29 October 2014

What happened when my brother and I played FIFA 08...

A great, and undervalued game, got its moment in the sun once again tonight. My brother and I had a go on this. Feeling optimistic, I told him to be whoever he wanted. In hindsight, maybe not. Fulham played Spain at Craven Cottage.

Both sides opted for a 4-1-2-1-2 formation. The Fulham team in full: Keller; Volz (c); Knight, Hughes, Konchesky; Diop; Davies, Smertin; Bullard; McBride, Kamara. The Spain team: Casillas; Ramos, Puyol (c), Merches, Del Horno; Xavi; Fabregas, Silva; Joaquín; Villa, Torres.

The substitutes were as follows. For Fulham: Niemi, Baird, Rosenior, Bocanegra, Davis, Dempsey, Healy. For Spain: Reina, Numero, Caperilla, Xavi Alonso, Albelda, Iniesta, Reyes.

Fulham kick off. The first real chance of the match came for Spain, when Ramos overran it up the wing for a goal kick. Spain demonstrated, early on, their counter-attacking prowess; Kamara's shot was blocked, only for Spain to hoof it up to Torres down the other end, whose shot was saved by Kasey Keller.

In the 12th minute, Spain got a free kick, taken by David Villa. It's going off target, but Keller catches it anyway. But he drops it, and it bounces over the line!

GOAL - SPAIN (K KELLER O.G.)
12'': FULHAM 0 - 1 SPAIN

Papa Bouba Diop picks up a yellow card in the 14th minute. Two minutes later Puyol missed from the six yard box. Fulham finally got an attacking opportunity when Bullard forced Casillas into a save, but before the corner was taken, Diop's earlier foul on Joaquin had caught up with him.

SPAIN SUBSTITUTION: OFF JOAQUIN, ON REYES
17'': FULHAM 0 - 1 SPAIN

From the corner, which is taken by Paul Konchesky, Casillas clears it, and Spain counter. Torres slots it past Keller, as easy as you like. 2-0.

GOAL - SPAIN (TORRES)
19'': FULHAM 0 - 2 SPAIN

As if to rub it in, Xavi attempts a ludicrous shot from a ridiculous angle, which forces Keller into a save. Then McBride blasts it over the bar, before Spain take Fulham apart. David Villa slots it forward to Fernando Torres, who is unmarked as Aaron Hughes was daydreaming. Torres had not moved to Chelsea in 2008. He was still good. 3-0.

GOAL - SPAIN (TORRES)
23'': FULHAM 0 - 3 SPAIN

Shot after shot, mostly from Spain, come in. But 10 minutes later Fulham have another great opportunity. Simon Davies crosses it in from the right hand side, it falls for McBride and Kamara. They bottle it. Bullard now has it on the edge of the box, but his shot hits the Putney end. Torres then misses an open goal (foreshadowing, maybe?), but one minute later he makes up for it. David Villa draws Papa Bouba Diop towards him, leaving Torres unmarked. The hole in the defensive line is shocking. It parts like the red sea. Keller can't save it. 4-0.

GOAL - SPAIN (TORRES)
36'': FULHAM 0 - 4 SPAIN

Things then go from bad to worse for Fulham. Diop, who has already been booked, remember, hauls down Torres... and he's off!!

SECOND YELLOW CARD - PAPA BOUBA DIOP (FULHAM)
38'': FULHAM 0 - 4 SPAIN

Zat Knight is booked for a foul on David Villa, but other than that half time arrives without incident. 

HT: FULHAM 0 - 4 SPAIN

Spain restart for the second half. But three minutes later Fulham are down to nine men. Torres gets in behind the defenders and the chase is on. Volz is catching him. He's catching him. He's about to score... and he fouls him from behind. Stonewall red card. Penalty. Torres takes the penalty, which is saved by Keller, an-- no it isn't. Keller spills it for the second time today. It's over the line. Oh dear. The goal is awarded to Torres.

SENT OFF - MORITZ VOLZ (FULHAM)
48'': FULHAM 0 - 4 SPAIN

GOAL - SPAIN (TORRES PEN.)
48'' FULHAM 0 - 5 SPAIN

Torres shoots again, but it's saved. Konchesky gives it straight back to David Villa inside the box, and he misfires. Villa gets in behind the defence six minutes later, but Keller gets to it before he can shoot. A few wayward crosses from Simon Davies, and Fulham decide enough is enough.

FULHAM SUBSTITUTION: OFF DAVIES, ON DEMPSEY
59'': FULHAM 0 - 5 SPAIN

Diomansy Kamara then gives the ball away cheaply. The ball lands for Villa. But Keller saves it. But four minutes later Spain make their biggest area all day. Fulham have a free kick, which is whipped in by Paul Konchesky, and the defenders leave Brian McBride unmarked. His head connects, but Casillas saves it. Then, disaster for Fulham. Again, the defence is out of the game, and Konchesky is the one to "do a Volz" this time. Fulham down to eight men.

SENT OFF - PAUL KONCHESKY (FULHAM)
73'': FULHAM 0 - 5 SPAIN

Fabregas tries a bicycle kick and misses it, before Fabregas chips it over Kasey Keller... and it hits the post!! And Hughes clears it!! The match really ramps up in the last few minutes. Fulham want a goal. McBride forces Casillas into a save, but Casillas's clearance is dreadful, and he does well to tip Bullard's rebounding volley for a corner. Due to a lack of numbers, Fulham ask goalkeeper Kasey Keller to take the corner, but it's cleared by Spain... and it's Hughes's turn now to "do a Volz". Fulham down to seven.

SENT OFF - AARON HUGHES (FULHAM)
88'': FULHAM 0 - 5 SPAIN

But Spain aren't done yet. With only six outfield players, Spain knock it around with ease. Keller parries Torres's shot, but Torres falls for the rebound, and it's six.

GOAL - SPAIN (TORRES)
89'': FULHAM 0 - 6 SPAIN

Fulham then get several shots against Iker Casillas, before he tips one behind for a corner. Again, Keller is asked to take it, and Bullard's shot is forced out for another corner. Keller takes it, a Spanish player clears it to Keller, but the cross is wayward, it's out for a goal kick, and that's it.

FULL TIME: FULHAM 0 - 6 SPAIN

FULHAM:

14'' YELLOW - DIOP
38'' SECOND YELLOW - DIOP
40'' YELLOW - KNIGHT
48'' SENT OFF - VOLZ
59'' SUB - OFF DAVIES, ON DEMPSEY
73'' SENT OFF - KONCHESKY
88'' SENT OFF - HUGHES

SPAIN:

12'' GOAL - KELLER O.G.
17'' SUB - OFF JOAQUIN, ON REYES
19'' GOAL - TORRES
23'' GOAL - TORRES
36'' GOAL - TORRES
48'' GOAL - TORRES PEN.
88'' GOAL - TORRES

STATS:

FULHAM - STAT - SPAIN

0 - GOALS - 6
0 - ASSISTS - 1
11 - SHOTS - 27
7 - SHOTS ON TARGET - 18
63% - SHOTS ON TARGET (%) - 66%
14 - SUCCESSFUL SLIDE TACKLES - 4
10 - FOULS - 1
2 - YELLOW CARDS - 0
1 - SECOND YELLOW CARDS - 0
3 - RED CARDS - 0
4 - CORNERS - 3
0 - OFFSIDES - 1
32% - POSSESSION - 68%
9 - THROUGH BALLS - 2
120 - SHORT PASSES - 139
7 - LONG PASSES - 4
73% - PASSING ACCURACY - 87%
0 - DIRECT FREE KICKS - 4
0 - PENALTIES - 1
0 - INJURIES - 1

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