Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

I think I said Quarter finals for the Dutch. I don’t care about being wrong this time though. When I realised that the Dutch would be facing Brazil, I thought they’d surely get knocked out. I wasn’t the least bit happy with Van Marwijk’s chosen style of playing either, so I had given up hope for the Oranje.

But they beat Brazil!

The game started off in explosive fashion for the Brazilians and in about 5 minutes Robinho had found the net. Unfortunately for the South Americans, the goal was ruled offside and correctly so. It didn’t matter because five minutes later Robinho knocked the ball into the net again. The ball from Felipe Melo was pure class. (I think I wouldn’t be calling it that if Brazil had managed to win though). The weight on the pass was perfect for Robinho to slot past Stekelenburg.

Stekelenburg impressed further when he kept an effort from Kaka out. What a brilliant piece of goalkeeping. To be honest, the Dutch really struggled in the first half and we were having a fantastic display of football from the Brazilians. They somehow managed to take the game to half time trailing by only one goal.

I don’t know what van Marwijk said to the players at half time but it obviously worked. Sneijder comes up with a beauty of a cross which goes off the head of Felipe Melo. I honestly think Cesar would have got to the ball had Melo not blocked him off/knocked it into his own net. It will probably go down as an own goal, but Sneijder deserves full credit for the goal.

Arjen Robben was meanwhile tormenting Michel Bastos. The full back had already been yellow carded for repeatedly kicking at Robben’s heels. The goal originated at a free kick awarded to Netherlands after Bastos took Robben down. He was really lucky to continue after the foul.

Sneijder doubled the lead for the Oranje in the 67th minute when he headed in Robben’s corner that was flicked on by Dirk Kuyt at the near post. Dirk Kuyt worked his socks off this game and unlike most Dutch players, was also good in the first half and not just the second.

Van Persie continues to suffer from a drought but he’s still playing decently. He still draws a couple of players towards himself and has a fantastic touch and good passing ability, so if he creates space he can still play in someone else, as he played Kuyt in during the first half.

Brazil was clearly getting frustrated by the way things were going and Felipe Melo was sent off for stamping Arjen Robben. Definitely merited a direct red card. The Oranje were getting a bit complacent towards the end when Kuyt broke into the penalty box he seemed a little hesitant to pull the trigger. Another moment occurred in injury time when three Dutch players were in the box and they made a complete mess of the situation.

Van der Wiel and De Jong will both miss the semi-final against the winner of the Uruguay versus Ghana match. I’m sure the Dutch won’t under-estimate their opponents in the next round although I’m sure they fancy themselves to get to the final.

Could this be the year they make it back to the finals for the first time since 1978 when they played hosts Argentina?

I hope so.

I ought to add this. More of an after thought. I think the Japanese referee who officiated the game was pretty good. He’s handled a few other games before and he’s been good for those as well. I don’t think the referee handed the Dutch the game

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Brazil

Posted: June 11, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

We decided to save the best for the last.Brazil,arguably the most popular international team on the planet enter yet another world cup as favourites to lift the trophy. But this Brazil side under Dunga is different from the teams we have seen in the past. Dunga has really got them playing as a team. This is a lot more balanced side than the one that participated in 2006.

Dung has made some strange decisions though in terms of squad selection. I really have no idea why Alex Pato wasn’t picked. Also there is a big debate around the exclusion of Ronaldinho. Some say that if you pick Ronaldinho you will have to start as a player of such status should not be on the bench and might create problems. As far as I am concerned if the manager is strong enough it really is not an issue. Where will the creativity come from if Kaka gets injured? Ronaldinho or Pato should have been selected ahead of  someone like Julio Baptista. But having said that Dunga has done well with these current set of players so it might work in Africa too.

The spine of this Brazilian team is really strong.In Julio Cesar they have a top top keeper. He is right up there with the best. He is a brilliant shot stopper and his distribution is excellent too. And also they have Lucio who is an beast of a defender.He is arguably the most dominating centreback out there (just ask Didier Drogba).He is supported by juan who enjoyed a great season with roma. At right back they have Maicon who is without doubt the best right back in the world. His crossing is absolutely brilliant and his defending is top notch too. They also have Daniel Alves who could play there but Dunga prefers to use him in midfield at times. Michel Bastos plays at left back for them.

Lucio - pastimes include kicking Drogba's ass

I wonder how often a brazilian side has lined up with two defensive midfielders. The system adopted by Dunga is similar to the one Mourinho used at inter this season where Cambiasso and Motta played as the two holding midfielders. The 4-2-3-1 has worked really well for them so far. Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo are the two defensive midfielders for Brazil. It has to be seen though whether Gilberto who is 33 can have the kind of  impact that he used to earlier. Felipe Melo recently won the ‘Golden Bin Award’ for the worst signing of the season.. I think this is where Brazil might struggle.

Swift counter attacks is the hallmark of this Brazilian side. Check out this stunning goal Robinho scored against U.S.A in the conferations cup http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLDGuT2g90w. There is a lot of responsibility on Kaka’s shoulders. He hasn’t enjoyed a great season with Real Madrid and will be looking to prove a point. Change in Brazil’s formation has certainly helped as he has performed a lot better for Brazil under Dunga. The other two creative players are Elano and Robinho. Robinho is very unpredictable. On his day he can be outstanding. But at times he can be real liability with his laziness. Dunga like his attacking players to close down opponents quickly and it will be interesting to see whether Robinho does that.

Point to prove - Kaka

Luis Fabiano will be the lone striker upfront. Brazil have always had great strikers. Pele, Romario and Ronaldo to name a few.  Fabiano is nowhere near that level but he has been really impressive for Brazil. His workrate is excellent and 25 goals in 36 appearances is pretty good record. Nilmar and Grafite are the other two strikers and Brazil will hope Fabiano can stay fit and fire all cylinders.

Squad

Brazil squad: Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Inter Milan), Doni (AS Roma), Gomes (Tottenham Hotspur)

Defenders: Maicon (Inter Milan), Daniel Alves (Barcelona), Michel Bastos (Olympique Lyon), Gilberto (Cruzeiro), Lucio (Inter Milan), Juan (AS Roma), Luisao (Benfica), Thiago Silva (AC Milan)

Midfielders: Gilberto Silva (Panathinaikos), Felipe Melo (Juventus), Ramires (Benfica), Elano (Galatasaray), Kaka (Real Madrid), Julio Baptista (Roma), Kleberson (Flamengo), Josue (VfL Wolfsburg).

Forwards: Robinho (Santos), Luis Fabiano (Sevilla), Nilmar (Villarreal), Grafite (VfL Wolfsburg).

Expected line up

Julio Cesar

Maicon        Lucio         Juan          Bastos

Melo            Gilberto

Robinho         Elano          Kaka

Fabiano

Prediction- To be honest I have not been really impressed with this current brazilian side. They are in a really tough group but they should still qualify for the knockout stages. I will be very surprised if they manage to make it into the final.