Archive for the ‘Brazil’ Category
¡¡¡Ya llego el mundial!!!
Three years have passed since the Copa America and we are in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
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What a turnaround for Dunga! What a turnaround for Brazil!
A team with little star power achieved what Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Adriano could not do in Germany. Raise a trophy.
Dunga goes home with a trophy after 4 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie (that they won in PKs).
If you didn’t watch a single minute of Brazil’s games let me give you a quick summary:
- Horrible start
- Robinho-dependence to advance out of the group
- Robinho again owns Chile
- Extremely lucky to beat Uruguay in the penalties
- Crush their archrival in the finals
Brazil Champions! Brasil Campeão!
There is was.
Argentina choked when it was least expected. They crumbled, playing scared like little girls when faced with the yellow and blue. A pitiful game by Ayala, a Messi that did little to nothing, a Tevez that went unnoticed. All important factors in yet the latest Argentine failure.
Riquelme was the only one to play to what was expected of him. The player of the tournament without a doubt. He was denied by the post and again by an amazing save by Doni. But he can’t win it all the time by himself. And he definitely had an amazing supporting cast, but they didn’t get it done.
Lamenting a stupid own goal to go down 2-0.
Few expected Dunga to get the gold so early on, with an young and relatively unexperienced team. Contrast that to an experienced coach in Coco Basile and a team Argentina put together to win without excuses. Well, where is the excuse now? They never came close to winning this game.
It was Brazil’s from the beginning after a majestic play by Julio Baptista to put his up after just 3 minutes of play. It was the ideal start for a defensive Dunga, although its hard to call a coach defensive when his team knocked in 3 against Argentina. Maybe thats not entirely true, after all Brazil only scored two. A pathetic Ayala scored an own goal for the 2-0 to the dismay of the entire team. He played Baptista really soft in the first goal and then knocked in the second one for good measure. Wow… if it wasn’t for what Lugano did for Uruguay, you would be the number 1 candidate for a suicide watch.
Maicon played awesome, yet again, carving up the right side as if it were a Thanksgiving turkey. Elano left the first half injured but Brazil weren’t worried, they would go to the half up 2-0.
The second half didn’t go any better for Argentina. They continued to get bulldozed by the Brazilian defense who were very impressive today and Messi and his talents were nowhere to be found. Another historic final is presence to another historic collapse by Argentina. Winners know how to win. And Brazil is a winner.
Julio Baptista. M, Brazil.
Out of nowhere he came to score not only a beautiful goal, but one that defined the championship. Baptista returns to Real Madrid with his personal stock at a all time high and putting his team and his coach on top of South America, yet again.
The Ugly Duckling
Roberto Ayala. D, Argentina.
No surprises here. The captain crippled his team twice. A horrible game for El Raton in what is surely his last game with the national team. Perhaps that is the best news for Argentina.
- Maicon – why isn’t anybody else praising this guy? Better than Cafu in his prime.
- Julio Baptista, golazo
- “O Messi, where art thou?”
- Riquelme – still the only danger the team poses. two great shots on goal
- Doni – won’t have it from Argentina
- Ayala – stunk on both goals
- They are Brazil
- Maicon’s runs
- Argentina has a history of losing in penalties
- They have an extra day to rest
- Elano and Julio Baptista
- Fan support. Venezuelans love Brazil
- Because they are the reigning champions –>
- Because they upset Argentina last time
- Because Argentina hasn’t won anything in 14 years
There is no trophy that I know of for this achievement, but being the top goal scorer in any competitions is always the secondary objective of a striker (the first being winning it all!). It is a bit of a surprise to see Riquelme this high but he really has been the life of Argentina and their key player in Copa America. I think that if Crespo starts tomorrow then it will be unlikely to see Riquelme take the top goal scorer title from Brazil’s Robinho.
As you can see in the top goal scorers table Robinho has a one goal advantage over Riquelme and while Robinho still is Brazil’s main threat on attack, Juan Roman will be primarily looking for assists and not shots on goal, except for anything from a free kick. However if Riquelme can score one more goal than Robinho in the final, they will share the trophy. If he scores two goals more than Robinho, then its his for keeps. But I would expect that regardless of the outcome of the final, Brazil and Real Madrid forward Robinho will be the top goal scorer for Copa America Venezuela.
Of course, watch out for Nery Castillo who might come and ruin the party by knocking in a hat trick today! Actually I don’t even know if Nery is fit and will play but you never know…
The grand finale!
Who will be the champion of the 2007 Copa America?
Brazil vs Argentina – Sunday 15 July 2007 5pm EDT on Univision and GolTV (not ESPN)
Estadio Pachencho Romero, Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Brazil – 3.55
Argentina – 1.90
Tie – 3.40
Argentina are heavy favorites in Las Vegas.
What do you think?
Is Argentina a lock to raise the trophy?
Can Brazil and Robinho beat them, and thus continue the Argentine championship drought?
It was lights out for Uruguay.
On a night when anything was possible, the winner of the first semifinal was decided by penalty kicks. Doni, who clearly jumped several feet forward, stopped Lugano’s shot and ended Uruguay’s dreams. In truth, the penalty should have been retaken since Doni wasn’t anywhere near the line, but the referee decided it was ok and the Brazilians are through.
Tonight, Brazil will party hard!
The game itself was exciting, very exciting if you consider it was Uruguay who was playing. El Chino Recoba was absolutely brilliant and brought a threat from each and every corner kick. He had some great shots on goal but Doni came through with the saves. Brazil struck first in a lucky minute 13 with a great play between Julio Baptista and Vagner Love. Carini saved Vagner’s shot but Maicon came up for a rebound which he nailed back for a goal. A great goal for a great player who hasn’t been getting the credit he deserves.
What happened next is something which you can only expect in Venezuela, a power outage in a nation with a large excess of fossil fuels. Play would resume some 14 minutes late and surprisingly the tempo didn’t slow. Uruguay equalized off a great goal by Diego Forlan. I have been very critical of Forlan’s play this tournament but he scored a big one that tied the game and raised the morale for the Celestes. Uruguay took that momentum to play strong for the remainder of a really long first half but it was Brazil who surprised with a late goal when they were playing their worst. Again Maicon, this time on a cross, found Julio Bapista who was in the right place at the right time. All alone and with the ball going his way Baptista just chipped it in for a 1-2 carioca lead. Brazil played well but perhaps not well enough to be leading. Robinho was completely absent tonight and the team in yellow was dependent on Maicon and Love. Either way, they weren’t complaining about winning. With that score the teams headed to the locker room for halftime.
The second half was a completely different game. Uruguay made some subs and tactical changes, bringing on a sensational Abreu. Dunga for his part brought some new faces in hope of breathing some fresh air into their game. But the football in the second half was more rusty than the first and not much happened, until out of nowhere, El Loco Abreu found himself with a pinball style goal. Again, Uruguay equalized. The rest of the second half was a game of nerves. Brazil with an untested Fernando and Afonso didn’t want to risk. Uruguay – steep underdogs – were now brinking on the edge of a Copa America final. The air was rife with tension. And we would head to the penalties to decide the game.
One of the most exciting PK rounds in recent memory. Truely epic.
Robinho – sensational 1-0
Forlan – fails. Doni Saves 1-0
Juan – clinical shot. 2-0
Andres Scotti – soft touch, great under pressure 2-1
Gilberto Silva – all location, no power. 3-1
Ignacio Gonzalez – copies gilberto silva’s shot. 3-2
Afonso – hard, to Carinis right and nails the POST. ouch. 3-2
Cristian Rodriguez – whew, made it. 3-3
Diego – perfect shot. unstoppable. 4-3
Abreu – cheeky!!! lobs it in. beautiful!! long live the copa america! 4-4
Fernando – again the right post!! oh no! 4-4
Pablo Garcia – for the win!….. too strong. hits the left post! Uruguay wilts. 4-4
Gilberto – hard over Carini, well struck. 5-4
Diego Lugano – stopped by Doni!! Doni walks 3 feet forward and stops a badly taken PK. 5-4. ITS OVER. (see video)
The scrum which followed later between both teams was unfortunate but it had to happen. Doni was way off the line, and a heartbroken Uruguay had to complain. No matter the pentas though. Brazil celebrates under the fireworks as they barely make the finals for Copa America 2007.
Nothing will tell the story of today’s game better than the reaction Uruguay’s coach Oscar Washington Tabarez to Pablo Garcia’s missed penalty.
The penalty that would have given Uruguay an epic victory over their much larger neighbor.
That would have sent them to a Copa America final after so many years.
That would have erased the pain of so many recent failures for a team with so much history.
That would not go in. So it ends.
No caption needed
Cristian Rodriguez. F, Uruguay.
They call him La Cebolla Rodriguez, which means The Onion. Reason being, he makes defenders cry. Although C. Rodriguez didn’t get a score during regular time, he was all over the Brazilians and wrecked havoc. A great effort and performance by the kid from PSG.
The Ugly Duckling(s)
Pablo Garcia and Diego Lugano. M, D Uruguay.
Both played very well during the game but missed absolutely crucial penalty kicks when the pressure was on. Pablo didn’t get his country into the finals when he had the shot, and Diego sealed their fate one kick later. No doubt they will be tossing and turning in their beds tonight.
TV Coverage begins at 8:30PM EDT on Univision and GolTV. (Note: no coverage on ESPN, on Fox but as a replay).
Uruguay – 6.15
Brazil – 1.45
Tie – 4.00
Brazil comes into this game as the clear favorite, having impressed against Chile with a landslide victory.
Uruguay beat the home team by 4 goals to 1, but few expect them to bring that same style of play tonight.
Both teams have played mediocre football in the group stages with Dunga heavily criticized back at home and Uruguay playing some real boring games against weak opposition. The factors to watch in this game are:
- Robinho – leading goal scorer of the tournament, although 5 of his 6 goals have come against Chile.
- The Brazilian midfield – will they be defensive or attack minded? Anderson? Josue? What will they do
- Diego Forlan – The Uruguayan striker missed far more than he scores. Needs to be accurate tonight.
- Recoba – Deadly from free kicks, his team will be looking to get some fouls where he can do some danger.
Dunga couldn’t be happier and it showed. Even though the game was decided early on, the Brazilian coach celebrated each and every goal like if it were Brazil’s first.
Brazil walks all over Chile and gains confidence and an ego boost heading into the semifinals. Chile played well for all of 15 minutes before Juan would start the scoring with a header from a corner kick. Julio Baptista and Robinho would add a beautiful goal to add a 3-0 lead during the half.
The second half saw more of the same, although the goals weren’t anywhere as nice. Robinho added another one in his personal quest to end up as the tournament’s top goal scorer. Josue got one in reward for his rise to fame in the selecao. And poor ol’ Vagner Love who has worked like a dog in these four games finally was rewarded with one of his own. For his part, El Chupete Suzao left his mark scoring an amazing goal for Chile and saving some face for his country. He will go home disappointed at how his nation leaves Venezuela, but showed he is an elite player. The same can’t be said for the Chilean defense that played as well as the French in WW2. There was little resistance and little fight and Brazil rolled on as if this were an exhibition match.
Robinho. F, Brazil.
The Real Madrid star did shine today but more importantly, he didn’t have to do it all himself.
The Ugly Duckling
Ismael Fuentes. D, Chile.
Fuentes should have worn a white flag and asked for mercy because he wasn’t marking anybody tough and letting Brazil get off shots at will.
Goal summary (in English)