Monday, 21 June 2010

The World Cup So Far (Part 1)

This week sees the World Cup effectively enter the sudden death phase, as teams race for their positions in the knock out phase.  So now would be a good time to look at the state of play in the groups, starting tonight with Group’s A-D.


Group A

Uruguay +3 4
Mexico +2 4
France -2 1
South Africa -3 1

Uruguay and Mexico require a draw to qualify for the Last 16.  Handily enough, they play each other in Rustenburg so you might think that a cosy 0-0 draw will be on the cards.


Err…  not quite.  On the horizon will be a possible Second round clash with Argentina, which both sides might be anxious to avoid.  Heavy defeat for one side might let France or South Africa (both playing in Bloemfontein) in for an unlikely knockout berth. Both Mexico & Uruguay have been the class sides in this group, and will be dangerous floaters in this draw. Both games are 4pm (local time, 3pm BST) kickoffs tomorrow.


Group B

Argentina +4 6
South Korea -1 3
Greece -1 3
Nigeria -2 0


Argentina require a draw against Greece in Polokwane to qualify as Group B winners, and you would imagine they would get it with their 4-3-1-2 formation firing along quite nicely.  South Korea need to beat Nigeria in Durban and hope that Greece don’t win to take the second qualifying place.  Nigeria’s cause is not entirely hopeless, a win against South Korea coupled with an Argentinean win might see them leapfrog both South Korea and Greece on goal difference.


Both of these games kick off tomorrow night at 8:30pm (local time, 7:30pm BST)


Group C

Slovenia +1 4
USA = 2
England = 2
Algeria -1 1

A win for Slovenia will see them win Group C, and possibly avoid Germany, their opponents England must win, and hope they do better than the USA in order to win this group.  England, as you might have gathered, have not started brilliantly, but are past masters at getting out of groups while not playing well.  Slovenia V England will take place at sea level in Port Elizabeth.


The USA must beat Algeria in Pretoria to seal qualification.  To win the group, the USA will hope that England beat Slovenia and that their margin of victory is as good as England’s (the USA are ahead of England on goals scored).  Algeria must win by at least 2 goals to at least put themselves in the mix.  These games take place at 4pm (local time, 3pm BST) on Wednesday


Group D

Ghana +1 4
Germany +3 3
Serbia = 3
Australia -4 1

A win for Ghana will see them equal Nigeria’s record of reaching the knockout stages of two World Cup’s in a row.  They only have to beat Germany at Soccer City to do that.  Germany themselves have to win to avoid elimination from the group stages of a World Cup for the first time since…  since…  well ever (they were knocked out on the first round in 1938 by Switzerland, when the whole tournament was played as a straight knock out.  That was in a replay).  A draw would leave both sides looking at the result from Nelspruit.


Serbia need to win to ensure a place in the last 16, simple as.  In their way is an Australian side missing Kewell which showed considerable fighting spirit in getting a 1-1 draw against Ghana, after their 4-0 loss to Germany.  To qualify, Australia need to win and hope that Germany loose.  This group concludes on Wednesday with a 8:30pm (local time, 7:30pm BST) kick off.

No comments:

Post a Comment