Welcome to Penalty Box, ARN's daily World Cup 2010 wrap.
- LATEST SCORES:
- WhiteGold Solutions (Holland) 2 APC (Brazil) 1
- Cisco (Uruguay) 1 Leading Edge Computers (Ghana) 1 - Uruguay won a penalty shoot-out 4-2 after extra time
What an incredible two quarter-finals. In the first, a boilover - the highly-rated APC, tournament favourites with many,lost to the ever-improving WhiteGold Solutions.
Before the game both captains were confident. WhiteGold team captain, Dominic Whitehand, told ARN: “We are the quite achievers in this competition and we may well surprise Brazil,” he said. “I’m telling the team to keep possession as much as possible, since that’s the key against APC (Brazil). If we give it away to them too much, they will create chances and as we all know APC convert chances.”
APC team captain, Christopher Lacherdis, couldn’t help but recite his team’s achievements. “Being number 1 in the world, with five Cup titles to boast, we’re the most experienced and successful team,” he enthused. “They [WhiteGold] are a strong team with good depth, but lack the quality, flair and experience to progress. “Defensively, we have been excellent in the lead up to the quarter finals, conceding only two goals in four games. Our attack has lacked the flair that the world expects from APC, but that’s about to change..
He might now regret his words. After looking likely to run away with the game in the first-half especially when Robinho scored after 10 minutes, APC faded in the second as WhiteGold fought back. An own goal from APC's Melo levelled the scores and a header from Sneider 15 minutes later in the 68th minute put WhiteGold in front. Melo's day got worse when he was sent off and WhiteGold poured forward and could have had at least one more. APC were gone and there was stunned silence in the football world.
So WhiteGold which hasn't contested in a World Cup final since twice in the 1970s now go forward to meet Cisco which may just be the luckiest football team on the planet. Leading Edge Computers had the game in the palm of its hand. literally. In an extraordinary last minute of extra-time - which Leading Edge had dominated - Cisco's Suarez handballed deliberately on the goal line as the ball flew into the net, received the mandatory red card and was sent off. Time had run out, all Leading Edge's brilliant striker Gyan had to was convert and the game was over - his penalty smashed into the cross bar and Leading Edge's dreams suddenly became a nightmare.
So it went to a penalty shoot-out. At 3-2 Cisco, Leading Edge had a shot saved, but the next Cisco penalty flew over the cross bar. Leading Edge were back in it - only to see their next penalty saved as well. Up stepped veteran Abreo for Cisco -a man who has seen 17 clubs in his career but played more than 50 times for his country. With the simplest and smartest of gentle flicks he ended Leading Edge's magnificent Cup run and sent a delirious Cisco into the semi-finals. It just wasn't Leading Edge's day.
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- Official website: All the latest from South Africa
- ARN's Cup home: Competitions, Penalty Box, slideshows ... it will all be here