Group A - Mexico 1-0 Cameroon
Estadio das Dunas, Natal.
The Mexican's went into the game knowing the Cameroonians had an unsettled camp due to bonus disagreements between the Cameroon governing body and the players. The Mexicans took full advantage with only a 1-0 win. It should have been more if it wasn't for some more substandard officiating. This time it wasn't the referee stealing the headlines for the wrong reasons, but instead it was the linesman whom flagged, not once, but twice to prevent two Giovani Dos Santos goals. Both were disallowed for offside, unfortunately the lineman got it completely wrong on both occasions. When Mexico finally got a break without some dodgy refereeing they took full advantage through a slick move finished by Oribe Peralta. The game was a damp affair as the heavens opened from 10 minutes before the game right the way through until the end. The heavy downpour caused some severe flooding around the surrounding areas. Manchester United's Javier Hernandez, came on from the bench and sparked his team into a second wind to help assist in the winning goal.
Man of the match: Giovani Dos Santos 7/10.
Everton interest: Not much in the way of interest for Everton in this one. However, a potential transfer target of the out of favour Javier Hernandez, looked more of an exciting prospect.
Group B - Spain 1 - 5 Holland.
Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.
The Spanish entered this one clear bookies favourites. Stars such as Silva, Ramos and Xavi to name but a few, surely the Spaniards couldn't lose? Well they did and in inexcusable fashion. The dutch thrived off a rampant 2nd half performance. The game started with yet another dubious penalty awarded and Xabi Alonso accepted and slotted home to give the holders a 1-0 lead. The Dutch looked ready to score at any moment from that goal onwards. Robin Van Persie obliged, thanks to a splendid cross, above the head of three defenders to land on the head of Van Persie who was positioned between stranded goalkeeper, Iker Casillas and his defence. Although the ball was of a world class nature it still left RVP with a lot to do and he finished brilliantly powering the ball over the goalkeeper. That was just the beginning. I'm unsure as to what the Spanish management told their players at half time but they came out lethargic and almost over confident. The Dutch took full advantage starting with a goal on 53rd minute from Arjen Robben. This was soon followed 10 minutes later by a goal from the Holland centre back Stefan De Vrij. Once the team in Orange started the just didn't stop and why would they? They had scores to settle from their 2010 final defeat. The 4th came after Holland had 5 chances on goal in the space of 5 minutes one hitting the bar from a thunderous volley from Van Persie who yet again popped up to seal the deal and make it 4-1. With 10 minutes left to play Robben made a fool of the Spanish defence and goalkeeper, taking the ball around Casillas then Ramos to smash it into the top corner from close range.
Man of the match: Arjen Robben 8/10.
Everton interest: Potential transfer target Jordi Clasie had a solid game assisting in one of the second half goals.
Group B - Chile 3-1 Australia
Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá.
The Australians started this game almost in fear of their opposition, they looked shaky and this was their downfall to the first and second goals of the game. The Chileans took to the game quickly and after waiting just 12 minutes found their first break through in Alexis Sanchez of Barcelona. Their second came from a less familiar source just 2 minutes later, when Jorge Valdivia slotted home to make it 2-0. After their rocky start the Socceroos found some bottle and started to play with some confidence, a brilliant ball in from wide man Bresciano was nodded home by none other than Tim Cahill. The second half could not have been of more contrast to the first as Australia dominated the chances for large parts. With Bresciano, Oar and Cahill all coming close but for the goalkeeper, wood work and some determined defending respectively. Chile got their chance to end the game as Australia became desperate for an equaliser. The Aussies defence was stretched and tired and this meant Wigan's Jean Beausejour could drill home the winner from the edge of the Green and golds box.
Man of the match: Tim Cahil/ Alexis Sanches both 8/10.
Everton interest: Well the Evertonians would have been firmly focused on one man and that man was Timmy Cahill. The Blue Kangeroo doesn't seem to disappoint and he is certainly still banging them in with that trademark leap and header.