Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Backpasses: Toulon Day 3

Today in Toulon (actually Hyeres), two teams kept up their winning ways in Group A and guaranteed passage to the semifinals. Those two may be a bit of a surprise.

France 1-2 Japan
If one thing can be taken away from Japan's first two matches, it is that this is a team that knows how to finish its limited chances. That would be is stark contrast to France which sprayed shots everywhere except at the goal for the first hour of the match. Japan went up within 20 minutes on a powerful wide-open header by Tsukasa Umesaki. France came out after the break determined to even the scoreline, but were consistently stymied by the play of keeper Shusaka Nishikawa. Japan doubled up in the 60th minute. At that point, France had given up 6 goals in 94 minutes since Faty's red card in their first game. France finally broke through in the 71st, but Nishikawa produced a couple of more wonder saves down the stretch to preserve the win.

Chile 2-0 Netherlands
Chile started out fast and ran the Netherlands off the field in today's second match. José Pedro Fuenzalida started the scoring in the 19th minute, dancing through the Dutch back line and finishing with ease. The second half saw two Dutch players shown red. In the 75th, Leroy George was adjudged to have spit on a Chilean defender. While Milano Koenders was sent off in the 88th for throwing an elbow. In between, Chile scored a PK after Fabian Orellana was taken down in the box. Orellana summarily converted the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Chile and Japan sit jointly on top of Group A at 6 points, with Chile having a two-goal advantage on Japan. France and Netherlands are eliminated from moving on.

Tomorrow's matches:
Ivory Coast (0 points)-USA (0)1230 EDT
Italy (3)-Turkey (3) 1430 EDT

Today's links after the jump.

Manchester United meet with Real Madrid. Definitely not talking about C. Ronaldo. [Sky Sports]
Manchester City beaten by virtual pick-up squad in Hong Kong [Soccerway]
Robin van Persie, injured? No way. [Soccerway]
Jack Warner does his best to get another payday. May cause cancellation of Trinidad & Tobago-England friendly [Soccernet]
In related news, T&T players finally get bonuses for WC2006 [Sporting Life]

1 comment:

Goat said...

Please let Van Persie not make the squad. When he next gets hurt, I'd rather it be after he plays at least a couple of games for Arsenal.