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miaowang123 September 4
Day 11 in 100 words or less We must remember that people are seeing a World Cup for the first time, just dont tell them it isnt always like this. Nike Air Force 1 Černé. Many of those eyes are in the United States of America, a country that the sport has wanted on its side for some time. On Sunday the football Gods delivered once again, only this time it was time for good old USA to experience as much heartache as joy. Portugal 2-2 USA Football is a funny old game. Last week the USA struggled to keep the ball, were not at their best, and still won. This time they treasured the ball far better, were absolutely outstanding, and didnt win. This World Cup has been an absolute blockbuster and some of its main characters have been counter-attacks, comebacks, headers, and substitute goals. All four starred together in an incredible last scene in Manaus. Portugal were on the ground, seemingly knocked out in Brazil, flat out on their back with the referee standing over them about to wave his arms and end their misery. They knew they were out of the fight. Angry, petulant, disappointed they were a wounded bunch. Then, like a boxer swinging one last right hook at an opponent just for the sake of it, they delivered a stunning final moment to another monumental match in Brazil. The clock read 94:25. Michael Bradley picks up the ball and has no outlets to pass the ball to. Eder, the Portugal striker who came on early in the first half finally did something valuable by making a crucial tackle. 94:28 - Nani counters with pace, looks up and sees Cristiano Ronaldo on the right side. It was the first time the talisman was in that zone where he could put a pass in. (stats powered by Opta) 94:31 - Ronaldo had just enough time to take one touch, look down at the ball, look up and deliver an absolutely incredible cross. 94:33 - Silvestre Varela then runs into the box and delivers a powerful header into the mix. The USA victory and place in the last 16? Gone in eight seconds. It was a fitting dramatic finale to an enthralling game in the Amazon. It will be remembered for the final scoreline, the Ronaldo pass, and the USA comeback, but we shouldnt forget about the tempo. The game was stretched throughout, played at an incredible pace in exhausting conditions. Watching it we learned many things. We learned that Portugal have very little depth. Anyone who has followed this small, yet proud football nation would tell you they already knew that but this exposed it even deeper. Anyone who criticizes Ronaldos performance would be best served to look at what he had to work with. They lost Helder Postiga early, threw on Eder and effectively played with 10 men for the second successive match. The sight of the worlds finest player having to play up front in the second half and get absolutely no service was an all too familiar one. A sad tale of what could have been. Nani scored a goal but was very disappointing the rest of the way, giving the ball away far too much. Joao Moutinho is a special player but his sparring partners, Miguel Veloso and Raul Meireles are not at the form of Euro 2012. Theyve been hammered by injuries, admittedly, but this was one of the worst showings by a Portugal team in two decades. Last week they could blame Pepe and a brilliant German attack. On Sunday their excuses ran out and they will likely fly home on Friday as another European team humbled in Brazil. Jurgen Klinsmanns team were by far the better side and will be happy to be on four points through two games but it is far from job done. Indeed, it could turn out to be what might have been. Sure, Jurgens new mates and old mates can kick a ball around for 90 minutes in Recife on Thursday and both go through but anyone who thinks Germany would agree to that are kidding themselves. Germany are in Brazil to win the World Cup, not risk playing a close game with an inferior country, where a bad bounce or poor decision could end up costing them the chance to progress or, even, win the group. If the game is even as it enters the final 25 minutes I could see the two teams defending deep and giving up very little but until then I expect Germany to use the game as an opportunity to get back the tempo and attacking guile that was missing against Ghana. Belgium 1-0 Russia The 2014 World Cup has been billed by some as the greatest ever but then Fabio Capello arrived in a time machine from 2010 to remind us just how easy a game can be killed off. It almost worked. To be fair, the dullest game of the tournament so far was not all Russias doing. An average Belgium defended deep and rarely got playmaker Eden Hazard into the game, looking to settle for a point they know would have helped them win the group. The schedule makers also played a small part in the snoozefest. Every team in this World Cup, Mexico vs Brazil aside, had four or five games off in between group games but all the teams who played on Sunday play again on Thursday, giving them just three days off before a crucial group finale. Thankfully, Belgium decided to find some extra gears in the last ten minutes and for the second successive match their changes made a difference. Substitute Kevin Mirallas got the best out of Hazard and the two combined on the goal, scored by another sub, 19-year-old striker Divock Origi. The extra gear found by Belgium showed, again, they can reach another level when required and also left Russia embarrassed that they couldnt. Russia were organized and clearly had a game plan that almost worked and it is hard to be too critical of that based on that game but the bigger question mark over this teams methods is do they have it in them at all to play a more open, expansive style that will be needed against Algeria to progress? This World Cup has made a mockery of players and coaches who have tried to play like it was 2010. Capello gets one last shot to prove otherwise, against Algeria. How did that work out for him in 2010? South Korea 2-4 Algeria Missed by many, this was a fantastic game. Algeria are a real threat to Russia. They are strong in attack, have a fine, technical leader in Sofiane Feghouli who can glide by midfielders and can score. Admittedly, South Koreas defending in the first half was woeful but Vahid Halilhodzics side deserve tremendous credit for sensing their opportunity to finish the game off early. It has been a good couple of days for African football. Man of the day Nominees.... Vincent Kompany - on a day where most of his teammates were average, the Manchester City skipper was fantastic in the middle of the Belgian defence. Islam Slimani - he got his first start at the World Cup and it wont be his last after he tormented the South Korean backline. Clint Dempsey - talk about a big game player. Not blessed with any one outstanding trait, he just seems to pop up in big moments. Jermaine Jones - After a brilliant display on the left of a midfield diamond against Ghana, he was asked to come more centrally this time and had a superb match. Cristiano Ronaldo - he was far from his best but, just like Lionel Messi on Saturday, he had his moment. Winner Cristiano Ronaldo - a defensive liability in the first half, clearly not fit, playing with a bunch of average players, sulking and then he does that. Wow. Whats next Australia vs Spain & Chile vs Netherlands (12pm/9am) Croatia vs Mexico & Brazil vs Cameroon (4pm/1pm) Burning question for Mondays games Can Chile win the group and finally carve open a path to the late rounds that doesnt include nemesis Brazil? Stat of day 11 Silvestre Varela became the 16th substitute to score at this World Cup. Nike Air Force 1 Pánské Levně. Unfortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers, James Harden was in the building. Nike Air Force 1 Levně.ca has you covered for whos in, whos out and what to expect from all 30 teams.Atlanta Falcons 1 (6) - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M; 2 (37) - RaShede Hageman DT, Minnesota; 3 (68) - Dezmen Southward, FS, Wisconsin; 4 (103) - Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State; 4 (139) - Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame; 5 (147) - Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue; 5 (168) - Marquis Spruill, ILB, Syracuse; 7 (253) - Yawin Smallwood, OLB, UConn; 7 (255) - Tyler Starr, OLB, South Dakota Top Picks Analysis: The Falcons had visions of trading up for the No. 1 pick in the draft, South Carolina star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, but that was cost prohibitive so they stayed put at No. 6 and went with offensive tackle Jake Matthews, a safe pick at a need position. Minnesota defensive tackle RaShede Hageman is a boom-or-bust prospect with a very high ceiling as a player, while Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward was another need pick and will be given every opportunity to replace the departed Thomas DeCoud as William Moores running mate. Best Value Pick: Fourth-round selection Prince Shembo of Notre Dame lacks the length to be an every down difference maker on the edge but he has the instincts and toughness to be a solid situational pass rusher for a team that is desperate for one. Questionable Calls: Hageman flashes but has always lacked consistency on the college level. A move to the five-technique at the professional level could either accentuate his natural physical skills or turn him into a tweener with no real position. Summary: Matthews is as safe as it gets at No. 6 overall and will certainly be a welcome addition for Matt Ryan but general manager Thomas Dimitroff really rolled the dice after the Texas A&M legacy. FINAL GRADE: B Undrafted rookie free agent signings: DT/FB Roosevelt Nix, Kent State; RB Jerome Smith, Syracuse; CB Tay Glover-Wright, Utah State; OL James Stone, Tennessee; WR Geraldo Boldewijn, Boise State; QB Jeff Matthews, Cornell; WR Bernard Reedy, Toledo; DE Jacques Smith, Tennessee; P Matt Yoklic, Pittsburgh; DL Nosa Eguae, Auburn; WR Freddie Martino, North Greenville; LB Brenden Daley, Hawaii; TE Jacob Pederson, Wisconsin; S Kimario McFadden, South Carolina; DE Walker May, Vanderbilt; DT Donte Rumph, Kentucky; S Javon Marshall, Vanderbilt; S Jestin Love, Central Arkansas; K Drew Basil, Ohio State FB Maurice Hagens, Miami; CB Devonta Glover-Wright, Utah State Carolina Panthers 1 (28) - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State; 2 (60) - Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri; 3 (92) Trai Turner, OG, LSU; 4 (128) - Tre Boston, SS, North Carolins; 5 (148) - Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State; 6 (204) - Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford Top Picks Analysis: Its difficult to argue with David Gettlemans plan. The Panthers GM needed help at wide receiver and jumped at the 6-foot-5 Kelvin Benjamin, a nice option at No. 28 overall. It remains to be seen if Benjamin has the suddenness to be anything more than an outside the numbers, ball-aware threat but either way the Florida State product filled a big need. Mizzou defensive end Kony Ealy came in with a late-first-round grade by many so snaring in at No. 60 overall was great value. Meanwhile, LSU guard Trai Turner could compete for a starting job on a thin offensive line. Best Value Pick: The Panthers have two superlative rushers on the edge in Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy but you dont pass up a talent like Ealy late in the second round. Questionable Calls: Waiting until the third round to address the issues on the offensive line probably isnt going to make Cam Newton thrilled. Summary: Benjamin should have no problem earning a starting spot in a revamped Panthers receiving corps which now includes veterans Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant. Meanwhile, Ealy adds to the impressive depth Carolina possesses in the front four and safety Tre Boston could help replace the departed Mike Mitchell. Gettleman, however, probably should have carpet- bombed the O-Line on Day 3 and he ignored it. FINAL GRADE: B- Undrafted rookie free agent signings: CB Carrington Byndom, Texas; WR Corey Brown, Ohio State; WR Marcus Lucas, Missouri; OL Jared Wheeler, Miami; DL Shaq Rowell, South Carolina; OL Andrew Norwell, Ohio State; RB Darrin Reaves, UAB; LB Denicos Allen, Michigan State New Orleans Saints 1 (20) - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State; 2 (58) Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska; 4 (126) Khairi Fortt, ILB, California; 5 (167) - Vinny Sunseri, SS, Alabama; 5 (169) - Ronald Powell, OLB, Florida; 6 (202) - Tavon Rooks, OT, Kansas State Top Picks Analysis: You gotta keep tthe franchise happy and the New Orleans Saints did exactly that by trading up to draft dynamic Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who some have compared to ex-Carolina star Steve Smith, in the first round. Nike Boty Sleva. Cooks is undersized but hes got explosive speed and should fit in nicely as the replacement for the departed Lance Moore. Lengthy cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste was the Saints other premium pick and he should push the aging Champ Bailey pretty quickly as the potential starter opposite Keenan Lewis. Best Value Pick: Fourth-round linebacker Khairi Fortt transferred to Cal from Penn State after the Jerry Sandusky-scandal so he might have been off-the- radar for some but hes a speedy, athletic player, who could be a solid fit for a Rob Ryan defense. Questionable Calls: Fifth-round safety Vinny Sunseri didnt have great speed to begin with and he tore his ACL late last season so he might not have the baseline skills you need to play safety in this league. Summary: Working with Drew Brees should only help Cooks hit the ground running in the NFL while Jean-Baptiste is the type of big cornerback en vogue right now. The depth, though, just wasnt there for NOLA in this draft. FINAL GRADE: B- Undrafted rookie free agent signings: S Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State; S Pierre Warren, Jacksonville State; RB Tim Flanders, Sam Houston State; WR JeRon Hamm, Louisiana Monroe; QB Logan Kilgore, Middle Tennessee State; DL George Uko, New Orleans; LB Spencer Hadley, BYU; WR Brandon Coleman, Rutgers; CB Brian Dixon, Northwest Missouri State; C Matt Armstrong, Grand Valley State; WR Sentavius Jones, Valdosta State; DT Micajah Reynolds, Michigan State; LB Trashaun Nixon, New Mexico State; DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe, Colorado; K Sergio Castillo, West Texas A&M; DE Kasim Edebali, Boston College; DE Lawrence Virgil, Valdosta State Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 (7) - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M; 2 (38) - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington; 3 (69) - Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia; 5 (143) - Kadeem Edwards, OG, Tennessee State; 5 (149) - Kevin Pamphile, OT, Purdue; 6 (185) - Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming Top Picks Analysis: Pre-draft hype centering on the Bucs interest in Johnny Manziel proved to be just that as Tampa Bay stayed home at No. 7 overall and took Manziels teammate at Texas A&M, lengthy wide receiver Mike Evans. The 6-foot-5 Evans has elite ball skills but must improve his route running and versatility (he only lined up on the right side in College Station) to become an all-around player. "Hes what todays wide receiver is all about, with the advent of back- shoulder fade, and with big wide receivers playing outside the numbers and in the red zone," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said when discussing Evans. "The buzz word is catching radius. When paired with Vincent Jackson its going to be like basketball on grass (in Tampa)." Evans certainly could team with Jackson to give new Bucs QB Josh McCown a similar set-up to what he had in Chicago last season (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery). Tampa Bay got more help for McCown by selecting Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the second round, and West Virginia running back Charles Sims in the third. Best Value Pick: Seferian-Jenkins is a bit of a dinosaur, a true two-way tight end with terrific movement skills and receiving ability for a big man, along with the ability be an effective in-line blocker thanks to his size and strength. "He has big hands. Hes a big target, and can run all the routes you want," NFL Network draft analyst Charles Davis said. "(He) is also a terror in the red zone." Questionable Calls: Sims projects as a third-down back because he has pretty impressive natural receiving skills but his blocking is a big question mark and thats pretty important if you want to be on the field in obvious passing situations. Summary: Tampa Bay passed on a chance to upgrade the long-term quarterback position but managed to select the drafts second-best receiver, Evans, as well as the second or third best tight end in Seferian-Jenkins. FINAL GRADE: B Undrafted rookie free agent signings: WR Solomon Patton, Florida; QB Brett Smith, Wyoming; CB Keith Lewis, Virginia-Lynchburg; DE Chaz Sutton, South Carolina; WR Aaron Burks, Boise State; WR Tony Hurd Jr., Texas A&M; OL Matt Patchan, Boston College; S Mycal Swaim, Eastern Michigan; OG Chris Burnette, Georgia ' ' '
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