(Results: Netherlands 1-0 Japan, Ghana 1-1 Australia, Denmark 2-1 Cameroon)
The Sneijder Strikes Back
Flying Dutchman of the Day
So Wesley Sneijder just refuses to let bygones be bygones. Like a pesky kid, he insists on proving his worth at every opportunity. You’d think he would just be content with rubbing the UEFA Champions League in Real Madrid President Florentino Perez’s face, but no … the Dutchman clearly hasn’t had enough.
He just proved why he’s one of the best shooters from medium range with a superb shot that deflected into the goal that left his bench delirious, the Japanese in agony and Florentino Perez switching off the TV. The Flying Dutchman (or F***ing Dutchman, if you agree with Perez) has answered his critics.
Team Spirit Award of the Day
To the Netherlands yet again. For NOT fighting with each other on the pitch, at least. Wesley Sneijder has resisted attempts to murder van Persie so far; but that may have had something to do with his desire to avoid the many witnesses for a crime committed on live TV.
It’s not that there weren’t hiccups along the way – Afellay was in a threatening position towards the end of the game, and looked up to see van Persie; at which point he decided he’d rather pass the ball to the Japanese defender instead. As a shocked van Persie sought an explanation, Afellay is understood to have lifted his jersey to reveal an undeshirt reading ‘Team Sneijder’.
A lot of credit must go to coach Van Marwijk for leading by example – forgiving Gregory van der Wiel for attending a Lil Wayne concert instead of playing a friendly in Australia.
Marwijk - clearly not a fan of rap
Most improved Asian of the day
Keisuke Honda who came in to this World Cup on the back of some criticism, has suddenly proven himself to be a team player. He’s certainly a star for the future, and credits his elder brother Toyo Ota for introducing him to the beautiful game.
As a side note – Toyo Ota stopped playing football, because his problems with unintended acceleration meant he had to brake by slamming into the hoardings every time.
Eyesore of the day
The despicable choice of uniform by the Netherlands team, deserves a category of its own. The Japanese stood no chance from the moment the Oranje made their way on the field, in that cornea-blinding attire.
As one may recall, the Japanese are a cornea-challenged people – fluoroscent colored cartoon images on TV have induced convulsions in Japan in the past, and the Netherlands’ attempt at cynically taking advantage of a known condition should be condemned by all footballing nations.
‘Hand of Dog’ moment of the day
Harry Kewell felt as unwelcome as a stray pooch on a cat-owner’s doormat, as he was handed a red card for his valiant attempt at playing tennis on a football field. His teammates pleas of “But, that’s how we play it Down Under” fell on deaf ears and were met with the stony face of the referee, Roberto Rosetti.
The Rosetti Stone (face)
British Petroleum’s Spill of the Day
Ghana’s Richard Kingson walks away with the honors here, with a spill so deadly – that seagulls fell out of the sky covered in slicky goo. It’s still not as bad as Robert Green’s howler that had the David Cameron government offer a global apology for his nation’s desecration of the beautiful game.
Jabulani Moment of the Day
This ball will deflect from it’s intended path. If it doesn’t, Eiji Kawashima – the Japanese goalkeeper – will deflect it himself. We don’t want the ball not living up to its reputation now, do we?
The “Who? That guy?!” moment of the day
Who says I can't score?
Nicklas Bendtner, the guy who regularly misses goal-scoring opportunities (the likes of which a grandmother could convert) at Arsenal, does surprisngly well for his country. Dennis Rommedahl gave the offside trap a slip, and slid in a spectacular cross for Saint Nicklas as he brought home the presents in spectacular fashion.