World Cup update 3

Between this post and my previous one, lots have happened. The final round matches in the group phase are over for the first two groups and the first four teams in the round of 16 have been identified. The biggest news is probably France crashing out of the World Cup amidst drama off the field and Portugal thrashing a hapless North Korea.

Group A: France team dominated the headlines for news which was not related to on-field activities. Player revolts and coach issues were all over the print, the team refused to train and the captain came out and said there is a traitor in the team. So the final match against the host nation started with the captain, Evra sitting out from the start. They were beaten 2-1 which should be one of the biggest footballing victories for South Africa. I am glad that Domenech will be leaving the squad after this debacle. Now Laurent Blanc needs to put some sensibility into this squad.

Meanwhile, South Africa played wonderful football and rode their luck and host nation fortune and beat France to hear that the Mexico-Uruguay match had not gone in their favour. In the end it boiled down to the goal difference. Hope the South Africans had a good time supporting their team in the world cup and will now support the others and make this a memorable world cup. So it is Uruguay and Mexico who qualify from this group into the round of 16. Uruguay has a solid defence and a good attacking twosome in Forlan and Suarez.

Group B: Argentina had already qualified from this group and hence Maradona decided to rest some of his players and give some practice to his bench players. Milito could have done better and Aguero did have his chances. Messi, the Captain for the day had his shining moments and in the end it turned out to be a win for them against Greece. Greece lost and hence lost out to the South Koreans who drew with Nigeria 2-2 and thereby ensuring qualification.

So it will be Uruguay vs South Korea and Argentina vs Mexico. I think Argentina  and Uruguay should make it to the Quarter finals.

Group G: This group, the group of Death produced some good thrill with Brazil beating Ivory Coast 3-1, a match in which Kaka got sent-off and was not as good as the scoreline suggests. But one match which was as good as the scoreline suggests was the Portugal match against North Korea which the Portuguese won 7-0, one of the biggest margins of victory in World Cup history. The half time score of 1-0 was not an indication of how the second half  panned out to. Cristiano Ronaldo was in his elements and so was Tiago. Good to see a lot of goals finally.

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