Monday, June 21, 2010

World Cup 2010: South Africa

Hello again folks. Today, we are going to talk about the world's most popular sport. That is of course fútbol or as we Americans like to call it, soccer. And of course, soccer's biggest stage is the FIFA World Cup where qualified nations take part in a 32 team international battle to see which country will reign supreme. So far, the action this year has been unpredictable with us seeing heavy favorites struggling and some outright upsets. Let take a look at today's matches before we head off to analyze all the group play.

June 21, 2010

North Korea 0 (0-0-2) Portugal 7 (1-1-0)

Cristano Ronaldo finally scores for his country in this beating of North Korea. Ronaldo hasn't scored for his nation since the 2008 European Championship so this must be awesome to get that monkey off his back. Although the score indicated it was a one sided affair, North Korea kept it close in the first half as 'The Navigators' as Portugal scored an early goal from Raul Meireles . Entering the second half, Simao scored early in the second half with a neat tuck under the North Korean goalkeepers. This visibly deflated the Koreans as Portugal went to town bombarding 5 more goals including Ronaldo score in the 87th minute. North Korea is eliminated from the tournament and will face the Ivory Coast for their last game.

Switzerland 0 (1-0-1) Chile 1 (2-0-0)

Chile capitalizes on midfielder Behrami's ejection from the game scoring off a header from substitute Gonzales in the 75th minute. The Swiss were irked by what looks like a controversial call but kept their composure playing a man down to keep it scoreless at the half but was unable to hold off the relentless Chilean attack. The Swiss had their chance to equalize the score but Dredivok missed wide left after some beautiful inner passing that set him up about 20 yards from goal. Killer missed as the Swiss fail to capitalize on their big win versus Spain with a point and remains at 3 points. The Chileans took their 2nd win in the WC and is comfortably in the driver seat of the group with 6 points.

Spain 2 (1-0-1) Honduras (0-0-2)

After the Swiss big upset of Spain, the Spaniards needed a big win versus Honduras to escape group play. David Villa showed great individual play scoring 2 beautiful goals by cutting back and through Honduras defenders. Villa had a chance at a hat trick when the a penalty on Honduras inside the box but Villa kicked it wide right on the ensuing kick. Honduras was the remedy that Spain seem to need as they dominated possession of the ball all game long due to Honduras' defense playing so open allowing the Spaniards to control the flow of the game. Beautiful performance by the #2 ranked team by FIFA but they must beat Chile in their next game to try to advance to the next round.

The big story in Group A has to be the host nation, South Africa. They stand a good chance of being the first host nation in the World Cup to be bounce from the first round. They take on a dishevel French team in their final round match that is having their own internal problems. This is probably the best chance for the South Africans to capitalize on this bickering and get their first win in the cup from former heavyweight France. In the other match, we have futbol powers Mexico and Uruguay. Uruguay showed their might tying with France 0-0 and dominating South Africa 3-0. Mexico tied with South Africa 1-1 but rebound back to beat France 2-0. Whoever wins this match will be advancing to the next round. Although the loser has a very good possibility of advancing as well.
Uruguay - Uruguay needs a win or a tie against Mexico to secure first place in Group A.
Mexico - Mexico needs a win against Uruguay to secure first place in Group A. They can also tie and be runner up.
France - France needs a win against South Africa. They also need either Mexico/Uruguay to lose and beat one of the team in Goal Differences.
South Africa - South Africa needs a win against France. They also need either Mexico/Uruguay to lose and beat one of the team in Goal Differences.

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