Soccer! It’s back again and the hosts are in action. This is no doubt terribly exciting for the loyal support but not necessarily so for us, because Brazil have stunk the place out so far, or at least been terribly disappointing. Their test today is a stern one, against everyone’s favourite South American team from this tournament. Colombia have been dazzling, aggressive and potent, as well as possessing the outstanding player of the World Cup James “James” Rodriguez.

The game in Fortaleza promises to be hot hot hot. If that fails, there’s always the weather. We’ll be here from just before 9 to enlighten you on the finer points of the game.

Mark July 4, 201411:15 pm

So, the BBC will be happy. Alan Hansen doesn’t have to pack his bags and storm off in a huff. Thank heavens for that, eh?
And finally…the Germans to get the “neutral” support against Brazil in the semi? A phrase I thought I’d never type. Which is where I came in. Night-night.

Mark July 4, 201411:05 pm

The pundits have picked up on Brazil’s post second-goal panic. “Come on, Brazil, show us what you’re made of,” Chiles asked of the hosts after that second goal. The thing is, they did. And it wasn’t good. Mind you, THAT Luiz goal. Geez.

Mark July 4, 201411:00 pm

Its all getting a bit late to say that Brazil will struggle against “the better teams”, as Germany will too…and they are next. Thiago Silva will be a big…make that BIG…miss for that game. Tyldesley noted that Brazil “have Dante waiting in the wings.” Not as reassuring as it was probably designed to be. And, amid the late chaos, Neymar was stretchered off.

Ted July 4, 201410:57 pm

All over in Fortaleza. Brazil beat Colombia with one moment of skill and one of slapstick. The difference was belief alone. James Rodriguez, the player of the tournament, doesn’t deserve to be on the losing side but Colombia just didn’t have enough. 2-1. But a good match. Remember those, France?

Mark July 4, 201410:56 pm

“The party has only just started…date of destiny…road to Rio” and other partisan bolox from Tyldesley as Brazil hang on at the end. Deserved over the 90 minutes though.

Ted July 4, 201410:53 pm

If only Colombia had played with this sort of belief for 90 minutes rather than just 20, tonight could have been very different.

Ted July 4, 201410:52 pm

Bommelinho

Mark July 4, 201410:51 pm

Fernandinho. The Brazilian Mark Van Bommel.

Mark July 4, 201410:50 pm

Perfect shoulder-charge by Himmy on Marcelo. Referee, not unsurprisingly to be fair, forgets that’s legal if the ball is in playing distance. Which it was.
Five minutes stoppo.

Ted July 4, 201410:47 pm

The pitch in Fortaleza is cutting up like Aintree during the Grand National.

Ted July 4, 201410:45 pm

James is a magnificent footballer. He is the sort of player Brazil need.

Mark July 4, 201410:42 pm

Brazil were trying to find Row Z with every defensive move since they went 2-up. Have they lost the plot a bit?

Ted July 4, 201410:41 pm

Colombia have 10 minutes to find another goal and the team have finally caught up with the rest of us in believing they can.

Mark July 4, 201410:41 pm

The BBC will be FURIOUS if Brazil fcuks this up.
Ooooh and Colombia have brought on 200% “one to watch” Quintero. Game on/stretched/etc. Tee-hee. :-) :-)

Ted July 4, 201410:40 pm

James scores his 6th goal of the tournament. This is the first time a player has done that at a World Cup since 2002.

Mark July 4, 201410:39 pm

2-1. Himmy.

Mark July 4, 201410:38 pm

Woooh. Forget refereeing conspiracies. Penalty to Colombia. Great move. Substitute Bacca orbited by Julio Cesar. Yellow card. Rightly.

Ted July 4, 201410:38 pm

Penalty to Colombia!

Ted July 4, 201410:37 pm

So, will Germany have the weaponry to derail “what everyone wants”? Before today I would have said yes. Now I’ll say: not if they spend all day trying to get Klose the record. Nevertheless, I predicted Brazil would win the World Cup before the tournament. So at least one of my predictions is still valid.

Mark July 4, 201410:33 pm

And at least the party can continue. Which is what really matters. Apparently.

Mark July 4, 201410:31 pm

Colombia furying about the award of the free-kick, The booking was harsh but the free-kick wasn’t.

Mark July 4, 201410:30 pm

Now Himmy – “kicked from pillar to post” – gets booked for a relative nothing. “Harsh” says Tyldesley. But not a harsh as Luiz’s punishment – whacking in the free-kick. Two-nil. And I suspect that will be that. A cracker by Luiz, though. And I can say that now he no longer plays for Chelsea.

Ted July 4, 201410:29 pm

David Luiz, Brazil’s second best forward, makes it 2-0 with a screaming free kick. Class.

Mark July 4, 201410:25 pm

And Thiago Silva’s “foul” was dwarfed by most of what’s gone before, including Cuadrado’s “thou shalt not pass” on Neymar 47 seconds earlier.

Ted July 4, 201410:24 pm

Thiago Silva is booked for the stupidest reason possible and will miss the next match.

Ted July 4, 201410:22 pm

Watching the world cup with a kitten puts things in perspective.

Mark July 4, 201410:22 pm

Its a free-kick every 47 seconds at the moment. Not sure how to spell the word I’ve just let out after the most recent foul.

Mark July 4, 201410:15 pm

Bitty. This first ten minutes. Game getting unstretched again. Crowd can sure sing, though.

Ted July 4, 201410:14 pm

Ospina, who has been excellent, goes down clutching his hip. Falling to bits.

Ted July 4, 201410:10 pm

Back underway. Me, I mean. Been playing with a kitten.

Mark July 4, 201410:08 pm

Nope. I was right about the absence of yellow cards with Fernandinho’s name on it. Can see why Hoddle thought he was though. Good job he’s not the manager (he says, echoing the thoughts of a generation of Spurs fans).

Mark July 4, 201410:00 pm

Was Fernandinho booked? Hodd seems to think so. Must have missed it. He’ll be off next tackle then…

Mark July 4, 20149:50 pm

Breathless. Zaniga and Fernandinho should be in the book. But no other complaints about the entertainment. Just a pity that Brazil should be three-up. Just as well they are not. “A bit bonkers,” says Chiles, although he could be talking about Ian Wright. Either way, he’s correct.

Ted July 4, 20149:49 pm

Half time, for fuck’s sake. Brazil 1-0 Colombia.

Ted July 4, 20149:43 pm

Neymar may be the greatest Brazilian footballer of all time. If one takes how badly needed each Brazil great was at the tine.

Mark July 4, 20149:42 pm

More weirdness at the Colombian indirect free-kick. The wall is forced behind the foam. Every other defender can stand where they like…and as a result, the free-kick was blocked down by a defender who must have travelled eight yards while the ball travelled its circumference if he wasn’t already too close.

Ted July 4, 20149:36 pm

Time after time David Luiz is the most advanced Brazil attacker. This is either typical Brazilian bravado or god only knows what else.

Mark July 4, 20149:35 pm

Mmmm… This could be 6-4, 7-6, 6-3, the way these two are defending.

Mark July 4, 20149:31 pm

ANOTHER good save from Ospina. The Colombian Tim Howard.

Mark July 4, 20149:30 pm

Would have been offside had the pass got through. But the bits of James magic have calmed the Colombians…and panicked the Brazilians.

Ted July 4, 20149:30 pm

Which is what they are doing.

Ted July 4, 20149:29 pm

Colombia are the better team, but they’ll have nothing to show for it if they allow Brazil 20 shots for every one of theirs.

Ted July 4, 20149:25 pm

Desperately disappointing from Cuadrado, played in by the brilliant dynamism of James for a three on three but his pass meekly pings off the first defender’s shins with two waiting in the box. Argh.

Mark July 4, 20149:25 pm

Game’s getting stretched already…

Mark July 4, 20149:23 pm

Just as well Ospina’s not taking the kick-outs, ‘cos he’s getting plenty else to do. This could be over by half-nine if Colombia aren’t careful.

Ted July 4, 20149:22 pm

It certainly is. They are the only 11 people on earth who don’t believe Colombia would win tonight.

Mark July 4, 20149:20 pm

Safe to say the occasion is getting to the Colombians at the minute.

Ted July 4, 20149:19 pm

When I consider how disappointed I am with this Brazil team, I can’t even start to imagine what Brazilians think about it.

Mark July 4, 20149:17 pm

Fernandinho, deliberate, pre-meditated take out of little Himmy Rodriguez. Designed to hurt and intimidate. Should be a yellow. Isn’t.
For the good of the tournament…

Mark July 4, 20149:13 pm

Cuadrado shot inches wide. Have Brazil gone one-up too early? Hope so…

Ted July 4, 20149:12 pm

I should add that I am vociferously supporting Colombia tonight.

Mark July 4, 20149:10 pm

Typical Brazil goal…for this World Cup. Sloppy corner, scruffy far-post finish. Inner thigh? Whatever…the party continues.

Ted July 4, 20149:10 pm

Goal for Brasil. Thiago Silva drops it in with his left knee from a corner. Samba soccer.

Mark July 4, 20149:09 pm

Weird start. Colombian keeper not taking the kick-outs. Neymar man-marked even when he’s taking free-kicks. Maicon??? Oh…and a goal. There goes 3-0 Colombia.

Ted July 4, 20149:08 pm

Neymar is, apparently, nursing several injuries. This is bad news for them. The equivalent for England would be: every English adult has lost both legs so they had to field a team of cows. Well…

Mark July 4, 20149:05 pm

The 1990 Brazilians were a tad short of spark…

Ted July 4, 20149:02 pm

This is Colombia’s first World Cup quarter. No pressure, then.

Ted July 4, 20149:01 pm

This Brazil team may be the least electrifying in history

Ted July 4, 20149:00 pm

I’ve started drinking. Hello sports fans.

Mark July 4, 20148:55 pm

Here’s a phrase I never thought I’d type: “I’m glad this game’s on ITV.” The BBC’s pro-Brazil bias took a disturbing turn at the weekend when they insisted that it would be for “the good of the tournament” if Chile lost. Not in so many words, of course, because they would have got a well-earned shoe-ing for saying that. But their take was that Brazil must win otherwise the whole atmosphere surrounding the tournament would collapse into depression.
Well, cry me a fucking river, BBC. This is a football, NOT a dance, competition. And if a Brazil defeat means a bit of misery for you all as you work so hard by a sunny Copacabana beach, tough. We’ll survive the boredom of partying Colombians. I’m sure they’ll raise a smile between them.
In 1982, a semi-tearful John Bond declared his World Cup to be “over” when Brazil were eliminated. But that was on purely footballing terms – as Socrates, Zico, Falcao, Serginho (well 3 out of 4) dazzled the world in games which averaged five goals. And that’s as it should be.
Colombia to win 3-0. And fcuk Alan Hansen.
Oh…and evening all…

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