Brazil face France tomorrow

Much as I would like Brazil to win against France, I have a fear that France might pull up a surprise tomorrow. Brazil have not been as fluent as I would have liked them to be. The closest they came to their best was during the match against Japan, where they were 1-0 down and then they played some of their best soccer to completely dump out Japan. If they need to win against France, they need to come with all guns blazing – stars such as Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Robinho all must click and click together.

France, on the other hand, are facing an upswing in fortunes. Zidane continues to inspire the team and with this being his last championship before retirement, he might still have tricks up his sleeve to prove that he is still the same old magician. Brazil needs to nullify his effect.

It seems that we are in for a wonderful and exciting battle.

Cheers,
Thyaga

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Brazil 3 – Ghana 0 – Brazil don’t look very fluent

Brazil defeated Ghana 3 goals to nothing in their 2nd round match and Ronaldo became the leading scorer in World Cup competitions – his tally now reads 15 goals. That is the only positive that came out yesterday’s game against Ghana. Ghana, who were the undergods, played like champions but were really unlucky to score any goals – some of them were wonderfully saved by the Brazilian goalkeeper Dida, some were hit wide from close range etc. In short, the conversion ability of the Brazilians saved them on this day but it won’t be enough because they now face France, who are on a upswing after their come-from-behind victory against Spain.

My take on the game:

  1. Brazil completely missed Robinho, out due to a thigh injury sustained during practice. He was a dynamite in the field in the last match, setting up many goal-scoring opportunities in the last match. His replacement Adriano was a pale shadow of him.
  2. Brazil was completely playing in one zone – in the center. They were not passing the ball around as they normally do – i guess, the fact they were a goal ahead and soon 2 goals ahead, caused them to relax and hence, went into a defensive mode. But this won’t work against stronger opponents such as France or Germany.
  3. Their star for the day was indeed Dida, who brought up some wonderful saves and saved some purely by luck – but then thats what goal-keeping is all about.
  4. Ronaldinho needs to strike some form – he does show some glimpses on and off but he needs to do that for the full 90 minutes – he is the game maker and Brazil depend a lot on him.
  5. Brazil players need to be a little less-selfish – there were a couple of easy chances yesterday that could have been converted had the player passed it to another player instead of taking a shot at the goal. Again, this could have been as a result of being ahead in the goals against Ghana – nevertheless, this could prove costly against a stronger team.

Brazil now face France in the Quarter Finals and going by what I have seen so far, they have a tough battle ahead !

Go Brazil :).

— T

Portugal FIGHT for their win

Portugal and Holland literally fought it out in their 2nd round match yesterday. Man – it was one of the most violent soccer games i have ever seen – in a mad passage of play after half time, the refree was bringing out his cards – yellow / red for every single foul. The Dutch players were losing their cool because they could not find the net – after that Portugal’s players lost theirs and finally, the Russian match refree lost his cool too.

Even though Portugal made it to the Quarter finals and will now play England, I think it is England who will be really smiling. Firstly, Portugal will be without a couple of its main players because of red card (Deco being one of them) and secondly, Ronaldo is carrying an injury which put him out of the last game. Although he should be fit by the time of the Quarter final, the injury scare still persists.

I think the World Cup is really heating up now – the action and thrill has just begun.

— T

36 Chinatown – watchable !

36 Chinatown

I had not heard very good reviews about 36 Chinatown, the latest “whodunit” from the director-duo of Abbas-Mustan, who have previously given us hits such as Baazigar and Ajnabee. However, the movie turned out to be a good surprise – it had good elements of comedy with Johny Lever and Paresh Rawal at their best and also it had a good deal of suspense element as well. All in all, it was a movie better than the average crap that Bollywood dishes out – you will have fun and also have some good thrill. Music is decent and well, the lead actors, Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor do not have too much of a role to play and so, there isn’t much to write about that.

Go check it out when you want to watch a movie with not much strings/hype attached.

–T

Brazil – 4 Japan – 1 : Brazil slowly waking up

When Japan netted their first goal today against the run of play, few would have imagined the final scoreline of 4-1 against them. Till then they did all they could to resist the Brazilian attack and also had found the lead. As such they found themselves in an unfamiliar position of leading against Brazil. But then the honeymoon did not last very long – Ronaldo headed in the equalizer in the dying minutes of the 1st half. In the 2nd half, it was Brazil all the way with relentless attacks on the hapless Japanese. Ronaldo scored his 14th goal in World Cup equalizing with Gerd Muller of Germany – amazing feat indeed.

(Copyright: BBC)

2 goals from Ronaldo put him on top of all-time World Cup goal scorers

I don’t want to point out things that Brazil can do to improve because today they played close to their best. However, their tendency to be a bit slow in the beginning could cost them in any other match. But for now, let us just sit back and enjoy this victory.

— Thyaga

USA out of World Cup soccer

So, the party for USA is over ! – they lost to Ghana 1 to 2 in a match that they needed to win at any cost. Of course, that had to supplemented by Italy winning over Czech, which they did anyway. Last World Cup’s surprise Quarter finalists, the USA were hoping that they could repeat their performance of last World Cup but the Ghana team were too strong for them – both physically and on the field too. Talking of Ghana, what a World Cup it has been for them – they now go into the 2nd round and most probably will face Brazil (provided Brazil does not lose today).

Anyway, its hard luck for the US team – of course, soccer does not have such a huge fan following such as baseball, basketball or American Football – they were hoping that a good show here will help to improve awareness. I am not sure that will happen now – time for USA to think back and reflect on possible changes that can be done in the next 4 years.

Cheers,
Thyaga

Sachin easing back into action


Sachin Tendulkar played hist first game today after his shoulder operation – he represented Lashings World XI versus Cambridge Universities. Oh yeah! – he scored a hundred too :).

— Thyaga