October 8, 2010 |
The so-far-uneventful march toward soccer's 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine continued Friday without a significant misstep by any of the leading contenders. That said, the day's qualifying play did involve a couple of surprise results and one decidedly strange bit of behavior. The latter occurred in Podgorica, Montenegro, where home-team striker Mirko Vucinic celebrated scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 upset of Switzerland by removing his shorts and putting them on his head.
June 28, 2010
ROUND OF 16: NETHERLANDS VS. SLOVAKIA Where: Durban. Time: 7 a.m. PDT. TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Univision. Radio: Sirius/XM, KLYY-FM 97.5 and KDLD-FM 103.1. The Argentines and the Germans have thrown down the gauntlet. Now the question is whether the Dutch can pick it up and also reach the quarterfinals. It will take a victory over upstart Slovakia, which charged into the knockout round, ousting world champion Italy along the way, behind three goals by forward Robert Vitteck.
June 24, 2010 |
Marcello Lippi had been warned this might happen. He had been told time and again by Italian fans and the Italian media that his team was too old, that it needed some younger, hungrier players. Take Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli or Davide Santon, they said. Take Sampdoria's Antonio Cassano, they pleaded. Take anyone but that old gang of yours, they insisted. But Lippi ignored all the warnings and all the advice, and on Thursday evening in Johannesburg, he paid the price. When referee Howard Webb blew the final whistle at Ellis Park, the scoreboard showed one of the World Cup's all-time remarkable results: Slovakia 3, Italy 2. A team playing in its first World Cup, a team made up largely of players who were unknown internationally, had defeated the defending world champions and, in doing so, had knocked them out of the World Cup. The final line on Italy: No wins, one loss, two ties.
June 14, 2010 |
Group F New Zealand vs. Slovakia, Rustenburg Time: 4:30 a.m. PDT. T V: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Univision; Radio: Sirius/XM, KLYY-FM 97.5, KDLD-FM/KDLE-FM 103.1 New Zealand will have to look to someone other than Coach Ricki Herbert for a rousing pep talk before its World Cup opener. "We could play the best we've ever done," Herbert said, "and lose all three matches." Not exactly inspirational — but true. Older and more experienced than previous All Whites squads, the Kiwis nevertheless look to be outclassed here.
April 16, 2010
Slovakia is closing its air space due to the volcanic ash cloud drifting from Iceland. Air Navigation Services spokeswoman Aniko Fodorova says the country's air space will be closed from 3 p.m. Friday. Fodorova says the closure is expected to remain in place until Sunday evening. Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic plans to travel by car to Krakow, Poland, for Sunday's state funeral of late President Lech Kaczynski.
April 10, 2010
World Cup 2010: SLOVAKIA FIFA ranking: 33 Overall World Cup record: 0-0-0 Coach: Vladimir Weiss Best performance: Debut Overview: South Africa 2010 is Slovakia's first appearance in a major international tournament since the breakup of the former Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s. Weiss started on the Czechoslovakia team that thrashed the U.S., 5-1, at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, and his 20-year-old son, also named Vladimir, is a key player on the squad as an attack-minded winger.
February 28, 2010 |
Finland rallied from a two-goal third-period deficit to beat Slovakia 5-3 at Canada Hockey Place to win the bronze and deny Slovakia its first Olympic medal in any team sport. The fourth-place finish is Slovakia's best Olympic result. "It's just a tough pill to swallow," Marian Hossa said, "because I thought we had an unbelievable tournament, and we should be proud of ourselves, but the result is not what we wanted." Olli Jokinen scored two goals for Finland, while Slovakia fell despite a goal and assist from Hossa.
February 27, 2010 |
Bodies and sticks and skates flew at Roberto Luongo while an entire nation tensed, praying there would be no deflection or bounce that would knock the puck into the net and wrest Team Canada's ticket to the Olympic gold-medal game out of its sweaty grasp. Slovakia, cautious for too long Friday in its semifinal game against the host nation, had charged within a hair's breadth of a titanic upset. "It was the most fun I've ever had," Luongo said, smiling. His enjoyment was soon shared by all of Canada, which watched him get his glove on a point-blank shot by his Canucks teammate Pavol Demitra in the dying seconds to preserve a 3-2 victory and set up a championship match between Canada and the U.S. at noon Sunday.