Saturday, June 19, 2010

World Cup, Week One

The first full week of the World Cup is behind us now, so let's go group by group and see what's going on, shall we?

Group A - Uruguay, France, Mexico, South Africa:
So far it hasn't been a good match for the hosts, despite scoring the first goal of the tournament. The Bafana Bafana drew against Mexico, then lost big against Uruguay. They need to beat France to have any hope at all of advancing.
The German news site N-TV called France farblose, or colorless, and their draw against Uruguay and 2-0 loss against Mexico has shown to me at least that Les Bleus stink and deserve to be left behind. The big show on the horizon will be Uruguay-Mexico, and those are the two sides I expect to see advance to the knockout round.

Group B - Argentina, Greece, Nigeria and South Korea:
Say what you want about Maradona, the Argentine side has a boatload of talent and knows how to use it. Their only in-group competition right now is South Korea, which I also expect to win against a lackluster Nigerian side.

Group C - USA, England, Algeria, Slovenia:
Okay. Forget about the Malian referee disallowing the winning goal against the Slovenes. We have to win against the Desert Foxes, and Algeria have shown that it won't be too easy. They fought hard against England and drew them.
England, on the other hand, are stinking up the place, and I expect them to lose badly to Slovenia. Irritated at FIFA for letting just one irate fan through security, England? Wait till you lose against the smallest country in the competition.

Group D - Ghana, Germany, Serbia, Australia:
Germany's match against Serbia was marred by the Spanish referee, who thought he was God and tossed cards around like he was wishing people a Merry Christmas. If Germany does advance (Ghana's move to the next round is largely a given, while Serbia may beat the kangaroo dung out of Australia), it won't be with Miroslav Klose, thanks to that sodding Spaniard.

Group E - Netherlands, Japan, Cameroon, Denmark:
Netherlands and Japan will be advancing. Enough said about that. Cameroon hasn't done well, and the own goal says it all about the Danes, unfortunately.

Group F - Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Slovakia:
Every side in this group has drawn, and it's stinking up the place. There are four more matches in this group, and SOMEONE needs to show some life. Although, whoever does I hope to hell it isn't the Azurri. Like France, I want to see Italy wash out.

Group G - Brazil, Ivory Coast, Portugal, North Korea:
I know Brazil will advance. Which of the other three will move forward is a matter of conjecture, with four more matches to play. Of the three remaining sides, my hopes are on Ivory Coast, basically since I expect half the North Korean side to defect en masse and I can't stand Ronaldo's posturing and antics.

Group H - Chile, Switzerland, Honduras, Spain:
I don't think Spain will be showing up in the second round, as their first match was lost to Switzerland of all people and they showed me nothing on offense. Chile won against Honduras, which might be the two sides who end up in the knockout round.

There's about another week of round-robin matches to consider, so we'll see if my predictions match up. Then I'll set out another set of predictions about who will move up from there.


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