14 June 2010

World Cup 2010, Match Day 4

Not many surprises today. Fortunately, it looks like Howard will be fit to play on Friday against Slovenia. In any event:

Denmark 0:2 Netherlands — As usual, the Netherlands almost looked more like an intrateam battle was more important than the actual match, given the poor support from defense into attack (and poor tracking back of attack into defense). Fortunately for the Netherlands, the Danes handed them an own goal and an incredibly lax marking on the other goal. The officials did a good job of dealing with the typical temper tantrums we've come to know and love from the Netherlands. C/B/A-

Cameroon 0:1 Japan — As usual, the Japanese were clinical with the ball at their feet and close to panicking otherwise, while Cameroon obliged by letting the Japanese play with the ball at their feet and never really demonstrating the tactical acumen to break down an organized, but not excessively quick or tall, defense. The officials were the good kind of anonymous. C-/B/A-

Italy 1:1 Paraguay — As usual, Italy is starting the tournament slowly; and as usual, the non-Brazilian South American side has probably started too quickly, leaving too little in reserve. The officials were largely anonymous, which is usually a good thing but verged on not being a good thing at the beginning of the second half. B-/B/B