Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Soccer fever - 1 Brazil shows its colours

I am following the soccer world cup quite closely, as much permitted by my office hours. Till now, a few good matches, a few great goals and a few disappointments.

I watched the Brazil vs Croatia match yesterday. Brazil looks good on paper, and they proved it on field too, defeating Croatia 1-0. But I must say Brazil was lucky that Croatians could not blow apart the Brazil defense, which was not that great. Croatia missed a few great chances, particularly the three nearing the end of the match. The tall Croatians seemed to be much faster than the Brazilians, and they used the field placements quite well. Overall, Brazil were not as impressive as I hoped them to be. The team that won the 2002 world cup seemed to be much better.

The biggest disappointment seemed to be Ronaldo. I did read news about him being overweight. Boy he is overweight. He was quite slow on the field. He was replaced by Robinho after 70 minutes, and he seemed to be much better and faster, though a bit inexperienced. Ronaldo got just one shot on the goal, which was easily stopped by the goalkeeper.

Ronaldinho was as usual, very good. Fast and skillful on the field. He did not score, he is a midfielder and so his primary job is to take the ball up front. He did not seem to be playing the goalscorer role today. But then, with two or three opposing players targetting him constantly, he could not do much. I did not count, but maybe he was felled about 10 times by the opponents. This left slightly underrated Kaka (underrated atleast in the Brazil team, compared to the two Rs) with good chances to score and he did deliver. He made out space for himself while being followed by a Croatian player, quickly set up the ball and sent a long range kick curling rightwards into the net. A second similar shot went outside the net in the second half.

The surprise packages were Cafu and Carlos. Two ageing players who handle the flanks. Running from the back to the midfield and to the front. Cafu (also the captain) aged 36 is playing his third (or is it fourth, please correct me if wrong) World Cup. And he is still good, doing his job well. And Carlos was pretty good too. And young Ronaldo disappointed. Well, it may be too early to say this, Ronaldo may do well in the matches coming up. And not easy opponents these, Australia and Japan. I suppose, this might well be the other group of death. Australia is a dark horse, and Japan is Asias number one team.

Croatia has been a good team mostly, with many of the players playing in the German League. The captain Niko Kovac plays for the Berlin team.


Blogger DarkStorm said...

Hey, yaar, france ka match dekha kya. Write a review on that too. Henry wasnt playing so well, and zidane isnt in much form. guess he ll retire after this tournament.

June 14, 2006 8:03 AM  
Blogger DarkStorm said...

Who do you think will win this time. Brazil is my fav, but I suppose England have some chances.

June 14, 2006 8:04 AM  
Blogger In The Shadows said...

Hmm.. Brazil here too.

But I think Argentina and Portugal stand a good chance.

June 19, 2006 9:48 AM  

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