|06.22.10 at 7:55 pm ET|
South Africa 2, France 1 – Bafana Bafana did all they could in their final pool play match, defeating a French team that imploded and putting on a party atmosphere for the home crowd at Bloemfontein, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them from being the first host nation to not advance to the knockout stage. South Africa (1-1-1) needed a big win to catapult into first place in Group A and advance, but a 2-1 victory couldn’t cut it. Bongani Khumalo started off the scoring in 20th minute by heading in a corner from Siphiwe Tshabalala. Five minutes later, French forward Yoann Gourcuff was ejected for elbowing MacBeth Sibaya in the head, and 12 minutes after that South Africa doubled its lead on a Katlego Mphela knock-in. France (0-1-2) scored its lone goal in the 70th minute when Florent Malouda received a cross through a mixed up Bafana Bafana defense. That would be France’s only goal of this World Cup and the first goal by a 10-man side since the 2002 tournament.
Uruguay 1, Mexico 0 – In what could be considered a true friendly match, both Spanish speaking countries went into this match tied for first and in prime positions to move on to the knockout stage. When South Africa beat France by the score of 2-1, Mexico (1-1-1) was able to advance by way of goal differential: +1 for Mexico and -2 for South Africa. Uruguay (2-1-0) clinched the top spot in Group A by holding on to a one-goal lead. Luis Suarez scored the goal for La Celeste in the 43rd minute on a beautiful Edinson Cavani cross. Uruguay will go on to face the Group B runner-up, South Korea, while Mexico will face the Group B winner, Argentina.
Argentina 2, Greece 0 – After keeping things scoreless for the first 77 minutes of the match, Greece couldn’t hold on any longer and Argentina really showed what it was made of, winning 2-0. The Argentines will finish group play as one of the strongest teams in the tournament and so far, the only one to finish with a perfect 3-0-0 record (The Netherlands and Argentina’s two neighbors, Brazil and Chile, are all 2-0-0 with one match to go). Martín Demichelis’ go-ahead goal came in the 77th minute by scoring off his own rebound, while Martín Palermo’s goal in the 89th minute came via a rebound off Greek keeper Alexandros Tzorvas. Argentina will go on to face Mexico, a team it beat in the 2006 round of 16, 2-1 in extra time. Greece (1-0-2) finishes in third place with three points, just one point behind South Korea.
South Korea 2, Nigeria 2 – Eight years since holding their own World Cup, the South Koreans showed that they’ve reached the higher level of soccer power on the world stage by advancing to the knockout stage for the first time since that 2002 tournament. Despite South Korea’s best efforts to not lose the match in order to advance, the game was back and forth with three lead changes. Nigeria (0-1-2) scored the first goal on a Kalu Uche kick from the box. South Korea (1-1-1) responded with a goal of its own in the 38th minute from Lee Jung-Soo and then Park Chu-Young put his team up 11 minutes later on a free kick. In the 69th minute, however, Nigeria was able to tie the match back up at 2 on a Yakubu Aiyegbeni penalty kick, moments after missing a wide-open shot. South Korea will advance to take on Argentina while Nigeria finishes in last place in Group B.
OFF THE FIELD: French sports minister (yes, they have one of those over there) Roselyne Bachelot held an emergency meeting with the French team Monday night and tried to light a fire under the players by deriding them in a motivational speech. “It’s your kids, our children, for whom perhaps you will no longer be heroes. It is the dreams of your partners, your friends, your fans that you have perhaps broken,” she said. “You have tarnished the image of France.” … Charges will not be filed against two of the 30 women who were found to be wearing mini-dresses associated with a brewing company at the Netherlands-Denmark match.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m so proud for the boys. The way our boys played from the very beginning. They made this country proud. They proved that they made a good progression. … We knew this group was going to be a very difficult group. I can’t say I’m sad, I’m happy.” – South African coach Carlos Alberto Parreira on his team’s play
STAT OF THE DAY: 227 – The number of passes completed by Uruguay in its 1-0 victory, the fewest by a victorious team in World Cup history. In comparison, Mexico completed 237 passes in the first half, finishing with 427 at the end of the game.
Slovenia vs. England, 10 a.m.
United States vs. Algeria, 10 a.m.
Australia vs. Serbia, 2:30 p.m.
Ghana vs. Germany, 2:30 p.m.
|06.22.10 at 8:16 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Red Sox at Rockies, 8:40 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Kevin Blackistone at AOL FanHouse writes about FIFA allowing the media to watch a referees workout and talk to the officials — without asking about the controversial calls that have marred this World Cup. Jeffrey Marcus in The New York Times has more from the session, with quotes from refs defending the lack of explanations of the missed calls. Meanwhile, FIFA released its referee assignments for the next round of games, and Koman Coulibaly, who waved off the United States’ possible winning goal vs. Slovenia, did not get another assignment after receiving a poor performance review.
♦ Ian Thomsen at SI.com has the story of Mike Procopio, a Bostonian and former Celtics scout who helped Kobe Bryant prepare for the Celtics by providing video analysis.
♦ Kevin Ding in the Orange County Register writes about Ron Artest’s experience at the Lakers victory parade Monday.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 22, 1982, which Red Sox rookie made his first home run count in a big way with an 11th-inning walkoff shot for a 5-4 victory over the Tigers?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m not going to say which way I’m leaning — and I am one way — but I could look you in the eye and tell you I haven’t decided.” — Celtics coach Doc Rivers, on Monday’s Dennis & Callahan show, discussing his future with the team
STAT OF THE DAY: 23 — Runs Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett has allowed in his last 20 innings, including nine home runs — three coming in the first inning of Monday night’s loss to the Diamondbacks
‘NET RESULTS: Bowling trick shot: Over a barstool and in for a strike.
The vuvuzelas make an appearance at Saturday’s Marlins game.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Wade Boggs
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Todd Rundgren is 62 today.
|06.21.10 at 5:06 pm ET|
Portugal 7, North Korea 0 – Six Portuguese players scored in the European team’s romp over North Korea. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo sent home his first in nearly 16 months for his home country while teammate Tiago was the only player for Portugal to have a multi-goal game. Six of the seven goals came in the second half. North Korea has no chance at advancing out of the group stage, even after putting up a solid effort against Brazil, while Portugal seem to be in prime position to move on if the Ivory Coast squad cannot put up a similar tally when it plays North Korea in its final game of this stage.
Chile 1, Switzerland 0 – Swiss midfielder Valone Behrami was sent off for a red card in the 31st minute after an errant elbow, and that gave Chile the one-man advantage it needed for the game’s remaining 59 minutes. Mark Gonzalez used the advantage as his own when he headed in the eventual game winner in the 75th minute. Chile now stands alone in first place in Group H with six points while Switzerland sits in second with the three points it gained from its upset over tournament favorite Spain last week.
Spain 2, Honduras 0 – The Spaniards bounced back fr0m a difficult opening loss to win easily over Honduras thanks to two first-half goals from David Villa. Spain can still win its group if it defeats Chile in its final game of the opening stage. Honduras is now 0-2 and is a very good bet to be sent home after the group stage.
OFF THE FIELD: The French team returned to the practice field Monday a day after refusing to train in protest of the dismissal of forward Anelka. There were rumors that there were some moments of discord among the English team as well, but Frank Lampard was quick to quiet those rumors. Italy coach Marcello Lippi is upset that his team did not follow his orders during the team’s shocking 1-1 draw with New Zealand.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “For me, it was just an unbelievable decision. There was small contact with my hands on his neck, and he went down like [he was hit with] an elbow. Everyone can make a mistake, but this mistake was very, very big for me because it’s a dream to play in a World Cup.” — Swiss midfielder Valone Behrami after being sent off for a red card in the first half of his team’s 1-0 loss to Chile
STAT OF THE DAY: 557 – Minutes that Switzerland had gone without allowing a goal in World Cup play, a record for the tournament, before allowing the goal to Chile
Group A: France vs. South Africa 10 a.m.
Group A: Mexico vs. Uruguay 10 a.m.
Group B: Greece vs. Argentina 2:30 p.m.
Group B: Nigeria vs. South Korea 2:30 p.m.
|06.21.10 at 7:37 am ET|
Kendrick Perkins, who went down with a knee injury early in Game 6 of the NBA finals, was not able to make it back to the court for Game 7. Doctors thwarted his hopes of pulling off a Willis Reed-type moment as his injury was too severe. But that got us thinking about players who were able to battle back from injuries to return to action when needed most. We’ve come up with a list of the best big game performances of athletes — some local and some national — playing through the pain.
10. Larry Bird
Four years after teammate Kevin McHale braved through the playoffs with a broken foot, Larry Bird led his team against the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 1991 playoffs. Already suffering from debilitating back problems, Bird went all out for a loose ball late in the second quarter of Game 5 and banged his head on the parquet floor of the old Boston Garden. After lying there for minutes, Bird was helped off the court and went straight to the locker room.
When the second half started without the C’s captain, the Pacers rolled away from the 58-58 tie and took advantage of the lack of Garden enthusiasm to lead 82-79. But it wasn’t expected to last long. Bird’s counterpart on the Pacers, Chuck Person said, “As soon as he went down, we went into a timeout shortly after that and [coach Bob Hill] said, ‘When the guy comes back, the fans are going to get into it and Larry’s going to try to take over the game.’ ” Needless to say, when he came back from the locker room, the fans did and Larry did. Bird caught fire and the Celtics just barely pulled off the clincher, 124-121. Read the rest of this entry »
|06.21.10 at 7:24 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
No local games scheduled
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Singer Lady Gaga is not banned from the Yankees clubhouse, general manager Brian Cashman told the media Sunday. The scantily clad Yankees fan visited the locker room after Friday’s loss to the Mets, drawing criticism and causing team management to clarify its rules regarding celebrity visits. Said Cashman: “There is a time for things like that, and that wasn’t it. After a loss is the wrong time.” Meanwhile, Gaga’s memorable visit to the Mets’ Citi Field on June 10, when she got mad at photographers snapping her picture and later flipped off the fans, is being recognized by the Mets. The team will have a “Go Gaga for Wright” night, when, in an effort to bolster third baseman David Wright‘s bid to be an All-Star, they will hand out foam fingers (index finger, not the middle one) that read: Make Wright #1.
♦ Jeff Schultz in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that Bobby Cox is doing one of the best managing job of his career in his final season with the Braves.
♦ Phil Jasner of The Inquirer in Philadelphia pays tribute to former NBA player Manute Bol, who died Saturday.
♦ Jason Gay in The Wall Street Journal looks at the drama surrounding the imploding French soccer team at the World Cup.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 21, 1916, which Red Sox hurler pitched the first perfect game in Fenway Park history?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I thought he had too many Red Bulls. But that was great baserunning, and we needed it.” — Red Sox manager Terry Francona, on Dustin Pedroia stealing second base and then sprinting to an uncovered third base in the first inning of Sunday’s game against the Dodgers
STAT OF THE DAY: 8-1 — The Red Sox’ record in their just-concluded interleague homestand
‘NET RESULTS: From “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” here are Adam Morrison highlights from the 2010 NBA finals.
Rays outfielder B.J. Upton shows his interest in World Cup soccer.
TRIVIA ANSWER: George Foster, who walked three in a 2-0 win over the Yankees
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Ray Davies, lead singer of the Kinks, is 66 today.
|06.20.10 at 8:01 pm ET|
Paraguay 2, Slovakia 0 — After struggling offensively in a 1-1 tie in its World Cup opener against Italy, Paraguay changed to an attacking 4-3-3 formation Sunday and came away with an impressive 2-0 win. Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz, who had previously been reduced to limited minutes due to a leg injury, led the front line in dominating Slovakia (0-1-1). Enrique Vera opened the scoring in the 27th minute, with Christian Riveros adding a late goal at the 86-minute mark. With the win, Paraguay (1-1-0) sits atop Group F with four points, two ahead of defending champion Italy.
Italy 1, New Zealand 1 — Playing in only its second World Cup, New Zealand (0-2-0) made a name for itself in Group F play by tying defending champion Italy, 1-1. Although Italy (0-2-0) controlled most of the game, New Zealand capitalized on an early mistake by Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro in the seventh minute. A long free kick from New Zealand midfielder Simon Elliott deflected off Cannavaro’s hip and fell right in front of Shane Smeltz, who pushed home the team’s first goal. It was New Zealand’s only shot on net the entire match, giving it two points for the tournament. Vincenzo Iaquinta tied the game in the 29th minute for Italy. The Italians now find themselves in do-or-die mode, looking up at Paraguay and tied with the Kiwis with two points in Group F.
Brazil 3, Ivory Coast 1 — A goal from Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba in the 79th minute proved futile as top-ranked Brazil won their second game en route to a group-leading six points. Hard fouls abounded throughout the match, as Brazilian midfielder Kaka, who recorded two assists, received two yellow cards late in the game. He will be suspended for Brazil’s next match against Portugal after he got into a dispute with Ivorian Kader Keita. Striker Luis Fabiano scored twice for Brazil, marking the the first time he has found the back of the net in six matches. Brazil (2-0-0) leads Group G, commonly referred to as the Group of Death, while Ivory Coast (0-1-1) continues to struggle with 1 point.
OFF THE FIELD: One day after striker Nicolas Anelka was thrown off Fance’s team for insulting head coach Raymond Domenech, the France national team refused to train Sunday in response to the incident. The team arrived at the training facility and were prepared to practice, but a confrontation between fitness coach Robert Duverne and captain Patrice Evra led to the French players getting back on the bus and leaving the field.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We are always daring to dream. At the World Cup anything is possible — we’ve seen some strange results — but nothing as big as that one.”— New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert after his team shocked the soccer world by tying Italy 1-1
STAT OF THE DAY: 28 — Years since New Zealand last played in World Cup competition
Group G: Portugal vs. North Korea, 7:30 a.m.
Group H: Chile vs. Switzerland, 10 a.m.
Group H: Spain vs. Honduras, 2:30 a.m
|06.19.10 at 8:54 pm ET|
Netherlands 1, Japan 0 – The Netherlands became the first country to advance to the knockout stage in the 2010 World Cup by beating the Japanese in the early match on Saturday. Wesley Sneijer scored the game’s lone goal for the Oranje in the 53rd minute. Japan (1-0-1) is still in the thick of things, tied for second place in Group E with Denmark.
Denmark 2, Cameroon 1 – Despite the best efforts of team leader Samuel Eto’o, Cameroon continued Saturday’s day of firsts by being the first team to be eliminated from contention for the knockout round by losing to Denmark. Eto’o scored the game’s first goal in the 13th minute, taking advantage of an out-of-place Danish defense. Nicklas Bendtner tied the match with his goal in the 33rd minute on an assist from Dennis Rommedahl. In the 61st minute, Rommedahl scored one for himself to put the Danes ahead. Denmark (1-0-1) is tied with Japan in the middle of Group E while the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon (0-0-2) are in last place.
Australia 1, Ghana 1 – In the only Saturday match outside of Group E, Australia held on to draw even with Ghana, Africa’s last hope to move on to the knockout round. The Socceroos took an early lead on a free kick rebound by Brett Holman in the 11th minute, but soon after that, things fell apart fast. Harry Kewell was ejected in the 24th minute for blocking Jonathan Mensah’s shot in the box with his upper arm. On the ensuing penalty kick, Asamoah Gyan scored in the 25th minute to tie the match. Despite being a man down for over two-thirds of the match, the Aussies were able to defend Ghana’s 21 shots after the red card and keep the draw. With the draw, Ghana (1-1-0) has edged its way into first place in Group D, one point ahead of Germany and Serbia. Last-place Australia (0-1-1) has as many points as it does goals: one.
OFF THE FIELD: Striker Nicolas Anelka was thrown off France’s squad after reportedly insulting coach Raymond Domenech.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think it was definitely not a red card. What can you do with your arm? You can’t cut it off.” — Australia coach Pim Verbeek on Harry Kewell’s hand ball
STAT OF THE DAY: 1-5-4 – Record for African teams so far in this World Cup; the lone win was recorded by Ghana in its 1-0 win over Serbia last Sunday.
Group F: Slovakia vs. Paraguay, 7:30 a.m.
Group F: Italy vs. New Zealand, 10 a.m.
Group G: Brazil vs. Ivory Coast, 2:30 a.m.
|06.18.10 at 4:54 pm ET|
United States 2, Slovenia 2 — The United States rallied from two goals down to force a draw against Slovenia to keep alive its chances of advancing past group play. Landon Donovan scored in the 48th minute to close the gap before Michael Bradley, son of U.S. coach Bob Bradley, knotted the score in the 82nd minute. It appeared that the Americans took the lead with a goal from second-half sub Maurice Edu in the 86th, but was waved off by referee Koman Coulibaly for a mystery foul. Slovenia (1-0-1) now leads Group C with four points while the U.S. (0-0-2) is in second with two points.
Serbia 1, Germany 0 — After an impressive 4-0 win against Australia in its tournament debut, Germany was stunned by Serbia, 1-0. Miroslav Klose was ejected when he picked up his second yellow card of the game, forcing Germany to continue with 10 players. Milan Jovanovic took advantage and scored the only goal of the game a minute later to put Serbia up for good. Lukas Podolski had a chance in the 60th minute to tie the score with a penalty kick, but Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic made the stop. Both teams are tied in Group D with three points each.
England 0, Algeria 0 — England had the same result as the United States on Thursday in being held to a draw against Algeria. While England hasn’t scored a goal since the fourth minute of its opening match against the U.S., Algeria hasn’t scored this entire tournament. England and the U.S. now are tied for second in the Group C standings with two points each.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m a little gutted to be honest. I don’t know how they stole that last goal from us. I’m not sure what the call was. [The referee] wouldn’t tell us what the call was.” – Landon Donovan, after the United States forced a 2-2 draw against Slovenia
STAT OF THE DAY: 37 – Years since Serbia, which was part of the former Yugoslavia, beat Germany in any match
Group E: Netherlands vs. Japan, 7:30 a.m.
Group D: Ghana vs. Australia, 10 a.m.
Group E: Cameroon vs. Denmark, 2:30 a.m.
|06.18.10 at 7:36 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Dodgers at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
MLB: Dodgers at Red Sox, 4:10 p.m. (FOX, WEEI)
MLB: Dodgers at Red Sox, 8 p.m. (ESPN, WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ The New York Times has a report about representatives for Manny Ramirez talking to Major League Baseball last year about the possibility of getting an exemption so that the slugger could take drugs that would boost his testosterone levels. The idea was broached around the time Ramirez was suspended for 50 games for violating the league’s drug policy and then resurrected two months after he returned, but he never received the exemption. Last season, 115 major leaguers were granted similar exemptions, with all but seven of those diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.
♦ The Sporting News has a list of the top 25 players under the age of 25. The only Boston athlete on the list is Rajon Rondo at No. 8.
♦ Jeff Schultz in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes about Chipper Jones, whose retirement discussions have created a distraction with the Braves.
♦ David Biderman in The Wall Street Journal writes that Nationals rookie Stephen Strasburg is so good he’s fooling even the umpires.
♦ Clark Judge at CBSSports.com writes that everyone wants the NFL season to be expanded to 18 games except the players.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 18, 1953, the Red Sox set 17 major league records in a 23-3 victory over the Tigers that featured a 17-run seventh inning. Which Sox player had three hits in the inning?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “There’s a lot of crying in that locker room. A lot of people who care. I don’t think there was a dry eye. A lot of hugs, a lot of people feeling awful. That’s a good thing. Showed a lot of people cared.” — Celtics coach Doc Rivers, after Thursday night’s Game 7 loss to the Lakers
STAT OF THE DAY: 23 — Offensive rebounds for the Lakers in Game 7
‘NET RESULTS: Harvard’s Jeremy Lin shows off his stuff for the Memphis Grizzlies in this pre-draft workout.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Outfielder Gene Stephens
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Paul McCartney is 68 today. Here he is performing at halftime of Super Bowl XXXIX, when the Patriots beat the Eagles in Jacksonville.
|06.17.10 at 4:52 pm ET|
Greece 2, Nigeria 1 – After four World Cup games in the country’s history, Greece finally scored its first goals on the world’s biggest stage along the way to its first-ever win in the international tournament. Nigeria was leading 1-0 when midfielder Sani Kaita was sent off for a red card in the 33rd minute, putting the African team down a man for the remainder of the match. Greek striker Dimitris Salpingidis notched the game 11 minutes later, and teammate Vassilis Torosidis scored the game-winner past goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, who was named man of the match despite the loss for after making nine saves in net.
Argentina 4, South Korea 1 – Striker Gonzalo Higuain scored the first hat trick of the World Cup for the Argentinians as they take a solid three-point lead in Group B, meaning they are all but assured a spot in the knockout round. The South Koreans struggled to get anything going — they had just two shots on target in 90 minutes — and could be in danger of elimination when they face Nigeria in their final game of the group stage.
Mexico 2, France 0 — Mexico cruised to the victory on goals by 37-year-old Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Javier Hernandez, whose grandfather scored against France in the 1954 World Cup, and is in the driver’s seat in Group A with four points.
OFF THE FIELD: Australian captain Tim Cahill’s one-game suspension will stand after he received a red card in his first game against Germany. Former Spain coach Luis Aragones heavily criticized his former team after its 1-0 loss to Switzerland.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We badly wanted this, because we’d never even scored a goal in the World Cup before. I can’t say whether we’ll make it out of the group. But I can say that we’ll leave with our heads held high.” — Dimitris Salpingidis, after Greece’s first-ever win in the World Cup
STAT OF THE DAY: 5-0-2 – Record of South American countries so far in this year’s World Cup after Argentina’s win
Group D: Germany vs. Serbia, 7:30 a.m
Group C: USA vs. Slovenia, 10 a.m.
Group C: England vs. Algeria, 2:30 p.m.
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