It was one last hurrah for Tiki Taka football and the squad that made it so famous yesterday. Spain ran out 3-0 winners over Australia, with both of those teams departing the tournament early. David Villa played what is likely his final match for La Roja and was in tears when he left the pitch yesterday. It was an emotional scene that came after he scored a brilliant final goal for them. Juanfran was played into space down the right wing and slotted a ball to the wide open David Villa. Villa finished with style on a backheel finish. A really spectacular way to leave your national team. He was substituted in the 56th minute for Juan Mata. One has to wonder what may have been for Spain if both of these guys had featured in their first two matches.
In the 69th minute, Andreas Iniesta dissected the defense with a killer through ball, which led to Fernando Torres slotting home an easy finish. He celebrated diminutively in a scene that was really emblematic of Spain’s entire World Cup. Then in the 82nd minute, Cesc Fabregas found Juan Mata in space on the right side of goal, found him with a perfect pass, which Mata settled before nutmegging Maty Ryan for the finish. A great Spain performance that ultimately came too late.
The Group B winner was decided in the match between the Netherlands and Chile that finished 2-0 in favor of the Dutch. It was a pretty testy affair for the first hour of this match, neither team wanted to concede the goal which would mean they would have to face Brazil in the first stage of the knockout round. Leroy Fer provided the difference when he entered in the 75th minute. Two minutes later, Daryl Janmaat sent in a cross that Leroy Fer headed home for the opening goal. It was a great goal for the substitute and gave the Netherlands a breakthrough. Chile dominated possession in this match with 64%, but only manage one shot on target with their possession. The Netherlands struck again in the 92nd minute, with Arjen Robben breaking down the left side before crossing a perfect ball to Memphis Depay who slammed home the insurance goal in stoppage time.
Group B finishes with Chile in second place and the Netherlands on top of the group. Chile will face Brazil in the next round while the Netherlands will face Mexico.
Ten minutes of absolute brilliance gave Mexico three great goals, which was enough to lift them over Croatia by a final score of 3-1. This match began as a nervous encounter, with Rafa Marquez and Ivan Perisic picking up yellow cards in the first half. The match was level at 0 going into the halftime break, with Mexico enjoying a considerable advantage in terms of supporters. They brought on Chicharito Hernandez in the 62nd minute and he really opened things up for Mexico. Hector Herrera sent in a corner kick, which Rafa Marquez rose to and headed home for the match’s opening goal. Three minutes later, Mexico struck again. Chicharito led a counter attack and passed wide to the right to find Oribe Peralta, Peralta slotted a pass across the box to Andres Guardado who pounced on the pass and slammed home the finish for Mexico’s second goal.
Five minutes later, Mexico completed their night with another Hector Herrera corner kick. This one was flicked on by Rafa Marquez header that found Chicharito on the back post and he headed home from very close range, putting the match beyond a doubt. Croatia managed to get on the score sheet thanks to Ivan Perisic capping off a finish to a spectacular Ivan Rakitic run. The comeback effort was short lived because two minutes later, Ante Rebic was sent off for a late, high, dirty challenge on Carlos Pena.
In our final World Cup match from yesterday, Brazil dominated Cameroon by a score of 4-1. Neymar kicked things off with a brace. His first goal came off of a Luiz Gustavo cross, which he expertly finished with his right foot on a first timed shot. Cameroon responded nine minutes later with a goal from Joel Matip. Allan Nyom danced down the left side before he found the defender Matip making a run through the center. Matip finished better than many strikers at the tournament. Neymar then struck again in the 34th minute, he weaved through the Cameroonian defense and blasted a right footed finish into the net. That was his 35th goal for Brazil and he has overtaken Rivaldo and Ronaldinho on the all-time goals scored list for Brazil.
Following the halftime break it only took Brazil four minutes for David Luiz to find the forehead of Fred with a cross. Fred finished with a trademark header for Brazil’s third goal. Fernandinho closed out Brazil’s goalscoring party. Oscar stole possession and played a 1-2 with Fernandinho before unselfishly letting the Man City man finish his run with a goal. A fantastic team performance and Brazil will be flying high going into their match against Chile.
Before we get to our results from the weekend and upcoming matches for tonight, here’s a new trivia segment sponsored by Ruffneck Scarves and Who Are Ya Designs. They make a tons of great shirts and scarves and sent me their #Murica shirt, so you should check them out at www.ruffneckscarves.com orwww.whoareyadesigns.com . That brings us to our trivia question for the day which is: Who scored the fastest goal in World Cup history? If you think you know the answer, Tweet me @IamSchaffer, respond on the Full Time Football Facebook Page, or comment on the blog. We’ll select the winner from the correct responses and send them a gift card so they can pick up some new gear. If you don’t know the answer, still go to ruffneckscarves.com or whoareyadesigns.com and buy a shirt for yourself or the football fan in your life.
Fulham has officially signed Australia strike Adam Taggart. He joins the club from the Newcastle Jets for an undisclosed fee.
According to the BBC, Manchester United are reportedly close to signing Atletico Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera.
An interview with France Football revealed that Manchester City did not allow Yaya Toure to visit his brother in the hospital, while he was in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Ibrahim Toure passed away over the weekend after a lengthy battle with cancer. He had most recently played with Lebanese club Al Safa SC.
Former Manchester United player Alex Buttner has signed with Dynamo Moscow. They have also signed Bulgarian right back Stanislav Manolev.
Lionel Messi has been ordered to pay €33 million in taxes, penalties, and guarantees after he has been investigated for tax fraud regarding his image rights. Proceeds from his image rights were allegedly diverted to tax havens. A judge ruled that Messi was not aware of his tax affairs and exempt from criminal responsibility.
Real Madrid have taken over the top spot of UEFA club coefficients. They have overtaken Barcelona.
Bayern Munich is third, Chelsea is 4th, Benfica is 5th, Man United, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Arsenal and Porto round out the top ten.
Sky Sports and the Daily Mail are both reporting that Rio Ferdinand is on the verge of completing a move to QPR.
In our final bit of news, the USA vs. Portugal game drew a 9.1 rating on the Neilsen scale. The highest rating for any ESPN World Cup game ever.
Upcoming matches for today:
Beginning at noon today, we’ve got a pretty much meaningless game between Costa Rica and England. Costa Rica can take the top spot of that group with a draw or win.
Italy faces off against Uruguay in the match which will decide which of these teams will go through. Both teams sitting on 3 points in this one. Italy would go through with a win or draw. Uruguay need a win,
Then at 4PM today, Greece and C’ote D’Ivoire face off, with Les Elephants needing only a draw to secure their qualification. Greece would go through with a win and a Japan loss.
Meanwhile, Japan is facing Colombia. Colombia has already secured their place in the final 16 and will be group winners with a draw or win. Japan needs to win and hope that C’ote D’Ivoire don’t manage a win. They could also go through if the Ivoirians draw and Japan overtakes them in goal differential.