2014 FIFA World Cup: Day Two Recap

Offsides, Pouring Rain Can’t Drown Mexico

In a game that was sloppy all around—sopping wet pitch, soft passing and poor officiating—Mexico eked out a well-deserved win over Cameroon. The Mexican side looked to have scored two goals early, both directed into the Cameroon net by Giovani Dos Santos, but each was disallowed by a mistaken offside call. On the first, Dos Santos made a break behind the Cameroon defense what looked like a hair too early, but upon replay looked perfectly timed. But the second offside was nonsensical, as a corner kick glanced off the head of a Cameroon defender—rendering an offside moot—and striking Dos Santos’ head on its way into the goal. Dos Santos had a third chance blocked by Cameroon’s keeper, but Oribe Peralta was in perfect position to bury the rebound.

Flying Dutchman Leads Netherlands Over Spain

Robin Van Persie scored what might stand up as the goal of the tournament on just the second day of the World Cup, leaving his feet on a Clark Kent-inspired flying header for the Netherlands’ first goal against Spain. Van Persie’s first goal evened the score at 1-1 just before halftime, but the second half was all Netherlands, who took advantage of sloppy defending and goalkeeping by the Spanish team, rippling the twine four more times—once more by Van Persie, twice by Arjen Robben, with Stefan De Vrij crashing into the post and netting his first international goal. Spain’s lone goal, off the foot of Xavi Alonso, came in the 27th minute on a penalty earned by an arguably undeserved call. 

Aussies Put Chill into Chile

What was expected by most to be a drubbing on par with Netherlands’ earlier win over Spain turned into a near fair fight between Chile and Australia Friday evening. Fifth-ranked Chile scored twice in the first 14 minutes—Alexis Sanchez and Jorge Valdivia scored just two minutes apart—but conceded an alarming number of quality chances to the 62nd-ranked Aussies. Australian veteran Tim Cahill slammed a surprise header past Chilean keeper Claudio Bravo in the 35th minute to shift the momentum, but Australian hearts were broken in added time as Jean Beausejour’s low, hard shot put the game to bed.

Drew Berner

Drew Berner is a freelance writer born and raised in Toronto and specializing in entertainment, sports and politics. He occasionally collects vinyl records, enjoys hate-watching the Blue Jays, appreciates good beer and great scotch, and goes to sleep each night with 120 lbs. of Great Dane draped over him (it’s a lot more comfortable than it sounds). Follow him on Twitter @DrewBerner for photos of huge dogs, observational humour and assorted sports rage.

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