Well hello! We’re onto day three already, or if it feels like day 30 then well done for sticking with us. After today we’ll have seen all teams show their hand and amongst them are the defending champion and the 2019 winner. Both are bald – read into that what you will.
S4ooter vs Taitanator
It’s Dan Williams who has the dubious honour of hosting the current champion. He’s opted for this lopsided formation which looks like one of Nikolai’s or at least an adaptation of it. The headline is obviously Ronaldo up front but the front 5 is pretty ludicrous.
Rob might be the champion but he is in the unfortunate position of having to play Nigel Worthington. He does however have Asprilla, Mijatovic and Beardsley supplying Leandro, so it could be worse.
Ronaldo is here! He opens the scoring after just 10 minutes but there’s a quick turnaround when Tacchinardi of all people equalises before Nowotny gives Rob the lead. Champion mentality? Well, maybe. But Ronaldo is pretty bloody good and I assume running rings around Nigel Worthington. The Brazilian helps himself to a second half brace – not for his teeth, though that’s not a terrible idea. His hat-trick condemns Ross to an opening defeat and has onlookers mentioning the Crucible curse – no CM Cup champion has ever defend their crown.
Dan was worthy of his win. We might find a lot of the home games go this way.
Toni Prats played well but not quite well enough to stop Ronny.
Food for thought for Rob whilst Dan puts one foot in the last 16. Can Mark or Jakob follow suit?
MarkCarruthers_ vs WillieWrap
Mark has gone for a good old fashioned 4-4-2. He has the players for it, in fairness. It’s a strong team all round.
Jakob has put a lot of work into this, not just his own team but he is compiling a lot of statistics for me along the way which I will share with you as we advance through the tournament. Thank you Jakob! Meanwhile his team is pretty damn good too:
Molnar is Jakob’s speciality player and he justifies that decision with a goal after just two minutes. He doubles his tally after 15 to give Jakob some breathing space but Papin halves the deficit before half time before Campos departs with an injury that may well rule him out of the remaining group matches.
A just about deserved victory then although Mark can take plenty of positives from this performance.
Peruzzi takes man of the match which seems harsh on sub keeper Ceballos who out performed him in terms of rating. Ah well.
Group E then has a symmetrical look to it and with Rob meeting Mark next time out, defeat for either man will leave them staring elimination in the face.
Over we go to Group F for a first look at our final 4 comeptitors.
QuicklyKevin vs RetroFootyGames
Michael Marden is piloting the good ship Quickly Kevin and has opted for a 4-2-3-1. This is probably the team with the most depth in my opinion, with Hagi having to settle for a place on the bench. Schmeichel and Wright would have some hard training sessions I fancy.
Dan Barker has gone for a simple looking 4-1-3-2 and becomes the latest man to try and get the most out of the mercurial Kluivert. Pairing him with Andy Cole might not help.
Or maybe it will? Cole gives Dan the lead after just 9 minutes but it is a rare attack as they sit back and try to soak up a wav of purple pressure. Le Tissier goes off injured to be replaced by veteran Francescoli but it is another sub who rescues a point – Gheorghe Hagi replaces SIlvestre and after a quick reshuffle, he equalises a minute later. Sometimes it just works. Despite that shot in the arm, it finishes 1-1.
I don’t know how. Taffarel was outstanding.
Not an awful lot of brilliant performers other than Big Taff but both sides can regroup and come up with a new plan for the second game.
Last game of the day then as Tom hosts Ross.
TJRostance vs RossBell1984
Tom is doing this right, the way we all expect – with Chilavert on penalties and free kicks. He does however have to play his leveller Tim Breacker so it’s not all great news. 5-3-2 can be difficult to break down but getting the ball to Jardel and Alfonso is a priority.
Ross won the CM Cup a few years ago and has spoken of his desire to be the first man to win it twice. He has a heavily German influenced team but also has Fowler and Yeboah up front, who would have been in many a 90s Dream Team I imagine.
Sometimes you just get one bit of quality in these tight affairs and it arrives after just 12 minutes here. Marc Wilmots bends in a free kick – one Chilavert would be proud of – for what turns out to be the only goal of the game.
It’s shaping up to be a tight group for sure and there wasn’t an awful lot between these two sides.
Tony Adams was largely the reason for that – a virtuoso display from the skipper but none of his team mates came close to matching him.
Great news for Ross then who tops the group and will certainly fancy his chances of finishing in at least the top three already:
That’s all for today. We’ll be back to Groups A and B tomorrow so we’ll see you here for more of the greatest competition on earth (confirmation pending). Bye for now!