Update, 4:25 p.m.: Spain 2-0 Honduras. Well, what to say about this one? The Spaniards dominated from start to finish, and should’ve won by much, much more–we seemed to lose our drive, our focus and our interest. Depressing, but the result should stand, though David Villa will be pretty pissed that he missed his hat trick. It was a really really good game by Spain, which is why the created so many chances, but we seemed to sort of lose our cool in front of goal. Jesús Navas must’ve had fifteen, maybe twenty or more crosses; but only a few of them found good heads. We’ll see how we hold up against a better team when we play Chile.
Man of the Match: David Villa. Yeah, he missed a penalty, but come on. He was fantastic today, though he’ll be pissed he didn’t score a couple more. Great game from him today, especially considering the impotence of Torres.
2:16 p.m.: BIENVENIDOS. Another edition of the Blargus World Cup LiveBlog, here to bring you another match from Spain–this blogger’s favorite team (one of them), because of my own history (lived in Spain for many years, my whole family’s Spanish) and because we play arguably the most beautiful soccer in the tournament. So turn your bias filters off/on (whatever you want), strap up, buckle in, because this is Spain’s “first final” of the 2010 World Cup, and I’ll be here to tell you all about it.
2:18 p.m.: Pre-Game Chatter: If Spain loses, we crash out of the World Cup in one of the worst failures of recent memory. Lots of chatter about Spain’s history of under-performing horribly in the Cup–like the 1982 loss to Northern Ireland, or any of the other losses that people will be able to come up with, but I refuse to remember or think about right now.
So Spain’s chances to qualify after Chile’s 1-0 win over Switzerland look pretty good right now–we depend on ourselves, because if we win today and against Chile, then we will be mathematically tied in qualification with Switzerland (if they beat Honduras) and Chile (if we beat them). If we can win by enough goals, we’ll still be the number 1 in the group, and hopefully avoid Brazil in the next round.
2:22 p.m.: Iker Shaved. Don’t know if people care, but he looks much better without that nasty-looking beard that has been his look since the EuroCup.
2:23 p.m.: Here we go! Players coming out for the anthems. Ally McCoist says he “can’t see anything other than a Spanish victory.” Let’s hope he’s right. A POR ELLOS!
2:26 p.m.: Starting Lineups:
Spain – Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Juan Capdevila, Jesus Navas, Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Fernando Torres, David Villa.
Honduras – Noel Valladares, Sergio Mendoza, Osman Chavez, Maynor Figueroa, Emilio Izaguirre, Danilo Turcios, Wilson Palacios, Amado Guevara, Roger Espinoza, Walter Martinez, David Suazo.
1′) Spain doesn’t look as cautious now, with the first pass a long ball towards the front.
2′) Nando passes the ball to no-one in particular. Silly little back-heel from Torres.
3′) 11 people behind the ball for Honduras, though they are showing a little bit more attacking ambition than Switzerland. THis is the kind of style Spain needs to be able to beat–as the speedy Navas swings in a cross from the line.
4′) HANDBALL! WHAT?! Well, we’ll see on the replays if the Honduran player handled the ball in the area.
5′) TORRES! AHHHHHH GODDAMNIT! Perfect chance for Torres, who was set up beautifully by David Villa in the area.
5′) CLEARLY A HANDBALL. GODDAMNIT. And so it begins, as the replay shows that the Japanese crew robbed Spain of a penalty kick.
6′) DAVID VILLLLLLLAAAAAAA!! OFF THE POST! So close from the speedy striker.
7′) This looks much better from Spain so far–lots more open space, lots more quick movement. I like it. As Turcios picks up a Yellow Card for trying to stop a free kick from being taken quickly.
8′) Yikes. Serigo was clearly pushed down in the box; maybe not a clear penalty, like the last one, but definitely more there than Italy’s PK against New Zealand.
10′) First corner of the match to Spain.
10′) SERIGO RAMOSSSSSS!! NO! Totally missed that. Perfect chance to the Madrid right-back, who totally skies a perfect header in front of goal. Valladares, the Honduran GK is down.
13′) Honduras pressing down their right flank; and Spain goes back to our right, to Navas–very active in the early going.
14′) David Villa misses a shot from the inside of the area. Yikes–we really need to at least put these on target.
14′) Awkward save from Casillas there, but he did well. Totally disagree with Ally McCoist, who said that Iker should’ve come out with his hands–he did, but because of an awkward bounce, he was forced to save with his feet. Be quiet, Ally.
16′) Jesus Christ, Spanish defense. Lofted ball frees Suazo on Casillas, but Iker is more than up to it.
16′) GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLL GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLL GOOOOOOAAAAALLL!!! DAVID VILLA!!!!! WHAT A SHOT!!! SO BEAUTIFUL! He totally breaks down the Honduran defense coming in from the left, and as he falls to the ground he smashes one in to the upper corner. Incredible shot.
18′) I’m still glowing after that golazo from el guaje–it doesn’t matter to me that he sold out and went to Barça if he does that for Spain.
19′) Mendoza brutally takes down David Villa, gets a Yellow Card.
20′) Well, yeah, that time Sergio Ramos throws the defender to the ground to get a head on the ball–he still misses, though.
22′) Navas is fast, but not THAT fast–way too far for the young Sevillano.
23′) Ugh. Puyol looked really awkward and misguided on that last offensive set from Honduras–Spanish offense: A; Spanish Defense: D.
23′) HUUUUYYYY!! Perfect pass from Navas, just barely goes over Xavi’s head as the Catalan midfielder needed to either grow one inch, or jump one inch higher–either way, that should’ve been 2-0.
26′) Busquets goes down hard–but remember, he managed to get a player sent off by diving in the ECL for Barça against Inter, so Martin Tyler wants us to remember that he might be faking.
27′) Corner to Spain after Xabi Alonso decides not to shoot, and instead feeds Navas–pull the trigger, atrévete joder! Terrible corner, sails long.
29′) Nando looks rusty, messing up a couple of good passes–a couple better touches he could’ve turned those passes into attempts on goal.
31′) Spain has slowed down–things look a bit bogged down in the midfield.
32′) I’m not feeling Nando right now. Perfect pass in from Navas, and he didn’t even move towards it; Villa then made a cross that he totally screwed up, and now HUUUUUUUUYYYY!!! PERFECT PASS FROM RAMOS, AND TORRES SKIES IT. AWFUL.
33′) ANOTHER MISS FROM NANDO IN FRONT OF GOAL. Skied it. Terrible.
34′) Guevara gets fouled, begging for a card for Busquets, but doesn’t get it.
35′) Break for Torres, but he’s whistled offside–misses the one-on-one anyways. That wasn’t offside, the replay tells us–wouldn’t have mattered anyways.
37′) Domination for Spain in the normal categories–possession, crosses, shots, etc.–but not on the scoreboard, 1-0, as Izaguirre gets a Yellow Card. It was a Yellow, though Navas exaggerates it fully.
39′) HUYYYYY! Great pass from Navas in to Villa, pushed out of bounds by the Honduran defender.
41′) DON’T BE STUPID BOYS. A brawl is brewing, as Villa gets away with a little smack–BEAUTIFUL run from Nando down the left flank.
42′) Another foul against Honduras, as Navas is taken out again.
43′) Honestly, this half has gone according to Spain’s plan–except for the goals. The Spanish look impotent in front of goal, except for the one moment.
44′) Torres goes down in the box, but the Japanese ref is having none of it–if the handball wasn’t a penalty, this won’t be either.
45′) Honduras on the attack! But the offside flag cuts it short; HUGE BREAK FOR SPAIN! AHHHHHH! Torres screws it up again! Perfect ball in to him, and he flubs it right at the Honduran defense.
45’+1) Pique is down after being struck in the testicles. Ouch. Corner to Honduras.
45’+1) HALFTIME. Well, Spain leads by one goal, but they should be up by three or four so far–not counting the first penalty that the Japanese ref ate in the first two minutes of the game. But I’m not bitter–Spain needs to strike better in front of goal: if Torres had managed to put away even one of the five chances he had, this would be a totally different game. Back in a bit with the second half.
45’+1) Couldn’t let this go by: from the liveblogging over at Marca, the Spanish daily:
If you have any pictures of you or your friends watching the game–send them in! WesleyanBlargus@gmail.com
46′) HERE WE GO. Figueroa goes for it on the kickoff–too high. Cheeky move from the Hondurans.
47′) Honduras came out strong, but their attack was stopped, albeit in a mediocre fashion, by the Spanish defense–more pressure from Honduras now.
48′) Navas should’ve passed the ball, but instead gets into a bit of a tangle, and loses the ball on the goal line.
49′) We look rusty–bad touches all over the field for Spain. And now we’re mounting an offensive set… comes to nothing as David Villa dribbles into someone.
50′) GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLL GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! DAVID VILLA!! WHAT A SHOT!! Takes a bit of a deflection, but the ball powers into the back of the net–a little lucky from the Spanish forward, but well-deserved.
51′) HUYYYYYYYYY! SERGIO RAMOS takes a huge shot from distance, but the ball barely goes out of bound. Close, good shot from the Madrid man.
53′) Navas gets a shot in the area, but he can’t do anything with it–right to the GK. Ally McCoist says that the next ten minutes are the most important for Honduras.
53′) Pique gets accidentally kicked in the face, and he’s bleeding profusely. Spain playing with 10 men right now.
54′) AHHHHH! Too many passes. Xavi, Navas, Torres, and Capdevila all could’ve shot but didn’t; instead, Capdevila’s cross is out for a corner.
57′) Pique is still bleeding. Honduras attacking–and Puyol is having a mediocre day so far, as he has some trouble clearing a ball.
59′) Torres did well to keep a bad pass in, but it comes to nothing. And Honduras has been able to keep some real possession right now–first time all game. Foul on Suazo gives the ball back to Spain.
60′) PENALTY FOR SPAIN! NAVAS CLEARLY FOULED IN THE AREA. David Villa steps up to take the penalty, and will try for the Hat-Trick.
61′) HE MISSES IT! UNBELIEVABLE! TERRIBLE SHOT, HOWLER FROM VILLA!
62′) Well, that sucked from Villa–after everything, the super-hard goal he scored, he couldn’t put it away, or even get it on target. Hopefully that won’t come back to haunt us in goal differential.
64′) AGH! Torres WIDE OPEN on the back post yelling for it, but doesn’t get the ball from Navas.
65′) Xavi out, here comes Cesc.
65′) AHHHHHHHHHH!! CESC GETS A BEAUTIFUL BREAK BUT CAN’T PUT IT AWAY. Wonderful defending from Honduras.
66′) All-out defending for Honduras, as Sergio Ramos gets a cannon-shot inside the area. This game could be 6-0 by now.
68′) Busquets takes out Suazo on the edge of the penalty area. Nuñez to take the kick, skies it.
69′) Out comes Fernando Torres; in comes Mata, the young gun from Madrid, playing for Valencia right now. Not a good game for el niño.
70′) TOO MUCH PASSING–ATRÉVETE COÑO! Classic Spanish play right now, not enough shooting, too much passing. Sergio Ramos goes for a huge scissor-kick .
72′) Well, too much there–a blast from distance from Juan Mata, skied over the post.
73′) Too far from Navas. We look a bit tired, a bit less urgent, but I genuinely think that we need one more to really put to rest some doubts.
74′) COME ON BOYS! Beautiful run from Villa, but Navas misses on the pass. Bad from the Sevillano.
75′) Now Spain’s defense looks relatively solid, but the attack has been terrible recently. Arbeloa comes in for Ramos–Arbeloa will be a much more cautious right back than Ramos.
77′) Free kick to Spain as Mata gets leveled outside the area. Boring right now from the Spaniards, as Fabregas blasts the ball from distance. We seem tired, uninspired.
79′) Puyol only gets the very top of his head on the ball–we only had two attackers in that corner, seems like we’re settling for a 2-0.
81′) Free-kick to Honduras, looks dangerous, but the header which looked dangerous at first, goes way wide.
82′) HUUUUYYYY!! Brilliant cross from Mata, but Figueroa gets the slightest of touches to direct the ball away from a charging Villa. Yikes.
83′) Good cross from Honduras! The Spanish are looking really casual–only a few players are running at all. Jerry Palacios comes on for Suazo.
85′) Such shit from Spain, dicking around in the back.
86′) HHHHHHHHHUUUUUUUUUUUYYYY!! GODDAMNIT DAVID VILLA! Perfect pass into the area, Villa takes an extra touch, and his shot is blocked by Mendoza. Where was the first touch?!
87′) This game needs to end. More junk from Spain, who seem very pleased to take the 2-0 result back to their hotel.
88′) Free kick to Honduras–nothing.
89′) Very comfortable match for Spain, and it’s good to see the boys back on track, but all of the chances have driven me to distraction, as we squander another good build-up because of lack of effort. Xabi Alonso needs to take a whack at it.
90′) 3 minutes of stoppage.
91′) COME ON, CESC! Why would he try to back heel that ball in the area?! All he needs is a little tap and he’s on goal. Ugh. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining, but this is just too much right now.
90’+3) GAME. Should’ve been more than 2-0, but David Villa missed a penalty, and Nando missed a few–as did Sergio Ramos, among others. A study in domination today, but we should’ve come out a bit harder–look at Portugal, they had a similar problem, but they pushed through and scored 6 goals in the second half.