Sunday, June 28, 2009
Good morning kids! Today on UF will be all-NYK, all the time as I will be liveblogging both matches today to anchor our 100% Confederations Cup liveblog guarantee. This first match presents a study in contrasts as Spain surely thought they would be in the final, while South Africa can hold their heads high for having made it to the 3rd place match.
This match is being held at Rustenburg-Royal Bafokeng Stadium and features an Austrian officiating crew.
Spain will run out a 4-1-2-1-2 featuring:
DEF: Capdevila; Pique; Albiol; Arbeloa
MID: Riera; Xabi Alonso; Cazorla; Sergio
ST: Torres; Villa
So del Bosque has sat Puyol, Xavi and Sergio Ramos - not a surprise considering their recent performances, particularly the latter. However, in order to avoid being further embarrassed he is still relying on his strike tandem of Torres and Villa to produce some powerful offense.
South Africa will use a 4-4-2 featuring:
DEF: Gaxa; Booth; Mokoena; Masilela
MID: Pienaar; Dikgacoi; Sibaya; Modise
ST: Parker; Tshabalala
Joel Santana has replaced Mhlongo with Tshabalala but has otherwise kept his squad intact, which is a good strategy considering their last effort against Brazil. The midfield has truly been impressive for the Bafana Bafana, with Modise the clear star (for my money).
-03:00 - The lead-in to the Confed Cup on ESPN2 is NASCAR Now. Just in case you were wondering Jeff Burton is not happy with his recent performances.
-02:00 - I have a strange feeling that this liveblog will consist mostly of me talking to myself. For some reason, a 3rd-place match at 9AM between these 2 squads does not seem to enthuse a lot of people. But, a promise is a promise, and we guaranteed you fine people 100% livebloggery of the Confederations Cup!
-00:30 - Also, AJ Burnett and the Yankees can suck it. The Mets will probably lose again today because baby Jesus hates me, but at least we managed a hit last night to prevent the no-no.
-00:00 - Vuvuzelas!
00:00 - And we're off!
00:30 - And bonjour to joe!
01:45 - A little bit of ping-pong in the early going, with every ball to the S. Africa defense resulting in chants of "BOOOOOOOOOOOTH"
03:45 - Pique attempts a long ball over the top as the midfield has been bogged up, but the ball is too far. However, Spain regain the ball after a poor throw and Villa gets off a great shot that forces a great save from Khune. The resulting corner is tipped out by Khune, and eventually cleared.
05:30 - Spain are looking more comfortable now moving the ball, as there is some good interplay between Arbeloa and Villa. A throw-in goes all the way back to midfield, and Spain look to rebuild.
06:30 - Xabi Alonso plays Villa over the top, and he beats Masilela to the ball. The shot is from a difficult angle and he puts it well over the bar.
07:30 - Masilela dispossesses Cazorla, and Pienaar winds up drawing the foul. The free-kick comes into Booth at the back post, who sends it back to Pienaar. The shot is deflected for a corner. The ball comes into Booth, who attempts a backheel, but the eventual shot from Tshabalala is well over the bar.
10:15 - A cross from Riera goes across the goalmouth but is too high for anyone to get a head onto.
11:45 - Some excellent passing from South Africa is wasted as Masilela puts his final pass directly to the feet of Albiol. A bit of alternating possession, and each side has had some decent opportunities so far.
13:00 - Modise is fouled (and goes down a bit easily) by Pique about 35 yards out (oooh, close - ESPN says 38m). The kick again finds an unguarded Booth, and his header is wide. He really should have done better there.
14:45 - Arbeloa finds Cazorla, who in turn leaves it for Villa. But Booth is there to clean up the mess. The resulting throw-in finds its way to Cazorla, who feeds Riera. The pass into the box comes off Villa's foot as his touch let him down.
16:00 - Khune takes the goal-kick while adjusting his gloves. Wardrobe malfunction?
16:45 - A South Africa break is lost as Parker's touch lets him down and he commits a foul in an attempt to recover.
18:15 - Spain surge forward but yet again commit a sloppy turnover. Pique is forced to send the ball out for a throw-in to stop the South Africa counter. In the interim the referee has a little talk with Sibaya and Torres. Bad Nando!
19:00 - A poor cross is sent out by Arbeloa, as no one told him that he had time to play the ball cleanly. The resulting corner is cleared easily, and Cazorla plays Villa on the break. Looking like he would score, he is tackled by Masilela at the last possible second.
21:00 - Some wonderful interplay between Torres and Arbeloa results in El Nino in the box, but Sibaya is enough of a nuisance to result in a weak shot that is gobbled up by Khune.
24:00 - More frustration for Nando, as he dribbles 2 midfielders only to be stopped by Pienaar.
25:00 - Parker surges forward, and with Tshabalala wide open Parker instead scuffs his shot.
27:00 - A wonderful ball by Pienaar is misread by Tshabalala, who did not continue his run. South Africa are getting chances by building through the middle, but their touch is letting them down in the final 3rd of the pitch.
29:15 - Casillas is forced to come out almost to the touchline as a ball over the top looked to have played Parker in alone. Rather than a big boot, Casillas touches the ball around Parker and then launches it. Nervy stuff.
30:00 - A cross from Masilela drifts into Casillas and becomes an easy shot for the GK to handle.
31:15 - Parker does some excellent work to get past Capdevila, but Pique is there to stop him. Unfortunately for Spain, Pique plays with the ball too much and it goes out for a corner. The ball comes into Pienaar, who rifles a shot that is spilled by Casillas. The follow-up from Booth is wide left. A 2nd opportunity for the big man that he should have done better with.
33:15 - A long ball over the top is cleared by Booth. Not sure why Spain keep trying that, as they clearly have no one who can compete with the big man.
35:00 - Some brief action results in a shot from Tshabalala, but it comes off his right (weak) foot and is handled easily by Casillas.
35:45 - Spain responds with a ball into Riera, who has Gaxa beaten. The shot/cross goes past Khune, but also past the far post and out for a goal-kick.
38:00 - First card of the match, as Sergio receives a YC for bundling over Masilela after the pass had already left his foot. The free-kick from Modise finds Parker, whose header is easily grabbed by Casillas.
39:30 - Some interplay between Xabi Alonso, Arbeloa and Torres results in a deep throw-in, during which Sergio is fouled by Masilela. The free-kick from Cazorla is headed wide by Sergio.
45:00 - A deep throw for South Africa punctuates several minutes of frustration for both sides, as there has been a lull in attacking opportunities.
45:00 + 01:00 - Sergio goes down as his ankle gets raked late, but he pops back up rather than rolling around.
HALF-TIME - Spain 0-0 South Africa. Early opportunities for both squads, but by the 35th minute the match had settled into a routine of attacking play only in the middle 3rd of the pitch. Spain may need to switch defensive tactics on free-kicks, as Booth has been unguarded on several attempts and has come close to scoring twice. South Africa, on the other hand, need to pay more attention defensively on the wings, as Spain has had numerous chances built up from the wings.
45:00 - And here we go again!
45:45 - Torres is fouled by Mokoena (almost the 1st time today we've heard from him) at the top of the box. The free-kick from Xabi Alonso hits Pienaar, who receives a YC for infringement. The re-kick from Xabi Alonso is passed to Villa whose shot is pushed out by Khune. It lands at the feet of Sergio, who scores, but is adjudged to have been offside.
49:00 - Sibaya does an excellent job of dispossessing Riera and then maintaining his calm in the face of pressure from 2 midfielders, putting it out off Cazorla for a throw.
50:30 - Torres receives a pass from Pique, turns, takes 2 dribbles and fires a shot. Khune has to get low to make the save, but in the end it was relatively easy.
51:30 - Good work down the left side from Tshabalala results in a throw for South Africa. The ball comes into the box and Sergio is able to clear.
53:45 - A run from Gaxa down the right results in a throw, as South Africa have had a spell of possession. Sibaya is fouled by Villa as he attempts to move past Capdevila. The resulting free-kick from Modise is punched out by Casillas, but the offside flag had already gone up.
56:30 - Substitutions for Spain: Villa off, Silva on. Torres off, Guiza on.
58:30 - Tshabalala fouls Silva, and the resulting free-kick is played around for a bit before a ball over the top barely misses Silva.
60:00 Sibaya is taken down from behind by Silva, and the resulting ball finds Pienaar offsides.
61:30 - Riera makes an excellent push after a chested ball by Guiza, and gets off a good shot on goal. Khune does equally well, not only stopping but holding onto the shot.
62:15 - A cross from Pique finds Guiza unmarked at the back post, but the ball is slightly high and he is unable to control it. More open play from both teams now, as the final 1/2 hour seems to be bringing some urgency. Cazorla gets off a powerful shot, but it is straight at Khune, who punches it over the bar.
63:30 - Substitution for South Africa: Pienaar off, Mphela on. The Spain corner is easily cleared by the defense.
65:00 - Given the score, a good question about the result, if it stands like this. Since the Confed Cup is a FIFA "major" event and factors into FIFA rankings, which in turn affect seeding for WC 2010, I am assuming that a victor has to be determined in the 3rd-place match, meaning that if we are still tied at the end of full-time we will have some extra footy.
66:30 - Modise is beaten like a rented mule as he receives a scissor-kick to the midsection.
68:30 - A ball from Silva finds Guiza, who is once again adjudged to have been offside in a very close call.
69:00 - Substitution for South Africa: Modise off, van Heerden on. Apparently, the latter has been playing for Bruges (cue Colin Farrell jokes).
70:00 - A ball over the top finds Guiza ~19 yards offside. This seems to be a pattern with him. South Africa return the favor.
71:00 - A shot from Guiza from the top of the box runs through several defenders and goes well wide for a goal-kick. That ball comes out to midfield, eventually resulting in an offside call against Mphela.
72:00 - GOAL! Spain 0-1 South Africa. Good work from Parker finds Mphela with the ball deep in the box, but he slips as he turns for the shot. The ball comes out, but only as far as van Heerden, who plays it into Tshabalala. The latter finds Mphela alone in the box, who controls with his knee and blasts it past an unlucky Casillas.
75:00 - The Bafana Bafana fans are in full throat with some raucous vuvuzelaing (possibly not a word) thanks to Mphela's heroics. Del Bosque does not seem pleased.
76:00 - The referee has to give Pique and Mphela a talking-to, but I'm sure the South Africans welcome the time it takes.
77:10 - Apparently, the talking-to was more than that, as Pique and Mphela have both picked up a YC for an unknown reason. Also, goals apparently bring out lurking commenters/UF authors. Where were you all before? I was lonely!
78:45 - Spain are on the back foot as South Africa continue to surge forward. Gaxa sends a cross which Pique was content to let bounce, but Tshabalala gets a foot on it and Casillas has to clean up the mess.
80:00 - Yet another long ball into the box, but Guize is beaten to the ball by Khune.
81:30 - A cross from Capdevila into the box is cleared by Masilela, but Spain are clearly pushing hard now. Mokoena takes charge, and South Africa begin to build, but they too play the ball too long.
82:30 - The latest cross to be cleared is from Arbeloa, and Masilela makes an excellent run that forces a foul (and YC) from Albiol.
83:30 - Substitution for South Africa: Tshabalala off, Mhlongo on.
84:30 - South Africa are content to hoof the ball forward, but Spain are not responding by building through the midfield so there is no resulting counter-attack. A driven ball by Arbeloa barely misses Guiza at the far post, and goes out for a goal-kick.
87:00 - GOAL! Spain 1-1 South Africa. A ball in from Cazorla finds Guiza deep in the box. He controls well, turns, and blasts it low past Khune.
88:00 - GOAL! Spain 2-1 South Africa. Guize completes a brace with a weak floated ball that finds the back of the goal. It looked like a cross to me, but Spain get lucky as the ball hits the post and barrels into the net.
90:00 + 00:30 - 3 minutes of extra time, but South Africa look beaten. Mphela doesn't keep his head down, however, but his cross into the middle is cleared.
90:00 + 01:30 - GOAL! Spain 2-2 South Africa. Riera jumps onto van Heerden's back for a free-kick, but the former takes an extra few seconds to get up off the pitch. The free-kick from Mphela is blasted into the upper 90 past a stunned Casillas. Absolutely no rotation on that ball, just an incredible shot.
90:00 + 03:30 - EXTRA TIME!
+00:00 - The first 15 minutes of extra time kicks off, and we have no idea what will happen next. Perhaps Guiza and Mphela will both complete their hat-trick?
+01:00 - Riera races down the left and finds Llorente (who apparently was subbed on for Sergio) in the middle. The latter turns directly into the defense, and the ball is cleared. On the clearance Sibaya goes down in a heap and leaves the pitch, re-entering 30 seconds later.
+03:30 - Mphela is through but his shot is stopped by Casillas. No matter, as he was offside.
+05:00 - A cross from Capdevila turns into a shot, hitting off the crossbar at the far post as Khune flails helplessly.
+06:00 - Xabi Alonso fouls Gaxa at the very edge of the box. The resulting free-kick from van Heerden is cleared by Riera.
+07:00 - Mphela is played over the top, and this time he is onside. 1-on-1 with Casillas, the GK comes up big, making the save with his feet.
+09:30 - An excellent tackle on Arbeloa results in a corner for Spain, which is played short. Silva's effort at a cross is headed out by Llorente.
+11:30 - South Africa surge and Mphela finds Mhlongo, who lays off for Parker. The shot is well-taken, and forces Casillas to tip it out for a corner. The resulting ball from van Heerden comes to the back post deep for a diving header for Mhlongo, which goes over the bar.
+13:00 - A cross from Riera finds Silva in the air, but his header is extremely poor and goes well wide.
+14:00 - A cross from Arbeloa finds Riera at the back post, and his header comes off Mhlongo's arm and goes out. Looked to be a PK as his hand was well away from his body, but the referee doesn't make the call.
+15:00 + 01:00 - HALF-TIME OF EXTRA TIME!
+15:00 - And we're off again. 15 minutes until PKs.
+15:30 - GOAL! Spain 3-2 South Africa. Booth fouls Llorente out wide near the top of the box. The free-kick from Xabi Alonso comes in past everyone and catches Khune off-guard, as Llorente and Booth both make a play on the ball and provide just enough of a screen.
+17:30 - YC to Masilela for a foul on Arbeloa as he gave him a bit of an elbow in the chops.
+18:30 - Mphela gets a talking-to from the referee for a foul on Xabi Alonso. The free-kick from midfield is played to Guiza, and eventually Llorente is fouled by Mokoena 35 yards away. The resulting free-kick from Xabi Alonso is played into the box and cleared by Booth.
+22:00 - Cazorla receives the ball alone at the top of the box, but he elects to take a final dribble to get the ball onto his left foot. His shot is sent well wide.
+22:30 - Parker goes down at the top of the box after contact from Albiol, but it was definitely a dive.
+24:00 - Spain are dominating the possession now, and they are contact to move the ball around without pressure. Llorente receives a YC for an unknown offense.
+26:30 - South Africa gain possession through a foul, but they are looked very unsettled. A long ball forward from Booth is easily cleared by the Spanish defense.
+28:30 - South Africa make a final push, but the ball is turned out for a throw-in to Spain. The Bafana Bafana look tired, and are unable to get any consistent pressure out of the midfield.
MATCH OVER! Spain 3-2 South Africa.
Definitely an exciting finish to the match, and an unfortunate result for South Africa. They played extremely well but just didn't have enough gas. Thanks for joining me, and come back later for the USA v. Brazil liveblog!