Sunday, June 15, 2014

World Cup Group C Update

Little was seen that we didn't already know about the teams in Group C, as both of the games yielded expected results. Colombia defeated Greece 3-0 and Ivory Coast were victors over Japan by a score of 2-1.

What We Learned About Colombia - As far as I saw, Colombia weren't even that impressive in their 3-0 win versus Greece, which is to say that we can probably expect even more from Colombia through the rest of this tournament. Colombia dominated the game early, but then sagged off of Greece for a large portion of the game and gave the ball away carelessly on the counterattack. James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado looked fantastic at times but then disappeared for much of the game. While Colombia's offense was on-and-off, the defense certainly was on point the entire game, which will be relieving to Colombian fans.
Colombia's Best Player - James Rodriguez, Attacking Midfielder - When J-Rod was feeling it, there was no doubt that he was the best player on the pitch, but he needs to maintain that level of play for the entire game.
Colombia's Worst Player - Carlos Sanchez, Center Midfielder - Colombia looked poor in the defensive midfield. They will need Sanchez to step up if they hope to have a better link between the defense and the attacking midfielders.

What We Learned About Greece - Greece have a reputation as a very defensively solid team that doesn't like to go forward, but after they let in a goal in the fifth minute, their entire mentality broke. Rather than continue to sit back and defend, Greece panicked and went on the attack, allowing for Colombia to counterattack as they wished. In a group with as much attacking power and creativity as this group, Greece may find that their defensive tactic will not work, but the most important thing is that they choose a tactic and not abandon it five minutes into the game.
Greece's Best Player - Panagiotis Kone, Attacking Midfielder - Was the most creative player in Greece's attack. Had in stunning shot that was nicely saved by Colombia's Ospina.
Greece's Worst Player - Theofanis Gekas, Striker - Was pretty much invisible except for when he headed a wide open header against the crossbar.

What We Learned About Ivory Coast - The most important thing that Ivory Coast will have learned from their game against Japan is that Didier Drogba needs to start. As soon as he was subbed on, he mad a few brilliant touches and within minutes the ball was in the back of Japan's net (twice). Ivory Coast actually played well for most of the game, but despite fashioning solid chances, their finishing was brutal. They should have scored at least one or two more goals but will be pleased with the result against a solid Japanese team.
Ivory Coast's Best Player - Serge Aurier, Right Back - Though he struggled a bit in the first half, that is understandable seeing as he is just 21 years old. In the second half he provided several brilliant crosses, two of which ended up in the back of the net.
Ivory Coast's Worst Player - Salomon Kalou, Winger - Started in front of Didier Drogba, but struggled to finish off several clear cut chances.

What We Learned About Japan - Japan started off the game looking very creative and were rewarded with a Kaisuke Honda goal, but after that they failed to muster any real chances. They were simply overmatched in terms of skill, physicality, and creativity for the entire rest of the game. Honda looked fantastic, but he will need other player, especially Shinji Kagawa, to step up if Japan want to exit the group. It is true that other teams are not nearly as physical as the Ivory coast, but Japan certainly need to manage teams with strength and pace much better.
Japan's Best Player - Kaisuke Honda, Attacking Midfielder - For much of the game was the best player on the pitch. Had a beautiful goal that gave Japan an early lead.
Japan's Worst Player - Shinji Okazaki, Striker - Was supposed to Japan's big scorer but was nowhere to be seen against Ivory Coast.

No comments:

Post a Comment