World Cup Daily: Spain feels the pain and Cameroon clash
Day Seven of the World Cup in Brazil and we’re already into the business end of things in the groups with Australia and Cameroon heading home as predicted along with….wait….Spain!??!?
In The Headlines
The big story of the day centred around Spain who managed to go one worse than holders France in 2002 and Italy in 2010 by exiting the World Cup with a game to spare.
Iker Casillas let another clanger in for 2-0 while Diego Costa’s misses proved costly and Fernando Torres toiled. Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla tried to kick-start an FA Cup Final-style comeback but it was to no avail.
“We did not know how to maintain hunger, conviction, ambition to go for it. Our quota of joy and success had been used up, emptied,” Xabi Alonso said after the game.
Cheers – would have been nice to know earlier.
Predicted whipping boys Australia put in a surprisingly good performance in a 3-2 loss to Holland while predicted surprise package Cameroon were the whipping boys in a 4-0 loss to Croatia.
There were plenty of heroes and villains on show, with Australia’s Tim van Cahill showing the Oranje how it’s done with a screamer that sent fans across the world wild.
Holland eventually won through, while there wasn’t much of a contest later with the Indomitable Lions reduced to 10 after Alex Song’s Street Fighter elbow smash on Mario Mandzukic.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto then appeared to attempt to kiss and make up with a teammate – aggressively jutting his head into Benjamin Moukandjo in injury time. Nice.
The England Camp
The hour of judgement is upon us, with England preparing for their must-win/must-draw/must-not-lose-badly bout with Uruguay and Premier League cartoon villain Luis Suarez.
Unfortunately for England fans, calamitous captain Diego Lugano is out of the game, while Suarez may not be as 100% as previously claimed, with Oscar Tabarez admitting as much in a pre-match press conference – but is it mind games?
Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain is still out, while Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer and Graham Taylor appear to have got their way with the Manchester United man set to start in his preferred no.10 position.
Fabio Coentrao has already been ruled out of the tournament for Portugal while some reports have cast doubts on Cristiano Ronaldo who is believed to be struggling with knee-knack. With a key encounter against the USA to come – the team that beat them the last time they went out in the groups – the tension is building for the other Selecao. Worse still, Jozy Altidore is out.
FIFA has issued something of a telling off to Mexico and Brazil fans amid concerns over the amount of inappropriate language being chanted by the supporters in attendance.
Meanwhile jubilant scenes in both Holland and Chile with the centre of Santiago awash with fans.
Now all they have to do is play-off to decide who plays hosts Brazil….
And In Other News
There were mixed fortunes for the managers yesterday, starting with Vicente del Bosque who compounded Spain’s misery by attempting to board the Chile team bus – if Costa can’t swap back to Brazil then you certainly can’t join the other La Roja Vicente!
Meanwhile, Mexico manager Miguel Herrera took a break from his preparations for El Tri’s crunch game with Croatia to photobomb Giovani Dos Santos and the gang. What a lad.
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