Monday, June 21, 2010

World Cup - the First 10 Days!

First two rounds of the group stages are almost over, and most groups are now standing at a very interesting point where it looks almost impossible to predict which 2 teams would go through. Many predictions have failed and some of the biggies are struggling to qualify. Some minnows which everyone expected to be beaten have shown great resilience and brought down super powers to their feet. So, here I present an account of the first one-third of this huge tournament.

Group A (South Africa, Mexico, France, Uruguay):
The runners up of last world cup are struggling very hard to get through to the next round. Their qualification requires a win in their last group match supported by some goal difference equations in the other game. It looks like France is bowing out as they did in 2002 WC, where they were defending champions.
Mexico made a major upset by beating France 2-0 and are now prepared to book their next round ticket. Uruguay looks good too with a 3-0 victory over the host and are cheered by their coach's claim that the team is capable enough to lift the trophy again this time. The journey of the hosts also appears to end in the Group stages itself.
Probable qualifiers: Uruguay, Mexico

Group B (Argentina, S. Korea, Greece, Nigeria):
Argentina has made a strong statement of their current form with victories in both the games, one of them being an emphatic 4-1 over Korea when they dismantled Korean defence completely and this WC saw its first hat-trick. The team looks in great touch with good coordination. Messi has been a bit unlucky with scoring, even after having the highest number of total shots in the tournament. Maradona's boys are doing wonders on the pitch, and the legend could be seen kicking the ball once or twice in the manager's box too.
The fate of other teams is largely dependent on the last set of matches, with no clear predictions possible.

Group C (England, USA, Slovenia, Algeria):
The team looking the best on paper - England has been a huge disappointment with 2 dull draws. With the first one to be blamed on the shameful miss by Goal-Keeper Green, the second one showed lack of motivation in their attack with a frustrated Rooney in the front. Slovenia and USA played a very entertaining match with the first half dominated by the former and USA making a great comeback to end the game in a draw, though USA were denied a valid goal by a panicky referee. Any two of England, USA and Slovenia have equal chances to get through.

Group D (Germany, Ghana, Serbia, Australia):
The group started off with a crushing 4-0 victory over Australians, but the same side was brought down by Serbia a few days later in a major upset. Germany vs Serbia saw some rough refereeing with a total of 9 cards, two of them leading to dismissal of Klose. Another group with no clear qualifiers, we have to wait for a couple more matches to finish.

Group E (Netherlands, Japan, Denmark, Cameroon):
Netherlands have put up an impressive show with two wins and a sure qualification. Cameroon, even after playing some motivated football, are out of the cup race.

Group F (Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand, Slovakia):
Except the defending Champions playing in the group, nothing interested me particularly. But, Italy are playing like a team of old men, with no spark.

Group G (Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast, N. Korea):
I'm watching a very happening match in this group right now. Kaka has been sent off with some random pushing and shoving. North Korea played a brave game against Brazil, entertaining with their super-defensive gameplay and still managing to score once. Brazil have qualified with a formidable win over Ivory Coast. Which team among Ronaldo's Portugal and Drogba's Ivory Coast will be ousted in the Group of Death, is yet to be decided!

Group H (Spain, Chile, Switzerland, Honduras):
Personally supporting Spain for World Cup favourites, it was a disappointment to see them lose against Swiss side. Even after making so many efforts on goal, they failed to score due to poor misses by Torres at times. Swiss took advantage of the few attacks they created and scored to win the game.

Disclaimer: The post was written during the Brazil vs Ivory Coast match (Group G, 21 June, 12 AM). All the predictions and possibilities hold for that exact state of world cup only. No updates will be made as the Group stage progresses further. The next account is awaited after completion of another set of 10 days.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...