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Your Running Commentary

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

BalotelliItaly1 (Getty)

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

More international action highlights this Soccer Saturday as the Confederations Cup group stage winds down and the U-20 World Cup continues with another slate of opening matches.

Confederations Cup hosts Brazil will try to continue its perfect start in the competition with a final group stage match against fellow undefeated squad Italy. Although both teams have punched their tickets to the semifinals, Saturday’s match will determine the seeding for the final four—and the loser will face defending World Cup champions Spain. The two sides played out a thrilling 2-2 draw back in March.

With both winless squads already eliminated from the competition, the Japan-Mexico match will be all about pride and ending the trip to Brazil on a positive note. A misfiring Mexico offense will have a chance to right some of their scoring wrongs on Saturday when it takes on a Japan defense that has allowed seven goals in two matches.

In Turkey, some of the world’s bright young stars will take the stage in U-20 World Cup action. While the senior team continues to struggle, a promising young Mexico squad kicks off its campaign with a match against Greece, who is led by prominent goalscorer Dimitrios Diamantakos. Another match to keep your eye on Saturday will be Australia-Colombia, a clash featuring several English club prospects and a pair of world-class youngsters.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):

11am – ESPN – Mexico vs. Greece – Under-20 World Cup

11am – ESPN3 – Colombia vs. Australia – Under-20 World Cup

2pm – ESPNU – Turkey vs. El Salvador – Under-20 World Cup

2pm – ESPN3 – Paraguay vs. Mali – Under-20 World Cup

3pm – ESPN – Italy vs. Brazil – Confederations Cup

3pm – ESPN Deportes/ESPN2– Japan vs. Mexico – Confederations Cup

7pm – MLS Direct Kick – D.C. United vs. San Jose Earthquakes

8pm – MLS Direct Kick – Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire

8:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – FC Dallas vs. Sporting Kansas City

9pm – MLS Direct Kick – Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC

9:30pm – MLS Direct Kick – Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders

87 comments
  • Jason

    Can’t wait to see how both Mexico and Japan respond from their last two games today…from a cultural perspective, they are on opposite ends of the spectum r/t coping with adversity. You’ve got the Mexican machismo that manifests itself in an inability to handle loss with honor versus the Japanese way of the warrior which manifests itself in playing as hard as possible in this scenerio. Might get REAL ugly for El Tri today. Get your popcorn ready.

    Like

    • Good Jeremy

      I’m just going to stand back and enjoy each and every response to this one.

      Like

    • adam

      jason -maybe i am misunderstanding you – are you saying that mexicans handle ANYTHING at all with honor?

      i think you may have gotten the two cultures mixed up. japanese culture is all about honor and class (samurai culture) whereas mexico is all about playing hard and throwing all “class” out the door. see red card in WC2002, sanchez attempting to slide tackle eddie johnson after getting scored on?

      Like

  • Adam

    Corona for MX manages to head over from about 2 yards out with basically an empty net…was harder to miss than score…

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  • Citronomics

    Whoomp there it is. Greece 2-1 as their forward turns his mark and blasts into goal.

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  • Dillon

    I like the female commentator on the u20s. She is a lot more tolerable than Fernando Palomo on the Confederation games.

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    • jones

      yes, and imo Monica is a very astute commentator, especially of the technical aspects of the game.

      Like

    • WiscFan

      Agreed, but I wish she had a little more enthusiasm. She almost sounded bored with the game. Max is always excited about everything, so that may have something to do with it too.

      Like

  • SanFran415

    Wow Japan has a completely legitimate goal incorrectly taken away by the linesman.

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  • Old School

    Haha.

    Only an Italian can literally dislocate his own shoulder from theatrical flailing to sell a tackle. Watch the Abate replay, it makes ZERO contact with Neymar.

    Pure comedy.

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    • Adam

      I had the same thought… From the replay it appears that the shoulder that hits the ground isnt the one that he hurt. I have no idea how the shoulder popped out on that, if that is truly the injury.

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      • Old School

        Correct.

        The shoulder that lands on the ground is the uninjured one. However, I don’t believe he was faking the shoulder separation. You can see it through the kit on the slow-mo replay.

        …but he DID injure it selling a fairly weak tackle.

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      • Adam

        Yeah, I don’t question that he was actually hurt, just no idea how he did it…

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    • Travis

      You make it sound as if Neymar wasnt in the wrong there at all. He was annoyed he didnt get a call like a minute earlier and went in late/hard on that tackle, yes the Italian got hurt selling it while fouling but that was a dirty play from Neymar.

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      • Old School

        I make it sound like an Italian player flailed and dislocated his own arm.

        Which is exactly what happened.

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      • Travis

        This is true but it doesnt happen if Neymar doesnt react like a child. Unless im not remembering the tackle right he came in very recklessly cause he was annoyed about a call right before that. Also it really was a bit of bad luck in addition to embellishment, whenever you stick out an arm to brace a fall you have a risk of breaking/dislocating something.

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      • Old School

        “whenever you stick out an arm to brace a fall you have a risk of breaking/dislocating something.”

        He didn’t injure the arm that braced his fall. Once again, please observe the absurdity that I’m pointing out.

        Abate dislocated his own shoulder and he did it by being dramatic.

        That’s.the.comedy.

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  • Citronomics

    Luis Gustavo bubble thought… “Hey Ref… that wasn’t a real clothesline, just trying to get the dandruff off the dude so he can dribble past me and look sharp ya know. I mean why the yellow card?”

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    • Adam

      And they break through with the goal. Hernandez with the header to put Mexico up 1-0.

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    • SanFran415

      ?? What are you watching? The italian stepped right into his path and Neymar hit him hard.

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      • Citronomics

        Not sure about that. Looked to me like Neymar fell down after kicking the Italian player. Not squabbling here, seemed very embellished.

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  • Citronomics

    Snap. Neymar with a tricksy free kick and Italy down after a well-taken equalizer.

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  • SanFran415

    Wow this referee never sees another big game again. Holy god what a nightmare.

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  • SanFran415

    Jesus Brazil needs to file an official protest right now. That is freaking outrageous. What a joke.

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      • SanFran415

        It’s a game-changing decision. He blew a play dead with the whistle and then let Italy kick the ball in the net and counted it!!!

        That’s beyond inexcusable. It’s outright cheating. That goal was never scored. The game was not live. The referee just awarded Italy a goal without them scoring one.

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      • Pete

        Game-changing? It was either a goal or a penalty for Italy. Probably the same result. You should calm down…but judging from your previous posts I think that is unlikely.

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      • SanFran415

        Good for you. You can read!

        “Probably the same result?” Who knows what the result would be.

        I mean who cares right? #$$#%$ the rules. No need getting upset when referees blow major calls in major tournaments since…?

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      • Pete

        True. Tell that to SanFran…but I bet he thought it was onside.

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      • vipero

        well, when it’s a matter of inches any call is correct, in my opinion.

        Just to recap: first scored was offside, no doubt.

        Neymar’s free kick was a wrong call.

        Third score was good.

        4th in doubt.

        A final 2-2 is the most fair result.

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      • Travis

        How exactly is it outright cheating? What has Italy done wrong there?

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      • vipero

        If he called for a penalty, the game stops at that point. What happens next is not valid.

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    • Travis

      Overreact much? This game matters little but yes it was a very poorly done by the ref. Not that it really matters but Balotelli would have taken and more than likely made the penalty since he has never missed. Also Brazil later scored a goal that I thought was offside

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      • Pete

        But Travis, “THE RULES OF THE BEAUTIFUL GAME MEAN SO MUCH”- SanFran415

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      • SanFran415

        Can’t even stop yourself from talking about me to other people. Get help.

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      • SanFran415

        Both their first and last goals were offside. Offside is not the same thing.

        As was just stated by Alexi Lalas and Bob Ley–the referees mistake was beyond excusable and to quote Bob Ley “you probably won’t see him[referee] next year.”

        Last MLS referee to do what this referee did never officiated another match again. It’s a huge, huge mistake.

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      • Pete

        So two of the Brazilian goals should not have counted and one of the Italian goals should not have counted. All three human error. And Italy would have had a penalty. Yeah Brazil should be upset.

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      • SanFran415

        It’s sad that you believe a blown close offside call is the same as a referee awarding a goal that never happened. The play was dead. The whistle blew.

        Not a normal mistake.

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      • Pete

        Mistakes happen. I agree the play should have stopped, but Italy probably would have scored from the penalty. I know it is not a given, but it’s hardly so egregious that protests should be filed and the such.

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      • Travis

        What Alexi Lalas says matters little to me, I would rather listen to a nine year old give his opinions of the game. Its a bad call and the ref should be disciplined but ultimately he was trying to do what was right and screwed up. Advantage should be played but its tough in the box cause once the ball is shot you cant call it back and then give a penalty.

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      • SanFran415

        What is right?

        Awarding the penalty he blew the play dead for is what is right. Upholding the rules is what is right.

        Awarding a goal that was not scored is the opposite of right.

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      • Pete

        Another analyst opinion

        BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson on BBC Three

        Italy 2-3 Brazil

        “You can tell by the way Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacted, he was convinced that the whistle was blown before the ball went in. He rushed all the way up to the referee on the half-way line. The referee pointed to the penalty spot after the foul on Mario Balotelli and then when the ball went in he decided it was a goal. It was actually good refereeing.”

        Like

      • SanFran415

        Well he’s wrong.

        It was atrocious refereeing. The whistle HAD blown. End of story.

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      • vipero

        Sorry but it was not. It could have been if Balo himself did score despite the foul.

        In all other cases, the moment the whistle sounds the game is stopped.

        Even Chiellini had to ask the ref.

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      • Lucas

        Hey san fran settle down please. Really, your posts are just a bit over the top (all the time). Be insightful not a curmudgeon! A change of screen name would be nice as well. We don’t act like that in the City

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      • Pirithous

        You’re asking Adrian to change his screen name AGAIN?!?

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      • Pete

        Ahhh that makes more sense. I knew there was something familiar about SanFran’s over the top outrage.

        Like

  • TomG

    Any Black Cats supporters here? Tons of rumors re Jozy to Sunderland today. Is he a fit? Is there anyone good for him to combine with there? As I recall, they were pretty barren last season.

    Like

    • Pace

      Not a Sunderland supporter, but I believe they have stephen fletcher, who is pretty good. Plays well whenever I watch him.

      Like

    • M

      They were next in line to relegated, uggggh. Joey playing for a bottom dweeller doesn’t seem like a good place for him, he could do much better IMO.

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    • Old School

      F that noise.

      Jozy is in a better situation than Sunderland. That’d nearly be a step backwards when comparing the current state that Sunderland is in.

      Like

      • Duracell

        Agreed. He should be able to make a much bigger move, and if not, he should stay at AZ.

        Like

  • Travis

    Buffon did not look great today, certainly thought he should have done better on a couple of those goals.

    Like

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