Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Backpasses: Toulon Day 4

Group B was back in action today. Toulon the town was given another break as La Seyne was the site of today's matches.

Ivory Coast 1-0 USA
All you need to know about this match can be summed up in one stat. Ivory Coast had 10 corner kicks, while the USA had one. Ivory Coast was always on the attack while the Americans struggled to pass out of their own half. Full credit must go to Chris Seitz in the net. He stopped wave after wave of Ivorian attacks, looking much better than Cervi in the first match. In fact, where it not for the converted penalty, I think this game could have easily finished 0-0. That penalty came in the 70th minute when Tony Beltran took down Nassa Niangbo. Seitz guessed correctly on the kick, but Constant Djakpa powered the ball into the side netting. With 0 points from two matches, the USA is eliminated.

Italy 2-1 Turkey
This game was a war in midfield with neither team creating clear-cut chances for most of the match. In fact, both of the first two goals came from defensive giveaways. Italy were the first to score with Davide Lanzafame going near post on keeper Onur Kirvak. Turkey equalized shortly into the second half when Aydin Yilmaz took advantage and went far post on Italian keeper Enrica Alfonso. The game continued to stay in the center of the pitch, and the real fun began in the 68th minute. Tiberio Guarante was moving the ball through midfield when Turkish player Eren Gungor threw a hip check on him. As the referee was showing Gungor his second yellow, Guarante gave Gungor a couple of pokes in the back of the head. That set off a bunch of shoving on the pitch and the ref gave Guarante a straight red. Behind the play, one of the assistant referees spotted something, and told the referee who then gave Turkish player Caner Erkin a straight red as well. Italy finally put their 10 on 9 advantage to use in the 89th minute when Claudio Marchisio laced a left-footed half-volley into the net from 22 yards. With the win, Italy advance to the semifinals, while Turkey face Ivory Coast on Sunday for the other semi spot.

Saturday's matches see the conclusion of Group A, where all advancement spots are already decided. France and Netherlands to decide third place in the group, and Japan-Chile for first spot.

Backpass links after the jump.

TIET figures out why Didier slapped Nemanja [This is Extra Time]
Shaka Hislop. Hard to understand on TV. Surprisingly competent MLS beat writer [Guardian Blogs]
Michael Bradley was set to go to EPL until Birmingham got relegated [Birmingham Mail]
Hey Gambia, it might not be a good idea to hire that manager currently suspended for match-fixing (last item) [Reuters]
CL final set US viewing records [Soccer America Daily]
C. Ronaldo waffling on his commitment to Man U [Guardian]
English fans were right to think he was evil. Glazer has saddled Man U with £666million of debt [Daily Mail]
It's awesome when cops get drunk and deny everything in court [Scotsman]

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