World Cup: Chile Hit Six to Edge Out Japan (G)

After the second round of group games, Ivory Coast were the only team mathematically guaranteed of last sixteen football and they certainly took their foot off the gas against Chile who put six past them. Questions will be asked by Japan who battled to a draw against Bosnia and lost their second-place spot on goal difference.

Cote d’Ivore safely had booked their place in the second round, and made two changes: Eric Tié-Bi and Lossémy Karaboué came in to the side for  Moussa Kone and Ibrahim Sissoko.  One change for Chile who needed Japan to slip-up with a goal swing: Isla replacing the injured Alexis Sánchez.

Chile burst out the blocks and were ahead inside ten minutes when Diego Rubio got ahead of Salomon Kalou to head home Arturo Vidal’s corner at the near post. The goal put Japan and Chile on equal records, with Japan going through on the head-to-head.

Both sides exchanged blows for the next ten minutes before Brice Dja Djédjé was booked when he wiped-out Felipe Gutiérrez down the Chilean left wing. After sustained pressure from the South Americans, they went two-up when Rubio played a lovely ball square for Gary Medel who had given his marker the slip and fired home low off the woodwork from the edge of the box.

Ivory Coast pulled a goal back on 24 minutes when Djédjé flicked Karaboué’s corner onto Ismael Yamoussoukro to crack a shot through the crowd to make it 2-1. Rubio set up Junior Fernandes to find the top corner from 20 yards out ten minutes later as Chile restored the two-goal lead they were looking for.

By this time news had filtered through that Japan were trailing in Moscow and Chile were on course for the second round, but a Japanese equaliser would throw a spanner in the works unless they maintained their two-goal advantage.

Ivory Coast helped the Chilean cause five minutes before the break when Brice Dja Djédjé felled Gutiérrez for a second time and was shown a second yellow card – the eighth of the tournament.

Sensing blood against a team already through, Chile smelled blood and a double salvo on the hour mark put them comfortably in control. Diego Rubio was played in by Junior Fernandes to slot home from the edge of the box, then 90 seconds later fired in a low drive of his own to make it 4-1.

Diego Rubio then completed the first hat-trick of the tournament with the best goal of the game as he beat three men on a charge from halfway and buried a shot past Michel Koudou. More news from Moscow as Japan had equalised in the 84th minute, but as long as they couldn’t find a winner, Chile were through thanks to the significant goal swing.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP G (3)
                   IVORY COAST 1-6 CHILE
               Yamoussoukro 27     Rubio 9, 60, 80
                 Djédjé s/o 40     Medel 24
                                   Jr Fernandes 37, 62

                        Djédjé     Carmona
                       Romaric     Jr Fernandes

Japan made one change from their win over Chile, with Hajime Hosogai coming into the starting XI replacing the suspended Shintarô Fujii. Bosnia also made a single change: Ognjen Vranjes came into for Miroslav Stevanovic who was injured in stoppage time of the defeat to Ivory Coast.

Bosnia needed a win to stand a chance of progression, with Japan looking safe if they avoided defeat, but it was the European side who struck the first blow after quarter of an hour. Miralem Pjanic caught Hiroki Gonda napping in possession, broke and laid the ball off for Sanjin Prcic who smashed it from almost 30 yards out into the bottom corner.

With Chile already leading against Ivory Coast, Prcic’s goal dropped Japan to bottom of the group. They huffed and puffed for the next hour but nothing was coming off as Chile stormed into a commanding lead in the other group game. Jun Ôtami scrambled home an equaliser from a corner with six minutes to play, but they needed a winner.

Takagi had a 92nd minute effort from the edge of the box blocked right in front of goal as they threw everything forwards but it wasn’t to be. Ivory Coast and Chile progress and will be in last sixteen action on Tuesday.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP G (3)
                        JAPAN 1-1 BOSNIA
                     Ôtani 84     Prcic 16

World Cup, Group G: Matchday Two Review

Spurs forward Seydou Doumbia’s striker was enough to confirm Ivory Coast as the only team mathematically through to the Second Round, as they beat Bosnia by the solitary goal in Samara. In Nizhny, Japan came from a goal down to beat Chile and keep their destiny in their own hands.

Both sides in Nizhny Novgorod made just the one change, with Japan bringing in defender Jun Ôtani® for the injured William®, and Chile started with Carlos Carmona as Matías Campos Toro moved to the bench.

Moments after Gutiérrez fired a 30-yarder against the bar, Chile took the lead through Diego Rubio with 20 minutes playedas he reacted quickest to a loose ball in the box when Gary Medel’s pass into Junior Fernandes was deflected into space. Rubio nutmegged Iwayama from around twelve yards out to put Chile in the driving seat.

Parity was restored eight minutes before the interval, when Hiroshi Kiyotake launched a long free-kick into the box and Hiroshi Ibusuke got free of his marker and smashed home a half-volley from ten yards out as the Chileans appealed for offside against Gonda.

Shintarô Fujii picked-up a needless booking in first-half stoppage time that will rule him out of Japan’s final group game against Bosnia on Friday. Alexis Sanchez fired against the post soon after the interval before he landed awkwardly and was stretchered off. If Chile don’t progress from their final match against Ivory Coast then his World Cup may be over.

Chile restricted Japan to just the one effort on target in the second-half, but it proved to be the match winner after a calamitous error at the back. Carlos Labrín’s header back to his ‘keeper from a lofted ball forwards from Keisuke Honda was too short, and Shinji Okazaki nipped in to nod past Olivares and wheeled away in celebration as the ball trickled agonisingly over the line.

The Porto striker has now moved one goal away from the all-time Japanese goal-scoring record of 80 national goals, held by Kunishige Kamamoto since 1977.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP G (2)
                        JAPAN 2-1 CHILE
                   Ibusuke 37     Rubio 20
                   Okazaki 84

                        Fujii     Vidal

Ivory Coast made just one change from the side that beat Japan in Moscow on Tuesday with Juventus midfielder Moussa Kone a straight swap for the suspended Romaric. Bosnia too made just one change with Ervin Zukanovic in for Muhamed Subasic, who was injured in their draw with Chile.

The first-half was a largely tactical affair as the packed midfields held each other to a stalemate, with little action in either final third. That is until five minutes before the break when Salomon Kalou hit the goal-line down the left before pulling back for Seydou Doumbia to finish inside the six-yard box.

After the interval, Bosnia twice tested Koudou from range, while Ivory Coast had a series of corners, but a second goal of the game wasn’t forthcoming. Miroslav Stefanovic was stretchered off late-on for Bosnia and he looks set to miss their final match.

Two wins from two has sealed Ivory Coast’s place in the Second Round.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP G (2)
                                  Doumbia 40
                        Prcic     Doumbia

World Cup, Day Five: Chile 1-1 Bosnia (G)

Chile and Bosnia traded first-half goals in a balanced Group G match in St. Petersburg today. Bosnia’s all-time leading goalscorer and most-capped player Edin Dzeko opened the scoring midway through the half, with Leverkusen forward Junior Fernandes equalising right before the interval.

Dzeko’s 65th goal for his country came in the 20th minute after good work from Sanjin Prcic allowed him to create space to find Muhamed Subasic on the edge of the area. He rode two challenges and knocked the ball square to the Real Madrid striker who lashed a shot into the top corner from fifteen yards.

Chile’s equaliser came with less than two minutes to go before the break, in the one moment of sloppiness from Bosnia all game. Felipe Gutiérrez tried to a clip a ball into the box for Diego Rubio. Mehmed Muric, later named man-of-the-match for some solid tackles, made a fluff of a clearing header and the ball dropped kindly for Fernandes to drill low past Uscuplic.

Chile face Japan on Sunday, with Bosnia playing Ivory Coast on Monday.

                    FIFA WORLD CUP: GROUP G
                        CHILE 1-1 BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
              Jr Fernandes 44     Dzeko 20


FIFA World Cup 2014: Group B, Matchday 3


South Korea went into the final matchday knowing progression through to the last sixteen was already secure, so rested a couple of players against the tie against Uruguay in Fortaleza, which their opponents needed a point from in order to qualify.

Belgium and Bosnia met in Rio de Janeiro, with Bosnia able to progress if Uruguay lost and Bosnia could win by two goals.

Odds: Uruguay 5-4F v. South Korea 7-4 (Draw 11-5)
Odds: Belgium 6-4F v. Bosnia & Herzegovina 13-8 (Draw 2-1)


    • 14′  URU 1-0 SKR: Jorge Fucile has scored his first-ever goal for his country to put Uruguay in front inside quarter of an hour. The right-back isn’t picked up as he bursts into the box, gets on the end of Olivera’s through-ball and slots past Sung-Ryong. Uruguay through with a win.
    • 25′ BEL 0-1 BOS: Edin Dzeko keeps up his scoring run in Brazil with his fourth goal of the tournament, and 35th for his country. Bosnia keeping up their end of the bargain, all eyes now on South Korea to get a win in the other Group B match.
    • 29′ URU 1-1 SKR: A goal cheered at both stadia, as Yoo Byung-Soo equalises for South Korea against Uruguay. Nice ball over the top from Jung-Woo that Byung-Soo runs on to, rounds Muslera and taps home from close range.
    • 36′ URU 2-1 SKR: Parity only lasts seven minutes as Christian Stuani gets his second goal of the tournament. Tae-Hwi attempts a header back to his ‘keeper but he misjudges it, allowing Stuani to nip in and place the ball past Sung-Ryong. Advantage: Uruguay!
    • 40′ URU 3-1 SKR: Christian Stuani has another goal today as Tae-Hwi is at fault again. Olivera gets the ball into Stuani on the edge of the box, his marker slips, and he turns and curls it into the top corner from eighteen yards out. Great goal, but shouldn’t have had the opportunity to shoot. Uruguay looking most likely to win the group now.
    • HT: Uruguay 3-1 South Korea, Belgium 0-1 Bosnia. URU and SKR qualifying.
    • 58′ BEL 0-1 BOS: Belgium have the opportunity to level from the spot when Bickacic clips Meunier inside the six-yard box, but Axel Witsel has his penalty saved by Begovic.
    • 64′ BEL 1-1 BOS: Bosnia’s feint hope at progression on their World Cup début is all but eliminated as Thomas Meunier slams the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards out after a neat one-two with Vossen.
    • 75′ BEL 2-1 BOS: Axel Witsel has a second chance to score from the spot after Pandza loses possession to Meunier then wrestles him to the ground. He goes the same way as last time, but Begovic guesses wrong and Belgium lead for the first time in the tournament.
    • 83′ BEL 3-1 BOS: Belgium have come into life in the last half hour, but it’s too little too late to save them. Both sides just going for it as there’s nothing to play for now. Kevin Mirallas deftly chips home the loose ball from 20 yards after Vossen’s effort is pushed away.
    • 90′ URU 4-1 SKR: It’s the third hat-trick of the tournament, and Christian Stuani sends Uruguay through as group winners. It’s a terrible goal kick that lands straight at him 40 yards out. He’s clean through and chips it home from just inside the box.

Uruguay will play the runners-up in Group A, Spain.
South Korea will play the Group A winners, Japan.


Bosnia 1-1 Uruguay GROUP B (Match #19)


Christian Stuani scored the fifth-fastest goal at a World Cup Finals tournament today in Uruguay’s 1-1 draw with Bosnia, a result that knocks the hotly-fancied Belgium out of the tournament.

Abel Hernández lofted the ball forwards in the opening minute that Ognjen Vranjes should have dealt with, but misjudged his header, sending it back towards his own goal. Christian Stuani ended up clean-through, beat ‘keeper Begovic to the ball and slotted into an empty net from the edge of the box with just 31 seconds on the clock.

On the quarter-hour mark, Vedad Ibisevic caught an Arévalo Rios in possession on half-way and went all the way to the goal line down the right, before crossing towards the back post. Edin Dzeko met the delivery with a spectacular overhead kick to level the scores in a goal that’ll be on highlight reels for years to come.

Despite further chances for both sides, that’s how it finished.  Uruguay play South Korea next Tuesday knowing a point will see them qualify, though the winners of the match will likely avoid Spain in the Second Round.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2014
                       MATCH 19: GROUP B

                     Dzeko 15     Stuani 1





GROUP B          P  W  D  L  F  A  GD  Pts
1. South Korea   2  2  0  0  7  3  +4   6   Q
2. Uruguay       2  1  1  0  4  3  +1   4
3. Bosnia        2  0  1  1  3  4  -1   1
4. Belgium       2  0  0  2  3  7  -4   0   x

South Korea 3-2 Bosnia GROUP B (Match #5)


Edin Dzeko became the fifth player in five matches to score twice in the same game, but wasn’t able to prevent his Bosnian side losing to South Korea in the most open match we’ve seen so far in Brazil.

The Manchester City striker got on the end of a delightful ball forwards from Subasic in the seventh minute to put Bosnia in front with his 33rd international goal.

South Korea turned the match on its head in the five minutes before half-time, with two goals barely ninety seconds apart. Ku Ja-Cheol was given far too much space in the box and he found the back of the net at the near post after a lovely through-ball from Chung-Yong.

Yoo Byung-Soo had the Koreans in front moments later when he was played in by Heung-Min, taking a touch to round the ‘keeper before staying cool to slot past two defenders who’d got back on to the line.

Dzeko had Bosnia level six minutes after the interval, with a deep cross from Subasic once again proving the undoing of the diminutive Korean central defence, with Dzeko’s header from twelve yards powering past Sung-Ryong.

Parity was only restored for six minutes until Son Heung-Min scored the decisive fifth goal of the game. Byung-Soo repayed the favour of an assist for his team-mate, and the Hamburg man slotted home from the edge of the box.

worldcup_incident_05_southkorea-bosnia_73offside copy

Edin Dzeko was denied a hat-trick (above) on Bosnia’s World Cup debut by an offside decision on 73 minutes. Dragan Blatnjak’s shot was spilled by Sung-Ryong, and Dzeko’s tap-in from six yards was disallowed.

South Korea held out, and won their opening match for the 4th successive World Cup.

                  FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2014
                       MATCH 05: GROUP B

                  SOUTH KOREA 3-2 BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
               Ku Ja-Cheol 41     Dzeko 7, 51
             Yoo Byung-Soo 43
             Son Heung-Min 57

                         Porto Alegre




GROUP B      P  W  D  L  F  A  GD  Pts
1. S.Korea   1  1  0  0  3  2  +1   3
=. Uruguay   1  1  0  0  3  2  +1   3
3. Belgium   1  0  0  1  2  3  -1   0
=. Bosnia    1  0  0  1  2  3  -1   0