World Cup 2006 - Brazil v Ghana

Ghana have been a treat to watch in the 2006 World Cup finals, playing with a flair and freedom that you normally associate with teams like Brazil. And in todays game they continued in the same way, passing the ball quickly, lots of one touch interplay, give and gos, and driving directly through the heart of the Brazilian defence. They had enough clear cut chances to have won the game, exposing Brazils weakness through the middle of their backline.

AsI mentioned though, in a previous post, the true quality of teams can be exposed by analyzing the statistics of the game. Brazil had 13 shots with 84% of their efforts on target. Compare this to Ghana who had more shots at 21 but only 42% of them hit the target. This statistic shows the efficiency and quality finishing that Brazil have in the final third of the field. Ghana, who were missing their inspirational midfielder Essien, can only ponder what might have been, had they been able to field a top class striker such as Ronaldo in the team.

Brazil pass on to the last 8 but I think some of the other teams such as Germany and Argentina will be licking their lips at the prospect of driving attacks through the center of Brazils defence, in a similar vein to Ghana today. I can't see Germany missing the same golden opportunties as Ghana.

REFEREES - They always get a hard time!!!!!!

I am not sure what directive the referees have been given but they are producing a record number of yellow cards in this tournament, which is spoiling games. Many of the yellow cards that have been handed out in the tournament have been for passionionate and committed play, where players have slightly mis-timed their efforts. This should not be confused with deliberate attempts to foul or sabotage the opposition. Unfortunately these innocous yellow cards have led to numerous Red cards, spoiling what would have otherwise been exciting games to watch. The Holland v Portugal game was a classic case. Yellow cards were being thrown around at every incident and the more experienced players, started to dive, pretend to be hurt, and fool the referee into handing out even more cards. In the end the game became lost in the turmoil of the arguing teams.

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