MOTD- France 0-1 Spain

Spain have gotten a 1-0 win over France at the Stade De France after Les Blues did a good job of holding them off in the first half. Surprisingly, France stared the match dominantly, and Mathieu Valbuena shot just over the bar from the edge of the box in the opening seconds of the match. Spain started to settle into the match, and really should have gone ahead in the sixth minute when Nacho Monreal (the only non-Real Madrid or Barcelona player on the Spain line-up) galloped down the left flank and squad the ball to Xavi in the center of the box. Xavi looked certain to score, but smashed a shot just over the bar to give France a lucky break. La Roja started to control the match, and settled into their normal tiki-taka style of play. Xavi got another chance to score in the fifteenth minute when Xabi Alonso slipped him the ball on the edge of the box, and the Barcelona midfielder turned with the ball. Xavi hit a shot that bounced inches wide of the post, with France starting to sit back and defend.

In the thirty-first minute Spain almost opened the scoring when Andreas Iniesta chipped the ball above the France defense to Pedro, and the winger was brought down by an oncoming France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but amazingly referee Viktor Kassai did not award a penalty. Towards the end of the half France started to pressure the Spain goal, but Spain still held the majority of possession. Les Blues did get one golden chance before the end of the half, and when Mathieu Valbuena hit a inch-perfect lofted ball to Franck Ribéry, the forward was put in on goal. Ribery took the ball into the box and shot the ball through Spain goalkeeper Victor Valdes’s legs, but the ball hit the underside of Valdes’s legs and bounced wide. Despite putting more pressure on Spain La Roja did not concede, and the first half ended 0-0.

The second half started out more open than in the first, and Andreas Iniesta almost put La Roja in front in the fifty-fourth minute. Iniesta volleyed the ball from the edge of the eighteen, and Lloris just managed to get a fingertip on the dipping shot and tip it over the bar. Spain finally managed to open the scoring in the fifty-eighth minute when Monreal got past Christophe Jallet on the left flank. Monreal drove into the box and crossed the ball through Raphael Varane legs. The ball reached Pedro two yards out from goal, and the winger volleyed the ball at goal. Lloris somehow managed to get a hand on it, but the ball was still headed on goal. The ball was just about to float over the line, and Lloris tried to punch it wide, but ended up punching it back into his own net to put Spain 1-0 up.

France almost got an equalize off a corner in the seventy-fourth minute when everybody missed the ball. It fell to Varane two yards out, and the Real Madrid defender volleyed the ball inches wide. Paul Pogba got a yellow card for kneeing Xabi Alonso in the head seconds after Varane missed, with Spain needing to hold on to the win to claim the top spot in Group I. Under a minute later Pogba challenged Xavi to the ball, but arrived late and was shown another yellow card, and was sent off. Amazingly, France looked more dangerous with ten men than eleven. Les Blues almost got an equalizer in the eighty-second minute when Ribery hit a shot from the edge of the box that curled just wide of the near post. Valdes was forced into some late heroics when Patrice Evra latched on to a Valbuena free-kick, and Valdes brilliantly palmed it away. In the final seconds of the match Jallet was brought off for Oliver Giroud, but the Arsenal forward could not score a dramatic equalizer. After three minutes of injury-time the match ended 1-0, with Spain climbing into first place of World Cup qualifying- Uefa Group I.
Man of the Match: Xavi

MOTD halftime- France 0-0 Spain

Spain should feel unlucky that they are still tied with France at halftime, with La Roja being denied a clear penalty halfway through the first half.  Surprisingly, France stared the match dominantly, and Mathieu Valbuena shot just over the bar from the edge of the box in the opening seconds of the match.  Seconds later Blaise Matuidi hit a curling shot just over the bar from the edge of the box following a corner, and Spain had a hard time getting real possession.  Spain started to settle into the match, and really should have gone ahead in the sixth minute when Nacho Monreal (the only non-Real Madrid or Barcelona player on the Spain line-up) galloped down the left flank and squad the ball to Xavi in the center of the box.  Xavi looked certain to score, but smashed a shot just over the bar to give France a lucky break.  La Roja started to control the match, and settled into their normal tiki-taka style of play.  Xavi got another chance to score in the fifteenth minute when Xabi Alonso slipped him the ball on the edge of the box, and the Barcelona midfielder turned with the ball and hit a shot that bounced inches wide of the post.

In the thirty-first minute Spain almost opened the scoring when Andreas Iniesta chipped the ball above the France defense to Pedro, and the winger was brought down by an oncoming France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but amazingly, referee Viktor Kassai did not award a penalty.  Towards the end of the half France started to pressure the Spain goal, but Spain still held the majority of possession.  Les Blues did get one golden chance before the end of the half though and when Mathieu Valbuena hit a inch-perfect lofted ball to Franck Ribery, the forward was put in on goal.  Ribery took the ball into the box and shot the ball through Spain goalkeeper Victor Valdes’s legs, but the ball hit the underside of Valdes’s legs and bounced wide.  Despite putting more pressure on Spain, La Roja did not concede, and the first half ended 0-0.  The second half is sure to be exciting, so look out for my full time review, right here on Football Every Day!

MOTD preview- France vs Spain

France are set to take on Spain in a World Cup qualifier, with France looking to open up a five point gap at the top of Group I. Spain currently sit in second place in Group I, two points behind France. Amazingly, if France win the match, they will likely go on to win the group, and then European and World champions Spain would need to play in another qualifying round to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. The two teams tied each other 1-1 in October, but Spain has largely dominated this fixture and France have not beaten La Roja since the 2006 World Cup. Whether France won or not, the match is sure to be exciting, so look out for my full time review, right here on Football Every Day!

Gerrard silences Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic

Liverpool captain Seven Gerrard has silenced Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic taunts ahead of England’s World Cup qualifier against Montenegro, saying  “they (Montenegro) seem to be more interested in saying things (then playing football).”  Yesterday, Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic claied that England were a long ball team, and said that he was sure Montenegro would make the most of them.

“I would say [England are arrogant] because that’s what could be seen, even when they played San Marino, given some of the things they said,” Brnovic said. “But things will certainly be quite different now [compared to when Montenegro last hosted England in October 2011 in qualification for Euro 2012]. We are the leaders in our group this time. We’re not chasing after anything and we have nothing to prove. This will be quite a spectacle.

“I’m sure we’ll make the most of them tomorrow. I’ve read statements from some English players about the way the pitch will look. As far as I know, the English have always favored long passes, so who should complain about this? Us, with [Mirko] Vucinic, [Stevan] Jovetic, [Marko] Basa, or England? They’re also intimidated by our fans. All these stories are coming from their side. That shows they’re more scared of this game than we are.”

England international Steven Gerrard has hit back at Montenegro, claiming “we’ve (England) have got them exactly were we want them (Montenegro)”

“With those comments it just shows we’ve got them exactly where we want them,” said Gerrard. “They seem to be more interested in saying things and doing all the talking. But talking doesn’t win you football matches. I’m not really too interested in what they’ve had to say in their press conference. I’m more interested in how the lads train at the ground on the night before the game and when the first whistle goes in the match itself.”

England will play Montenegro Tuesday afternoon 2014 World Cup qualifying- Uefa Group H, with The Three Lions sitting two points behind Montenegro in second place in Group H.  Montenegro are at the top of the group with thirteen points, and if they beat England and Ukraine in June, they will open up a eight point gap above England, who do not play again in the group (after Montenegro) until September, at the top of the table.

Mirko Vucinic, the Montenegro captain, has also verbal offensive by claiming England manager Roy Hogdson’s center back pairing Chris Smalling and Joleon Lescott as “a source of weakness” in the England team.

Saturday Match Roundup

Today there have been some excellent matches, including some World Cup qualifiers.  So here are the scores.

World Cup Qualifying- UEFA
Cyprus 0-0 Switzerland- Cyprus earn a massive draw against Switzerland to take them out of last place in qualifying Group E

World Cup Qualifying- CAF
South Africa 2-0 Central African Republic
Tunisia 2-1 Sierra Leone
Ivory Coast 3-0 Gambia
Congo 1-0 Gabon
Burkina Faso 4-0 Niger
Namibia 0-1 Malawi- Malawi earn a huge win over Namibia
Nigeria 1-1 Kenya- Kenya get a good draw against the 2013 African Cup of Nations winner Nigeria
Cameroon 2-1 Togo- Samuel Eto’o scores twice in his first cap for Cameroon since 2010
Senegal 1-1 Angola

American Major League Soccer
DC United 1-2 Columbus
New England 0-0 Kansas City
Montreal Impact 1-0 New York Red Bulls
FC Dallas 2-1 Real Salt Lake
Houston 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps
Los Angeles 1-0 Colorado
San Jose 1-0 Seattle Sounders FC

MOTD- Burkina Faso 4-0 Niger

Burkina Faso have gotten a valuable win over Niger to take them out of last place in CAF (Confederation of African Football) Group E in the World Cup 2014 qualifiers.  Burkina started the match on top, and went up after only three minutes when Jonathen Pitroipa’s close range effort beat Niger goalkeeper Daouda Kassali.  Burkina kept dominating the match, and doubled their lead in the thirty-sixth minute when Aristide Bance well hit shot form the edge of the box flew past Kassali and into the back of then net.  Niger needed to get themselves back into the match, but the side couldn’t score before the break, and the first half ended 2-0.

Niger tried to get themselves back into the match in the second half, but Burkina put the game to bed in the seventy-eighth minute.  Charles Kabore received the ball, and hit a curling shot past Kassali that flew into the back of the net.  With the win sealed, Burkina started to slow down the pace of the game.  Burkina weren’t done yet though, and Prejuce Nakoulma struck past Kassali in the eighty-eighth minute to make the score 4-0.  Burkina could not make any further damage, and after three minutes of injury-time the first match ended 4-0.
Man of the Match: Jonathen Pitroipa

MOTD preview: Burkina Faso vs Niger

Burkina Faso are set to take on Niger in a Round Two World Cup qualifying match at the Stade du 4-Aout in Burkina Faso.  Niger currently sit in second place of qualifying Group E, while Burkina are in last place in the Group.  Burkina is currently the better side, and were runners-up in the 2013 African Cup of Nations while Niger didn’t even make it out of the group stage. Burkina also has the better players, with Lyon’s Bakary Kone being their best.  Niger’s best player is former CSKA Moscow player Moussa Maazou, who will give the Burkina defense a tough time.  Burkina’s last match was the African Cup of Nations final against Nigeria, and the side have not lost a match (besides the final) since June 9, 2012.  Niger’s last match was a 3-0 loss to Ghana in the African Nations Cup, and they have not won a match since early 2012.  Whether Niger keep on their bad form or not, the match is sure to be exciting, so look out for my full time review, right here on Football Every Day!