Posts Tagged ‘Montenegro’

Ramos and co. didn't really try. But it was enough.

 

There are some worries in the Spanish National camp as the reigning European champions don’t look as focused as they did last summer. ‘La Furia Roja’ struggled to beat non-World Cup dwellers Saudi Arabia 3-2 in Innsbruck, Austria  on Saturday.

The Saudi’s surprisingly went up 1-0 in the 16th minute as Osama Hawsawi headed in a corner that Spanish keeper Iker Casillas failed to punch clear. 14 minutes later, Barcelona striker David Villa scored to level the match. At the half, the Saudi’s looked more impressive than the Spanish.

After the half-time break, Spain came out with more sloppy play; and although Xabi Alonso gave Spain the lead in the 57th minute with a precise shot from outside the box, Saudi Arabia leveled the match in the 73rd minute with a freak goal which deflected off of Al Namare and past the helpless Casillas. The game ended with substitute Llorente heading in a Xabi Alonso corner in virtually the last kick of the game to give Spain the 3-2 win.

It’s clear that Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque needs to have his team more focused when the World Cup comes around. Although this Spanish team is much deeper and better on paper than the one that won the Euro (inclusions of Pique, Valdes, Pedro, Llorente and Navas are fantastic) they do not look as sharp. Former Euro winning coach Luis Aragones formed an organized cohesive unit which we haven’t really seen under 2-time Champions League winner Del Bosque. The ‘moustache’ as they call him, is still awaiting the return of 2 of his key players in Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres from injury.

International Friendly results and highlights organized for viewing for your pleasure:

Spain 3-2 Saudi Arabia

Ireland 3-0 Algeria

Slovakia 1-1 Cameroon

Serbia 0-1 New Zealand

Sweden 4-2 Bosnia Herzegovina

Ukraine 3-2 Romania

Hungary 0-3 Germany

USA 2-1 Turkey

England 2-1 Japan

Belarus 1-0 Korea Republic

Paraguay 2-2 Ivory Coast

Gambia 1-5 Mexico

Nigeria 1-1 Colombia

Tunisia 1-1 France

Chile 1-0 Northern Ireland

Other Results:

Norway 2-1 Montenegro

Moldova 2-3 UAE

Poland 0-0 Finland

Iceland 4-0 Andorra

Azerbaijan 1-3 Rep. of Macedonia

Venezuela 1-1 Canada

Raps beat Cows in a thriller
Raps beat Cows in a thriller

Why are the Raptors on a four game winning streak? Don’t they understand that the more they lose, the better draft pick they’ll have this year? I mean, do what you want with the pick, but get the highest pick possible! Now that the season is tanked, they’ve decided to play ball, beating teams that they have no business beating.

Well, maybe this last stretch of the season is a sign of things to come for next year. Marion is finding a flow, and maybe we’re seeing the team gel finally. Emphasis on the ‘maybe’. The Raps have a solid starting five. If Colangelo can re-sign Marion, and add some much needed depth to the squad in the off season, we might see a resurgence.

  • Jose Calderon is on course to have one of (if not) the best free throw shooting season(s) in NBA history. He had a monster line against the Bulls today; 21 points and 19 assists.
  • If I had to build my team around a point guard for the future, I would seriously consider picking Derrick Rose, and not Chris Paul (discussions welcome).
  • I was obviously kidding about the Raptors tanking the season and getting a high draft pick. They should always try to win every game they can no matter what the circumstances.
  • Seriously.. Please tank the season and lose every game from now on.

Now that we got that rant over with, let’s move to another rant:

Ali Daei Sacked
Ali Daei Sacked

 Football legends very rarely become successful coaches. It was a mistake to bring in Daei in the first place; we should have taken Clemente when we had him in Iran, but completely blew it. I’m not here to make a massive list of Daei’s tactical shortcomings as a coach, I just want to point out that he’s lost alot of respect from many Iranian’s around the World. His response after the loss to Saudi at home in front of 100, 000 fans:

“I will not leave my job as Iran boss. Iranian football officials cannot fire me. You were not the ones who offered me the job. Accordingly, you cannot ask for my departure. It was not Ali Daei who was defeated today; it was Iran’s national football team which was [defeated]”

Daei, who has dropped a couple of Iranian stars in his brief era with Iran as coach due to personal disputes, also commented on the absence of former Asian player of the year Ali Karimi in the squad:

“Karimi was in no shape to shine at Persepolis match against Saudi Arabia’s al-Shabaab earlier this month. I talked to Persepolis manager and I found out that he had not attended training sessions for 25 days,”

Right. Evidence shows that Karimi has clearly been to his training sessions. He’s also been in top form for Persepolis all year.

Daei, you are one of the best players in Asian history, and you hold the FIFA International goalscoring record. Thank you for everything, but with all due respect; you are not the man for this job.

Not all is lost in the football World though.

Piqué FTW!
Piqué FTW!

Spain 1-0 Turkey. The European champions played against a stubborn Turkish defence without Cesc, Iniesta, and Puyol. Turkey played a great tactical game at the Bernabeu, but in the end, La Furia Roja were too much. Their passing game is like a slow torture for opponents. They ooze confidence and produce free flowing football that is unmatched in International football. Pure art, and they aren’t even at their best.

  • Holland 3-0 Scotland. Klaas Jan Huntelaar can’t stop scoring. He’s like a mini Ruud. Big shoes to fill, but he is a very intriguing prospect.
  • Portugal 0-0 Sweden. Both countries are in jeopardy sitting 4 points behind Denmark and Hungary. Hungary and Denmark also have a game in hand.
  • Montenegro 0-2 Italy. Huge win for the Azzuri in Eastern Europe. The World Cup Champs are one step closer to defending their crown in South Africa.

Thanks for reading. Why was this post so awesome? I was listening to this the whole time:

Now go back and read this post again. But this time, listen to the song while doing it. It makes it alot more dramatic.