The FIFA World Cup Halftime and Postgame Thread For 6/16/14: Day 5 Review

Best XI For Day 5 

The undisputed choices were Muller, Kroos, and Khedira. Muller obviously with no further explanation needed, with Kroos showing once again how great his passing is no matter if he is deep or forward in the midfield. Sami Khedira has found maybe his best after a long term injury absence. Manager Jogi Low needed that so badly in his sea of injuries that now unfortunately includes Mats Hummels. 

The rest was not so straight forward, but Hummels and Mehrdad Pooladi definitely deserved their place.  The Borussia Dormund man's fine header broke the game open for Germany before Pepe tried to break Muller's head, while Merhdad did so well to hold firm on the left for Iran while also providing a great ball that Ashkan Dejagah could have given the Persian princes a great victory.  

Geoff Cameron throughout the day did as best a job on Asamoah Gyan as a centerback could do and wasn't responsible for that tremendous backheel he set up Ayew with. Jerome Boateng at times may have risked the dangers of going forward while Cristiano Ronaldo is behind you, but did well for the most part of not making too many positional mistakes and refusing to make an awful blunder (like Philip Lahm did early in the match, getting caught on the ball too long). 

Mario Gotze may have not had a goal today, but he was a terror throughout the match on Joao Pereira, setting up the penalty that lead to Muller's opener. Alejandro Bedoya provided clutch two-way play for Jurgen Klinsmann's side, as Andre Ayew was relatively quiet while he was on the pitch and only became relevant when he had to depart. 

And finally, Bedoya's captain Dempsey scoring the 6th fastest goal in World Cup history, the fastest in US history and set the tone for how the US would do everything to finally get a win on Ghana. 

All in all, a dreary second match was book ended by the two captivating opening matches in Group G. Group H will complete the first round of games tomorrow before Brazil vs Mexico starts the second phase of contests in the group stages. 

Come back tomorrow for Day 6 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Until then, goodbye for now, and enjoy the stuff down below. 


Halftime: United States 1, Ghana 0 

Tactical Thoughts 

1) Appiah has to bring in Boateng for Rabiu, as Ghana lack someone in the center to really playmaker. Young Atsu is been given too much responsibility to deliver their final. 

2) Jones had his best pass to start the game to Dempsey, but otherwise was poor there, 

3) Beckerman has to see that Jones helps Beasley out, as Bedoya is doing well on the flank being two ways there. 

4) Klinsmann, down one sub, may have to ponder Zusi, while if Jordan Ayew isn't producing better presence on the field, he may have to bring on Waris. Either way, more have to be seen from Andre Ayew, who has been outplayed by Bedoya. 

FT: Germany 4-0 Portugal

Nothing more needs to be said about Pepe's Zidane imitation.

A total nightmare for Portugal, and not even a total dream for Germany with Hummels out, adding to their long growing injury list.

Besides the calamity and nuttiness at the back for Portugal, the midfield outside of Veloso was poor. Meireles and Moutinho were invisible today, while Luis Nani looks a far cry from the player he should have become. Outside of one good effort from distance in the first half, the Manchester United man made constant wrong decisions today.

A day of pure frustration for Ronaldo, who did track back at times, but is hampered again by a pedestrian at best array of forwards. At least Eder showed some promise, but he still is not a clear answer for Paulo Bento, whose job is on the line against the US later this week.

For Low, he was able to see the risk of putting Howedes at left back and Boateng at right not hurt him too bad, although at times Ozil not tracking back did leave the Schalke man having to cover the dreaded 2 on 1 fullback scenario.

Kroos was again a standout as a deep holder as Lahm struggled at the beginning before getting his act together, while Gotze and especially Muller's movement were impressive. Maybe most encouraging today for Low is the fact that Sami Khedira look like his old self today, with fine defensive stability and smart runs from deep.

(More to come from this thread after Nigeria and Iran). 
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