It’s almost hard to believe we’re at Day 6 of the World Cup. We’ve been treated to some outstanding performances (US readers know what I’m talking about, hopefully you all woke up safely this morning after your party last night) and some incredible goals thus far. If you were lucky enough to watch the Brazil and Mexico match this afternoon, you were treated to a clinic from Mexico’s goalkeeper Memo Ochoa, who stood on his frigging head as his nation played against the host Brazilian side.
So lets dive into the best of what was today in boots! With another edition of the World Cup Boot Recap.
ALGERIA SCORE FIRST WORLD CUP GOAL IN 28 YEARS IN A PAIR OF THROWBACKS
One of my expected tournament surprises were playing in the days the curtain raiser, as Algeria took on Belgium (who will win the World Cup) in Group H. Many people expected the Fennec Foxes to bunker against the powerful Belgian side, and in a way they did playing a compact formation which led to missed cross after missed cross for the Red Devils.
However, unlike yesterday’s Nigeria and Iran match, the Fennec Foxes had a game plan, if there’s a chink in the Belgian armor it is their outside backs and Algeria were consistently looking to exploit them on the counter, and it was Sofiane Feghouli who was tasked with giving left back Jan Vertonghen fits. It’s a roll he took to with aplomb dragging the Spurs man all over the pitch, in the 24th minute Feghouli left Vertonghen in such a lurch in the box that the only decision the Belgian had was to pull him back and prevent him from getting to a through-ball in the box; in doing so we were treated to arguably the least controversial penalty of the World Cup this far.
Having dusted himself and his throwback Adidas adiZero F50 III Whiteout boots off, the Valencia man sent Thibaut Courtois the wrong way, and became an Algerian hero netting their first goal in a World Cup since I was a toddler!
BELGIUM CALL ON THE GAMBLER AND ARE REWARDED WITH A TOUCH OF THE VAPORS
Having had no answers to the resolute Algerian defending for 64 minutes, it was the introduction of Manchester United’s walking palm tree which changed the match on a sixpence. Warrior Gambler wearing Marouane Fellaini was something else in his 25 minute cameo appearance, injecting some self confidence into the answer-less Belgians. It only took him five minutes to make an impact, as it was his Afro which connected with Kevin De Bruyne’s cross to level the tie at one.
Ten minutes from time it was another Belgian substitute in Dries Mertens who’s Nike Mercurial Vapor X’s were on the receiving end of a pin point ball played by fellow Vapor man Eden Hazard, Mertens made no mistake putting the ball past Algerian keeper Adi M’Bolhi, to spare the Belgians their blushes against the game Fennec Foxes.
OCHOA AND CESAR SHARE TOP BILLING FOR THE VAPOR X AND HYPERVENOM
People who don’t care for our beautiful game will often chide us for being able to watch a nil-nil match, because, and I quote “it’s boring when no-one scores, where’s the excitement”. If you taped this match find those people and force them to watch it, because never had I ever seen a nil-nil draw as exciting as the Mexico and Brazil match. Brazil turned the screws and really pelted the ball at the Mexican net, while the Mexican’s were plucky well organized and more than willing to take a pop from distance. It might not have had goals but it has my vote as match of the tournament so far!
When you think Nike Hypervenom and Nike Mercurial Vapor X I guarantee you that Julio Cesar and Memo Ochoa are well down the list of players you think of. However, today they were front and centre putting out world class performances. With Cesar making several classy stops from Mexican shots.
That said, I’m going to focus on Memo Ochoa because his performance was otherworldly, playing against tournament poster boy Neymar, the soon to be out of contract Mexican keeper was more than equal to the task a hand, committing grand theft goalery on a Neymar header with a save which some of our older readers might call “Banks-ian” (in honour of Gordon Banks’ outrageous stop on Pele in Mexico ’70).
Outside of robbing Neymar, Ochoa made no fewer than 6 more world class stops including a point blank stop on Brazil’s skipper Thiago Silva, to deservingly take the Man of the Match award, and allow me to show some love for our gloved friends! (Also a call out to our readers, I’m not a keeper so I’m a not at all knowledgeable of the gloves keepers are wearing, could someone let me know what gloves Cesar and Ochoa were sporting today)
SOUTH KOREA GET THE MORELIA NEO OFF THE MARK
If there was a survey taken about what player would score the first goal for the Mizuno Morelia Neo at the World Cup, I am sure the overwhelming favourite would have been Lou Ferrigno…errr…Hulk. However, with the Hulkster currently injured, it fell to South Korea’s Lee Keun-ho who gave his side the lead against Fabio Capello’s Russia in the final World Cup opening match. And boy, Lee’s goal was the stuff dreams are made of as he uncorked a screamer of a shot shot from about 25 yards which hit Russia’s number one Igor Akinfeev square in the hands, before bouncing out of those hands over the Russian keepers head and into the net. Oh what a howler!
BOOT GOLDEN BOOT
Another interesting day when it comes to the Boot Golden Boot standings 5 goals and 2 new entries to the board. So let’s look at the current tally shall we:
Adidas adiZero F50: 14 goals, -1 own goal (2 headers)
Nike Mercurial Superfly: 8 goals (3 headers)
Adidas Predator Instinct: 6 goals (1 header)
Nike Hypervenom Phantom: 4 goals
Puma evoPOWER: 2 goals (1 header)
Nike Tiempo Legend: 2 goals, -2 own goals (1 header)
Nike Mercurial Vapor X: 2 goals (1 header)
Warrior Superheat: 1 goal (1 header)
Mizuno Wave Ignitus: 1 goal
Puma evoSPEED: 1 goal
Warrior Gambler: 1 goal (1 header)
Mizuno Morelia Neo: 1 goal
So that will do it for today’s edition of the boot recap. Think we missed something? Didn’t want the Brazil-Mexico match to end? Let us know in the comments, or you can also reach us on twitter or facebook.