Monthly Archives: June 2010

I hear vuvuzelas..they’re everywhere!

For those of you who have not heard (or even realised), YouTube has recently jumped on the Vuvuzela bandwagon as well!

For the period of the World Cup, they have embedded a vuvuzela button designed in the shape of a football on all their videos in YouTube. This button can be found at the bottom right corner of the video screen!

So now, you can enjoy your favourite videos (anything at all!!), totally accompanied with the harmonious sounds of the vuvuzela!!

Cool!! Can you spot the football button in the sample clip image below?

Who is Messi?

Whilst I think I’ve been doing a fantastic (*ahem*) job so far of introducing Collin to Argentina at this year’s World Cup ( he can now recognise the Argentina jersey, logo ans flag pretty well), a recent dialogue that took place between Collin and my mother posed me more questions about how I should also teach him to recognise the players too.

My mother was flipping through the pages of the Astro magazine with Collin when they came across a page featuring players to watch out for during this year’s World Cup. Of course, a certain Lionel Messi was pictured there.

My Mom: Collin, look what is this?

Collin: This is Argentina shirt (beams proudly)

My Mom: Clever boy! Who is this wearing the Argentina shirt?

Collin: I dunno..(looking bemused)

My Mom: This is Messi. Messi is wearing the Argentina shirt.

Collin: No. This is not Messi.

My Mom: Collin, why is this man not Messi?

Collin: Messi is a dog….

My dog Messi

See the similarities? Hehe..;-p

Review: Argentina 3 Mexico 1

Game 4 in the books! Three more games to go before we are crowned World Cup champions!

It was the Round of 16 and Argentina came face to face with Mexico (again!). Here are my observations and review on what happened last night:

1. For most parts of the match, Argentina looked really tight. Gone was the smooth flowing passing and dominance. Perhaps it was the knock-out stages, but Argentina seriously needs to loosen up and play free flowing football in their next tough encounter with nemesis Germany.

2. I was happy Otamendi started in place of Guiterriz. Much more solid and has dribbling skills too.

3. Tevez’s two goals were somewhat like a reflection of Maradona’s double in the 1986 QF vs England. Whilst the first was a controversially awarded, the second rocket of a goal has got to be my pick for goal of the tournament so far. Carlitos was certainly man of the match. Only wondered why he was subbed when Maradona could have rested Messi and left Tevez in to try to go for that hattrick.

4. Whilst I still think Higuain does not have a good finishing, I was impressed with the way he held off the defender, still both feet standing and was able to round up the keeper and score Argentina’s gifted second goal.

5. I was also horrified a the way the Mexicans were making hard tackles, pushes and knocks, and getting away with it. By the end of regulation, at least three Mexicans should have been sent off already!

6. I didn’t like the way Argentina ‘switched off’ after the third goal had been scored. They seemed content to sit back and invite Mexico to have a go at them. I would have preferred them to continue playing their usual style of football. Even Messi was at walking pace already.

7. I had a preview of new Man United striker Javier Hernandez’s skills as he turned Demichelis and unleashed a left footed cracker to the top of Romero’s net to give Mexico a consolation goal. Whoa…

8. В Yes, all the hugging and kissing from coach Maradona is back!

9. Some players that didn’t quite turned up for the match – Maxi Rod (didn’t see much of his contribution), Di Maria (constantly shackled), Veron (slowed down the game even more when he came on!), Demichelis (still the weakest link in my books)

10. Stats so far: 4 games, 10 goals, 2 conceded

Highlights from the match:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywdWi8bpGx8

Vuvuzela Ringtone

Are you someone who loves often feels bored with your ringtones on your mobile and just loves to change it every now and then?

Or someone who would love a new ringtone but just couldn’t find one which is so happening and trending that you might feel shy about?

Or someone who is looking for an irritating or annoying ringtone to spice up your phone (or life)?

Or if you just need some music (or noise) that is loud enough help you cheer through World Cup matches, keep you awake during those early morning sessions or a sound to set for your alarm clock?

Look no further….you’ve probably heard of them Vuvuzelas…those 140dB machines….now you can listen and download them here at the link below! Make them into your newest and trendiest ringtone! Irritate your neighbours! Woo Hoo!

Vuvuzela Ringtone

R16 Forecast Pt 2

Rounding up my forecasts for the remaining four R16 matches..

Match 5: Holland vs Slovakia

Slovakia must still be on cloud nine after shocking Italy in the last group match. Whilst they are strong and solid defensively, I don’t foresee them posing a threat to this year’s Dutch side, who has been quietly producing the results whilst not playing well. Holland are the only other team (besides Argentina) to grab a perfect nine of nine points in the group stages. Holland to comprehensively win this tie 2-0

Actual: NED 2 SVK 1

Match 6: Spain vs. Portugal

By topping their group, favourites Spain avoided an early confrontation with Brazil. Their reward is the unpredictable Portugese, who can show up and be a threat to anyone on some days and could also surrender weakly on another day. I’m predicting this to be a close showdown, with Spain nicking it in extra time, beating Portugal 2-1

Actual: ESP 1 POR 0

Match 7: Paraguay vs. Japan

Japan, along with Korea were the two remaining Asian sides in the competition and has somehow or unfortunately rather drawn to face tough South American sides. Paraguay has been impressive in their first two matches and whilst they relaxed slightly in their last match, should still prove too strong for the Japanese to handle. Paraguay to win this one 2-0

Actual: PAR 0 JPN 0 (Paraguay win 5-3 on penalties)

Match 8: Brazil vs Chile

An all-South American flavoured tie sees eternal favourites Brazil take on one of the liveliest sides in this year’s World Cup. I’m predicting for the Chileans to come out with an offensive line-up and pose some problems to Brazil, who can be troubled by teams from their own continent. Looking at form-guide, I’m looking at a shock win for Chile, 2-1

Actual: BRA 3 CHI o

R16 Forecasts Pt 1

A forewarning on all my forecasts – because I tend to analyse too much on team tactics, history, etc, I’m actually quite bad at these prediction business, but since it’s the World Cup, I just have to do it, so…

These are my predictions for the upcoming four fixtures of the Round of 16…

Match 1: Uruguay vs South Korea

South Korea were very fortunate to have made it through after the Nigerians wasted a host of chances in their last group match. Uruguay, on the other hand has been pretty impressive in dispatching hosts South Africa and also Mexico in a very up-tempo game. I don’t forsee Uruguay having problems dispatching the Koreans here. it could very well be like dejavu of the Argentinian mauling. Uruguay to seal this 3-1

Actual: URG 2 KOR 1

Match 2: USA vs Ghana

I’m not sure if Landon Donovan knew the impact of his stoppage time winner against Algeria. That single goal immediately saved USA from group elimination in expense of Slovenia, pushed them to top their Group, and hereby placing them in the same bracket with Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana – which means avoiding the Germany, Mexico and Argentina bracket. Wow. The Americans do play with high team spirit and determination, even with like 2 good goals being disqualified in the group stages. However, they will come up against a Ghana side who did quite OK against mighty Germany. As the final African nation left in the competition (imagine the entire continent cheering you on!), my pick would be Ghana to go through after a nailbiting penalty shootout with the tie levelled at 1-1 after extra-time.

Actual: GHN 2 USA 1 (AET)

Match 3: Argentina vs Mexico

A repeat of the 2006 R16 clash sees the in-form Argentina take on the very much improved Mexican side, who seems to have the flair to attack, attack and attack. Both sides are quite vulnerable at the back, so I would expect plenty of goals here. I’m predicting a similar playing tempo like when Mexico played Uruguay so that might give the Mexicans some time to tweak their gameplan to what they saw in Uruguay. Of course, Uruguay do not have Messi so I am expecting him to finally get on the scoresheet in this match. Argentina will also welcome back their regulars after a brief rest (eg. Higuan, Masch, Di Maria, Heinze, etc.) so I feel normal business will ensue for the Argies. Argentina to win in a thrilling 3-2 match.

Actual: ARG 3 MEX 1

Match 4: Germany vs England

Another mouth-watering clash featuring tow heavyweights from Europe. Ok, maybe just one heavyweight and one that is constantly projected to look like a heavyweight (:-p). Looking at history, I believe England is destined to lock horns with Argentina in the QF, and after moving out of the group stages (only just!), they seem to be clicking well now – passing, vision, using the wings, defending. I also think it is about time someone beats Germany on penalties, and how sweet it would be if the team to do it came to be penalty-underachievers England, whom I believe have quite a good penalty stopper in Calamity James. England to beat Germany in penalty shootout after a drab 0-0 in regulation.

Actual: GER 4 ENG 1

Have Vuvuzela Will Travel!

Have you gotten hold of your very own Vuvuzela yet? I finally found the app for Windows Mobile and downloaded it with glee! The iPhones and the Androids have already got some time back but I guess it’s a case of never too late for WinMo!

If you are also like me and have a Windows Mobile powered smartphone, you can get this freeware from the Freeware PocketPC site

And yes..it IS rather irritating…

IMGP3402
customised to big horn version
IMGP3399
small horn version
IMGP3401
simple interface to customise your vuvuzela!
IMGP3404
Just hold it like so and blow into the mic hole for realisticity!

Fearless Forecast R3: Group E-H

Continuing my nonsensical predictions (I’m really bad at predictions..) for the remaining groups before their crucial last group games…

Group E

With Cameroon already out of the picture, the focus will be on the all-or-nothing cruncher between Japan and Denmark to see who will follow Holland into the R16. Japan owns the better GD so a simple draw will carry the Asians through. Historically, Denmark has never failed to get past the groups…so I am predicting a slim 1-0 win for the Danes to join the Dutch, whom I am predicting will rollover Cameroon 3-1.

E1: Holland; E2: Denmark

Actual: JPN 3 DEN 1; NED 2 CAM 1 = E1: Holland; E2: Japan

Group F

This is also another interesting group with Italy and New Zealand (of all teams) currently in a dead heat in second spot behind impressive Paraguay. Slovakia only has 1 pt but is still mathematically not out yet. I do not foresee NZ continuing their fairy tale run of shocking draws, so they should go down easily to Paraguay 0-2. In the other match, Italy will slog to yet another draw (1-1), which will again draw the ire of the media but should be sufficient for them to go through to the R16

F1: Paraguay; F2: Italy

Actual: PAR o NZL 0; ITA 2 SVK 3 = F1: Paraguay, F2: Slovakia

Group G

In this group, the only way Ivory Coast could sneak into the R16 is for Brazil to hammer Portugal and they themselves hammer North Korea. Don’t really see that scenario playing out. I am predicting Portugal to ride on their momentum and beat mighty Brazil 2-1. Ivory Coast will finally win 3-0 against North Korea but it would not be enough.

G1: Portugal; G2: Brazil

Actual: BRA 0 POR 0; PRK 0 CIV 3 = G1: Brazil; G2: Portugal

Group H

Another interesting group that is still very much wide open with few goals separating all teams, except Honduras, of course. Switzerland would have the easy task of facing a listless Honduras side, and should come away winners but only 1-0, considering their lack of bravado upfront. Spain will be able to handle the defenseless Chilean side and win a 3-2 thriller to top the group on goal difference. Chile will come in second topping Switzerland also by GD.

H1: Spain; H2: Chile

Actual: ESP 2 CHI 1; SUI 0 HON 0 = H1: Spain; H2: Chile

The Never Ending Story…

Taking a break from all the football blogging to post up this breaking news all the way from Wimbledon.

An epic marathon of ridiculous scoreline proportions is happening where two unheralded players, AmericanВ John Isner and FrenchmanВ Nicolas Mahut (note: he could have given inspired the WC French team with his grit play..) is in the midst of writing tennis history. Seriously, if you have not heard of this news by now, you must either be catching up sleep following those energy sapping late night/early morning World Cup matches or tennis is something you don’t really care about.

In brief, both these players are now in a dead heat in their 5th and deciding set of their FIRST match (when most people are already booking their places in the third rounds…), with the score tied at 59-59, playing close to 10 hours, over two days (due to bad light conditions)…I’m simply at a loss for words.

In that time, we could have watched like SIX World Cup matches, The French would have checkout of their hotels, got on the plane AND landed in an empty airport at home, or we could have sat through close to the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy!!

This well written blog in Yahoo’s Busted Racquets captures this (still-ongoing) match in full detail.

Here, I am just gonna extract some of the amazing statistics these two gentlemen are halfway writing into the tennis annals of history when the dust is finally settled.

Consider: The longest previous set at Wimbledon lasted 46 games. Isner-Mahut didn’t just shatter the record, theyВ obliterated it.

Among the other remarkable statistics from the match:

— It’s the longest match in tennis history: 9 hours, 58 minutes. The previous record was 6 hours, 33 minutes.

— Longest set in tennis history: 118 games.

— Most games in Wimbledon history: 153 (previous record was 112).

— Both players broke the ATP record for most aces in a match. Isner had 98, Mahut hit 94. The previous record was 78. Combined, the two had 192 aces, more than double the old record of 84.

— Mahut had just three break points during the entire match.

— The first four sets took 2 hours, 54 minutes. The fifth set is at 7 hours, 4 minutes and counting.

— Mahut won 448 points to Isner’s 428. Isner had more winners: 333 to 318.

— The final set is longer than the previous longest match in tennis history. That was 6 hours, 33 minutes.

— Isner had four match points, one at 11-10, two others at 33-32 and another at 59-58. The first and last match points came nearly six hours apart.

— At 50-50, Mahut had two break points and Isner promptly served a 134 mph ace.

— With Mahut serving at 52-53, the pair exchanged a 16-shot rally which ended with a Mahut forehand winner. It was the longest rally of the match. On the next point, Mahut dove for a backhand at the baseline following another long rally.

— The players took their first bathroom break at 58-58. While walking in the tunnel, they exchanged pleasantries, the first time they had spoken all evening.

— Mahut only qualified for Wimbledon after winning a qualifier match in a 24-22 final set.

— The match is almost two hours longer than the longest Major League Baseball game in history (an 8:06 game between the White Sox and Brewers in 1984).

— The scoreboard stopped working at 47-47.

Note that all the record breaking stats above are still IN-PROGRESS!! I don’t know about you but I’m already exhausted reading all the mind boggling stats! Will they continue to play until the new World Cup champions are crowned? :-p

UPDATE: Isner finally won it 70-68….:-D

The scoreboard broke at 47-47. They'd need a new scoreboard for 100-100...
Mahut at 44-44
Isner at 35-34

Review: Argentina 2 Greece 0

Game 3 in the books…and the Argies are still on a 100% record! Woo Hoo! Four more games to go to be crowned CHAMPIONS!!

From a historical trend point, that isn’t a very good sign (ie breezing through the group stages), but of course all other teams in the past never had Messi in their team, and a crazy genius of a coach in Maradona at helm…so, I just know we can buck that trend! Video highlights:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV1HzsoEL30

Anyway, here are my observations from this morning’s match:

1. It wouldn’t be fair to say Argentina had a dip in form because there were 4-5 changes from the original squad. Good to see we had the luxury of resting players ahead of R16.

2. But credit to the Greeks, I noticed the Argentines may have some concern in playing bigger sized Europeans in the later stages. The strategy deployed by Greece also showed that a 4-5-1 (or 9-0-1 rather) line-up could already trouble the fragile Argentine defence. Sigh.

3. I was pleasantly surprised to see left back (but playing as if he’s a winger) Clemente Rodriguez impressing in his World Cup debut. Speedy and ambitious upfront and yet, steady at the left back position too. With Heinze performing solidly too, this is one department Maradona will be spoilt for choice.

4. Veron still sucks. Not sure why Maradona is continually heaping praises and faith on him. His passes are intercepted so often, his pace is questionable, and I doubt there would be many fast counter attacks with him at the fulcrum.

5. Of course, his replacement for Match 2, Maxi Rod didn’t play well either…sigh…

6. Liked the look and performance of a refreshed Angel Di Maria when he came on as a sub in the second half. Completely broke open the left flank of the Greek defence together with Clemente.

7. Incredible stuff as oldie Palermo netted a World Cup goal almost at the end of the match. ;-P

8. Messi was shackled closely throughout the match, but whenever he pushes forward, splitting the Greek defence apart, it’s a delight to watch. heck, he even hit the cross bar again!!

9. Disappointed with Diego Milito, who failed to impress in his first start at the World Cup. Maybe Maradona did get the right combination of Tevez-Messi-Higuain…

10. Aguero again impressed with his quick turns, bursts of speed and В eye for goal. A definite super sub we can rely on.

Now is where only the real men come out to play…the knockout stages. Personally, I think Mexico will prove to be tricky opponents but based on our record against them, I am quite confident we can control most of the match…and size won’t be a key factor because Mexico plays the same style of attacking flair like Argentina. Should be a great match with both countries renewing their rivalry. I still remember Maxi Rod’s wonder ‘goal of the WC 2006’ that eliminated Mexico from the R16 in the last edition. Go Argentina!!

Remembering R16 of 2006…best part is, he’s actually RIGHT-footed..:-D

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVVSOGLyAcU