WORLD CUP DIARY: 25 June

WORLD CUP DIARY: 25 June

Another day at this World Cup characterised by the actions of an individual.

But not in the way that we’d wanted, or come accustomed to at this brilliant festival of sport.

The actions of Luis Suarez have leapt to the forefront of worldwide sporting news. Even surpassing critique of England’s bottom-place finish, by even the most fervent red-top judges on these shores.

 

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Ross Barkley was on the pitch for England, Jay Bothroyd... was not!

Ross Barkley was on the pitch for England, Jay Bothroyd… was not!

Believe it or not, some football was actually played yesterday!

England’s Group D was to be tied off with the dead rubber at Belo Horizonte, while Italy and Uruguay met with a 2nd Round place on the line in Natal.

A lifeless affair somewhat epitomised the Three Lions’ campaign, and while England largely dominated against a Costa Rica outfit already guaranteed a last-16 berth, chances were at a premium.

Hodgson made nine changes to give some younger players a run out, with Southampton’s Luke Shaw on the left and Ross Barkley through the middle perhaps our most revered teenage talents since the days of the golden generation.

The air of anti-climax presided, and with the Italy-Uruguay game over on ITV4, and the cricket entering a mouth-watering conclusion after another superb Test Match’s play, the remote was receiving plenty of attention…

Over to Natal…

A feisty affair long before Suarez’ developing hunger, the almost constant disruption and flying tackles made a red card inevitable.

Chances at both ends of the field for Suarez were both well saved by Gianluigi Buffon, while Edinson Cavani wanted a penalty on 50 minutes – nothing doing.

(Nothing happening in Belo Horizonte  – Twitter sparks into fury that Gerrard and Lampard are playing together one final time…)

The stop-start nature of this affair was more suited to Italy who only required a draw to make the last-16, but that prospect became ever the more slim as Claudio Marchisio received a straight red card for a raking challenge down the calf of Egidio Arevalo.

The controversy was far from over however.

(Less so in England’s game, where Daniel Sturridge has spurned the third great chance of the afternoon)

Diego Godin, the Uruguayan centre-half, who has been so endeared to the British audience this year with a succession of influential displays at the heart of the Atletico Madrid defence, rose highest from a Suarez corner to give the South Americans the lead.

But not after Luis Suarez had bitten Giorgio Chiellini.

Chiellini bears his shoulder for the camera

Chiellini bears his shoulder for the camera

 

Yes, he bit him.

He did it again.

Luis Suarez clearly needs some medical analysis, a personal psychological investigation looking at why he snaps as he does, why he lowers himself to what is an infantile method of deliberately hurting another person.

Cheillini's updated Panini was one of many brilliant reactions to Suarez' latest meal

Cheillini’s updated Panini was one of many brilliant reactions to Suarez’ latest meal

This morning, many have written about where this incident stands upon the scale of football nutters – with the consensus lying between Keane on Eric Haaland and Cantona’s Kung-Fu.

Such comparisons are utterly irrelevant; he has bitten another person for goodness sake.

He has previous and should receive a lengthy ban. Let’s hope FIFA show some back-bone on this particular issue (not too much though, or Suarez might try to take a chunk).

Apologies.

One more gripe, however, and it comes in the shape of Robbie Savage – who else – who claimed Suarez should never play international football again, as if he, Robbie Savage, has never farted in the presence of a lady before.

Dear Robbie, for goodness sake, chuff off.

 

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Group C was to be tied off with the 9pm kick-offs, as Colombia became the second team to register maximum points with a comfortable win over Japan.

Eder Balanta – now a shock target for West Ham – and James Rodriguez, both graduates of the Owls Alive World Cup Youngsters XI, were to star in a convincing display that pits Colombia against Uruguay in the 2nd round.

Greek celebrations in Athens at the final whistle

Greek celebrations in Athens at the final whistle

This gives us a terrific Saturday-night-in to look forward to: Brazil vs Chile followed by that, an evening of South American brilliance to savour, let’s hope.

Meanwhile Greece, despite not scoring until the 42′ minute of their final game, qualified alongside Colombia to face Costa Rica in the last-16. Despite the labels of anti-football, I’ve always quite liked Greece (if not watching them), their plucky nature characterised by the loveable Georgios Karagounis is admirable.

Georgios Samaras, who if reports are to believed could be playing for Nottingham Forest next season at S6, was to send the Aegeans through with a last-minute penalty after an equaliser from Wilfried Bony.

Some month for Yaya Toure, then. First no birthday cake, then this. Tough to take.

 

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Will we see him again this summer?

Will we see him again this summer?

VERDICT:

Another World Cup day characterised by one man. The punishment should be lengthy given his history of similar acts.

Uruguay are a good side with or without him and their last-16 clash with Colombia is certainly one to look forward to.

England – oh yeah – that finished 0-0 in Belo Horizonte. Owls Alive will be back with a full analysis of where Roy Hodgson, his players, and most obviously, The FA are continuing to go wrong.

 

TODAY’S FIXTURES:

Group F: Nigeria vs Argentina, 5pm ITV and Iran vs Bosnia and Herzogovina, 5pm ITV4

Group E: Honduras vs Switzerland, 9pm BBC3 and Ecuador vs France, 9pm BBC1

 

TODAY’S BETTING TIPS:

Argentina, Bosnia, Switzerland and France is the accumulator of the day, with a fiver returning £40 on BetVictor.

Their scorecast tool is pretty handy too, if you fancy Lionel Messi to score anytime and Argentina to win 4-0, you can get odds of 60/1. Worth a couple of quid, surely?

Enjoy today’s games. I wonder what we can get our teeth into today? (Sorry again)

world cup Brasil emblem 01

Hugh
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @hugh_wragg


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