Kamis, 17 Juni 2010

2010 World Cup: Favourites???

The first round of matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa are over. Many matches have been boring, the Vuvuzela is often a pain for the ears and the question I am ask myself is what has happened to the pre-tournament favourites?
Except Germany none of these pre-tournament favourites have performed to the level expected from them, but the tournament is not even a week old so hopefully they will pick up and play better in the coming matches.

The biggest upset so far came yesterday when Switzerland beat the European champions Spain, who where the big pre-tournament favourites to finally win a FIFA World Cup. And now Spain will have play for survival against Honduras and Chile to stay in the tournament. Something which no body would have expected.

Other teams like Brazil, Argentina and Netherlands did win their matches, but not in a way which would make their opponents worried.
Brazil had to dig deep against a fighting North Korea, who played the match of their lives with commitment, discipline and dedication which caused major problems for the South Americans giants.
Argentina overcame Nigeria rather easily, but the world's best player Lionel Messi did create some magic and had three good chances. Still Messi couldn't score like he would have for FC Barcelona and the old question comes up again, can't Messi play for Argentina like he does for the club? Also Argentina's defence looked suspect against Nigeria and a stronger opponent could cause problems for them.
The Netherlands also couldn't play their free flowing football against Denmark as they did in their last few practice matches. One factor which was missing was Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben with his thigh injury.

But the above sides won their matches, others where rather happy to get a point from their opening game.
Current world champions Italy and England were even held to one-all draws. And both sides in the end were happy to take a point home. Italy isn't the same side as they were in 2006 and that showed against Paraguay, who could have beaten the Italians if there wasn't a goalkeeping mistake by Villar.
England were seen as the best Three Lions side in years, but a goalkeeping howler from Robert Green denied them a possible win though the USA could have actually won the match.

Germany's performance against Australia was the pick of the matches so far. Germany is always a candidate for something big, but this time around many thought after the injury of captain Michael Ballack and others that this young German team could have problems. But they proved their quality.

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