Sunday, June 14, 2009

Confederations Cup Liveblog: New Zealand v. Spain

Announcing the Ceschawk

If it's a Sunday than it must mean that Cesc has issued another not-so-veiled "Come Get Me" to Barcelona. But we're not here to discuss that now, are we? No, we've got international football on tap!

Here is your preview. Spain Good. New Zealand Bad. More insight of that caliber after the jump.

Preview: Okay, here's a little bit more high-caliber insight. Spain are undefeated in 32 straight matches. New Zealand have been in two previous Confederations Cup and have never earned a point. Although, to be fair, the All-Whites (ha!) almost beat Italy last week. So, the big question for today's match is whether Spain are going to show some pride and try to win this tourney, or will they just be happy to show up? Today, Spain has the opportunity to make a statement one way or the other.

Lineups: Remember, no Iniesta or Senna for Spain.

Spain (4-4-2): Casillas (c); Albiol; Puyol; Capdevila; Ramos; Riera; Xavi; Fabregas; Alonso; Villa; Torres. Subs: Pique; Marchena; Pablo; Sergio; Diego Lopez; Llorente; Guiza; Arbeloa; Cazorla; Silva; Mata; Reina.

NZ (4-3-3 make that 4-1-3-1-1): Moss; Lochhead; Viceleh; Mulligan; Boyens; Elliott; Brown (c); Bertos; Smeltz; Killen; Brockie. Subs: Paston; Scott; Oughten; Sigmund; Barron; Christie; James; Old; Wood; Bright; Smith; Bannatyne

I'll be back in a bit!

-6: ESPN2 is still showing tractor pulls. I think that shows you where football ranks on their priority list: Tractor pulls... football... reruns of World Series of Poker.

-3: Over-under on David versus Goliath references: 12. Lalas made the first one already. He also seems to really love Torres, but hey we do too so fair play to him!

-1: Wow, stadium is maybe 25% full. Looks like a Houston Dynamo match (hey-yo!). But of course those damned bumblebee trumpets are out. My least favorite thing in football at the moment.

0: Spain kicks off and as expected control play.

3: Thank God no Tommy Smyth on this one. Lalas Harkes is doing color commentary. NZ has touched the ball once when the goalkeeper took a long through to Torres. This is going to be a bloodbath.

5: Punch save by Moss on the counterattack, Spain gets a resulting corner and another shot by the Spaniards, which goes well wide.

6: GOAL TORRES 1-0 Spain Made it look so easy. NZ kept diddling around, Torres took a trademark shot just outside the box. Early lead and probably the first of many in this match.

9: NZ actually string together a few passes and make a shot on goal, that's easily stopped by Casillas.

10: By the dearth of comments I assume that you are all out running errands right now, or maybe asleep!

12: Torres tries to chip a ball in the box that goes out of play. Could've done better. He probably will before this one is over.


15: GOAL TORRES 2-0 Spain: Give and go, Riera to Villa to Torres into the right corner. Beautiful play. This is a cakewalk but Spain are absolutely showing their class. Guess they came to play!

16: Wow, almost 3-0 clear off the line by a defender and Moss made a catch save off a Torres header. Spain are still surging. Not sure if I'll be able to catch up.....

17: GOAL TORRES 3-0 Spain Capdevila into the box, Torres scores the header. Make. It. Look. So. Easy.

Uhhhhh... Technical difficulties. No idea what's going on. I think the New Zealanders just pulled the plug. *cough cough* Guys??? Anyone???

Oh jesus, it's funny because it's true. Why is football treated like a Third World sport? (To clarify, ESPN just lost the feed for three minutes. Cue clown music.)

21: Feed is back. Spain didn't score in the intervening 3 minutes. So disappointing!

22: Riera forces a good save, nothing comes of the resulting corner.

24 GOAL FABS! 4-0.: Riera to Capdevila to Fabregas. So, so, so easy.

26: I'm starting a movement to ban all bumblebee horns at international matches... who's with me?

27: A halfway decent chance for NZ, shot by Brockie off the mark and is promptly subbed for Christie. Brockie was getting slaughtered on the lefthand side.

29: Long freekick for NZ, a couple half chances but nothing too serious. ESPN has its stats wrong and shows 8 shots for NZ to 2 shots for Spain. Pretty sure that's not right.

31: Just noticing that Spain's new kits are very smart looking -- part-matador part-Franco-era Army uniform.

32: Meanwhile Spain still pressing for more goals.

33: Xavi almost picks out Fabregas in the box. So far, missed passes and offside flags are the only things that are keeping the score at 4-0.

35: Villa is tripped just outside the box but no foul called. I think the mercy rule has come into effect.

37: Harkes and JP have begun to discuss La Liga, the Iraqi national team coach, the weather, Harkes' vacation plans,....

39: Header on goal by Killen for NZ, easily caught by Casillas. Meanwhile, the stats graphic is STILL wrong and says 8 shots for NZ to 3 shots for Spain. Uh, tech guy, are you watching the game? Spain has four goals.

41: Puyol to Ramos in the box, who heads it a million miles into the air. Yup, Spanish defenders are trying to get goals now.

43: Spain turns the ball over four times in a row in their own end, yet New Zealand can't get a clean shot off.

44: Albiol takes down Smeltz for a freekick about 10 yards outside the box.

45: Decent curling shot by Mulligan, avoids the wall, but is wide. NZ saving a little bit of face here with their first bit of controlled play.

Halftime Whistle: 4-0 Spain: Yup, it's a rout. I'm going to go cut up some mango (no, that's not a drug reference!) and I'll be back in a bit.

Half: Well, mango was a bit tart, probably sat in the fridge for too long. Anyhoo, thanks to everyone joining me for this very, very competitive match. I'm guess that Spain lets the foot off the pedal and only manage one or two more goals.

Even if they are destined to be played to death, I'm loving the Messi-Zidane Adidas ads.

46: No changes for either side. Bet that was a fun teamtalk for NZ.

47: The All-Whites (ha!) come out in this half and control the game, earning a freekick just ouside the box to the right of the goalie. But a poor setpiece results.

48 GOAL VILLA 5-0 Spain: High comedy. Boyens (who plays for RBNY) completely misses on a clearance, Villa is there for an easy, easy poach goal. *sigh*

51: That was truly a spectacular whiff by Boyens. The stuff of nightmares.

52: NZ look completely deflated now. Spain can score more goals if they want to put forth the effort.

53: Well done Harkes, second David v. Goliath reference of the night. Spain makes a couple subs.... Cazorla for Xavi, Arbeloa for Ramos.

58: Spain can't convert off some great play in and around the box, with Capdevila skewering the shot off the mark.

60: More from Spain, nice give and go but Villa's shot goes wide.

61: Wulp, 30 more minutes of this one. JP and Harkes sound bored, the bumblebees are still buzzing, the crowd are doing the wave, and Spain are now peppering the goal with long shots.

65: NZ whip a ball into the box, but Spain defends well and Casillas collects. Pretty much the story of New Zealand's night on offense.

68: Long pass by NZ goes out of play, and David Silva is about to come on.

69: Nando off, Silva on.

71: Elliott forces a save from Casillas. Spain seem content with the current scoreline, might get another one on a breakaway or counter but aren't looking to run up the score.

75: Long ball by Silva to Villa, who can't quite get a clean header.

76: NZ make a sub. James on, Smeltz off.

78: Fabregas gerrards the ball out of play after New Zealand again fail to clear. Then the Spaniards fail to convert another chance, with Villa turning and striking the ball directly at a New Zealand defender.

81: Half-chance for NZ on the long pass, again well defended by Spain.

83: Riena gets a phantom offside call when he was cleanly put through by Silva. Ref must still feel bad for NZ.

85: About a dozen passes in a row for Spain, with Silva creating much of the play and making his case for playing time. Killen off, Bright on for NZ.

87: It's dying embers time.

89: Alonso tries to chip the ball over the goalkeeper from the midfield mark. That was cheeky, but Moss easily gathers the ball. Two more minutes of this one.

Fulltime: 5-0 Spain. Well, David didn't slay Goliath in this parable! Spain just totally and completely outclassed New Zealand. Could've been 12-0 if Spain really wanted, but they'll be quite happy to take this result. New Zealand have a lot to think about.

Co-men of the match: Capdevila, who torched New Zealand on the lefthand side, and Nando Torres, who converted the hattrick.

Thanks for joining me!! More liveblog coverage tomorrow with the USMNT, Italy, Brazil and Egypt playing.


G said...

Okay, BBC commentators are saying the US looks good lately and should be glad we made this bracket. They expect us to do well, and Egypt to finish last.

Wonder if they saw the same games I did lately.

JT said...

First goal of the tournament! This looks like a video game thus far, set on easy. Spain pass at will. NZ observe.

G said...

Ah, we are here, just falling asleep to the gentle lull of NZ's play. Thanks for bothering for us.

Sarah said...

The droning wasp hordes in the crowd are putting me to sleep.

G said...

I want Torres, in all his girls glory, to be a striker for my team.

Malin said...

This really wont be pretty. I predict 6-0. Reminds me of the warm up game when you have a couple of guys in a circle making passes and one sorry ass in the middle chasing it. Guess who the guy in the middle is?

Sarah said...

6-0 to Spain altogether, or just Torres?

Because the latter wouldn't surprise me.

G said...

Fine save by NZ keeper minute 22. Followed by a corner out of play.

Is your feed still down?

Malin said...

@Sarah, I think I will have to remake that comment. 6 for Torres, and umm...9-0 altogether.

G said...

I'm thinking that Sarah might be prophetic.

Wow, nice try NZ. C'mon Kiwis!

The Fan's Attic said...

shit...i thought the match started at 11:55 PST...i went grocery shopping and just finished putting the goods away and it's 4-0...



The Fan's Attic said...

ramos cut his hair.

G said...

Don't worry, plenty of time to see the next three.

Anonymous said...

TFA, since when are you concerned over a footballer's haircut? ;)

Malin said...

Torres and Ramos are merging into one person.

The Fan's Attic said...

probably since i started reading ONTD FB.

Precious Roy said...

I'm guessing that second place in this group is going to come down to who loses to Spain by the least.

The Fan's Attic said...

i'd love it if spain was the only team to win a game and NZ, Iraq and SA all played to scoreless draws. that would be fun.

G said...

Showing highlights from SA v Iraq, and I still can't believe SA did the opposite of an own goal. Seen it five times and I am still amazed.

Precious Roy said...

Good thing that guy's not Columbian.

The Fan's Attic said...

NZ gaffer: "Ok guys, that wasn't the greatest showing. Second half strategy will be trying to convince Spain that it is siesta time."

The Fan's Attic said...

titus bramble-esque. that's a shame.

The Fan's Attic said...

nice showing MLS. jeez.

G said...

Could the Spanish coaches look anymore grumpy? Like the play on the field is somehow giving them indigestion.

Malin said...

Aha, 5-0 now. Spooky. 9-0 not as far away as I thought.

The Fan's Attic said...

the wave...even in South Africa...

The Fan's Attic said...

is it really an ability to catch a keeper off his line?

Precious Roy said...

Feel bad for the kiwis. Wonder who is going to have a worse GD after three matches. Them or us?

G said...

BBC feed is ripping NZ to shreds. Saying they aren't using the basics of football that are taught to school children. Sound utterly disgusted.

Precious Roy said...

That linesman has stopped more goals that the Kiwi keeper.

Sarah said...

@G - Probably bitter that the NZ rugby team is better than England's.

G said...


Probably true. I also think some large cricket tournament is going on in England right now. (20/20?) Maybe the kiwis whomped them there also.

Precious Roy said...

"Spain - S = Pain"

Well done South African youngster.

G said...

Post game commentary rips Boyens for poor everything, including not being able to control a ball that comes right at him at moderate speed. I would say agahst would be the tone.

Mike Georger said...

Caught the second half at the gym.

Two thoughts

1) Arbeloa played poorly but is still a better defender than Ramod
2) That linesman is horrible.

Anonymous said...

what do you call the official who holds the substitution board?!?!


jjf3 said...

c0rrine, that would be: "fourth official". Or, in your case, "Mr Hot Stuff" will do.

I failed to notice him, personally...

Liverpool South is looking pretty good after the first game...

Mike Georger said...

Oh by the way, I'm gonna go ahead and declare that as Alonso is sticking with the 'been up for a week trying to solve a murder' beard, he is now the best looking man in soccer.

Refute me, I DARE YOU!

jjf3 said...

I thought Riera was making a run at him though, with that "I lost my razor 2 days ago" look...

Sarah said...

@Georger - maybe if the beard were the same color as his hair, i.e. not ginger...

Mike Georger said...

My beard is a different color than my hair, there's nothing wrong with that! It's the sign of a complicated man, who nobody understands, except his woman.

Anonymous said...

ESPN2 is still showing tractor pulls. I think that shows you where football ranks on their priority list: Tractor pulls... football... reruns of World Series of Poker.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHHA oh my god haha so true.

Mike Georger said...

You forgot Strongman

(though I love that show)