Monthly Archives: December 2012

Wellington Phoenix 3-2 Melbourne Heart

Wellington Phoenix battled their way back from a two goal deficit to take the full three points in front of their home supporters on Thursday evening in what was a very entertaining match.

The Hearts got off to a flying start with a goal coming in the 14th minute of play. Mebrahtu’s free kick curled up and over Wellington’s wall and found the back of net, leaving Paston unable to move quick enough to even attempt to save it.

Melbourne would score just seconds later as the Phoenix concede an own goal from Durante.

After the own goal, Wellington found more pace and promise in their attack and struck back in the 21st minute as Fenton pulled one back.

But it was Brockie’s stellar second half performance that gave Wellington the win.

He scored in the 66th minute from the spot after Marrone shoved Fenton, the first half goal scorer, down inside the 18 yard box. Brockie’s second goal came from a deflected shot off of Sanchez’s foot.

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Everton 2-1 Wigan

With Wigan’s loss today, that now makes it their sixth straight game without a win. This also means that Wigan now droppped into the relegation zone. Phil Neville made his 500th appearance today which is a great accomplishment for any professional.

Both teams attacked early on and the tempo was high as Wigan’s first attack came from Jean Beausejour’s cross was searching for Kone, but Tim Howard, the American international, came off his line and caught the ball before Kone could do any damage.

The first chance for Everton came with just 13 seconds into the match as Jelavic laid off a cross from Leighton Baines which fell to Anichebe who then proceded to hit it first time, but just fired the shot wide of the post.

Osman got Everton’s first goal of the match as his shot deflected off of Caldwell’s arm and then found the back of the net, wrong footing Al Habsi in the process which made it impossible for him to save the ball.

The second goal came just 13 mnutes later when Neville recieved a short pass from Oviedo corners. Neville crossed the ball perfectly into the box as Jelavic headed the ball into the back of the Wigan net.

Wigan did get one back but it was too late to complete a full comeback for Wigan and Everton got the three points and moving them up to fifth place and a chance to move into Champions League qualification.

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Adelaide United 0-1 Brisbane Roar

Struggling Brisbane Roar pulled off an upset last night as they defeated second place Adelaide United 1-0 in Adelaide, Australia. Truth be told however, that it was not as great of a match as it was made out to be. There was little chances in the final third on either side of the pitch.
Both sides were really sloppy in the first half with a lot of silly mistakes and neither side could break each other’s defense down.
The first attempt on goal came in the 8th minute of play when Brisbane’s Ivan Franjic sent a beaming ball into Adelaide’s box where Berisha forced Adelaide United’s goal keeper Eugene Galekovc into a fantastic save.
Adelaide started showing some life in the first half towards half time, but nothing was working out in the attacking part of the team.
The goal finally came in the 65th minute of the match when Broiche and Nichols had started going forward for Brisbane, pushing up higher and higher when they played one-two passes with each other cutting the Reds defense apart.
Nichols eventually reached the by-line, cut back inside to the box found Henrique who put the ball into the back of the Adelaide box for the game winner.

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Chelsea 8-0 Aston Villa

Not winning the Club World Championship was a bit of a letdown for the English club who were heavy favorites to win the title. This would have been good for the chemistry of the team to get another trophy especially after getting knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages.

During midweek, Chelsea played their Capital One Cup match with Leeds, an npower championship club and absolutely destroyed them 5-1.  They faced a struggling Aston Villa side, who did win at Anfield last week 3-1.

The southwest London club got their first goal in the 3rd minute of the game when Cesar Azpilicueta sent a magnificent ball into the box and found Fernando Torres who hammered the ball in with his head from a good 15 yards out passed Brad Guzan.

Brad Guzan would have a poor game in between the sticks for the Villains today.

David Luiz would double Chelsea’s lead in the 28th minute after his free kick floated over the wall and into the left side of the goal. Chelsea would get two more goals to make it 4-0 at halftime.

Aston Villa did next to nothing in the second half, just as in the first half. If they continue this poor form, I believe that Villa will get relegated to the npower championship.

Lucas Piazon, an 18 year old Brazilian forward, replaced Juan Mata in the second half and made an instant impact on the pitch on his debut with the senior side. Within two minutes he played a perfectly placed ball to Ramires who continued with just one touch then shot it powerfully in between Brad Guzan’s legs.  Piazon, around the 85th minute of the match, won himself a penalty, albeit a harsh decision by the referee.

Piazon took the penalty, but it was saved by Guzan. If Piazon continues to get into the first team a little bit every now and then I have a feeling that he will be a superstar in the next 5 years or so.

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Malaga 3-2 Real Madrid

Surprisingly this season in La Liga, Real Madrid have dropped more points than what they would have liked as Barcelona, their greatest rival in Spain is building a large lead at the moment.

Unfortunately, the all whites could not capitalize in front of goal on Saturday and fell to the ever getting better Malaga side. This game was high paced from the first whistle to the last whistle and both teams were provided with great opportunities.

Madrid dominated the first half which forced to Malaga to have to sit back and defend, which they did heroically.

The real fun came in the second half when all five goals were scored.

Jose Mourinho benched Iker Casillas, the Spanish national goalkeeper, for this match which proved to be costly as Malaga scored just four minutes into the second half.

Joaquin got the ball to Isco who then curled a shot from the penalty spot past backup keeper Adan.

Callejon came on to replace Arbeloa to provide a more attacking threat for Real Madrid. Karim Benzema, a French international striker, leveled the match after his shot got deflected into the goal. As a result of the deflection, Sergio Sanchez got an own goal. The score was now 1-1. Malaga built a two goal lead in thanks to Santa Cruz.

The Frenchman did pull one back for Real Madrid, but it turned out to be too little too late as they lose again this season for the 4th time already. Barcelona now has a 16 point lead over Real and a 9 point lead over Atletico. Malaga are also sitting in 4th place in contention to go to the Champions League again next year.

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Brest 0-3 Paris Saint-Germain

Bottom half side Brest played hosts to powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain Friday evening. Brest was looking to snatch three points away from the league leaders but was going to have to pull out something special on the eastern coast of France.

PSG dominated Brest right from the first whistle to the last whistle. It got a lot harder for Brest in the 33rd minute when 22 year old Midfielder Abdoulwhaid Sissoko got red carded for his rash tackle on Argentine Forward Ezequiel Lavezzi. It was nearly impossible from then to the end of the match to even hold on to the ball for more than 3-4 minutes at a time.

Luckily for Brest, it remained scoreless in the first half.

Jallet played a beautiful ball into which Swedish international, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was able to poke past Thebaux, the Brest keeper. Zlatan kept on making life difficult for the Brest defense and keeper, was for kept off the score sheet for the rest of the game. PSG doubled their lead in the 73 minute with a goal from Kevin Gameiro. Thebaux saved a powerful header from Motta but fell right to the feet of Gameiro and hammered it in. The game was all but won at that point.

Unluckily for Brest, an own goal in the 93rd minute gave PSG a 3-0 lead and the full three points.

Brest continues to struggle as of late while the Paris club is sitting atop of the Ligue 1 table at the Christmas break.

Reading 3-4 Manchester United

Manchester United were sure to be heavy favorites to against newly promoted Reading. However, Reading proved today that were no definitely no pushovers. Surprisingly, all 7 goals of the game were scored in the first half which was the second most goals scored in a half ever. The most goals scored in a half was 8.

Robson-Kanu opened the flood gates, after McAnuff’s initial shot deflected off of Lindegaard straight to Robinson-Kanu who continued to volley the ball home past the Danish ‘keeper. Set pieces were Manchester United’s downfall yesterday.

Some excellent interplay between Young and Anderson led to the Red Devil’s first goal of this match. Anderson found Young on the left side of the pitch. Young continued to keep possession as we waited for Anderson to finish his run. Anderson then proceeded to hammer home the ball from Ashley Young. United took the lead just minutes later after Reading’s Tabb pushed Evans down inside the 18 yard box. Rooney converted the penalty with ease.

Reading would again equalize all of three minutes later after Le Fondre won a physical battle with Evans. Le Fondre would precede to head home the ball off of Nick Shorey’s corner kick. Reading scored their third goal of the half from another corner. Reading would take the lead after a corner was cleared by Rio Ferdinand but not for enough and that proved to be costly. Morrison beat Evans to a corner and headed the ball in with power, unmarked.

The game was now 3-2 to Reading.

After Young showed an exquisite piece of skill, he freed up Patrice Evra who then hit a low cross into Reading’s box which was met by Wayne Rooney. It was leveled up once more, this time at 3 apiece. At this point in the match, all of 30 minutes had ticked off.

The Devil’s would score a 4th of the match after a Chris Smalling’s through ball to Rooney. Rooney showed some top drawer stuff after his flick found a wide open Robbie Van Persie who slotted it home past the Reading ‘keeper.

There could have been a fifth Manchester after Federici made a mess of a clearance which RvP pounced on, but he then made a fool of himself by snatching at the ball which went well over the bar with a wide open net.

The game thus ended 3-4.

Tottenham 2-4 Chelsea

It really is quite amazing with all the distractions that are happening that Chelsea are playing as well as they are right now. With John Terry being suspended for four domestic matches and a very hefty fine. Also, Ashley Cole did get fined as well for a comment he posted on twitter earlier this month, but he is not serving a suspension.

Chelsea were hoping that they could continue their good form as they traveled to White Hart Lane for a clash with their rival from North London, Tottenham. Andrea Villa-Boas got fired from Chelsea towards the end of the season last year and Robbie di Matteo took charge and won both an FA Cup and the Champions League.

When AVB was in west London, he did not have control of the locker room and he was consistently leaving out big name players at the club, noteably, Frank Lampard. Lamps was left on the bench during their Champions League round of 8 away match at Napoli, which they lost. Soon after that defeat, AVB was fired and in came RDM who revitalised Chelsea to propel them to their first ever Champions League trophy by defeating Bayern Munich in Munich, Germany.

The game got underway with a fast start. But it was evident that Tottenham really missed the presence of Dembele on the pitch. William Gallas did not have the best of matches either, he was trying to play the offside trap way too many times which left the likes of Torres and Mata all alone infront of Friedel, the Spurs ‘keeper.

Mata has been on some sort of run lately after resting a couple of weeks due to an injury. He scored another two yesterday and was a pest for Tottenham’s defense all game long. Even AVB after the game stated that he was spectacular. Gary Cahill’s shot was an absolute stunner as well, I don’t think any goalie in the world could have stopped that one.

The game ended 2-4 to Chelsea who remain top of the league and unbeaten early on this season. After the game was over, AVB and his old assistant Robbie di Matteo shook hands and had a little conversation. It seems as if there is no bad blood between the two of them and hopefully AVB will be able to continue to grow and learn from his mistakes and experiences.

California Clasico, Part 3

With this being the second to last game of the season before the playoffs start, this round of the California Clasico had huge implications for the playoff picture.

San Jose has already won the MLS Supporters Shield with the most points this season. This means that they will get homefield advantage all the way through the playoffs. Also, if they were not to get to the final, the match will still be played in San Jose.

From the first whistle, to the last whistle, this match had high energy and lots of pace the whole way through. There was a fantastic atmosphere this evening with it being the last official home match of the season for the Earthquakes.

The record amount of goals in a single MLS season came all the way back in 1996. People have gotten close, but none have gotten as close as San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski. Before the match he was at 25 goals for the season. He needs just two more goals with two left to play to try and tie the all time record.

The match got underway at 4:00pm local time. Los Angeles were without superstars David Beckham and Landon Donovan who are both injured.

San Jose grabbed the momentum early in the second half when Wondo had a shot at getting San Jose ahead in the 51st minute when the Quakes had three great chances to strike first.

All that momentum went away in the 59th minute, when LA Galaxy’s Irish international forward, Robbie Keane scored after he started the goal scoring chance. LA had a one goal advantage. But the that would change in just two minutes.

Chavez scored on an outstanding free kick from 25 yards out and tied things all up at one. In the 69th minute of the match, Edson Buddle got on the scoring sheet when headed a ball home from Sean Franklins cross. The Galaxy had their lead back, 2-1.

Wondolowski did finally get on the score sheet. He scored in the 73rd minute from corner that was taken by Chavez who scored SJ’s first goal. Wondo is now just one goal away from tying the all time record for goals scored in an MLS regular season.

San Jose rap up their regular season with a trip to Portland, while Los Angeles play hosts to Seattle at the Home Depot Center in LA.

Houston vs Sporting Kansas City Recap

The first place in the Eastern Conference at the end of the regular season was Sporting Kansas City. Houston Dynamo had to play the Chicago Fire in order to have the opportunity to face SKC. Houston did defeat the Fire, in Chicago, in one game elimination match.

This was a highly contested match from the get go.

It was all set up from a corner kick given away by Sporting Kansas City. SKC was unable to clear the corner completely and it proved to be costly. Moffat got the scoring going for Houston with a rocket of a shot from about 30 yards out. A defender was closing in on him and hit it hard with his right foot. The SKC ‘keeper almost got his hand to it which would have been an amazing save, but, alas, it was  1-0 to Houston.

From then on, SKC got very frustrated for the rest of the match. They couldn’t really get anything going from then on.

Houston got a second goal from Bruin. It was simple, really, but just as beautiful as the first. Houston got a throw-in, which fell it a Dynamo attacker who sent a nice cross into the box which found Bruin who just touched it in to make it 2-0, which was the final score.

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