Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Brasil '14 - Day 11: I. Believe. That. We. Will. Win!

Who would have thought it a week ago. The U.S. national team have the opportunity tonight to top Group G, knock out Portugal and book their way to the Round of 16. I'm all a-tingly. It's a beautiful day in Fred-town and I've got a group of friends coming over for a BBQ and game-watching party later on. Bring it on!

15 Comments:

Blogger The Blue Devil said...

First up today - the amuse bouche of Belgium v. Russia. Here's the team news:


Belgium - Courtois; Alderweireld, Van Buyten, Kompany, Vermaelen; Witsel, Fellaini; De Bruyne, Mertens, Hazard; Lukaku.

Russia - Akinfeev; Kozlov, Ignashevich, Berezutskiy, Kombarov; Fayzulin, Glushakov; Kanunnikov, Shatov, Samedov; Kokorin

11:58 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

On the amusing name front, Zhirkov and Dzagoev are not starting - but my boy Igor Shatov is on the pitch - wahay!

11:59 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

So a couple of changes for both teams. Belgium bring in the subs that basically changed the game against Algeria in from the start this time, with Marouane Fellaini and the excellent Dries Mertens replacing Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli - a Spursectomy, if you will.

Meanwhile Russia bring Maksim Kanunnikov in for Yuri Zhirkov while Alexei Kozlov replaces Andrey Eschenko at right-back. Still no Alan Dzagoev though, which might annoy a few people. Igor Akinfeev isn't punished for that error in the first game, and keeps his place between dem sticks.

11:59 AM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

And we're off at the Maracana!

12:03 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Belgium win a corner but nowt comes of it, and Russia counter at some pace down the left. Kokorin cuts in from the flank and tries a shot, but it's quite easily blocked.

12:03 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Eeek, that doesn't look brilliant. Samedov and Vermaelen go up for a high ball and clash heads, and the Russian very much comes off worse. He needs some treatment, doesn't really appear to know where he is and has some smelling salts wafted under his nose.

12:04 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Fellaini appears to be playing pretty high up, despite being ostensibly part of the deep midfield two with Axel Witsel, which means the latter might be in for a busy afternoon. If there's space there, Dzagoev might be called upon from the Russian bench, if Fabio can find it in his heart to trust him.

12:09 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

First proper shot of the game - Fayzulin does well to work himself a bit of space about 20 yards from goal, he fires in a low left-footed shot but Courtois does well to get down and push it away.

12:14 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Belgium haven't really tried to test Akinfeev with any long shots yet. Could have missed a trick there, given his gaffe in the previous game.

12:21 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

A tedious wave has started. It really hasn't been that bad, has it?

12:25 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Ouchies - another clash of heads, as Alderweireld and Kannuikov bash skulls while going up for a header. No lasting damage to either men that time though, and play continues.

12:25 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

De Bruyne tries a cross from very deep on the left, but it's almost as if he's doing his best to build up Akinfeev's confidence by providing him with lovely, floaty balls to catch. And catch this one he does.

12:27 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Interesting - a change here from Belgium, with Jan Vertonghen replacing Vermaelen, who looked pretty upset about the whole affair. An injury wasn't obvious, but it must have been to make a defensive change this early.

12:32 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Vertonghen's first involvement is to prevent an attack down the right by the overlapping Kozlov, doing well by playing the ball off the Russian's knees so it goes out for a goal kick.

12:35 PM  
Blogger The Blue Devil said...

Belgium have underwhelmed in both matches so far. I suspect that they're responding to the pressure of the hype they've received. They came into this tournament labelled "the dark horse team," which is a nonsense. If they're rated already, they're not really darkhorses, are they?

12:37 PM  

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