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Archive for the ‘Soccer’ Category

Luis Fabiano Has a Hand of God, Too

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Luis Fabiano

The rules for a hand ball are pretty simple. If the ball touches a player between his shoulder and his fingers, the ball has been handled. When such an infraction occurs, the referee has one option: Awarding a “Direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred (see Law 13 – Position of free kick) or penalty kick.”

In many cases, cards are also delivered to the guilty party, including a red card if the offense was deliberate enough.

One thing that shouldn’t happen: A goal being awarded after the ball has been handled by the scoring player. For historical sake, ask Diego Maradona, proud owner of the “Hand of God” goal, which was probably done as payback for the Falklands War. Now, thanks to Luis Fabiano’s second goal against Ivory Coast. While it was a great finish from Fabiano, because he first controlled the ball with his shoulder, the score shouldn’t count.

Video and more after the jump >>

Kim Jong-il Won’t Like This

North Korean Fans

Aside from watching his national team get absolutely smashed by Portugal on the world’s stage, I doubt PRK’s “Dear Leader” appreciates the sign shown above, one that calls for a united Korea. In fact, after seeing the sign and the result of the Portugal/PRK game, I’m a little afraid for the sign-makers life — or at least his freedom.

As it stands, said sign-maker would do well to avoid any return trips to the land of Jong-il, lest he wants to make the term “political prisoner” a permanent part of his lexicon.

Ronaldo’s Nifty Goal

Ronaldo

During Portugal’s absolute 7-0 drubbing of North Korea earlier today, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a goal that would make Homer Simpson happy… Or maybe make him say “D’oh” due the sheer silliness of the goal. Thanks to Will Brinson and FanHouse, we’ve got the video, and from the looks of it, Ronaldo could’ve simply walked the Jabulani into the goal while he was balancing it on his neck.

See for yourself:


To quote folks like Martin Tyler, that goal was awfully cheeky. But then again, when your opponent quits on the field, things like this happen. In fact, North Korea played so poorly, Grant Wahl wonders if the players could be punished by their despotic leader.

Considering the tragic story of Andrés Escobar, I doubt I’d be surprised if this is the last we see of this particular team, especially once their World Cup is over. Take that to mean whatever you think it does.

Michael Bradley Saves Team USA’s Bacon

Michael Bradley

While we’re all bitching about Koman Coulibaly — rightfully so, mind you; horrible, horrible call — let’s not forget the large amount of bacon Michael Bradley saved with his awesome equalizing goal. If that goal doesn’t go in, no one in the world would be worrying about Couilbaly and in all likelihood, the US wouldn’t even be discussing advancement, either. A loss to Slovenia would have severely damaged, if not outright ruined, such a lofty concept.

But, Bradley’s finish did find the back of the net, and man, what a goal it was.


Although a win would’ve been nice, USA doesn’t even have that chance without Bradley’s huge equalizer.

Koman Coulibaly: Public Enemy Number One

Koman Coulibaly

The guy in the yellow jersey is one Koman Coulibaly, the FIFA referee for the USA/Slovenia game, and after a completely inauspicious showing, including a disallowed go-ahead goal that left Bob Bradley befuddled after the game was over, he’s now the number one enemy of the United States. Check Twitter if want some proof. Or his Wikipedia page. To some, Coulibaly has surpassed BP in terms of hatred.

If there was a reasonable explanation why Maurice Edu’s goal was disallowed, perhaps he wouldn’t be the target of hyperbolic ire. See for yourself FIFA is pulling all the videos of the disputed call, so here’s some commentary, courtesy of a kindred thinker:


Some have said off-sides was the call, but damn if I saw either linesmen raise their flag.

Whatever the call was, it was wrong. Edu’s goal should’ve stood and the United States should’ve received three points instead of one for their efforts today.

Of course, one thing’s that’s gone unmentioned is the start by Team USA. Granted, their second half was filled with the type of play one expects, but only after playing like absolute human waste in the first. The defense was so soft on both of Slovenia’s scores, the US is partially to blame for allowing the outcome of the game to fall into the hands of an incompetent official like Coulibaly.

I Fully Support This (Vuvuzela Hero)

Vuvuzela Hero

Not a big console guy, but if this actually happened, I’d probably buy an XBox 360 or a PS3. The synchronized buzzing, in time with the graphic prompts, would be almost too much awesome for one person to handle. Oh, and a vuvuzela video game controller? Count me in.

H/t to Boing-Boing (via Neatorama) for the find.

South Korean Fans Could Get It

South Korea Fans

Especially the lovely lady on the right. While the cell phone bra girl has become the underground hit of the “hottest fan” search, our South Korean friends certainly bring something to the plate. It’s just to bad the one on the right didn’t do something like store her digital camera or her smart phone somewhere conspicuous.

Oh, and we shouldn’t forget about the Australian lovely who appeared during their beatdown at the hands of Germany.

Hot Australia

The World Cup’s First Hat Trick

Gonzalo Higuain

The World Cup’s first hat trick has been recorded, courtesy of the man on the right, Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain. While it’s still early, Higuain’s triple means he’s scored more goals than Groups H, and tying Groups G, E, C. If it wasn’t for Uruguay, you could add Group A to that bunch as well.

Like I said, still early.

Argentina’s display of offensive wizardry came at a great time as well, considering all the bitching and complaining about the lack of explosive goal scoring. Memo to those who are part of the complaints group: It doesn’t matter what you do to the ball, if a world-class team has, in many cases, up to nine men in the box, clogging the scoring lanes and simply playing good defense, goals will not come at a liberal pace.

As for Higuain’s scoring, two of his goals came from the header variety, while the other was from finishing a loose ball in front of the South Korean’s goal. Simply put, he was the definitive version of a finisher. While he may not have created his chances with dribbling wizardry, ala, Lionel Messi, he still put the ball away when it counted. See for yourself:

Gonzalo Higuain’s hat trick goodness after the jump >>