Sushant Sharma

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Match Review: Yes!! You read the score line right!! (Brazil 1:7 Germany)

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July 8, 2014, World Cup 2014 Semi Final in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, will be firmly etched in the hearts and minds of all football fans around the world, especially of the football loving nation: Brazil as we were treated to world record match with a scintillating 7 star performance by Germany.

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Germany who have always been my personal favourite for upholding the cup this year were put up against the host Brazil, who in my opinion has been lucky in stumbling and crawling over slightly lesser competitive teams (Croatia, Mexico, Chile, Colombia) to reach thus far. This was their first face off in this World Cup against a worthy opponent: Germany who although not totally convincingly but still have been deservedly storming through their every match to come up against the host Brazil. Little could the fans around the world in canary yellow predict the ghastly and gruesome outcome of the next 90 minutes.

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The German slaughterhouse raised its shutter 11 minutes after the starting whistle with Toni Kroos passing a delicious corner to the chief German chef: Thomas Muller who cooked up a lip smacking goal with a little favourable seasoning from the poor Brazilian defence. Salt was further rubbed into the Brazilian wounds when 12 minutes later Miroslav Klose notched up the scoreline to make it 2 nothing. Furthermore with that goal, Klose surpassed the Brazilian legend: Ronaldo as the highest goal scorer in World Cup history infuriating the home crowd.

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Brazil was trying its best to fight back but the relentless and ruthless Germans were hard to overcome with their agile tactics and an unrivalled passing game. Following Klose’s record goal, there was frenzy of slashing and chopping in the German slaughterhouse as they made the score line 5 nothing in just 6 minutes with the chief architect of every successful German raid: Khadira and Kroos adding up at the expense of the famed Brazilian keeper: Julio Cesar who was reduced to a mere ball boy, picking the ball up from inside the net after every time it went through.

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Unbelievable as it may sound, five times world champions were being humiliates on their own soil. Defensively they were at their poorest form ever while on the offensive front I suppose the spectacularly athletic German keeper: Manuel Neuer must have caught up with a few short naps during the first half. While the fans in canary yellow wept in disbelief and outrage, the players just couldn’t wait to run back to the sanctuary of the dressing room at half time. The team must have received a word or two from the Brazilian coach: Scolari(who now faces flak from an entire enraged nation) to buoy his team’s spirits as the men came out all gun blazing in the second half.

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Normally when an attacker surpasses a defender and its just the keeper left to surpass, everyone expects a goal to come off it. But that’s never the case when Manuel Neuer is the goalkeeper. While a keeper usually stays inside his box, Neuer’s dominion encompasses a fourth of the entire field. Imposing and agile, Brazil finally gave Neuer a chance to stretch his muscles while his teammates with surgical precision made it 7 nothing by the 80th minute, both goals credited to Schurrle making this the worst ever defeat for Brazil in their star spangled footballing history. Brazil’s Oscar saved the reputation slightly (his own if not of his team) by scoring one in the last. And from the smiling German faces they might have just let themselves deliberately go easy at the very end.

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Although some Brazilian optimists might argue futilely that the absence of Thiago Silva and Neymar was the key factor in their humiliating performance, but even with the presence of both the key players, the German armada wouldn’t have been hindered in the slightest. Their game play and the plan of action that they laid out on the pitch was world class. With not single card credited to any of its players, Germany maintained class and character in crushing the life and soul out of an overly lucky Brazilian side who started the tournament confidently even after leaving behind key players like Kaka, Robinho and Ronaldinho from its squad that rested heavily on the shoulders of Neymar (maybe that’s why his spine gave out)

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Either way, Germany have a glorious Finale to look forward to in the hope of adding the fourth star to their jersey’s. However off the 8 finals Germany has been into, it has only won three so far. Consistent but failing sometimes at key moments has always been the biggest chink in the German armour and the one that the German coach: Joachim Low has resolved to patch-up.

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As an after thought it would be interesting to note the reaction of the Brazilian fans to the disappointing hosting topped by the debacle defeat that will spill into an outrage against the Government and Brazilian football authorities after the world event concludes on Sunday.

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By
Sushant Sharma
Photo Credits: FIFA

http://www.uthtime.in/the-good-life/sports/match-review-yes-read-score-line-rightbrazil-17-germany

Match Review: Germany conquers France (France 0:1 Germany)

It was European football at its best here at Rio with the two neighbouring countries facing off in the first and the most highly anticipated quarter final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Both the teams sporting a formidable line-up and been playing respectably throughout the tournament, but unfortunately only one had to go through and it was Germany which overcame the French scarcely to go into the last four of this World Cup for the fourth consecutive time.

The game kicked off with the Germans in white pushing forward into the French half furiously. The German half during the slack minutes of the game would only have its two defenders backed by the keeper who throughout this World Cup has cemented himself as the epitome of perfection in goal keeping: Manuel Neuer.

The French overpowered and thrown in frenzy by the German onslaught couldn’t gather their thoughts in time before a spot kick headed home by Hummels in the 13th minute jarred their confidence. France’s own talisman: Karim Benzema would flutter through the German defence at times but the combination of Hummels, Lahm and Neuer is absolutely indomitable.

Germans retained most of the possession for what time remained in the first half with only a slight distraction from the French, which was dismissed by Neuer seemingly effortlessly while Evra at the French end was the most prominent of the French defenders warding off Germans to the likes of Muller, Ozil and Klose, the latter searching for the goal that will break the world record for highest individual World Cup goals scored. But looks like he will have to wait for the Semi Final match to see if he rises to the occasion.

Meanwhile the second half had its moments but none could change the score line. The French fought hard and long but putting men forward was only making their defence vulnerable which the German offence tried to test at several points. Manuel Neuer kept up his end single handedly (literally) while a frustrated Benzema could only laugh in surprise and disappointment as his shot on goal was slapped away coolly by Neuer in the defining moments of the match.

By
Sushant Sharma
Photo Credits: FIFA

http://www.uthtime.in/the-good-life/sports/match-review-germany-conquers-france-france-01-germany

Match Review: France sink Super Eagles (France 2:0 Nigeria)

France have marched through to the FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Nigeria in Brasilia. Didier Deschamps’ side were given a tough time of it by the African champions, but edged this tight encounter in the Estadio Nacional thanks to a Paul Pogba header and an injury-time own goal by Joseph Yobo.

The French started as firm favourites and it was they who created the game’s first noteworthy opportunity, when Olivier Giroud twisted into space only to slice his left-foot shot wide from 20 yards. However, it was Nigeria who looked the sharper and more purposeful side for much of the first half, and it wasn’t long before they were causing major problems at the other end. The Super Eagles looked, in fact, to have taken the lead after 19 minutes when Emmanuel Emenike prodded into the net from Ahmed Musa’s inswinging right-footed cross. Nigerian celebrations were to prove short-lived, though, with Emenike having strayed narrowly offside.

For France, Pogba was among the most impressive performers throughout and the Juventus midfielder came close to breaking the deadlock midway through the half. Driving forward from midfield, he slipped the ball wide to Mathieu Valbuena and continued his run to volley powerfully towards goal when the cross arrived in the box. Vincent Enyeama, though, proved equal to the challenge, agilely palming the ball away for a corner. Pogba was again involved in the final move of the half, when a clever reverse ball by Valbuena teed up Mathieu Debuchy for a first-time shot. The ball looked sure to at least hit the target but the right-back proved wayward in his finishing and his shot flashed wide.

Nigeria remained the most dangerous side, though, and they very nearly took the lead eight minutes into the second half when Peter Odemwingie crashed in a left-foot shot from 20 yards that Hugo Lloris did well to parry clear. Closer still was Karim Benzema at the other end, who burst through onto a one-two with Antoine Griezmann and fired in a shot that squirmed past Enyeama and looked to be trundling over the line. Victor Moses was Nigeria’s hero, though, racing back to volley clear just as a goal seemed likely. It was a good spell for France, and they again came within a whisker of a breakthrough just a couple of minutes later when Yohan Cabaye’s 25-yard volley rebounded to safety off the underside of the crossbar. Pressure was building, though, and after Enyeama had saved brilliantly from a close-range Benzema header, an error from the same keeper handed Les Bleus the lead. Pogba was the man to profit, heading into an unguarded net with 11 minutes remaining after Enyeama had flapped unconvincingly at a floated Valbuena corner.

France rarely looked in danger thereafter, and they made sure of their place in the last eight - and a showdown with either Germany or Algeria - when Yobo diverted Valbuena’s low cross into his own net.

Credits: FIFA

http://www.uthtime.in/the-good-life/sports/match-review-france-sink-super-eagles-france-20-nigeria