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    10 décembre 2019 10:48:28 CET
    It was a day of disbelief at the World Cup. A day where thousands sat in stunned silence. A day when a minnow deservedly beat a European powerhouse; when a former European powerhouse awoke from years of discontent and immaturity to put it all together on the biggest stage of all. Italy 0-1 Costa Rica D4. It stood right there on the board. It was the World Cup draw and every country was represented. D4, where hopes and dreams would have to go through not one, not two but three extremely hot Northern locations in group play. Manuas, Recife and then Natal. Three matches, including two at 1pm local time. Once the draw was made D4 got even worse, becoming the position where two non-European seeded teams came together. Two former winners. Englands entourage at the draw may have made headlines for the famous cut-throat gesture when handed their three opponents but this was far from what Italy wanted. Yet, still they remained in their base, at the seaside resort of Mangaratiba, over a thousand miles away from all three locations. The Italians put aside any worries about slow starts with a master class against England in their opener and arrived in Recife hoping to book their place in the next round against the groups apparent whipping boys, Costa Rica. For 30 minutes it was going to plan. Daniele De Rossi sat deep, allowed the full backs to motor on and Andrea Pirlo pulled the strings for the others to dance to. Mario Balotelli should have scored at least once and Claudio Marchisio, a misplaced backpass aside, was outstanding. Then the heavyweights hit the deck. Hard. Giorgio Chiellini misplaced a back pass, allowed Joel Campbell to blow by him before fouling in the box. Penalty. Except the referee missed it. Of course he did, look where he was? Apparently the counter-attacking World Cup isnt as easy to ref as people would hope. Italy got away with a standing count but a minute later they were floored again, this time for real. Their narrow 4-3-3 can be very successful with the ball but the wide members of their attack do tuck in and when Junior Diaz motored down the left wing the hapless Ignazio Abate had no help. Diaz whipped in a wonderful cross and Bryan Ruiz completed a miserable two minutes for the ball-watching Chiellini by heading in at the back post. Italy were down and apparently out; a wounded heavyweight with no energy or quality to help them back up. The biggest surprise was not them losing a competitive first half 1-0, it was their pathetic display in the second. Once again, just like Spain, we saw a European powerhouse labor through a game in South America devoid of ideas in the unfamiliar scenario of being behind. Cesare Prandelli, one of the games great flexible coaches, played three cards with his subs and they were all wrong. Instead of looking like a complete side, knowing what each others roles can be, against England, Italy were clueless against a magnificently organized Costa Rican back five. The image of Antonio Cassano rather than Ciro Immobile, for example, trying to get them back in the game was as sad as seeing the likes of Iker Casillas, Xavi and Steven Gerrard underperform at this World Cup. The game is changing in front of our very eyes and if Italy dont get back to what makes them special theyll soon be flying home just like Spain and England. Despite mistakes on Friday, their back seven - Buffon, back four, De Rossi and Pirlo - is good enough to win a World Cup. Who plays with them, and how they play, will ensure just when this teams tournament will end. France 5-2 Switzerland If you read any previews heading into this World Cup you probably had them tell you how difficult Switzerland are to break down and how mentally fragile France are. Welcome to the 2014 World Cup where stereotypes and form guides are being broken down as quickly as the Maracana security. Switzerland had a nightmare from start to finish. Everything went wrong for them, from a key early injury to massive errors by usually reliable players it was simply a game they just need to forget immediately. Win their last match against Honduras and they should qualify. If you cant beat them then they dont deserve to advance. France was magnificent. It was the best performance they have produced post- Zinedine Zidane and it wasnt even close. When France got to the final in 2006 they never produced back-to-back halves as good as this one. They scored five, missed a penalty and scored another fine goal less than a second after the final whistle blew. It was only fitting this game ended with the ball in the back of the net. In three matches in Salvador this World Cup has now produced SEVENTEEN goals. Or, the same amount of goals Norwich City scored at home all of last season. Suddenly, France looks like a legitimate, serious contender for this World Cup. Hated by their own people back in October after losing the opening leg against Ukraine, Les Bleus have gone from a bunch of arrogant, unlikeable underachievers to a formidable power with tremendous depth, full of players with Champions League experience who fear no one. Even their key nemesis in recent years, Spain, cant get in their way now. Guaranteed winners of a comfortable group, the tournament opens up for them now and Germany in the quarterfinals looks like a real possibility. Just dont call them dark horses. They were always too talented for that. The moment the draw was made, these so-called dark horses left the stable as a shiny white horse more than capable of easily jumping the first fence at the World Cup. Now that star striker Karim Benzema is finally playing as good as he does for Real Madrid this once lazy, uninterested horse is trotting hard towards the last week of this tournament. Ecuador 2-1 Honduras This was another great game at the World Cup. Honduras took the lead through Carlo Costly and it was then that we saw what Ecuador could do. Enner Valencia, their new goal scoring hero, grabbed a brace with a combination of good finishing and poor defending. Honduras will be furious with how they conceded, particularly the winning goal, which was another header from another good cross at this World Cup. Man of the Day Nominees Bryan Ruiz - No matter what this proud country do at this World Cup from here on in, they have their moment and their hero. Giancarlo Gonzalez - The Columbus Crew defender was absolutely marvelous against the Italians, leading a very high line and spending much of the game with Mario Balotelli in his pocket. Jorge Luis Pinto - The Costa Rica boss has got his tactics spot on in back-to-back games. Olivier Giroud - It proved to be a masterstroke inserting the Arsenal man into the lineup by Didier Deschamps. A superb header opened the floodgates but his buildup and attacking run - allowing Mathieu Valbuena to be onside - for the third goal was just as good. Enner Valencia - Every World Cup has a player from a smaller nation who some target in their pool heading in. The Ecuadorian hitman is no Lucas Barrios from 2010 thats for sure. The Winner… Jose Luis Pinto - Games are won and lost by players but Pinto, a veteran coach of 19 teams in 30 years, has outcoached Oscar Tabarez and Cesare Prandelli inside a week. A phenomenal achievement. What comes next? Argentina vs Iran (12pm/9am), Germany vs Ghana (3pm/Noon), Bosnia-Herzegovina vs Nigeria (6pm/3pm). Burning question for tomorrow Will Iran be the perfect opponent for Lionel Messi to score some more goals at a World Cup and quiet those who only think he plays well when he scores? Key stat of Day 9 Honduran goal scorer Carlo Costly was not even born the last time his country scored at the World Cup (1982). Tns Black Cheap.J. -- Fabian Johnson scored his first international goal and Clint Dempsey doubled the lead after a defensive lapse as the United States beat Turkey 2-1 Sunday in the second of three World Cup warm-up matches for the Americans before they head to Brazil. Vapormax Plus Wholesale.The rookie goalie made 36 saves to help the Calgary Flames blank their Pacific Division rivals 1-0 on Saturday following a 48-hour ordeal that included lost baggage, a cancelled flight and a new pair of contact lenses. http://www.airmaxplusstoresale.com/air-vapormax-plus-cheap/black-discount.html. - The Oakland Athletics say they are stopping negotiations to extend their lease at the Coliseum. Air Max Plus Miami Vice. 2015 Oscar nomination pending. Here is an open letter from Steven Stamkos to his fans: When I shot this final Moment Zero film last August, it was a fun few days on set with Coke Zero and Jordan Eberle in my hometown of Markham. Air Max Tn Black. Van Slyke drove in a career-high four runs with two homers off struggling left-hander Tony Cingrani, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled away to a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night, a rare comfortable win in their pitching-dominated series.MIAMI - Dwyane Wade thinks theres no one better than the Miami Heat at dealing with the mental challenge of the playoffs. In his eyes, only one other team might compare. Hes talking about the San Antonio Spurs. Thats why Wade believes these NBA Finals are just getting started. When he looks at the Spurs, he sees qualities his own team has, including an ability to break down a loss and quickly correct things. Its what Miami did before Game 2 of the finals and its what Wade expects the Spurs to do before the title series resumes with Game 3 in Miami on Tuesday night. "You never put them away," Wade said. "I think they always believe and its the same with us. You cant, you wont, put us away because were always going to believe. Thats why this is a perfect, different animal, kind of series. Theyre the other team like us. They dont lose much and when they do they come back and be better in the next game. So weve got to come out and do the same thing." That would explain why on Monday, instead of a day off, the Heat gathered to watch video of Game 2. By winning in San Antonio to even the finals at 1-1, home-court advantage now belongs to the Heat. But no one in their locker room thinks its going to get easy now. "They came out great. They played a great game," Spurs guard Tony Parker said after Miamis 98-96 win in Game 2, the 13th straight time the Heat immediately followed a post-season loss with a victory. "Now its our turn to go over there and get one. We played pretty well all season long on the road and so were going to have two great opportunities to try to come up with a win." Miami has won a franchise-record 11 straight post-season games at home. The last team to win a playoff game in Miami was the Spurs, winning Game 1 of last seasons finals. "We are in a tough situation because weve got to go to Miami and weve got to get one," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "We dont want to come back here 3-1 down. Its very hard to overcome that. Definitely going to be a great challenge for the team to play in an arena like that and having to win." A challenge, sure, but its one Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knows the Spurs can handle.dddddddddddd "Coming back here there has to be an incredible sense of focus and urgency," Spoelstra said Monday. "Theyre a veteran, poised, championship-level team thats been through a lot. The crowd wont affect them much." Neither team thought it played all that well in the game that it won so far in these finals. The Spurs turned the ball over too much for their liking in Game 1 — the game that will be remembered for the air conditioning malfunction and cramps inside a steamy building forcing LeBron James to leave in the final minutes. In Game 2, the Heat werent thrilled with a slow start and how they spent much of the game playing from behind. When James got rolling in the third quarter, things started swinging Miamis way in Game 2. When he found Chris Bosh for the 3-pointer that put Miami ahead for good with 1:18 left, it was just another example of the four-time MVP setting a teammate up for a big play. "Im going to make the right play," said James, who signalled to Bosh about what he wanted on that play. "To have that trust from my teammates, they know when Ive got the ball, Im going to make the right play. Doesnt mean its going to go in. Doesnt mean its going to result in a win, but they believe in my ability." The pressure, if Miami had not found a way to win in the final moments of Game 2, would have been enormous on the two-time defending champions. Now, it seems to have shifted to the Spurs. "It doesnt matter what weve been through before," Spurs forward Tim Duncan said. "Were here now again." The last time these teams met in Miami at this time of year, the Heat wound up spraying champagne in their locker room. Its tempting, Bosh acknowledged, to think that all Miami needs to do for a third straight championship is stay unbeaten at home. But Bosh wont let himself go there. "I can only think about Game 3," Bosh said. "Weve played well at home this post-season. I think we feel we have an advantage now. We have to make sure that we play well and keep it that way." Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '

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