Wednesday 18th August
France 1 - 1 China
Half time: 1 - 1
This was a big game for both sides as the winner would put themselves in pole position to qualify from group B alongside Brazil. It wasn’t the cagey start that the crowd were expecting as China immediately set their stall out as they stopped the French getting a real touch of the ball.
The break through came, with the quickest goal of the tournament so far, as the Chinese captain, Ya Feng Wang, picked the ball up from deep inside his own half before waltzing through the frail looking defence then smashing the ball past a hapless Grangier, in the French goal.
China continued their early dominance as Feng Wang and Wen Fa Zheng both had good chances to put their side even further ahead. It took France ten minutes before getting a sight at goal but the usually ever reliable Martin Baron, fired wide.
With five minutes to go until half time, the French captain, and star player, Villeroux began to stamp his authority on the game and managed to grab the equaliser for France. Taking a quick free kick with Baron, Villeroux side stepped a couple of tackles before stabbing the ball home to send the sides in 1-1 at half time.
With both sides looking to snatch a winner, in the second half, the best opportunities came for France with two penalties, given after China fouled twice after reaching the three foul limit. On both occasions Hua Chu Xu made himself a hero as he saved both penalties, low down to his left.
China did have one gilt edged opportunity with just 30 seconds to play when Feng Wang broke though but fired wide with the goal at his mercy. With the score finishing 1-1 it was a result that was a fair reflection on the game.
Jonathan Grangier (GK), Yvan Kepmegni, Martin Baron, Abderahim Maya, David Labarre, Arnaud Ayax, Frederic Villeroux, Charaf Ait Taleb, Frederic Jannas (GK)
Hua Chu Xu (GK), Shan Yong Chen, Li Jing Zhang, Tang Bao Gao, Tian Qi Gao, Zhou Bin Wang, Wen Fa Zheng, Ya Feng Wang, Lei Niu (GK)
Ya Feng Wang
Match Officials: Niels Haupt, David Bryant, Francois Carcouet, Alexandros Karaiosif
Spain 2 - 0 Japan
Half time: 0 - 0
Japan were looking to get their semi-final ambitions back on track with a game against Spain, who with three wins out of three, had already qualified from the group. For the first ten minutes of the half neither side really took control of the game, thanks, in chief, to the strong tackling of Japan, who reached three fouls in quick time.
Spain looked to take advantage of this with a penalty being given for a fourth foul but Marcelo Rosado fired straight down the throat of the keeper. Spain squandered another long penalty through Pedro Villa and Japan with just two seconds to go also missed a penalty, through the fourth Spanish foul of the half, from striker Kento Kato.
The penalties were the only real chances of the first half and the score line as the teams went in 0-0. The first big chance of the second half was when Japan lofted in a corner, an unusual tactic in blind football, towards Tomonari Kuroda who tried an audacious half volley lob which, despite beating the keeper, struck the top of the bar and went over.
Spain seemed to rally to this chance and it wasn’t long before Antonio Martin ran riot in the Japanese defence before lashing home his fourth goal of the tournament. The game turned scrappy after the goal with Japan trying to push for an equaliser as both teams reached their foul limits with five minutes to go.
With just three minutes to go Japan were given a penalty for a fourth foul by Spain. Kato stepped up to take the penalty but it was easily saved by Raul Diaz in the Spanish goal.
Japan were made to rue this as Martin fired Spain 2-0 ahead, grabbing his fifth goal of the tournament – making him top scorer so far, just a minute later.
This was how the score finished and meant that Spain finished top of group A.
Raul Diaz (GK), Jose Luis Giera, Carmelo Garrido, Adolfo Acosta, Antonio Martin, Alfredo Cuadrado, Pedro Villa, Vicente Aguilar, Marcelo Rosado, Alvaro Gonzalez (GK)
Antonio Martin (2)
Daisuke Sato (GK), Akihito Tanaka, Tomonari Kuroda, Hiroshi Ochiai, Yasuhiro Sasaki, Kento Kato, Kenro Mihara, Shuichi Yamaguchi, Hajime Teranishi, Naoya Abe (GK)
Match Officials: Germinal Lubrano, James Adcock, Wellington Souza, Francois Carcouet
Colombia 3 - 1 South Korea
Half time: 2 - 1
There was a footballing first in this game as there was a ten minute delay, just after the kick off, for a helicopter overhead.
When the game resumed it was an interesting start with both sides pushing forward to grab their first win of the tournament. Juan Parra again looked a goal threat and was always dangerous with his bustling runs and powerful shooting.
However, it was South Korea who scored first with Kyung Ho Kim firing in a free kick from around the eight meter spot. The strike left Aristizabal with no chance and Korea looked good for their lead. Pablo was a constant threat and just two minutes later, after another lung bursting run, he found himself one on one with the keeper, firing the past him to equalise, making the score 1-1.
Three fouls were clocked up very quickly and it wasn’t long before both sides were given a penalty for a fourth foul. However, both were missed and the game looked like it was going to end 1-1 at half time.
This wasn’t the case as Yeong Jun Jang brought down Parra in the box, just seconds before the whistle went. Parra duly stepped to slam the ball home past the substitute keeper Chul Shin.
Columbia were a different class in the second half and it wasn’t long before man of the match Parra was on target again, notching up his hat-trick. The goal came from another penalty as Korea reached their foul limit for the half inside ten minutes.
From then on the Columbian backline defended magnificently and as the whistle blew for full time the match ended 3-1 Columbia.
William Aristizabal (GK), Freddy Lopez, Sebastian Sarate, Deivy Mendoza, Carlos Ortiz, Jhon Hernandez, Sergio Beserra, Juan Parra, Jadir Bello, Miguel Munoz (GK)
Juan Parra (3)
Sang Won Kim (GK), Yeong Jun Jang, Yun Cheol Shin, Seung Woo Park, Meong Su Park, Yong Kyun Oh, Ji Young Ha, Chang Hyun Kwak, Kyung Ho Kim, Hyul Chul Shin (GK)
Kyung Ho Kim
Yeong Jun Jang
Match Officials: Alexandros Karaiosif, Craig Grundy, Paul Leversuch, Wellington Souza
Brazil 3 - 0 Greece
Half time: 0 - 0
Tournament favourites Brazil were up against underdogs Greece in a game that played out the way the form book suggested it would. Despite dominating the first half Brazil were unable to break through the Greek defence, mainly thanks to some brilliant goalkeeping from Stefanidis.
The tournaments star player Ricardo Alves looked as dangerous as always and continually linked well with Jeferson Goncalves creating chance after chance. It seemed like it was going to be one of those games as Severino Silva missed a penalty, after Stefanidis handled outside his six yard area, stopping yet another Alves break.
At half time the Brazilian manager kept his players out on the pitch, and after a brief talking to the team began to do some dribbling exercises in an attempt to sharpen their skills for the second half. It did the trick as Alves, with some neat footwork, waltzed his way through the tiring defence and drilled the ball low past the keeper, following Brazil’s 14th corner of the game.
Alves almost grabbed another just a minute later when his shot hit both posts before rebounding out for a goal kick. This narrow miss acted as a sighter for Alves who intercepted the resulting throw out and drove the ball towards the goal. Stefanidis made a big error as he let the ball go through his hands and into the back of the net.
With all the Greek attention turned to preventing an Alves hat-trick they failed to stop a Joao Silva run and shot, which ended up flying past the keeper and leaving Greece trailing 3-0.
Charalampos Tokatlidis was booked as the Greek’s fought to keep the score line down. They succeeded as the game finished 3-0, Brazil qualifying from group B, with a game in hand.
Antonio Carvalho (GK), Scharles Santos, Damiao Souza, Marcos Felipe, Jeferson Goncalves, Sandro Soares, Joao Silva, Ricardo Alves, Severino Silva, Fabio Vasconcelos (GK)
Ricardo Alves (2), Joao Silva
Panagiotis Stefanidis (GK), Stefanos Efremidis, Charalampos Tokatlidis, Georgios Tokatlidis, Theodoros Siotas, Dimos Zacharos, Dimitrios Feimoglou, Efstratios Chatziapostolidis, Georgios Amapatzis (GK)
Match Officials: Mariano Travaglino, Iguchi Kenji, Craig Grundy, Paul Leversuch