Player ratings: how the Socceroos performed

June 14, 2014 – 11:43AM

Sebastian Hassett

Football reporter

1 – RYAN (GK) – Tough going for Ryan who was perhaps not given enough protection from the midfield and defence. Still, he let in two goals when the match was still in its infancy and copped a third at the death. Can only get better. Rating: 5.

2 – FRANJIC – Put in the cross that led to Australia’s opener but was questionably positioned for Chile’s second goal. Needed to have a steadier head. His night ended prematurely with injury affecting his chance to have a bigger impact. Rating: 4

3 – DAVIDSON – Didn’t quite get his angles right early, especially when Mat Ryan needed support for Chile’s opening goal. Improved as the match went on, battling away against the brilliant Alexis Sanchez. Rating: 6

Star man: Tim Cahill

Star man: Tim Cahill Photo: Getty Images

4 – CAHILL – A typical Cahill performance with a typical Cahill goal. With a bit of luck, he could have easily had another. He pulled Australia out of their early slumber single-handily. Rating: 7

5 – MILLIGAN – Was one of the Socceroos better performers when few others stood tall early but didn’t have a major impact later on. Rating 5.

6 – SPIRANOVIC – After shining against Croatia, the pulsing energy of this contest was a bigger ask. Like several others, worked his way into the game and won some headers and made some nice clearances. Rating 6.

7 – LECKIE – Full marks for effort but not always for execution. Never stopped running at both ends of the pitch and played his role in Australia’s opener. Thrived in the open spaces and will definitely keep his spot. Rating 6.

11 – OAR – The left-winger looked a solid outlet in the first 45 minutes but was hooked by Ange Postecoglou midway through the second half. Couldn’t quite get the best from his partnership with Davidson. Rating 5.

15 – JEDINAK(C) – Found the going tough in the heat and against an exceptionally mobile Chilean midfield. Wanted to impose his will on the game but the pattern of the match didn’t play into his hands.Rating 5.

22 – WILKINSON – This was never going to be easy for Wilkinson as he plugged away manfully despite being overwhelmed. Cleared a certain goal off the line but found the quality of the opponent extremely difficult. Rating 5.

23 – BRESCIANO – Looked badly off the pace in the first half when he was needed the most. However, he lifted in the second 45 minutes and had some key touches before being substituted. Nearly turned his night around with a sparkling volley, only to be denied by Claudio Bravo. Rating: 6.

Substitutes:

James Troisi – Couldn’t make the impact he’d have hoped when he came on.

Ben Halloran – Used his pace to good effect when played out of position.

Ryan McGowan – Gave his best when replacing Franjic, did nothing majorly wrong. – Tough going for Ryan who was perhaps not given enough protection from the midfield and defence. Still, he let in two goals when the match was still in its infancy and copped a third at the death. Can only get better. Rating: 5.

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

 

Australia begins World Cup campaign with no points, but no shame

June 14, 2014 – 10:59AM

Michael Cockerill

Football Writer

No points, but no shame. Australia did well enough in sticky Cuiaba to force Chile out of their rhythm, which is more than many had expected. The World Cup might not have come too soon for the next generation after all.

After 10 minutes, things were looking decent. After 14 minutes, it seemed we might have a disaster on our hands. Two goals in two minutes threatened a rout, the second from Jorge Valdivia especially disheartening. A posse of Socceroos were drawn to the run of Eduardo Vargas off the ball, leaving Valdivia with an open invitation. In terms of defending at this level, it was about as bad as it gets.

Relieved Chile players gather after their win.

Relieved Chile players gather after their win. Photo: AP

The body language, at that point, was ominous. Even Tim Cahill had a slight stoop. Chile were passing their way through, and around, the

press. Mark Bresciano struggled to cover the metres, while out wide Tommy Oar and Matthew Leckie were leaving their fullbacks exposed. After 18 minutes, the South Americans had gorged themselves on a whopping 73 percent of possession.

Perhaps, right there, Chile thought they had it won. Who knows? But slowly, and surely, the pendulum started to swing. The man who provided the catalyst was Leckie. Eugenio Mena had been enjoying his time and space, but Leckie backed himself with his pace. A run here, a turn there, and he started to get into the space behind. Mena morphed from wing back to fullback as Leckie’s cut-and-thrust sparked the Socceroos into life. A coming of age for a player yet to rise above the second level of European football? Close.

And then, as is so often the case, it was left to Cahill to provide the hope. A ball superbly won by Ivan Franjic on the right was matched by an even better delivery from the Brisbane Roar fullback, and Cahill, as always, rose majestically to punch his header into the net. A goal for the third World Cup in a row for our all-time leading scorer, and you sense he enjoyed this moment, with this team, as much as his first.

Australia's Alex Wilkinson stops the ball from crossing the line.

World Cup 2014: Socceroos v Chile highlights

Australia’s Alex Wilkinson stops the ball from crossing the linePhoto: Reuters

Chile were beginning to feel the hot breath of pressure. As the second half evolved, the Socceroos visibly relaxed. Ange Postecoglou likes a passing game, but he has no problem being pragmatic. The crosses came in for Cahill from the right and the left, and another ended up in the goal only to be chalked off, correctly, for offside.

Bresciano, by now finding space and time, swept another cross towards the goal only to be denied on the line by keeper Claudio Bravo. Was that panic in the eyes of the Chilean stars? Anxiety, at the very least.

In the technical area, Jorge Sampaoli fidgeted, gyrated, and sweated. At one stage, late in the contest, it seemed he might put a tackle on Ben Halloran, so keen was he to stop the tide. And a tide it was.

Australia's Tim Cahill acknowledges the fans after their loss to Chile.

Australia’s Tim Cahill acknowledges the fans after their loss to Chile. Photo: Reuters

Chileans were hankering for the final whistle. Australia didn’t want it to end. But end it did, with Chile grabbing a third to put a gloss on a scoreline which shouldn’t betray the strength of the Socceroos’ recovery. The fitness, the mobility, the speed, the purpose and – most of all – the belief of the team provided plenty of encouragement.

The loss of Franjic, who bumped the same knee which forced him off in the warm-up game against South Africa, is a worry. There is also the role of Bresciano to consider. On this evidence, at this level, it might be best to preserve him until the sting has gone out of the game.

Afterwards, Postecoglou was proud of the performance, and rightly so. But importantly, the coach will also focus on the areas needed for improvement. The Dutch and the Spanish will offer little respite, but on this evidence the Socceroos won’t be embarrassed. Which is a relief.

Source : The Sydney Morming Herald

Socceroos and Chile fans cheer on their heroes in Australia

June 14, 2014 – 11:46AM

Esther Han and Tim Barlass

Socceroos fans cheer on their team in Redfern.

Socceroos fans cheer on their team in Redfern. Photo: Fiona Morris

The final minutes were painful for the Socceroos fans, more so because they held onto much hope for a stunning comeback.

Down 2 -1 in the second half, the Australian players were strong and brazen in their drive to score an equaliser against Chile, their fans supporting every one of their moves. “Go Cahill!”, they cried. “Go Breschy, go!” With each yellow card and offside call, the fans faces reflected that of their football superstars.

“I really thought we had a chance, they played strong during the second half. They must have had a great half-time chat, because they emerged like a new team,” said Bev Shroot from Surry Hills, one of about a hundred people who squeezed into an artsy garage space called Work Shop in Redfern.

“The referee was pretty harsh against the Aussies in the second half, like he was laying down the law at the start of the World Cup,” she said.

And then came the blow when Chile’s Jean Beausejour scored the third goal against Australia, two minutes into injury time.

There were groans, sighs and utterings of disappointment among the green and gold decked crowd. It was near impossible for the Socceroos to achieve a comeback now.

But for the most part, there was a palpable sense of positivity throughout the match. And in the end, everyone was proud of the Socceroos.

Dale Mcguinness, a freelance art director from Newtown, was at the 2006 World Cup game in Germany when Australia managed a surprise comeback in the final minutes, smashing Japan 3 to 1. This memory kept him positive during the dying minutes.

“You can’t underestimate the Socceroos, we have the fighting spirit,” he said. “There were unlucky balls that could have gone in and changed the game, definitely. But they held on. If we can manage a draw in the next game, there’s still hope, but playing the Dutch, very hard. They scored five goals this morning.”

Ronald Sandoval, an developer from Waterloo, was one of just two Chile supporters in the crowd, leaping up from his seat when Jorge Valdívia, Alexis Sánchez and Jean Beausejour kicked the ball into the back of the net.

“This is awesome, this is the best feeling. The Socceroos played really well for 90 minutes. They weren’t easy to beat. I thought it was going to be an easy game, but it wasn’t,” he said.

It’s a confusing picture at the Colo-Colo Sports Social Club in Fairfield, the Chilean capital of Sydney.

Up the stairs off the high street to the first floor and the tables with their red and white plastic clothes have been pushed out of the way in readiness

Allegiance to the game with the round ball is demonstrated by the shelves filled with soccer trophies and the framed strips on the walls, memories of past glories.

The front row of six seats is full but, as you might expect in multicultural Fairfield, there’s two green and yellow jerseys sandwiched between the red of Chilean locals.

In the second row there’s two Chilean flags draped over the chair backs in preparation for victory.

Steve Alegria in a red shirt is here to see the game on the big screen with daughters Lila, five, and Ruby, four who said they wanted to watch the game.

Despite the electric start the girls’ interest soon wanes. They switch on a smart phone to watch Frozen instead.

There’s about 40 gathered in the darkened room but the passion of South American blood makes up for the numbers.

En masse they stand with arms waving chanting ‘Chil-Lay, Chil-Lay’ as the first two goals come in quick succession.

Halfway through the second half Steve said: “It’s unpredictable.  If Chile are playing hot they could win by three or four goals, we saw that in the first 15 minutes. But I’m happy that Australia is putting on a good game.”

Nancy Cartagena , 34 years in Australia is supporting Chile but her brother-in-law, Darren, is for Australia.

“We argue. We are very passionate about this,” she said.

But the biggest confusion is with Andrea Garcia., born in Chile, watching the match with Australian fiancé Michael Menzies ‘as in Sir Robert’.

“I’m a bit confused,” the bride to be volunteers.

“I have a Chilean scarf and bag but Australian soccer hat and jersey. I support both teams.”

“I was born in Chile but I’ve grown up in Australia. I like Chilean culture, the food, the music, but Australia has given me so much.”

Michael said of the engagement: “If Chile win the World Cup we’ll have to end it.”

The room erupts with Chile’s third goal in the closing minutes.

Andrea adds: “I am both heart broken and happy. Michael? He’s devastated. I didn’t want any team to lose at the same time I wanted them both to win.

“Go figure.”

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

World Cup 2014: Battling Socceroos take Chile to the wire

June 14, 2014 – 11:17AM

Michael Lynch

SENIOR SPORTS REPORTER WITH THE AGE

Cuiaba: A Tim Cahill header late in the first half got Australia back into the game, and a barnstorming second half almost, but not quite, produced an equaliser as the Socceroos were left to rue a dreadful first 15 minutes when they conceded two goals to a rampant Chile which, in the end, proved decisive.

The South Americans made sure of the three points which give them a platform to progress to the knockout phase with a goal to substitute Jean Beausejour in stoppage time, giving the South Americans a 3-1 victory in this opening Group B fixture.

Nightmare start: Alexis Sanchez puts Chile in front.

Nightmare start: Alexis Sanchez puts Chile in front. Photo: AP

Just like four years ago in Durban, when Germany tore the Socceroos apart in the opening game, Australia’s World Cup seemed to be over in Cuiaba almost before it had begun, shredded in a pile of broken dreams as a dominant Chile stamped their authority on the game and raced to a 2-0 lead inside the first quarter of an hour.

The South Americans played with verve and wonderful technical ability, at pace and with fluency as they took control of the game from the outset.

In contrast the Australians looked ponderous and out of their depth as they chased shadows and struggled to get any time on the ball while Chile ran and dribbled, passed and moved in the manner prescribed by their Argentine coach, Jorge Sampaoli.

Dream goal: Tim Cahill heads in for Australia.

Dream goal: Tim Cahill heads in for Australia. Photo: Getty Images

The hordes of red shirted Chilean fans had sung their national anthem with gusto and within 14 minutes of the kick off were singing their song of triumph – Vamos, Vamos Chilenos – as if victory was a foregone conclusion.

It certainly seemed that way as their talented forwards, led by the classy Alexis Sanchez, the Barcelona wide man, ran riot, seemingly finding space at will as their midfielders pressed forward, giving Australia little time to play out from the back or formulate attacking moves.

Chile made the breakthrough they had been promising since the first whistle in the 12th minute, and Sanchez was the man who started the move and finished it.

Tim Cahill had a goal disallowed.

Tim Cahill had a goal disallowed. Photo: Getty Images

He linked up on the right with Charles Aranguiz, who did remarkably well to keep the ball in play and prevent Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan from getting it before he flighted a cross towards the penalty area. Eduardo Vargas got enough on the ball to direct a downward header to Sanchez, who controlled before coolly shooting past Ryan.

Two minutes later the Chileans were celebrating again with even bigger smiles as they doubled their lead. Again Sanchez was the key element, spinning off his marker beautifully to open up space before slotting a pass to Jorge Valdivia.

The Brazil based playmaker surely couldn’t believe how much space he had been given on the edge of the penalty area and he had all the time to look up and pitch a lofted drive past Ryan and under the bar.

Mark Bresciano and Arturo Vidal battle for the ball.

Mark Bresciano and Arturo Vidal battle for the ball. Photo: AP

At that point Chile looked Black Caviar odds to romp home against a disjointed and outclassed Australia, who were chasing their tail and struggling to put together any moves of significance.

But the Socceroos somehow steadied their listing ship, regained composure and began to find a way back into the game. Still, Valdivia, Sanchez and Mauricio Isla were combining cleverly, and Arturo Vidal shot just wide, and a third Chilean goal seemed more likely.

But a Tommy Oar long shot, and a driving run and shot over from Matthew Leckie showed their was some life in the Socceroos as they began to get some thrust in the opposition half.

Australia's Alex Wilkinson stops the ball from crossing the line.

World Cup 2014: Socceroos v Chile highlights

Australia’s Alex Wilkinson stops the ball from crossing the linePhoto: Reuters

And then, as has been so often the case, the talisman that is Tim Cahill struck in the 35th minute to rock the Chileans and bring fresh hope to the outsiders.

Ivan Franjic, who, like the rest of the defence had endured a torrid opening half hour, got forward and won the ball wide on the right in a crunching tackle before flighting a well weighted cross to the centre. Cahill outjumped Chilean centre back Gary Medel to direct a thumping header past Claudio Bravo and put the Australians back in the game.

It was his fourth World Cup goal, but more than that it put the Australian in rarefied company as a player who has scored in three consecutive World Cups an achievement that simply adds to his lustre with the Australian football public who have cleaved him to their hearts since that memorable day in Kaiserslautern eight years ago when he struck twice to bring Australia victory over Japan.

Cahill almost delivered a repeat shortly after the restart with a glancing header wide as he claimed his shirt was being tugged by defender Gonzalo Jara.

And then the former Everton man did have the ball in the back of the net once again when he headed home Leckie’s cross only for the ”goal” to be ruled out for a fractional offside call.

Mark Bresciano then came agonisingly close to levelling with a wonderful first-time volley from Jason Davidson’s cross. His shot seemed to be creeping in but Bravo got down low enough to parry it out and the Australian midfielder could only slam the rebound into the side netting.

It was now Australia that was looking threatening every time it got the ball forward on the flanks looking for the head of Cahill, and Chile who looked like a bundle of nerves, incapable of clearing properly or finding the fluid one touch football which had illiminted the early stages of this game.

Bresciano drove forward to link with Cahill and the hard working Leckie, with his pace and direct runs, kept threatening the Chilean defence with his aggressive forays.  Now it was Australia doing all the pressing, the Socceroos winning all the loose balls and 50-50 contests and looking the team most likely in a complete role reversal of the first half hour.

But the Chileans were dangerous on the break, no more so than when Eduardo Vargas skipped clear inside the penalty area and rolled a shot that looked for all the world as if it were going in – until the unconsidered figure of Alex Wilkinson, Australia’s centre half, somehow got back to hook it clear just before it crossed the line.

Australia looked the stronger team as they drove forward in search of the equaliser. Leckie’s powerful run took him half the length of the field but, spent by the time he arrived in the penalty area, his shot lacked the power to trouble Bravo. But the move was typical in what had been an enormous performance by the German based forward, whose workrate and energy did so much to spark his team as they recovered from their dreadful start.

Cahill headed over again as Postecoglou emptied his bench, replacing Bresciano with Melbourne Victory’s James Troisi, defender Ryan McGowan already having come on for the injured Franjic. Australia still looked likely right to the last – until one final Chilean break produced a rebound which Beausejour drove home.

They might have been beaten, but there was plenty to admire in the display of this inexperienced side that augurs well for the future _ if not in Brazil, then certainly in the Asian Cup early next year on home soil.

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

Classificação do GRUPO B da Copa do Mundo da FIFA Brasil 2014 após a primeira rodada

Mundial-2014-Brasil-1.svg

Pos.

Seleção

Pts J V E D GP GC SG
1 Países Baixos Países Baixos 3 1 1 0 0 5 1 +4
2 Flag of Chile.svg Chile 3 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2
3 Flag of Australia.svg Austrália 0 1 0 0 1 1 3 –2
4 Flag of Spain.svg Espanha 0 1 0 0 1 1 5 –4

 

 

Chile 3 x 1 Austrália

 3 x 1 

FASE DE GRUPOS – 1ª RODADA
CHILE JOGA COMO DONO DA CASA EM CUIABÁ E VENCE A AUSTRÁLIA NA ESTREIA
Milhares de torcedores chilenos empurram o time na Arena Pantanal, com direito a hino à capela e olé. Triunfo por 3 a 1 põe seleção em 2º no grupo .
A atmosfera indicava que não ia ser fácil vencer o Chile na estreia da Roja na Copa do Mundo. Mesmo assim, a Austrália se mostrou presente, lutando até o apito final. Nem Vidal, Valdivia ou Sánchez. O personagem principal da equipe de Jorge Sampaoli viajou muitas horas para estar em Cuiabá. Com apoio maciço de uma torcida que invadiu a Arena Pantanal, os chilenos venceram os australianos por 3 a 1, nesta sexta, em jogo que encerrou a primeira rodada do Grupo B da Copa do Mundo. Os gols foram de Alexis Sánchez, Valdivia e Beausejour. Tim Cahill fez para os australianos.

Para os chilenos, a Copa do Brasil também é um pouco deles. Talvez por isso também fizeram aquela que já se tornou marca registrada dos donos da casa. Quase 30 mil vozes cantaram junto com a equipe o hino à capela, após o término da parte instrumental. A injeção de ânimo e a velocidade do ataque foram fundamentais para o início avassalador do Chile.

Os australianos se fizeram presentes na arquibancada – contando com uma boa ajuda das camisas amarelasdos torcedores brasileiros. Cahill e Leckie deram trabalho aos defensores. Mas não foi o bastante. O Chile era mesmo o mandante e, com os três pontos que conseguiu, ficou em segundo lugar no Grupo B. A líder é a Holanda, que também tem três pontos, mas um saldo de gol melhor. Espanha e os australianos ainda não pontuaram. Todos voltam a campo na próxima quarta-feira. Holanda x Austrália e Chile x Espanha x Chile.

A resposta que o torcedor queria depois daquele hino à capela veio após uma jogada que gerou muitos gritos antes da euforia do gol. Um Chile jogando praticamente em casa não ia desistir no primeiro corte da defesa australiana. Aos 12, a jogada começou nos pés de Alexis Sánchez. Vargas ajudou com uma cabeçada. Aránguiz recuperou a bola e a sobra ficou novamente com Sánchez. O jovem atacante desta vez não se atrapalhou e estufou a rede. Parecia então que o mar vermelho de Cuiabá se abriria para a festa.

O segundo grito veio dois minutos depois. Veloz no ataque, Sánchez encontrou Valdivia já dentro da área, sem marcação. O meia do Palmeiras viu espaço e chutou, sem chance para o goleiro Ryan. Comemorou abraçando o técnico Sampaoli, agradecendo a confiança que vem recebendo do treinador. Logo depois, o grito de ”olé” já ecoava. Estava fácil.

Valdivia Chile x Austrália Arena Pantanal (Foto: Reuters)
Valdivia corre para comemorar o segundo gol do Chile em Cuiabá (Foto: Reuters)

Talvez pelo calor de Cuiabá, o time de Sampaoli diminuiu um pouco o ritmo agressivo com que começou o jogo. E os Socceroos estavam em campo. Depois de quase todo o primeiro tempo vendo o Chile atacar, com poucas jogadas ofensivas, trataram de colocar mais emoção. Foi a 15 minutos do fim da primeira etapa. Franjic tabelou com Lockie, que enxergou o experiente Tim Cahill dentro da área. Destaque dos australianos, o atacante do New York RB levou a melhor na disputa com o baixinho Medel e cabeceou forte pra manter seu time vivo no jogo.

Os chilenos sabiam da importância do saldo de gols nesta primeira fase da Copa do Mundo. Mais cedo, a Holanda havia vencido a Espanha por 5 a 1. Naquele momento, o 2 a 1 não era o suficiente. Era, também perigoso. Os sul-americanos voltaram do intervalo, novamente, em direção ao ataque, mas por pouco não entregaram na defesa. Aos sete do segundo tempo, Leckie cruzou para Cahill que conseguiu balançar a rede, mas estava em posição irregular. Os australianos já se mostravam confiantes ofensivamente.

Leckie e Cahill davam trabalho aos zagueiros chilenos. O meia Bresciano também apoiava o ataque. Numa bomba, obrigou o goleiro Bravo a fazer um milagre para salvar o Chile. Sampaoli então optou por tirar o volante Arturo Vidal, confirmado de véspera após ser dúvida por conta de uma artroscopia que sofreu no joelho direito, e colocou Gutiérrez para recuperar o domínio no meio de campo. Aos 15, a primeira grande chance de ampliar veio com Vargas, que chutou no meio da defesa e tirou a bola do goleiro Ryan. Preciso e com a frieza necessária, o zagueiro Wilkinson tirou em cima da linha.

Vargas e Franjic Chile x Austrália Arena Pantanal (Foto: AP)
Vargas leva um carrinho do australiano Franjic na Arena Pantanal (Foto: AP)

A alteração feita por Ange Postecoglou deixava claro que a Austrália ia ao ataque, com a entrada do atacante Halloran (no lugar de Jedinák). Tim Cahill se mostrou voluntarioso, ajudando em todas as bolas e dando traballho ao zagueiro Jara.  A torcida chilena, no entanto, tratava de lembrar com o grito: ”Uma vez mais, temos que ganhar”.

Os minutos finais foram tensos. Os australianos jamais baixaram a guarda e não abriram mão de tentar o gol do empate. Mas a noite era vermelha em Cuiabá. O Chile se segurou e, já nos acréscimos fez o gol do alívio.Beausejour, que entrara no lugar de Valdivia, pegou uma sobra e, de fora da área, bateu rasteiro para fazer 3 a 1. Foi a senha para que ss torcedores chilenos deixassem a Arena Pantanal de alma lavada.

 

GLOBO ESPORTE .COM

TV TOTAL mostra a repercussão na Espanha após a derrota humilhante que La Furia Roja sofreu para a Holanda em Salvador

HOLANDA SE VENGA DE ESPAÑA EN UNA SEGUNDA PARTE PARA OLVIDAR

Humillación mundial

España inició la defensa del título precisamente sin defensa y acabó humillada por Holanda. La Roja hizo aguas atrás, Casillas tuvo su peor día y lo aprovecharon Van Persie y Robben para vengar la derrota en la final de 2010 en una segunda parte dramática.

Primer partido en un Mundial como campeones del mundo. Cuatro años después de la final de Johannesburgo que cambió la historia de España para siempre. Qué tiempos aquellos. La Roja de blanco, la Oranje de azul. Cuatro novedades en la alineación de Del Bosque respecto a Sudáfrica. Azpilicueta y Jordi Alba por Puyol y Capdevila. Diego Costa arriba por Villa y Silva en lugar de Pedro.

Holanda tenía muy claro lo que debía hacer. La prueba llegó a los 8 minutos tras un fallo grave de Jordi Alba. El lateral dejó muerto un balón con el pecho, Robben soltó de primeras con la zaga desguarnecida y Sneijder se plantó solo ante Casillas. Su naranjazo lo saco el capitán de la Roja a una mano, con la seguridad que le caracterizaba en los grandes torneos. Fue un espejismo y un aviso de la fragilidad defensiva de la campeona del mundo.

España se quedó con el balón desde el saque inicial mientras Holanda esperaba en su campo, con tres centrales y dos laterales. Pero nada de autobús. En la telaraña de Van Gaal se buscaba la vida uno de Lagarto. Corriendo a los balones largos e incomodando a los centrales con pitidos de fondo. Suya fue la primera en el 13′. Silva robó la cartera a un defensor holandés y Costa se hizo un lío cuando iba a tirar. En la segunda no se lo pensó tanto y disparó fuera tras otra recuperación de Silva. El canario era una mosca para la defensa holandesa. Estaba en todas partes sin hacer ruido, molestando al que tenía el balón y buscando los espacios para seguir revoloteando.

Han pasado cuatro años pero De Jong sigue repartiendo a sus anchas. Esta vez le tocó a Busquets, que se llevó un recuerdo del aguerrido mediocentro. El malo de la película era el mismo y también el guión. Intentar intimidar a España para que no la tocase a su antojo. En el 25, el pato lo pagó De Guzmán por una falta a Iniesta. Primera amarilla del partido.

Costa sacó un penalti
Fue el preludio de la jugada del penalti a Diego Costa. Engancharon Iniesta, Silva y Xavi Hernández, que sacó del estuche la escuadra y el cartabón para trazar el pase a Diego Costa. De Vrij llegó pasado de frenada al cruce y el hispano brasileño cayó al suelo, en aparencia barrido por el defensor holandés.

 

 

Lo supo hacer Costa, que en lugar de pisar tierra firme dejó que le arrastrase la marea. Rizzoli vio una estrella caer al suelo, picó el anzuelo y pitó penalti. Es más fácil que suceda cuando eres el anfitrión o el campéon del mundo. A este paso, será el Mundial de los árbitros. Tres partidos y tres suspensos.

Xabi Alonso fue el encargado de lanzarlo, a la derecha de Cillesen, raso y fuerte. Menos mal, porque el meta holandés adivinó el lanzamiento y a punto estuvo de sacarlo. Con el viento a favor, España desperdició la oportunidad de sentenciar en el 42′ tras un pase excelso de Iniesta que Silva. El canario lo desaprovechó con un intento de vaselina que acertó a sacar Cillesen. Esas, en un Mundial, hay que meterlas.

 

 

Un minuto después, un pase teledirigido de Blind desde la izquierda descubrió el socavón en la espalda de los centrales españoles. Van Persie burló la vigilancia de Ramos, con Piqué rompiendo el fuera de juego, y se lanzó con fe a buscarla para conectar un poderoso cabezazo en carrera que dejó petrificado a Casillas, clavado en mitad del área. Empate y al descanso. Empezaba a caer un chaparrón en Salvador de Bahía.

 

 

Una segunda parte para olvidar
En el 53′, otro balón voló desde la izquierda para aterrizar entre los centrales de España. La cazó Robben, que esquivó con suma facilidad a Piqué y disparó antes de que Ramos llegase a taponar. Esta vez, Casillas no pudo hacer milagros. Cuatro años después se repetía la misma situación para España, que estaba por debajo en el marcador en el primer partido. Pudo ser todavía peor si Van Persie manda a la jaula la volea que estrelló en el larguero en el 60′ después de que Iker la rozase con los dedos.

 

 

Quedaba media hora por delante y había que cambiar necesariamente de registro. Torres y Pedro dentro, Diego Costa y Xabi Alonso fuera. Pero no era ese el problema. España hacía aguas atrás en cada ataque holandés. En el 65′, una falta lateral de Sneijder desde la izquierda, llegó el tercero. Casillas salió en falso, Van Persie le obstaculizó con el codo y De Vrij marcó en el segundo palo como pudo.

 

 

Robben rubricó la venganza
España se picó en su orgullo, fruto del resultado y de la desesperación. Amarilla a Casillas por protestar, amarilla a Van Persie por una fea falta a Pedro y gol anulado a Silva cuando la Roja intentaba engancharse al partido para salvar, al menos, el empate o el gol average. O el honor, que vale más. Pero no era el día de España ni de Casillas, que regaló un gol tras un mal control en una cesión de Ramos. Van Persie aceptó el regalo y el cuarto subió como una losa al marcador en el 72′.

 

 

Van Gaal sonreía en la banda, los holandeses hacían la conga en las gradas y a España se le ensuciaba la estrella. Quedaba todavía el quinto, obra de Robben en el 80′. Se fue en velocidad de Ramos, regateó a Casillas y marcó rabioso. Lo celebró delante de la cámara, burlón y vengativo. Y pudieron ser algunos más. Mazazo brutal para España, complicado de superar. Las sensaciones son las peores y el pesimismo ha resucitado, pero quedan dos partidos para intentarlo.

 

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