Sunday, June 28, 2009

Salvaging Pride or a Moral Victory?

The third place match for the FIFA Confederations Cup was incredibly boring - until the last half hour.

All of the goals were scored by the subs and three goals were scored in the last five minutes.

South Africa had taken the lead in the 72' with a goal from Mphela, after his previous shot had been knocked out of goal.

Spain looked tired for most of the match- like they weren't really in it anymore and were already on summer holiday in their heads. After their undefeated streak had been ended by the US, they'd seemed a little broken down. They didn't play like the Spain we're all used to. They weren't strong at the back and couldn't finish in the front.

Guiza scored in the 88' and 89'. The second goal was the fluke of the two. It looked like he was trying to cross the ball when it just floated back, hit the post, and went into the back of the net. There was no way for Khune to clear it. You couldn't convince me that he was taking a legitimate shot on goal - it was a cross turned lucky. But it was what Spain needed to save themselves from the further embarassment of a fourth place finish.

There was an understandable exodus of South African fans from the stadium. Which was a shame really since the Bafana Bafana equalized four minutes later.

Riera commited a foul - sloppily jumping onto van Heerden's back for a free-kick and Mphela barrels a shot straight into the upper 90 of the net in 90' + 3. Casillas didn't have a shot. It was really just a solid strike.

What should have been a clean third place match goes into extra time - where it seems like either Mphela or Guiza could get a well deserved hat trick along with the bronze.

The first fifteen were uneventful but dominated by the home team. Mphela had some shots. One was decent with a good save from Casillas and one was offside.

Xabi Alonso score right at the start of the second fifteen ( 107' ) which I hoped was the end of it. This kind of a match really shouldn't have to go to PKs. Parker went down in the area - took a dive - but didn't get the pentalty he wanted, which may really have helped South Africa.

Spain kept the score and won the bronze 3 - 2 .

It says a hell of a lot though for the Bafana Bafana. This whole Cup was been a really interesting preview of what might be for the 2010 World Cup - vuvuzelas and all. And so what if they didn't see Bronze. I still think South Africa got their moral victory.

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