zaterdag 8 september 2012

Results of the Qualification World Cup 2014

Here are the results from all the countries that played yesterday - 7 September for the Qualifcation for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil

2 Highlight games

Argentina 3-1 Paraguay
Messi stunner seals victory for Albiceleste
The Barcelona star netted a glorious free kick as Sabella's men took first place in World Cup qualifying, piling further misery on their underachieving neighbours

Festejo argentino

Argentina maintained their perfect record in 2012 with a victory over Paraguay on Friday night that took them top of the Conmebol race to the 2014 World Cup ahead of closest challengers Chile and Ecuador. 

Angel Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi were all on target for the Albiceleste in a comfortable if not entirely convincing triumph, while Paraguay's sole strike came from the penalty spot via Jonathan Fabbro. 

he Argentina team came out in the Estadio Mario Kempes knowing that, thanks to Uruguay's 4-0 defeat to Colombia, a win would put them top of the World Cup qualifying standings. 

Inspired by Ezequiel Lavezzi, they wasted no time in taking the initiative. The Paris Saint-Germain man did well to hold up the ball on the right-hand side and his cross, after several unfortunate deflections for the Guarani, landed at the feet of Di Maria who curled the ball past Justo Villar. After just two minutes, Alejandro Sabella's side were on top. 

Despite the early lead, the Albiceleste were struggling against a Paraguay outfit determined to disrupt play by fair means or foul. And the visitors would find their way back into the game in bizarre circumstances. Rodrigo Brana inexplicably handled in the area from a cross under absolutely no pressure, and naturalised Argentine Fabbro gleefully converted with class to level the game for his adopted nation. 

The game continued in a disjointed fashion, as the hosts struggled to find their rhythm in the face of fierce tackling that brought 12 fouls and two bookings in the first half alone. It took another stroke of good fortune for Argentina to retake the lead. 

A horribly-sliced clearance from Jonathan Ortiz fell straight into the path of Higuain, who was in exactly the right place to pick up the ball. The Real Madrid man still had a lot to do, but finished with aplomb across the body of Villar to restore the advantage in Cordoba. Lionel Messi almost extended the advantage with a free kick that struck the post, but despite their lead the South American giants were far from their best in the opening 45 minutes. 

Messi immediately brought the Kempes crowd to full voice two minutes into the second half with an individual piece of magic that deserved a goal. The Barcelona maestro effortlessly skipped past three defenders to go one-on-one with Villar, but his chipped finish hit the post, to the groans of the local support. 

It was the second time the woodwork had denied 'La Pulga' as he sought to add to his eight international goals harvested so far in 2012. At the other end, Romero also had to be alert, saving low from Victor Ayala after the Lanus man tried his luck from a long-range set-piece. 

After that early flurry of activity, the game settled down into a low-key rhythm. Argentina rarely looked like surrendering their lead, but despite the efforts of Lavezzi and Di Maria, who worked tirelessly, there appeared little prospect of adding to the tally. Where Messi is, however, goals are usually not too far away. 

The little wizard once more found the post with a wickedly swerving free kick, but this time the ball struck the inside of the woodwork and nestled safely inside the net, taking his tally to an incredible nine in five games this year. Coming 20 minutes into the second half, the strike gave Argentina a decisive cushion as they looked to overtake Chile at the top of the table. 

Victor Caceres would see a late header ruled out correctly for offside, but there was no way back for Paraguay, who slumped to their fourth qualifying defeat and remain second to bottom. Argentina recorded their third consecutive Conmebol win, and their fifth triumph in as many games this year, to go one point clear of Chile and Ecuador with a total of 13.

Netherlands 2-0 Turkey
Van Persie and Narsingh seal Oranje victory
The Manchester United hitman struck early in the first-half, while the PSV winger added a second late on against the stubborn visitors

Robin van Persie, Netherlands - Turkey

Louis van Gaal's Netherlands squeezed past Turkey at the Amsterdam ArenA, securing a 2-0 win in their opening World Cup 2014 qualifier.

The game represented the new Dutch boss' first victory in an official match and while the scoreline looks good, the performance may suggest otherwise.

Turkey began at pace, attacking Netherlands and pressing them when not in possession. Their intent was clear right from the first corner, won in the first minute off the body of Kevin Strootman, as the visitors went close with a header.

Oranje took time to settle, but after 10 minutes started to impose themselves on the game. Crosses were fizzed in and corners were won, but the Turkish defence didn't seem too troubled and mopped them up with ease.

The first scare of the night came for Tim Krul and and Martins Indi, as some miscommunication nearly led to an own goal, and just as the Turks seemed to be reasserting their control, Netherlands struck to take the lead.

Robin van Persie continued his new-found trend of scoring with his head by nodding in from Inter star Wesley Sneijder's corner.

The 19th minute goal gave van Gaal's men temporary hope, but it was Abdullah Avci's side who came away from the restart stronger.

Sercan Yildrim and Arda Turan both went desperately close for The Crescent-Stars, while Luciano Narsingh should have done better when he found himself in a great position.

As the first half wore on, it became clear the Netherlands midfield weren't coping with the physicality of the game. Umut hit the bar with a header just before half-time, leaving Oranje counting their blessings at the interval.

Van Gaal introduced Richardo van Rhijn at half-time and replaced Jordy Clasie with Leroy Fer shortly after.

The changes allowed the Dutch to grab a hold of the game more efficiently and they proceeded to dominate the opening 10 minutes of the second-half.

Turkey, now resorting to the counter-attack in the face of a much-improved Oranje, went close to an equaliser when Hamit Altintop forced Tim Krul into a first-class save with a long-range effort.

On 60 minutes, there were chances at both ends. Van Persie got in the way of Arjen Robben's chipped effort for the hosts, while Sercan should have scored after beating van Rhijn to a header at the far post.

Sneijder and Robben began to combine well down the left side and produced a number of chances for their side to extend their lead, but the Turkish defence stood up to the challenge.

With the Dutch in control, van Gaal's men actively began to protect their lead rather than go all out for a second, while Turkey struggled to grab hold of the game despite the introduction of new Liverpool signing Nuri Sahin.

Ron Vlaar came on late for Jonny Heitinga to add solidity to the back line, and Narsingh scored late on with a chipped finish as Turkey piled forward in search of an equaliser.

The Dutch have opened their campaign with a much-needed confidence-boosting win after a dour Euro 2012 campaign, while Turkey will feel hard done by after an impressive showing.

First place in this group is far from assured on this showing for Oranje, who failed to control the game as they may have hoped before the encounter.


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