the T.V movie made from it, starring Tony Orlando. 
The real Stephanie Rodriguez died at the age of 26, on February 6th, 1999.











Chris Gardner in THE  PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS  




Also based on a true story, a salesman (Will Smith)  struggles with poverty, homelessness and completing an unpaid internship at a stockbroking firm-  at the same time taking care of his son, his wife having given up and left. But somehow he manged to press on and not lose hope, as most of what he was doing was for the sake of the son he was determined not to lose to Child Protective Services.What broke my heart was the scene where they spent the night in a public rest house but the story ended happily with Gardner earning the coveted position and today, by God's Grace, is the CEO of his own brokerage company. 








Sam  Dawson in I AM SAM




If ever there was a very loving and memorable father, that  is Sam Dawson (played by Sean Penn) in this very moving 2001 movie. Half the time I was upset for him, hoping and praying the judge would rule in his favor. Sam is a single father devoted to his little daughter, Lucy (played by Dakota Fanning); Lucy's mother having abandoned them after Lucy's birth. Unfortunately, Sam is mentally challenged which caused certain unkind people to make fun of him  and while Lucy is not exactly embarrassed by her beloved daddy, she is embarrassed she's is more advanced than him in intellect and began pretending to be stupid just so he would not feel bad. Lucy was taken away from Sam as he was deemed an unfit father because of his condition and to add salt to the wound- only allowed to visit his daughter twice a week, under supervision.
So Sam got a lawyer, Rita (Michelle Pfeiffer) to get Lucy back and as the the custody case went on; Rita learnt to be a better mother through Sam's advice and the foster family who wanted to adopt Lucy (the poor thing kept sneaking to her Daddy's place every night) realised Lucy's place- and where she wanted to be- was with Sam; who may not possess a high intellect but possessed a lot of love for his child. 






Stanley Banks in FATHER OF THE BRIDE



The original starred Spencer Tracy as the overprotective and harassed  papa of the bride to be; Elizabeth Taylor in 1950, with Joan Bennet as the peace making Mama. It was remade in 1991 starring Steve Martin, Kimberly Williams as the bride to be and Diane Keaton as the Mother of The Bride.


Both Tracy and Martin played the same role, a father who is taken aback by the sudden announcement from his daughter she's getting married and he's upset because he  still sees her as a 'little girl' instead of a young woman of 21 hence reluctant to let go of her. And there's the reluctance to pay for the wedding but what I really want to know is, was the reluctance because he felt it was too extravagant or simply because he didn't want the wedding to hold at all? But either way, Stanley Banks proved to be a good, unselfish father and his relationship with his daughter remained just as close after she was married. Actually I found him  rather possessive and unreasonable initially but then again, a son or daughter is always a child in the eyes of the parent.









Daniel Hillard in MRS. DOUBTFIRE 







Daniel Hillard (played so comically by Robin Williams) is another memorable father. He's clearly devoted to his son and two daughters but also clearly very irresponsible. I mean, how many fathers would throw an animal themed party (and I mean with live animals) for his son even after the boy brought home a bad report card? That can't happen where I come from! The results of his actions caused his wife Miranda (Sally Field) to divorce him and gain sole custody of the children,  to his great dismay. So what did he do, he went out of his way to be able to see them often by getting his makeup artist brother to  transform him into "Euphegenia Doubtfire" ( who by the way reminded me of a much older Mary Poppins without the umbrella and hat) and got hired as the children's nanny/housekeeper. The charade not only got him precious hours with the children- he also learnt to be a better parent and realized his past immature behavior had really affected Miranda. It's a pity it took a divorce to make him a better parent and person but his love for the children was always constant.










Peter Mitchell, Michael Kellam and Jack Holden in THREE MEN AND A BABY/THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY



The 1987 movie featured 3 bachelors; Peter (Tom Selleck), Michael (Steve Guttenberg) and Jack (Ted Danson);  who suddenly found themselves forced to look after a baby girl left on their doorstep. After several comic attempts plus having to deal with a vengeful drug dealer, the three men- particularly Jack who was  the biological father of Baby Mary, accept their new role of fathers to the child, even after the mother Sylvia returned to claim the child. In the 1990 sequel, they remained  very doting fathers to five year old Mary and had to contend with Mary's nasty step father to be. This is one of the most heartwarming 'father' stories I've ever watched- three confirmed bachelors doing anything for their 'little girl' and one of them finding love with Mary's mother eventually.  
Rumour has it there is to be another sequel- THREE MEN AND A BRIDE- and I'm willing to bet there would be a major  tussle over who gets to walk the bride down the aisle; her father Jack, her stepfather Peter or her godfather Michael! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

BRAZIL 2014: NIGERIA VS IRAN




And a lot of excitement in the air today as our Super Eagles  battle Iran today; lots of excitement! Our hopes are on them; we are hoping and praying they play a very good game and earn enough points to make it to the quarter final, semi final and the very last match of the World Cup. After their success in the Nations Cup; we are confident the Super Eagles will make us proud today. PHCN (Power Holding Company)  has been acting more  badly lately but people on my street rushed around buying fuel for their generators... like they would miss this match of all matches! We wait impatiently for the Super Eagles to come out...


And here they come, looking smart in their green jerseys (of course) and the Iranian players in their white, green with a touch of red. The Iranian anthem is played first, followed by our anthem- and played so well; our players looking solemn and nervous at the same time. Best of luck Eagles- fly high and make us proud!!!
The teams gather separately for a prayer, the starting whistle and off they go.

A near shot for Nigeria but it's swiftly saved by Iran's keeper. From the bench we see the Coach and former Super Eagle,  Stephen Keshi (I'm yet to see that guy actually smile, he's SO uptight all the time). The Iranians are rather good when it comes to defense but we all hope the Super Eagles will get past them and earn as many goals as possible. Mikel attempts to score but collides with the keeper- that won't do at all. He better be careful not to get the dreaded cards.
Azeez almost scored but is defended and  Onazi went down but recovered eventually and ran back into the field. Victor Moses skillfully dribbled past the Iranians but his kick went a tad too high.
Free kick for Iran, went one way- phew! Our hopes are especially on  Mikel, Moses and Musa.
Seriously, the Iranians gave a good defense, their keeper Haghighi more so!
One man down! Oboabona got injured and taken away on a stretcher; oh no...

23 mins and we are yet to score.

Oboabona, recovered and  hurried back- yay. Our Eagles are tough as they come. But he eventually was replaced by our defender,  Joseph Yobo.
We get a free kick! But alas, the Iran keeper was simply too good at saving and caught it on time... yowza!
Still fantastic attempt by Musa.
Ha, but we're good at defense too, a header almost made it in the net but Nigeria's keeper Enyeama  immediately stopped it, like the commentator said- a terrific save.
We continued to battle with the Iranians who were obviously making sure we don't score with their  firm defense, several attempts blocked.

4 mins left before second half...

Another attempt but the Iranians just wouldn't let up, stubbornly defending yet again.


And the whistle is blown to signal the end of the first half. A rather disappointing first half sorry to say.

Hope Keshi didn't  scold them too harshly.



Second Half...

The Eagles and the Iranian team file out for the second half and both teams again huddle to pray before they begin.

Emenike goes for a goal but got blocked... again! Azeez shot a corner kick, again defended.
Victor Moses is replaced by Shola Ameobi and I hope to God that will turn out to be a good judgement call.
How the Eagles will get past the defense I don't know- Azeez  has the corner kick and Haghighi grabbed the ball fast.

YAWN, YAWN, YAWN!

Yet another sub call from Nigeria, Azeez for Ozaze.

Shola Ameobi almost got us one, SO close!
Nigeria stoutly defended back, if we don't get a goal thanks to their blocking them they have to get past the Eagles too!
This was proving to be a poor first outing for Nigeria, very and we expected far more than this. I can't wait to see the Facebook comments... less than 15 mins left and still no goal on either side.

2 minutes extra time and the Iranians stubbornly maintained their obstacle stance.
GAME OVER and we are NOT happy!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

NEWSLETTER: New reads from Random House!





JUNE 2014

Shattered Dear readers,

Summer is right around the corner, and we have plenty of new reads to add to your Summer Reading List! The long awaited, next book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series is finally here. WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD went on sale June 10th, so be sure to check it out. And, Kevin Hearne is back with new novel in his epic urban fantasy series starring the unforgettable Atticus O'Sullivan in SHATTERED!

Also, this month we have a fantastic opportunity for all Debbie Macomber fans out there! Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, an original Hallmark Channel TV series, is back—premiering July 19. What better way to celebrate than with a Girls' Night In—Cedar Cove Viewing Party Pack? The party pack includes a Cedar Cove Season 1 DVD box set, exclusive Cedar Cove nail polish, Sara Snacker cookies, copies of THE INN AT ROSE HARBOR, and other fun supplies so that 100 lucky winners can host a Girls' Night In! Enter here for your chance to win!

Happy reading,

Allison Schuster
Allison Schuster

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Stirring the Pot
THE EVERYGIRL'S GUIDE TO DIET AND FITNESS by Maria Menounos

From Maria Menounos, self-proclaimed EveryGirl and host of Extra, comes a lasting weight-loss program based on the Mediterranean diet of her childhood that will encourage women to think "smarter, simpler, healthier"—a personal mantra that helped the star lose (and keep off!) forty pounds.
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writteninmyownheartsblood!
WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD by Diana Gabaldon

In her now classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon told the story of Claire Randall, an English ex-combat nurse who walks through a stone circle in the Scottish Highlands in 1946, and disappears . . . into 1743. The story unfolded from there in seven bestselling novels, and CNN has called it "a grand adventure written on a canvas that probes the heart, weighs the soul and measures the human spirit across [centuries]." Now the story continues in Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
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Where There's Smoke
by Jodi Picoult
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by Dean Koontz

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Nantucket Sisters
NANTUCKET SISTERS by Nancy Thayer

Friendship takes center stage in New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer's captivating, emotionally charged novel featuring all the tenderness and wit, drama and romance that readers have come to expect from this insightful, much-loved writer.
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Top Secret Twenty One
TOP SECRET TWENTY-ONE by Janet Evanovich

Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day's work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur's wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli's Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what's number one on the list—but that's top secret.
Don't miss your chance to meet Janet—check out how here!
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BRAZIL 2014: ENGLAND VS ITALY





This match was definitely going to be A CLASH OF TWO TITANS; England vs Italy- two huge football nations with very skilled football teams. Like the match between Spain and Holland; this is definitely going to be a very volatile battle but then again what does one expect when countries like England and Italy meet on the field... a battle among several of Europe's greatest players. I honestly couldn't wait to see how this match would play out, it's going to be really exciting. And I will openly say; while I love the Italians, I'm rooting for the English players to win- they are very, very good. The excitement in the air here is catching as we wait for the Brits and the Italians to come out...


And they filed  out, the Italians in blue and the Brits in white (each player even cuter than the next) and the national anthems are performed and recited. The viewers wait in anticipation for the starting whistle.

And the match began! Within minutes Italy goes for a goal and immediately defended... the Brits are definitely determined not to  make it easy for them. Neither would the Italians... England's Sterling goes for a goal and it was sharply saved. Another near goal for England but again saved by the keeper, Sirigu ( hope I got the spelling right). The Italians pass the ball, trying to keep it away from the Brits and go for the first goal. Almost got near the net but I think pressure got them a tad distracted. The Italians however were determined to keep the ball away from the Brits.
10 mins already and a goal was yet in sight. A clean save by the English goal keeper and yet another 'almost goal' for Italy.
The two titans kept  battling; who on earth would score first???  Keepers from both sides cleanly saved the ball.

Free kick to England...

Another save from the English goal keeper and it's already 18 mins in the game as the fans impatiently wait for the goal. Sterling tried again but was swiftly  blocked by De Rossi.
England almost got a goal by Danny Welbeck but no... Andrea Barzagli was there and immediately defended. And that was so close!
Still no goal.  De Rossi tripped over a Brit and narrowly escaped a yellow card.
Moments later Italy gets its first corner kick... and at last a GOAL from Claudio Marchisio ... (grrr....!)
But oh joy... Daniel Sturridge scored for England few minutes later, YAY... 1-1!!! Talk about an immediate equalizer! But it looked like one of their guys on the bench got injured somehow as he was taken away on a stretcher. Wonder what could have happened.
Moving on...
Over the net went the ball as Italy tried for another goal. 2 more minutes added...

England's keeper Hart saved twice, by the skin of his teeth I might add.

And the whistle was born, end of First Half.


SECOND HALF...

The fans at the stadium waited for the titans to come out and continue the battle; I was confident England would end up owning the game.

The whistle blown and on they went. Good save by Sirigu as England tried for a second goal.
An unexpected 'header goal' from Balotelli, making the score 2-1. (Grrr again...) COME ON ENGLAND!

England tried to equalize but the ball whizzed past the net. Pressure being felt no doubt. And again SO CLOSE by Sturridge! Gerrad takes a corner kick, and another very close attempt!
Italy's Verratti got substituted for Thiago Motta. England desperate to equalize; Sterling especially.

Danny Welbeck got  replaced by Ross Barkley.  Rooney almost made a second goal for England, but missed!

Several minutes later, a corner kick for England but it's saved fast. Come on guys...
Manoeuvring and passes...

Another corner kick for England and a sub for Italy. Kick and header, doesn't go in- attempt, whizzed past the net.

Sub: Balotelli for Ciro Immobile (They're  kidding me, that's a real name? )

The Brits keep at it and over goes Sturridge as he's collided with. Free kick! Alas, cleanly saved... this Italian keeper is very good I admit! However, I refused to give up  on the Brits.

And another sub call from Italy (yah, rub it in!) Antonio Candreva for Marco Parolo.

And from England, Sturridge- and limping poor chap- went and in came Adam Lallana.

83 mins, which meant 7 mins left; the England fans are shown and they didn't look pleased.
Free kick awarded to England after De Rossi collided with Lallana but over the net went the ball again when Gerrard took the shot. England's not having a good day.

Not much time left...

Sterling made an attempt but blocked by Italy's defense.

2 more minutes added.
Oh no... another collide and Sterling got a yellow card!

Free kick for Italy but bounced off the bar. Phew...

Final whistle and the match is over.

Italy 2, England 1.
Did NOT see that coming. But all the same, congratulations to the Italians.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

BRAZIL 2014: CHILE VS AUSTRALIA



The anthems of both countries are played and recited; the boys from Down Under ready to do battle with the Chileans. Not exactly familiar with either teams' technique and I don't exactly have a favorite between them so the main thing was to see how this match would play out.

Alexis Sanchez scored Chile's first goal about 11 minutes in the game. Very good start. And then another goal for Chile almost immediately by Valdivia and the crowd goes wild with excitement at that excellent start- two great goals. Almost a third via a free kick given to Chile due to a colliding mishap. Very early in the game it's 2-0. The Down Under boys better sharpen up; they may be intimidated by Chile's early goals but there's still enough time to equalize. 30 mins in the game right now.
Valdivia almost earned Chile it's third goal. Come on Australia, don't go out like that! Mena almost got a shot and it was defended.
And finally a goal for Australia from Tim Cahill. Ha, now they're cooking, 2-1 and ten minutes before the whistle for the end of the first half. So far the first African ref I've seen since the game started- Noumandiez Doue (from Cote d'Ivoire)  has not been getting any lip from any of the players, a good sign.
4 minutes before the end of First Half... will the Down Under boys equalize before then?
A yellow card for Cahill and then a free kick for Chile, no goal. Half Time.

Exciting game, Chile surprised everyone with their early goals but Australia just managed to get one as well. The second half is going to be thrilling, whether Chile would get more goals or Australia would equalize- the world is waiting.

Second Half...
The players are back in the field. More determination on both sides. Down Under called for a sub; Franjic was replaced by McGowan. Later on Australia tries for a goal but as it was off side, was not allowed by the ref. The Down Under boys try their hardest to equalise but Chile kept thwarting them via defence.
Australia gets another yellow card, this time its Mile Jedinak; another sub call from Chile- Vidal replaced by Felipe Gutiererrez.  The atmosphere is more tense as the teams continue to battle hard across the pitch. To be honest, my eyelids were getting heavy and I had to firmly shake my head to keep awake to see the match to the end. Missed just details  but recovered in time to see Australia refused a penalty; it just wasn't their day at all, especially with the scores being 2-1 against them.
And then a goal towards the end of the game for Chile by Beausejour ; making it 3-1!
The whistle is blown and the game is over. Chile's the winner. I didn't root for either team but 3-1 was quite more than I expected. Good game.

Friday, June 13, 2014

BRAZIL 2014: SPAIN VS HOLLAND





Within 27 minutes in the game, Spain got an early lead via an awarded penalty kick taken by Xabi Alonso. Two near goals for Holland as they struggled to equalize; Holland's Blind probably would have scored if not for that rather clumsy move of his. The whole time I nursed the hope this was not going to be another snooze fest. But it looked like the team owning the game was Spain and not surprising- they won the Cup in South Africa 2010. Vrij  was given a yellow card for colliding with a one , the first Dutch player given than earlier on was Jonathan Guzman. Then a very very close goal for Spain but no, the ball went the wrong way!

Yay... then a sudden ' header goal' for Holland.. .the much wanted equalizer! yes, very good and by Persie; the Dutch captain to the delight of the Dutch coach and their supporters who immediately raised the roof as they heartily cheered on the Dutch team on their much deserved goal. This match was certainly a lot more exciting than the previous one. With this equalizer, Holland will be more motivated in the second half.
(By the way, my apologies if my post seems less detailed and uneven, I'm a writer but sports reporter I am not, what I'm doing right now is simply winging it).
Personally, I'm rooting for Holland, mostly because the Technical Adviser we had during TUNISIA '94( WHICH by the way we won)  and  USA '94 is from Holland, our beloved Clemens Westerhof. Call me sentimental or biased but I would like his country to have a shot at winning today's match.


Now for the Second Half...

Yuck, it was raining again; poor chaps... how they could play under that shower, I can hardly imagine. The Dutch keeper prevented a potential goal taken by Iniesta and then a sudden second goal for Holland from Robben! Yay... I knew they had it in them, I just knew it!
Diego Costa almost came to blows with the ref when one of the Dutch players collided with him and got a bit of a blow to the head. Luckily the ref was able to talk him down and the offending player , Bruno Indi narrowly escaped being given a yellow card.  Apparently Costa had a bit of a hot temper so the guy had better watch himself.
Holland almost got a third goal and SO close but the ball hit the top of the goal post but still, a very good attempt. Now, the Dutch owns the game; 2-1 but the previous World Cup winner WILL NOT go out like that, oh no- not with the way they were playing.
And then a sub call by Holland; Jonathan Guzman for Wijnaldum and double sub by Spain; hot head Diego Costa replaced by Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso replaced by Pedro.

And yet another GOAL for Holland!!! 3-1, thanks to Vrij; and how funny, like Neymar he was given a yellow card and then got the chance to redeem himself. Well done!

Yellow card for Casillas.

And alas for Spain, an off side goal and  a foul from Persie, ending him a yellow card. I felt bad for the Spanish guys but Holland truly owned the game now. And they proved it more so... by a fourth goal by the same guy who just got a yellow card... Persie  , 4-1!!
 Man, unless Spain can come up with a new strategy before the final whistle, Holland is going to win the game. Ramos took the free kick awarded to Spain but no goal again.
Vrij is replaced by Veltman and  why the sub when they are already  leading, I honestly don't know.
Sub by Spain as well , Da Silva replaced by Fabregas. Persie was replaced by Lens and the game continued...
FIFTH GOAL by Robben!!!! Oh my God and I was afraid initially this would be a snooze fest, snooze fest nothing... this is by far more exciting than yesterday's! Oh my...

Five  minutes left before the final whistle and the Spanish players on the bench with their coach were clearly not happy at all.
Robben twice attempted a sixth goal but the Spanish keeper valiantly saved it, after all 5-1 was already more than  bad enough! Lens almost makes it but no go and close chance for Spain but alas no, poor Torres.
And the game is over... congratulations Holland!