While World Cup match day three didn't bring the same sort of shocking results or headed heroics of day two, it was an exciting day nonetheless, as both Italy and the Ivory Coast broke second half stalemates to move to the top of their respective groups. Well, second on goal differential, but you get the picture.
As football fans, it's only natural we get stoked for the World Cup, regardless of the participants, but yesterday's fixtures had a bit more juice, as three of our very own braved the Brazilian heat and displayed their wares in front of thousands of empty seats--seriously, what was up with those?
Before we turn our attention to Miralem Pjanic and Bosnia & Herzegovina's dual World Cup debut, let's take a quick trip through yesterday's action.
To call Greece's performance against Colombia listless would be the kindest of understatements,hell, to even call what they did football would be a gross misnomer. Torosidis and his teammates seemed more content trying not to lose then actually playing for three points.
I only watched the American feed, but I would imagine the same theme emerged in telecasts the world over; Torosidis was, for much of the match and particularly in the second half, Greece's prime attacking threat. No disrespect to Toro, but when your right back is leading the charge, things don't tend to work out well.
Despite his country's uninspired performance, Torosidis was actually pretty solid on both sides of the ball. Torosidis was instrumental in Greece's tactical movements, making 78 touches, pulling off one shot and creating one scoring chance. Defensively speaking, Torosidis was equally sturdy, picking off three passes and making four clearances.
Torosidis the Greek was nearly identical to Torosidis the Roman; solid in all facets, nothing terribly exciting, nothing horrifically misguided.
Daniele De Rossi
The truest Roman of the bunch was instrumental in Italy's 2-1 victory over England. DDR's 114 touches were secondly only to Andrea Pirlo--only three less--yet he completed an absurd 94% of them, while creating one scoring chance. Danielino also contributed two tackles, three interceptions and one clearance to the Italian cause.
The stat sheets from this one don't exactly sing his praises to the rafters, but DDRs true value, particularly to the national side, isn't always a black and white affair. One needn't look any further than Andrea Pirlo's performance to see the extent of De Rossi's impact on this match; Danielino did the dirty work that allowed Italy's midfield to thrive against England.
Still, it would be amazing to see De Rossi unleash one from 20+ before this is all said and done.
The Predator had himself quite a night against Japan, scoring the match winning goal in the 66th minute.
If that's not the strangest soccer highlight soundtrack I've ever heard, I don't know what is, but I digress. Gervinho's performance for Les Elephants was practically a carbon copy of what we saw all season; he was a constant threat from out wide, creating for himself and others, yet he frequently ran himself into trouble, or simply dribbled too much.
But, that's the thing about the new Gervinho, despite his moments of frustration, he is somehow remarkably effective.
Thursday the 19th will see Torosidis and Greece attempt to save some face against Japan, while Gervinho will look to continue his heroics against Colombia. Meanwhile, DDR and the rest of the Azzurri will pick up where they left off on Friday the 20th against the surprising Ticos of Costa Rica, the current Group D leaders.