Argentina and Brazil Set the Tempo in South Africa

Brazil showed their flair, efficiency and why they are favourites to win this year’s World Cup this evening with a convincing 3-0 victory over South American rivals Chile.

Chile were able to close down their Brazilian opponents for most of the first half, limiting their chances on goal and time in possession. Once Brazil took their lead from an unlikely source in Juan, rising above everybody in the box to head home Maicon’s lead, there was no looking back for the five time world champions. Just a few minutes later they would double their lead with a lovely move involving Robinho and Kaka that slipped Luis Fabiano in one-on-one to round goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and tap in a 2-0 need to take in at half time.

Chile’s Defensive Naivety Proves Costly

While Chile have looked an attractive side to watch in their 3 previous group games at this World Cup, they’ve always looked vulnerable to counter attacks and generally in defence with their three lines of three. Although Brazil didn’t exploit them down the wings very often in this game, they looked like they could score at will after their first goal. Robinho put the game beyond doubt on the hour mark after a bursting run from Ramires to set him up. Ramires and Kaka would fire over opportunities over, whereas Julio Cesar was relatively untested throughout the match as he kept his second consecutive clean sheet. Brazil strolled through this one, as expected by many including myself.

Dutch Haven’t Imploded Yet

Brazil will meet the Netherlands in a quarter final showdown on Friday afternoon after the Dutch eliminated Slovakia 2-1 in today’s early game. Arjen Robben’s solo effort gave the Oranje the lead before half time before Wesley Sneijder settled it late on. Robert Vittek would score a consolation penalty with the last kick of the game; his fourth goal of the World Cup. Yes, that’s more than the England team scored in as many games.

Not Fit to Wear the Shirt

England’s diabolical performance yesterday deserves it’s own blog post. Given that everybody else has wrote one and you’ve talked about it with all your friends and colleagues, I won’t bore you any more. Instead, I’ll attach a winning bet slip from that game for anyone else thinking “I told you Germany would win”!

Diego Maradona’s in Charge

Later on Sunday evening Argentina showed us why they are many people’s favourites for this World Cup. Their attacking talent was on display yet again as they cruised to another country, once again without Lionel Messi getting his name on the scoresheet. I continue to question their untested defence and Diego Maradona’s tactical know-how, but if no one is ever going to get a chance to test their defence then I suppose I shouldn’t write them off. Germany will be a real test for Argentina on Saturday. Joachim Low is tactically astute and being German, his side know how to win games. Another exciting quarter final prospect for us to look forward to.