Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spain/Russia running blog

Rece Davis - says something about the Rolling Stones "with all due respect" one side will leave with satisfaction today. Dude, the Rolling Stones sang, "I can't get no satisfaction" not, "no one can ever get any satisfaction". If anything, the character in the song believes satisfaction is possible, and that's why he's frustrated. Anyway. Tommy Smythe said something, too. Wasn't listening, but he looked excited about it.
Pedro Gomez cracks about Davis' salary while informing us that each Russian player gets over 1 million Euros if they win here.
Spain are wearing their "unlucky" yellow uniform. Hmmm. They might be saving the red for the final. Former MLS player Donadoni has been fired as coach of Italy. Smythe calls his sack "unfortunate".
Davis is raising his voice a lot - but yet he doesn't sound excited. He sounds like a teacher trying to drown out students who are talking in class by talking louder then they are. That never works by the way.
A tango with the Spanish? No that's Argentina - the promo tease should be a paso doble with the Spaniards. That's like trying to order tacos in a Spanish restaurant.
The Spanish national anthem has no lyrics, so the players just stand there. Under Franco, some lyrics supporting him were written, but the song officially has no words, and so after his tenure, only the instrumental version is played.
Russian anthem, meanwhile, has changed lyrics more than once, including to remove references to Stalin.
The captains of the respective teams read an anti-racism message to the crowd.
Russia: Akinfeyev, Anyukov, Berezutsky, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Zyryanov, Semak, Semshov, Saenko, Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko.
Spain: Casillas, Ramos, Puyol, Marchena, Capdevila, Senna, Iniesta, Xavi, Silva, Villa and Torres.
Of course, Spain beat Russia handily in group play, but Arshavin didn't play due to suspension. Yes, he makes that big a difference.
Kickoff!
3- FK earned by Villa, but it's way far out. Russia gets the ball back almost immediately.
5 - Torres earns a corner, but as he slides over the line, he lifts a whole section of the new=laid grass. Corner is cleared. Then Spain serves it into the box again and Ramos nearly, nearly reaches it on a header.
7 - Villa and Torres exchange passes in the box, Torres looses an awkward shot that Akinfeyev parries out. Spain have come out looking hungry.
8 - Aragones looks unhappy. Apparently, he really doesn't like the color yellow. He's off to coach in Turkey after this tournament.
10 - Russia's held off the early Spanish surge, and now look to strike, but Casillas is all over the low cross.
12 -
Akinfeyev stops a long-range Spain shot as the Red Fury try to counter.
13 - Spain give up a corner.
It's taken short and the the cross falls to Ramos, who shows total trust in Casillas as he chests the ball to him to catch.
15 - Torres in the box, reaching for the ball, the referee whistles for a foul against Torres. Gray gets upset about the call - which the replay shows did look like a foul on the defender.
16 - Perhaps as retaliation, Puyol tackles Arshavin hard going the other way, but the ref whistles this one. Tasty FK for Russia
17 - It's put over the bar by Pavlyuchenko.
18 - Aragones is off the bench, doing the "settle down" hand motions to his team, who might be frustrated.
19 - Torres in the box, trying to control the ball - now, if he'd planned the move to carry the ball on his back that would have been truly brilliant, but he didn't and he gets tangled up and loses track of the ball. Russia clears.
21 - Gray: That final ball is just missing for Spain at the moment.
Very true.
22 - But now Russia have a chance via FK, as the rain really dumps down. I'm ambivalent about the rain - sometimes it's part of a glorious, anything can happen game, other times, it just really changes the outcome too much. Soccer turns from a game of skill into mucking about in slop.
23 - Russia getting chances now - a corner, becomes a throw-in, but the ball is finally out over the endline. Goal kick for Iker.
24 - Spain with a deep throw-in, but as Ramos tries to hit the volley, the ball slips and weakens the shot.
Akinfeyev catches.
27 - Semak fouls Marchena who tries to take a quick FK. Problem is, Semak is still holding the ball, which leads to shoving and a lecture from the ref for both of them, but no cards.
28 - Gray thinks Arshavin needs to get more involved - perhaps move up to forward.
29 - Silva is chopped down, but the FK is pretty far out for Spain. Villa gets it to
Akinfeyev, who didn't have to move that much to stop it.
31 - Pavlyuchenko from distance takes a crack at goal - just wide. That's what Russia can do, no matter how good Spain look otherwise.
34 - Villa is down and looking very sober - might be a serious injury. Yep, he's off. Cesc Fabregas comes in.
35 - Pavlyuchenko in the box! Chests the ball down and nearly gets his shot off, but the ball is touched out.
36 - Pavlyuchenko now with a low header, it's wide, but Spain has lost all momentum. Rae mentions the MLS Texas derby - is it really a proper derby when the teams don't actually play in the same city? Can't he just say "state bragging rights" or "rivalry match"?
38 - As the match wears on Russia's youth and fitness should wear on the Spaniards. If Spain doesn't score soon, I'd say they are in serious trouble.
39 - Fabregas cuts in a sharp cross, but no one from Spain realy made the run and
Akinfeyev catches.
40 - Gray thinks Spain suffers from overpassingitis. Yet at the same time, he says, they "lack the final pass"
41 - Both teams pressing as final five minutes of the half start to tick down. Casillas is out of his box to boot ball away.
42 - Arshavin is getting more involved on the right.
43 - Iniesta battles to cross, finally gets it off -
Akinfeyev catches. The flow of the Spanish attack is getting blunted by the physical defense of Russia.
44 - Torres gets bearhugged - earning Spain a FK. It's a ways out, though. Xavi send is too high for a header and
Akinfeyev catches.
45 - Puyol and Arshavin knock heads. I think Puyol's curly hair might give him a bit more protection. Both look ok, though. No blood like in last match.
Halftime: Spain looked better, or more stylish, going forward, but Russia had as many clear chances ( there weren't many for either side ) and nearly made them pay off.
I'm not sure it's a good omen for Russia that their big fan, Maria Sharapova, was upset today at Wimbledon. Perhaps not, as another Russian beat her. Speaking of, what happened to Spanish female tennis players? Is there anyone contending the way Aranxta once did?
47 - Adrian Healey is talking about Aragones "wise old man". Looks like the coach's rehabilitation after racist remarks about Thierry Henry is complete.
50 - Spain again the more probing team, but nothing yet. -
GOAL!
WAIT! Iniesta in the box, turns slightly shoots for the far post, Xavi pounces on it and redirects it into goal before
Akinfeyev can react. 1-0 Spain
52 - Russia immediately turn up the heat, but the cross in is cleared and Spain counter. Torres in the box takes a shot form a tough angle - over the bar! Could have really drowned Russia hopes here.
55 - Spain again in the box via a quick counter - can't get a shot off.
56 - Interesting that the teams have switched roles - Spain is countering quickly, while Russia is now forced to build up play. Spain is actually pretty effective on the counter.
Bilyaletdinov comes in for Russia, Semchov specifically.
57 - Torres just barely offside. Saenko is off, Sychev on.
60 - Bilyatdinov tackles enthusiastically, but a bit late and gets a yellow.
61 - Spain opt for possession on the FK and work the ball around well, nearly resulting in a shot, but do get a throw.
62 - Torres with a shot. He's been unlucky there a bit, but he keeps trying on difficult angles.
63 - Torres again in the box - can't decide how to hit a ball and then the cross basically bounces off him badly.
64 - ooh, now the missed chance could prove costly. FK for Russia in very tasty spot and with a good angle.
65 - Zhirkov sends it into the wall, though.
68 - Spain on a great counter - Torres gets the ball in the box nearly in stride, but the defense closes him down. Zhirkov a mostly clean tackle that leaves Torres appealing in vain for a PK.
69 - Torres is taken out and Daniel Guiza comes in for Spain.
70 - Cesc with a knuckling shot earns a CK -
Akinfeyev was forced to palm it wide..
71 - Off the corner, ball pops to Xavi, who cracks a shot on goal, but
Akinfeyev blocks it back into play.
73 - GOAL! Guiza in as Spain execute well on the counter as Russia scrambled to set their line. Cesc dinked a pass behind as both Silva and Guiza broke through the line, the pass flew past Silva, but Guiza corralled it and sent it past
Akinfeyev. 2-0.
75 - Russia try to come right back but Casillas wants to keep the shutout and takes care of the low ball.
80 - Spain haven't lost concentration or focus. They're harrasing Russia's wingers, cutting off crosses and keeping canny possession of the ball to limit Russia's hopes for a miracle.
81 - Can we hassle Hiddink for putting Arshavin on the right, where he saw little action and never affected the game? Hummm?
82 - GOAL! Silva off a great cross by Cesc! 3-0 Spain. Emphatic win for the Spanish.
85 - Well, well, the two finalists are the ones I called.
87 - "Spain have forgotten how to lose," Healy says. What a nice thing to forget.
88 - Ok, this one always surprises me, but I guess it's like how the England fans sing the heck out of "You'll Never Walk Alone" an American Broadway tune. The Spanish fans are raising thier voices in a loud chorus of "Cielito Lindo" which is a Mexican folk tune.
90 - Spain still pinging the ball around handily - while their fans are singing in the rain, which is staying mainly on the Spanish plain (since we're talking about Broadway).
90+ Sychev wide on a consolation attempt.
Final whistle - Spain's soldiers won the battle well, but the war is decided on Sunday - and the Germans are planning a blitzkrieg against the stylish possession game of the Spaniards. The final paso of the dance will go down then. So much for yellow - er, mustard - being unlucky.

7 comments:

EdTheRed said...

"[I]s it really a proper derby when the teams don't actually play in the same city?"

Not normally, no. But everything is bigger in Texas.

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soyjimador said...

la fuuuuuria roja!

Eric said...

That's why I check in, for existential Stones commentary - friggin' hilarious!

Anonymous said...

mustard errrr yellow

Russia just waved the white flag at midfield. Xavi, David Silva, Senna, Iniesta, Fabergas controlled the entire game.

What's the extent of David Villa's injury, is he out for the final?

It should be a very good final.

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