South American World Cup Qualifying

South American qualifiers has now passed the half way stage and there were some fascinating games in the last round of fixtures.

The first game I watched was Uruguay and Paraguay and it was very good with both teams evenly matched for a lot of the game and both teams knew they needed a victory. Uruguay’s team is really impressive and they should qualify for the World Cup and could be outsiders for the trophy, with an attacking trio of Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani they will cause problems for any defence. With the game at 0-0 all three of these were on the pitch and they were creating chances with Cavani missing a volley that he should have done a lot better with but even though he was in a lot of space he didn’t even hit the target.

Uruguay took the lead from a great volley from Luis Suarez and they thought that would have been enough to finish the game as it was in the 81st minute but Paraguay who were not creating clear cut chances but looked threatening equalised just four minutes later. They also have decent forward players in Oscar Cardozo and Nelson Valdez but neither of them had many chances and Cardozo eventually had to go off injured which could be good news for Newcastle as he is Benfica’s main man and it looked like a hamstring injury which could keep him out for a little while. Edgar Benitez scored the equaliser and he really impressed me when he came on because he had a lot of pace and his movement was causing Uruguay problems.
A draw was probably a fair result but it left Paraguay bottom of the qualifying group and Uruguay in fourth place so they will need to improve results to qualify for the tournament in Brazil.

Argentina also played Venezuela and they stretched their lead at the top of the group to four points, however they have played one more game than second placed Colombia. Yet again, Argentina have a very impressive front three with Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Ezequiel Lavezzi so they probably were expected to beat Venezuela easily. The game didn’t quite turn out that way but a 3-0 win was deserved. Higuain opened the scoring after some wonderful one touch football involving Messi. The second goal came from the penalty spot with Messi smashing it home, then Higuain added a third in the second half.

The interesting thing from this game from me was how deep Messi played, behind him at Barcelona he has Xavi and Andres Iniesta so he knows the creativity is there and doesn’t have to drop deep to get the ball. But for his national side there isn’t as much creativity in Javier Mascherano and Fernando Gago, who are both good holding midfielders but they may not see the passes as quickly. Messi was popping up all over the pitch and it did slightly take something away from his game but he still proved he is the best player in the world.

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Evra vs Suarez or more accurately Good vs Evil

Well for anyone that defended Luis Suarez, they must be pretty embarrassed because he has let everyone down including his manager who has stood by him for weeks now. He refused to shake Patrice Evra’s hand and then looked disgusted as Rio Ferdinand refused to shake his. Racism is a horrible part of society and we need to get rid of it but young people especially copy their idols and when they watch Luis Suarez racially abuse someone and then not even apologise to the opposition player is not what a role model should be doing.

I now have massive respect for Evra because he actually put out his hand even when he could have refused like other players have in the past. Yes, Suarez scored but who cares, being a decent human being is far more important than being a good footballer and the Uruguayan clearly has no respect and I think Kenny Dalglish has to take some blame for this because he has been acting as an enabler to him and he should look at himself and I hope he realises that he is in the wrong and in the next transfer window gets rid of him because he is not needed in the Premier League. We do want the best players in the Premier League but I would rather see an average hardworking player than a racist moaning person like Suarez.

The fans of Liverpool also need to look at themselves because they backed Suarez and even bought t-shirts with his name on it and wore them with pride and then in the weeks that followed young Tom Adeyemi was racially abused by some fans that were wearing them shirts. You could see how distressed he was in the FA Cup game and this is not fair, the player has done nothing wrong, all he wanted to do was get the ball back and give it to his goalkeeper. But, they were just following their idol and they should have more sense but if they see their heroes doing it and effectively getting away with it, they must think that it’s not such a bad thing.

The FA have also been terrible in this situation as an eight game ban is not long enough for a criminal offence, he broke the law yet he still gets to play in our league. I do wonder what the Liverpool players think about the whole thing because they have to play with him and surely they can’t be happy with his actions at all.

The last man to leave the pitch at fulltime was Patrice Evra and yes he was celebrating infront of Suarez and maybe he should have been the bigger man but in my eyes this victory was like a battle between good and evil. Yet again, the good side prevailed and I have never been more happy about a Manchester United victory.

No offence to Liverpool but I hope they fail this season and every other season they have Suarez because the Premier League has set such high standards and he is lowering them. Racism still happens in this country and football should be helping to try and get rid of the problem.

I am not saying Evra is a saint and I’m not really saying Suarez is evil but racism definitely is and there should be no place for it in this world