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The second half of Group A played with Mexico and Cameroon both needing a win just to keep up morale. In Group B, Chile and Australia may not have much of a chance out of the group and give it all they have but all eyes were on the rematch of the 2010 World Cup final with Netherlands wreaking havoc on defending world champions Spain.
Group A: Mexico v Cameroon, 1-0
Image courtesy of INFphoto.com
As controversy followed during the opening Group A match with Brazil and Croatia, the other half of the group, Mexico and Cameroon, didn’t play without their fair share of disputed calls from the officials.
What could have very easily been a 3-0 game for Mexico, officials called back two goals from Giovanni Dos Santos, both offsides. Looking at the replay of the first at the 11th minute, Dos Santos was undoubtedly onside. As the New York Times notes though, El Tri definitely had greater possession, which ultimately led to a goal by Oribe Peralta in the 61st. Cameroon’s Samuel Eto'o, whose total international goals surpasses everyone on his entire team combined, was left hanging forward most of the 90 minutes.
Group B: Spain v Netherlands, 1-5
Like in American football, sometimes the playoff and championship games overshadow the Super Bowl. Spain and the Netherlands played what most said was a boring final in 2010, but this rematch was anything but. The Netherlands sought vengeance for their third World Cup loss, and this could very well go down as the most exciting match of the Cup.
What first looked like a repeat of 2010, quick passing throughout with Spain, the champions got lucky with a penalty in the box that Xabi Alonso drove home in the 27th minute. But just before the half, Dutch captain Robin Van Persie tied it up with an incredible header over goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
The second half belonged to the Oranje, as they punished Casillas goal after goal as the veteran goalkeeper came off his line too much, getting dribbled around with no chance to stop anything. Van Persie got a brace, Stefan de Vrij with one, and all-star Arjen Robben got his brace at the 80th making it 5-1. This was the game we had all been waiting for.
Group B: Chile v Australia, 3-1
With what CBS Sports called a prospectively exciting game since Spain fell against Netherlands, opening up the door to what could possibly be the biggest upset in World Cup history with Spain not even making it out of the group stage.
The Chileans definitely gave Australia quite a scare with two quick successive goals in the 10th and 12th minute of the first half, with stars Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Valdivia scoring. New York Red Bulls star midfielder and Aussie didn’t wait long to bounce back netting a header in the 35th minute.
Following the half, most was pretty quiet, with both defenses doing their job, and Australia pulling off the safe of the night with Wilkinson clearing the ball off the line. ESPN FC’s Twitter noted there was no need to dispute with the new goal line technology in play.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 13, 2014
Image via Twitter from ESPN FC
With shots fired, and Cahill missing a definite chase to tie it up, Chilean Jean Beausejour, who came on to replace Valdivia at the 68th minute, scores in stoppage time in the 92nd minute, giving Chile the ever important 3 points for a second place sport in the group.
June 14, all eight teams play in Group C and D, with Greece v Columbia, Costa Rica v Uraguay, Italy v England, and Japan v Ivory Coast.