Wednesday, 16 June 2010


So with just twenty minutes or so left until South Africa play their second game of the tournament we have little time left to reflect on the opening round of fixtures, although maybe we shouldn't look back for too long.

It's not much to look at after all, most of the talk has been about the lack of action and excitement. With just two games containing more than two goals and Germany the only team to bag more than a brace, the competition has been somewhat bereft of world class football.

Some blame the ball, some blame the altitude, most blame the Vuvuzelas. But as far as I can see it's been a case of the big boys not playing well and the underdogs giving all they've got. The biggest surprise undoubtedly came in the final match of the first round of fixtures as Gelson Fernandes converted the ugliest goal in World Cup history to help his Swiss friends secure a shock victory over bookies favourites Spain.

Previously France, England, Portugal and Italy had all failed to win their opening games while Brazil and Argentina had looked unimpressive in victory. It was the unfancied Germans who stole the show with their four-nil demolition of Australia.

However the series of results has provided one of the most open World Cups in recent history with nobody written off as possible qualifiers for the last sixteen. In fact underdogs such as South Korea, Slovenia and Japan could secure qualification for the knockout stages with victory in their second games. While lowly New Zealand and North Korea put up spirited performances against Slovakia and Brazil respectively to prove there are no easy games at the World Cup.

Perhaps there's one thing that we always fail to remember about football; It's totally unpredictable. But we'll never stop trying to predict it.

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