Soccer Night In South Africa: On The Attack

The third day of action in the Round of 16 at the 2010 World Cup is in the books. In a fortunate turn of events for viewers, all four teams in action were on the attack. There was seldom a dull moment in either of the days matches. Sure, one match today was a blowout but the team down on the scoresheet didn’t stop coming forward. That was just the mentality of the day.

Netherlands 2 vs. Slovakia 1 – It wasn’t the dominant effort that everyone was expecting but it was a win for the Oranje nonetheless. A returning Arjen Robben sparked the Dutch and led them to a birth in the quarter-finals. It was Robben that notched the game’s first marker. In the 18th minute, Robben made a long run up the right before firing a rocket low for the goal. The Dutch would press for the rest of the half but saw Slovakia charge in the second half. However, the second goal of the game also belonged to the Netherlands. A Dirk Kuyt cross for Wesley Sneijder in the 84th minute sealed the Slovaks’ fate. They did get a goal from a penalty kick in the 94th minute but were unable to close the gap further. While it was a win, it was poor quality from the Dutch. They can’t expect to contend for the trophy if they put in another effort like that in their remaining games.

Brazil 3 vs. Chile 0 – The five-time World Cup champion showed why they are perennial favourites to take home the crown with a decisive win over a dangerous Chile side. In a side of one-named wonders, it was one of the less heralded player who got the winning goal. In the 35th minute, Juan rose above all others to head home a Maicon corner kick to open the scoring. Just three minutes later, a beautiful pass and run combination saw Robinho run up the right before playing it to Kaka who tapped it on to Luis Fabiano who danced around the keeper and scored the goal. In the 59th minute, Ramires charged up the middle and dumped the ball to Robinho who curled the ball around the keeper to end the game. Chile would wake up at this point and press the attack but couldn’t find the finish. Today, the team’s philosophy of the best defense being a good offense couldn’t get them by the world’s #1 team. Now, it’s off to the quarter-finals where Brazil will meet the Netherlands.

Man of the Day: Robinho (Brazil) – 1 goal

Tuesday’s Schedule:
Paraguay (1st Group F) vs. Japan (2nd Group E)
Spain (1st Group H) vs. Portugal (2nd Group G)


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