Sunday, July 11, 2010

2010 World Cup: Spain and Holland to make history

Spain and Holland are to write a new record in the World Cup history as they will clash in the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg, South Africa. Both countries have never won a World Cup, although Holland came close twice when they reached the finals in 1974 and 1978.

The Netherlands beat Uruguay 3-2 in the first semi-final on Wednesday (7/7), through the goals of captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Arjen Robben, and Wesley Sneijder.

Meanwhile, a day later (7/8), Spain upset Germany 1-0 through Barcelona defender Carles Puyol's header.

Arsenal stars Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie will meet each other in the final; however, they are in two different situations. Fabregas played only two matches in South Africa, and he was a substitute, while van Persie regularly started on the pitch.

Fabregas told the Sun: "If I'm lucky enough to get a start, I will give everything I have. But if I have to start on the bench, then so be it. All I can pray for is that I get a chance to play some part of this unbelievable game.

"If I'm not in the team, I will know deep down that Spain winning the World Cup is more important than Cesc Fabregas starting the game or not. So I will still be 100% behind the boys who do go out there. And I will be thinking about what I will do, what I must do if I come on."

The Arsenal captain heaped praise on his country's achievement of reaching the final and spoke of his anticipation of coming toe-to-toe with his club colleague Robin van Persie.

He said: "It is a privilege to be part of this Spanish team because we try to play the correct way.

"I know Holland invented Total Football back in the 1970s, and I know those players made the game beautiful to watch. But we try to play the same way and I think the world can see that. Against Germany, we never gave up our principles - pass, pass, pass and never stop trying to score. Eventually we got our reward.

"I have been texting Robin and we realised the only way we could face each other here was in the World Cup final. We joked about it after the early games and it is fantastic that it has now actually happened.

"It is great for us and it is great for Arsenal to have two players at the World Cup final."

Van Persie also sounded a similar response in an interview with FIFA:

"It’s always a bit strange to play against your colleagues, and we have been in touch via SMS a couple of times. Cesc is a fantastic player. I also find it really strange that he isn’t in the first team for Spain. I don't understand that at all. I think he’s incredible. I’ve been playing at Arsenal for six years with him and every year he’s improved. He’s the captain of our team and I have a lot of respect for him."

Netherlands vs. Spain match facts:

• This will be the seventh all-European final and means that a European nation will win the tournament for a record 10th time.

• It will be the first final to not include one of Brazil, (West)Germany, Argentina or Italy

• Netherlands go into the final unbeaten and if they are victorious on Sunday, they will become only the fifth side to register a 100% record in WC finals so far, joining Uruguay in 1930, Italy in 1938, and Brazil in 1970 and 2002.

• The Dutch also had a 100% record in qualification for South Africa and could become only the second nation ever to win all their qualifiers and finals games, after Brazil achieved this feat in 1970.

• The Dutch are now unbeaten in 25 successive international matches and have conceded more than one goal in only one of their last 14 games in World Cup finals tournaments (1-2 v Croatia in the 1998 third-place play-off).

• Spain are the first reigning European champions to participate in the World Cup final since West Germany in 1982 and are the 12th different side to reach a World Cup final.

• If Spain - who have seven goals - are to avoid becoming the lowest scoring winners of all time, they will need to net at least four. Italy (1938), England (1966) and Brazil (1994) all won the tournament with 11.

• Xavi has created 25 goalscoring chances in this tournament - eight more than any other player. He has made 560 passes at this tournament, completing 509 so far. Only Dunga (Brazil 1994) has completed more in a single World Cup tournament since 1966.

Germany Finished Third

Port Elizabeth (7/10) - Germany relieved their disappointment of failing to reach final by taking the third place.

They did the same thing four years ago in their homeland, beating Portugal for third place after losing to Italy in the semi-final.

And now they defeated Uruguay 3-2 (1-1). The German side led by Thomas Mueller's goal in the 19th minute, but Uruguay struck twice to reverse the position 2-1 through Edison Cavani (28') and Diego Forlan (51').

Marcell Jansen and Sami Kheidira saved the Germans' day by contributing a goal each, Jansen in the 56th minute and Kheidira in the 82th minute.

pictures by

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold Semi-final Results

Men's Singles
4-Wong Choong Hann (MAS) def. 2-Taufik Hidayat (INA) 21-15, 24-22
1-Lee Chong Wei (MAS) def. 14-Jayram Ajay (IND) 21-16, 21-13

Women's Singles
2-Zhou Mi (MAS) def. 4-Wong Mew Choo (MAS) 19-21, 21-12, 21-15
3-Yip Pui Yin (HKG) def. 1-Pi Hongyan (FRA)10-21, 21-10, 21-11

Men's Doubles
Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan (INA) def. Yohan Wiratama/Wong Wai Hong (HKG) 21-6, 21-16
Alvent Yulianto/Hendra Aprida Gunawan (INA) def. Mak Hee Chun/Tan Wee Kiong (MAS) 21-13, 21-11

Women's Doubles
4-Duanganong Aroonkesorn/Kuchala Worawichitchaikul (THA) def. Melati Nadya/Vita Marissa (INA)13-21, 21-17, 21-17
Ng Hui Ern/Ng Hui Lin (MAS) def. 5-Zhang Dan/Zhang Zhibo (MAC) 21-10, 21-11

Mixed Doubles
3-Sudket Prapakamol/Saralee Thungthongkam (THA) def. Markis Kido/Lita Nurlita (INA) 15-21, 21-12, 21-15
Devin Lahardi/Lilyana Natsir (INA) def. Ong Jian Guo/Chong Sook Chin (MAS) 21-13, 21-16

Sunday, July 4, 2010

2010 World Cup: Germany Demolition, Spanish Conquest

Germany embarrassed Argentina 4-0 in the quarter-final match of 2010 FIFA World Cup in Cape Town's Green Point Stadium. Thomas Muller scored the fastest goal in the tournament, when the game was only three minutes long.

Miroslav Klose gave Germany a 2-0 lead in the 68th minute, followed by Arne Friedrich's goal six minutes later. Klose then scored his second goal of the match one minute before time for a memorable German triumph.

Argentina was not without efforts but Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria's efforts were blocked by Manuel Neuer. The world's best player, Lionel Messi, was forced to go home without a goal as he was kept guarded throughout the match.

Meanwhile, in the later match in Johannesburg, Spain got ahead of Paraguay with only a 1-0 win. More goals could have been created in the match, as two penalties were given by the referee. However, Spain's Iker Casillas saved Oscar Cardozo's penalty kick while few minutes later, Paraguay's Justo Villar cleared out the ball from Xabi Alonso.

The winner was decided only 7 minutes before the match ended. Midfielder Andres Iniesta and substitute Pedro each made an attempt to score but it was David Villa who succeeded. The ball hit the left-hand post and the right-hand post before it rebounded into the net.

Spain will face Germany in the semi-final. The winner of this match will meet either the Netherlands or Uruguay in the final.

photos from and

Once Again, Serena

London (7/3) - World number one, three-times winner, and defending champion - Serena Williams arrived in Wimbledon with all those titles. And now she has done it: clinching her fourth cup and her 13th Grand Slam title last Saturday.

Serena, who was champion in 2000, 2008, and 2009, confidently thrashed 21-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-3, 6-2.

With this win, Serena was just one title short of her sister Venus, who had five Wimbledon titles, corroborating the Williams dominion in Wimbledon, with the sisters claiming 9 in the last 11 years.

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Friday, July 2, 2010

2010 World Cup: Netherlands 2-1 Brazil

Port Elizabeth (7/2) - The Netherlands became the first team to go into the last four as the "Oranje" team defeated five-times world cup winner Brazil 2-1.

The Brazilians got off with a good start. Robinho seemed to score in the 7th minute but the referee judged that he was offside. Yet only 3 minutes later, Robinho fired Felipe Melo's pass into the bottom right corner. Until the first-half ended, the Brazilians led 1-0.

The Dutchmen struck back when a free-kick by Arjen Robben found Wesley Sneijder swung in a cross from out the penalty area on the right. Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar and defender Felipe Melo tried to clear out but the ball, hitting Melo's shoulder, was flung into the net.

The winning goal was scored in the 66th minute by Sneijder, following Dirk Kuyt's corner kick. The Inter striker now tallied 3 goals from five matches.

In the 73th minute, Felipe Melo was sent off for fouling Robben, apparently giving way to his temper and stepping on Robben's leg.

When the final whistle was blown, it was euphoria for the Netherlands but heartbreak for Brazil. The Netherlands now would meet the winner of the Uruguay-Ghana match in the semi-final.

picture from