The "FIFA virus" has ended for a while at least. Giuseppe Rossi made the headlines with his opportunistic, precise finish against Ukraine yesterday:
Ukraine vs Italy (0-1) Rossi Goal 29/03/2011 (via MrTodayfootdotcom)
Rossi played 68 minutes of this match, and came off the bench at about the same point in Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia.
The Submarine trio of Marchena, Capdevila and Cazorla were in action for Spain. Marchena only got into the last five minutes of the Czech Republic match in Grenada; Capdevila played 58 minutes, started well but faded and was replaced by Santi Cazorla, who played well. Cazorla was in action too against Lithuania, but it was a difficult surface for him to impose his passing skills on the opposition. Nonetheless, he had his moments but came out after 66 minutes when Del Bosque realized he needed speed on the flank. The good news was that Spain won and in spite of the awful surface, everyone seemed to come out of the match physically okay. A good thing the sleet held off until almost the end of the match!
Jefferson Montero played for Ecuador in friendlies against Peru and Colombia, starting the Peru game and coming on as a sub against Colombia. With the South American countries getting 4.5 places for the 2014WC plus Brazil's host space, countries like these have to feel it's a great chance to qualify, though Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Paraguay must be favored ahead of them.
And speaking of Paraguay, B-teamer Hernan Perez played for them last night in Nashville against the USA and Jozy Altidore. It was a fun, flowing game, and Perez's side came out on top. Hernan could (and probably should) have had a goal in about the third minute,when he put a free header wide of the mark, but he atoned for that some minutes later by a nice run down the right, forcing the US to concede a corner, from which Paraguay scored.
USA vs Paraguay 0-1 Friendly Game [29/03/11] (via FUTBISION2)
For most of the rest of the match, Paraguay was content to sit behind the ball and defend, so Perez wasn't so much in evidence, but I was impressed with his efforts. Not so Jozy Altidore, unfortunately. In spite of the USA going to the 4-4-2 with Jozy and Juan Agudelo as the strike pair, Jozy hardly had a touch all night and was substituted after about an hour. The USA had tied Argentina on Saturday and I gather Jozy looked a bit better in that one, but I didn't see it so can't comment, except to say there's no evidence yet his loan move to Turkey is helping his development.
Finally, a couple of notes from here and there. Villarreal C-teamer Moises (who was called up to the B squad for a game recently, I recall) played for Spain's under-17 team and got a goal as they defeated Belgium; B team stalwarts Diego Marino, Iago Falque, and Mario Gaspar played for the Spain under-21 side against France; I don't believe they featured in the Belarus friendly, they certainly didn't start.
And finally, former Villarreal player Mati Fernandez scored for Chile again, and in the Argentina domestic tournament last week Boca Juniors won for only the second time on the campaign, thanks to a free kick from a former Villarreal star. Remind you of THAT goal at El Madrigal in the CL, just a bit?
Colon 0 vs Boca 1 (Gol de Riquelme) (via LoversarelosingKEANE)
Now all eyes are on El Madrigal and the Barcelona match. ENDAVANT VILLARREAL!!