The first four World Cup groups have all played their first game. There haven't been any real shockers but some results have made us go hmmm. And whether they are young, old, good or bad, the Germans prove yet again that they are serious contenders to lift the trophy.
What else did we see?
We saw that South Africa should not be underestimated. They might not be the strongest host, but they are the hosts. They missed their opportunity to take three points from Mexico after Mexico missed one scoring opportunity after another. It was a game of misses, and none was bigger than the ball that ricocheted off the post in the 89th minute. If Mexico is to move on at the expense of South Africa, remember that play. France and Uruguay can beat the other two teams in their group, and the other two teams can beat France and Uruguay, but they couldn't beat themselves. This group is going down to the wire.
Korea put on a clinic in Port Elizabeth, and Greece has yet to score a goal in a world cup. The Greeks never threatened the Korean net and were lucky only to lose 2-0. Korea now has a chance to see where they really stand as they play Argentina next. The best moment for me so far was Lionel Messi’s post match meeting with Nigerian keeper, Vincet Enyeama. Messi is disgustingly talented, we all know that. But it’s his humility, love and respect for the game that sets him apart.
It’s Slovenia, not England or the USA, that is sitting pretty in Group C. The US were gifted an equalizer in Rustenburg and almost took advantage of the English puckering in the second half to pull out the win. Slovenia also were gifted a goal in their win over Algeria, and can qualify for the next round with a win over the USA on Friday.
I thought Ghana would be toast without Michael Essien, as did much of the rest of the world. But they showed a ton of resolved and African pride against Serbia. Ghana were relentless in their quest for a goal and were finally rewarded in the 85th minute. Serbia, everyone’s sexy pick to make a deep run, are now faced with a must win against the Germans, or they might be out. Ooof. I never really understand why some folks actually thought the Germans might not be as strong as they usually are.
Men of the Match:
The refs. They have been nothing less than outstanding so far. The games have been tense, but the refs have made sure they haven;t turned chippy. The only questionable performance was turned in by Chiquidracula, who got card happy in Durban. The knock on Marco Antonio Rodriguez has always been that he craves attention. He didn’t disappoint. Luckily for him, his quest for face time didn't influence the outcome of the game.
Most impressive performance. It's hard to ignore Germany for what they did to Australia, but I will go with the Black Stars for going after three points they had to have at full throttle. They took risks, but always stayed organized. It was a gutsy performance from a team that had been decimated by injury and was playing guys that only had a handful of caps.
It is a little sad to see a lot of empty seats in the stands. Surely the FIFA can find a way to find some fannies to fill those, for the good of the game, no?
I don’t mind Adidas releasing a ball for the world cup, but wouldn’t it make more sense to release it in August of the previous year so that players can get used to it. The ball does seem to bounce a little more, but I would blame laziness and lack of fundamentals on the two goal keeping errors, not the ball.
I might be in the minority, but I don't mind the Vuvuzuelas at all.