The inside track on Washington politics.
Games kick off at noon with Australia vs. Netherlands, followed by Spain vs. Chile at 3 p.m. and Cameroon vs. Croatia at 6 p.m. Viewer’s guide to today’s games | Full tournament schedule and TV listings | Streaming coverage | Full tournament coverage
Benoit Assou-Ekotto headbutted his own teammate Benjamin Moukandjo because … well, because he likes to settle disputes like a ram? Who knows. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Cameroon will not be moving on out of the group round.
They will still have to play Brazil, however. Good luck!
Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic proved to be the player of the night, surviving a stiff punch in the back by Cameroon’s Alex Song (who was booked for a red card), to score two of Croatia’s four goals. Now, Croatia will have to battle with Mexico to see who will move out of the group stage, well, assuming Brazil can beat a 10-man team from Cameroon.
Cameroon’s goalkeeper Charles Itandje mishandled the ball in the box, which allowed Manduzukic to tap it in with ease.
Cameroon is going to have to play this last 20 minutes incredibly well just to get on the board.
At this point, Croatia is just there to run out the clock.
It’ll be too late to see how Spain’s coach Vicente del Bosque’s plan to change the course of his team in this World Cup, as the Spaniards were numerically eliminated today when they lost to Chile 2-0. But supposedly, change is coming. Del Bosque said (via The Associated Press):
“We need to look at what’s best for Spanish football, including myself.”
Del Bosque might be selling himself short here, however. He was also the coach of 2010′s winning team.
Taken from a corner kick, Mario Mandzukic’s spot-on header certainly makes up for his earlier miss. Croatia is up 3-0 on Cameroon. It would take a truly creative turnaround for Cameroon to catch up.
Had he sunk it, it would’ve all but ended this game against the now 10-man team from Cameroon.
Maybe his back still hurts, you know, since he was punched in the spine and all earlier.
And he did it pretty much all by himself. Perisic put it in at an awfully acute angle. Pretty impressive.
The second half has just started and Cameroon makes its first substitution. Nounkeu, an experienced defender has come in for Chedjou.
Pretty cool, right? GoPro tells us they have more videos lined up for the World Cup, too. The’ll will drop in the coming weeks.
Cameroon is going to have to change their mental and physical game if they want to equalize Croatia’s 1-0 lead, but it’s going to be difficult consider Alexandre Song temporary madness, which led him to punch a Croatian player in the spine. He drew the red card and was expelled from the match, which means if Cameroon is going to come back, they’ll have to do it with just 10 men compared to Croatia’s 11.
Reminder to soccer players: you can’t punch people in the
head back! Especially in front of the referee. The player who Song clocked on the spine was Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic. Cameroon is down a man now for the rest of this match and the next one.
Here’s a better view.
After Croatia’s score, the match quieted down, with both sides exchanging the ball with not a lot of real attacks at the goal. Is it the weather? It’s only 75 degrees in Manaus, but the humidity level is … 94 PERCENT!
It was a three part success, with Luka Modric putting the ball in the box and Mario Mandzukic getting in the way in the middle to allow Ivica Olic to tap it in at minute 11. The score is 1-0.
So many colors on these two kits!
After being sidelined by an injury that kept him out of the World Cup opening match against Brazil last week, Danijel Pranjic is back, and he’s got a mohawk. He told FIFA:
“Being forced to watch from the sidelines was genuinely tough. You gear yourself up for the World Cup but the dream dies just before it starts.”
Well, his dream seems to have returned and he’s ready. Per FIFA, he said:
“It’s all-or-nothing for both teams. The losers will pack their bags and go home. We have to be ready for everything and play like it was our last match.”