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Tag Archives: Mexico Football Team

THE 11th edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup was held in the United States of America from 5-25 June 2011. This was the 21st overall championships in the North and Central American and Caribbean confederation, which was also celebrating its Golden anniversary.

The 12 teams taking part in the competition where: hosts America, reigning champions Mexico and fellow automatic qualifier Canada, who are the only other nation to have won a Gold Cup besides Mexico and America.

Jamaica, non-FIFA member Guadeloupe, Cuba and Grenada qualified by finishing in the top four in the 2010 Caribbean Championship; while: Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala qualified courtesy of finishing in the top five of the 2011 Copa Centroamericana.

The tournament kicked-off with Group A games Costa Rica vs. Cuba and Mexico vs. El Salvador. Both matches were played in Cowboys Stadium, Arlington (Texas) and were both won 5-0 by Costa Rica and Mexico respectively. Man Utd’s Javier Hernández scored a second-half Hat-Trick for Mexico, who were soon involved in a drugs scandal.

Five Mexico squad members had tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol prior to the start of the tournament and were suspended. The Mexican FA said that the players had eaten contaminated meat but accepted the suspensions. CONCACAF allowed Mexico to replace the players, who’s ‘B’ samples all came back negative.

Mexico didn’t let their off-field problems affect them on the pitch and duly beat Cuba 5-0 and Costa Rica 4-1 to win the group with nine points and 14 goals to their name. Costa Rica just went though as group runners-up ahead of El Salvador on goal difference. El Salvador now had to wait to see if they were one of the two best third-placed teams. Cuba crashed out with a 1-6 defeat by El Salvador, having let in 16 goals and only scored one in their three defeats.

Group B was won by Jamaica who scored seven goals without reply in their three matches which all ended in victory for the Reggae Boyz. Last year’s World Cup participants Honduras finished second in the group on the same amount of points (four) as third placed Guatemala. Grenada proved to be the whipping boys of the group, only scoring once and conceding 15 times as they also lost all three games. They were smashed 1-7 by Honduras in their second game after going 1-0 up.

Hosts America opened with a 2-0 victory over northern neighbours Canada after Panama edged Guadeloupe 3-2 in the opening round of Group C games. The United States were stunned by Panama who beat them 1-2 in their second match, but beat Guadeloupe 1-0 in their last group game to advance in second place behind Panama. Canada were beating Panama 1-0 in their last game and this would have seen Canada into the Quarter-Finals as one of the two best third-placed teams. But Panama equalised in the first minute of stoppage-time through Luis Tejada to knock Canada out.

Guatemala, El Salvador and Canada all finished third in their groups with four points. But Guatemala had a goal difference of +2, El Salvador’s goal difference was zero, whereas Canada’s was -1.

This meant the Quarter-Final line up looked like this: Costa Rica vs. Honduras, Mexico vs. Guatemala, Jamaica vs. U.S.A. and Panama vs. El Salvador.

Costa Rica and Honduras played out a 1-1 draw after extra-time in the first knock-out match. Honduras held their nerve and won the penalty-shoot out 4-2, scoring all of their spot-kicks.

Mexico went behind early against Guatemala thanks to a Carlos Ruiz goal five minutes in. They held on until just after half-time when Aldo de Nigris equalised for the defending champions. Mexico’s winner came from Javier Hernández in the 66th minute.

The United States beat Jamaica 2-0 win in Washington D.C. to book their place in the last four.

Panama again left it late to equalise in their match against El Salvador, who had taken the lead from the penalty spot with only 12 minutes to go. But Tejada scored in the last minute to take the match into extra-time, in which there were no more goals. Dennis Alas missed El Salvador’s first penalty in the shoot-out. This proved to be the only miss of the shoot-out that was won by Panama 5-3. That man Tejada scoring the winner.

The Semi-Finals would see America taking on Panama (who had beaten America in their group match remember) while Honduras had to face Mexico.

Fulham’s Clint Dempsey scored America’s winner against Panama in the 76th minute of their Semi, while Mexico were taken to extra-time by Honduras before de Nigris and Hernández scored in the 93rd and 99th minute respectively to see Mexico into the Final with a 2-0 win.

The Final would see the two highest ranked CONCACAF teams – America and Mexico – taking part in the championship deciding match for the third straight tournament. America won the 2007 Final (2-1) while Mexico won the last Final in 2009 (5-0). This was the fifth time the two would meet in the Final, with Mexico 3-1 up in the head-to-head battle. This would also be America’s eighth Gold Cup Final while this was Mexico’s seventh.

America raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to a an eighth minute header by Aston Villa load signing Michael Bradley (son of the head coach Bob) and a 23rd minute goal by all-time leading U.S. goal scorer Landon Donovan. The crowd of 93,420 inside the Rose Bowl, Pasadena (California) could sense a U.S. victory.

But Mexico had other ideas.

Pablo Barrera got one back for Mexico just before the half-hour. Andrés Guardado equalised on 36 minutes and Barrera scored his second and Mexico’s third five minutes after half-time to give Mexico a 3-2 lead! Mexico’s fourth came after a stunning piece of skill from 22-year-old Giovani dos Santos with 14 minutes left. He dribbled inside the box against five U.S. defenders (including the goalkeeper) before chipping the ball into the top-left corner of the goal over the head of Eric Lichaj. This was later named goal of the tournament, and was the last goal of the tournament as well, as Mexico won the Final 4-2.

 

So, Mexico are champions of the North and Central America and Caribbean zone for the ninth time. This was their sixth Gold Cup and second consecutive title. They won all six of their matches, scored 22 goals and conceded just four (half of these in the Final itself).

Mexico have now moved up 19 places to ninth in the FIFA World Rankings.

The tournaments’ 25 matches saw 80 goals scored at an average of 3.2 per match. The total attendance was 1,125,120, an average gate of 45,005 per match.

Mexico’s Javier Hernández ‘The Little Pea‘ finished as top goal scorer with seven goals to his name, and was also named player of the tournament.

The Little Pea.

Honduras’s goalkeeper Noel Valladares was named the best goalkeeper of the tournament. Mexico also collected the Fair Play Award for receiving the least amount of cards.

Mexico have now qualified for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil as the CONCACAF representative. They join hosts Brazil, World (and current European champions) Spain and Asian champions Japan.

El Tricolor will now travel to Argentina to take part in the Copa América as one of two invitee teams (the other being Costa Rica). Could Mexico become champions of all the Americas? We’ll find out by 24 July.

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Germany

4

vs.

1

England

Miroslav KLOSE 20’

Lukas PODOLSKI 32’

Thomas MÜLLER 67’ 70’

MotM = Thomas MÜLLER (GER)

Matt UPSON 37’

Last 16

Ref = Jorge LARRIONDA (URU)

Mangaung / Bloemfontein

GERMANY destroyed England to book their place in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. 😦

England’s defence was annihilated in the run up to all four of Germany’s goals as they inflicted our worst ever World Cup finals defeat. Klose’s goal was a route one as it comes. The German keeper booted the ball down field, every English player missed it can Klose put the ball in with one touch. England’s defence went AWOL 12 minutes later and despite a poor first touch Podolski made it 2-0 to Germany. 

England did pull one goal back to make it 1-2, and less than a minute later Frank Lampard smashed the ball against the cross bar. The ball bounced over the line and the score was 2-2. But the referee and linesmen didn’t give what was such a clear goal everybody in the crowd could see it. FIFA president Sepp Blatter ruled out any chance of technology being used in this World Cup earlier this year. He was at this game and hopefully saw that this was a missive mistake. ‘Dopey’ just doesn’t seem to realise that football is still in the dark ages, and that: Tennis, Rugby and Cricket all get along just fine with technology.

But that doesn’t distract from the England football team humiliating the country that made the sport what it is today.

After Frank Lampard hit a free kick into the German wall they went straight up the other end and Müller made it 3-1. His second and their forth came just three minutes later and England were finished.

So that’s it, it is official, England are now the top international underachievers in world football. The so called ‘Golden Generation’ has failed to win anything (We haven’t been in a semi-final since Euro ’96).

I could go on about what needs to be done, but people who have a far greater knowledge of the game than me will tell you as well, and in much more detail over the coming days and weeks.

What I will do however is give you a list of (clean) words and phrases that describes the England football team in my eyes.

Over-paid, over-rated, spoilt, have a lack of passion, live off of their names, would rather be playing for their clubs in the UEFA Champions League, are false idols to little kids who play football…the list goes on.

And by the way, did we actually take Wayne Rooney to the World Cup or not? If you ask me he should take that groundsmans job he had in that Nike advert.

Zakumi: “Oh well, easy come easy go.”

P92: “We should have made it to the last four at the very least.”

Zakumi: “Well if you had beaten Algeria you would have won the group and played Ghana.”

P92: “They would have beaten us as well.”

 

 

Argentina

3

vs.

1

Mexico

Carlos TÉVEZ 26’ 52’

Gonzalo HIGUAÍN 33’

MotM = Carlos TÉVEZ (ARG)

Javier HERNÁNDEZ 71’

Last 16

Ref = Roberto ROSETTI (ITA)

Johannesburg – JSC

ARGENTINA set up a quarter-final rematch with Germany after they sent Mexico home in yet more controversial circumstances.

With the score at 0-0 Mexico had the best of the chances. They hit the bar early on and seemed to have taken their ‘A’ game to the South Americans. But Carlos Tévez headed the 1978 and 1986 World Champions into the lead.

However, replays showed him to be about 2yds offside and the goal should never have stood. This was shown on the giant TVs in the stadium, and all: the players, the managers, officials, reporters, commentators and 84,000 fans saw that the decision to award the goal was wrong. The Mexicans went mad and took their eye of the ball.

Mexico’s Ricardo Osorio gave the ball away right on the edge of his own penalty area and into the path of Gonzalo Higuaín, who promptly made it 2-0.

As the players walked off for half-time the Mexican players surrounded the Argentina staff and a fight looked certain, but thankfully one never happened.

There was no doubt about Tévez’s second goal, which was an absolute beauty. He shot from outside the area and the ball hit the top left corner of the net.

But Mexico pulled a goal back with just under 20 minutes left and had a good go at making a game of it, but Argentina held on to win.

Zakumi: “Great game, but what a balls-up from the linesman…again!”

P92: “FIFA! FOOTBALL MUST HAVE SOME SORT OF GOAL MOUTH TECHNOLOGY TO PREVENT THESE EMBARRASSING SCENARIOS HAPPENING AGAIN!”

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • Netherlands vs. Slovakia, BBC 1 15:00
  • Brazil vs. Chile, ITV 19:30
 

 

Uruguay

2

vs.

1

South Korea

Luis SUÁREZ 8’ 80’

MotM = Luis SUÁREZ (URU)

LEE Chung-Yong 68’

Last 16

Ref = Wolfgang STARK (GER)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

URUGUAY advance to their first World Cup quarter finals match since 1970 after they snatched victory away from South Korea.

The first five minutes saw South Korea hit the post with a free kick, as they tried to do as their Asian counterparts Japan did earlier against Denmark. But a poor defensive and goalkeeping display saw Uruguay take the lead through Luis Suárez after just eight minutes. South Korea never really looked like scoring in the first half.

In the second however the South Koreans were a totally different side. They pressed and pressed the Uruguay defence until they finally got their much deserved goal after another goalkeeping error through Lee Chung-Yong.

With extra time looking certain, Suárez decided that he didn’t want to spend any more time in the pouring than he had to. He bent the ball from the right-hand edge of the penalty area and into the net off the post. South Korea almost equalised in the last few minutes, but unfortunately for them lady luck was smiling on the previous double World Champions.

Zakumi: “The best team won, but South Korea asked Uruguay questions that they may not be able to answer against a bigger team.”

P92: “It’s just like old times seeing Uruguay in the last eight again.”

Zakumi: “Put the history book down. It’s now that matters.”

P92: “You can only appreciate what you have now if you know what happened in the past.”

 

 

U.S.A.

1

vs.(AET)

2

Ghana

Landon DONOVAN 62P’

MotM = André AYEW (GHA)

Kevin-Prince BOATENG 5’

Asamoah GYAN 93’

Last 16

Ref = Viktor KASSAI (HUN)

Rustenburg

GHANA stunned the United States with another early (and brilliant) goal at Rustenburg’s Royal Bafokeng Stadium (England’s Steven Gerrard scored early against America in their opening game).

U.S.A. didn’t get into gear until the second half when it looked as if both sides had swapped talent and ability. Landon Donovan converted a spot kick just after the hour to pull America level. He put the ball so far to his right that it almost came back off the post.

After this, both sides seemed to except that extra-time was coming.

Ghana scored after only three minutes of extra-time leaving America permanently shell-shocked. As time wore on both Ghana and the U.S. seemed to be running on empty, and the Black Stars held on to become only the third African side to reach the last eight of a World Cup.

Zakumi: “They join the Cameroon 1990 team and the 2002 Senegal team.”

P92: “So, Africa still has a chance to produce a World Champion.”

Zakumi: “GO BLACK STARS!!”

P92: “What he means is ‘yes’ and that he thinks Ghana can still win. They will now play Uruguay.”

Today’s games are:

  • Germany vs. ENGLAND, BBC 1 15:00
  • Argentina vs. Mexico, BBC 1 19:30

HERE we have the matches for the Last 16 round of the 2010 World Cup

Uruguay

vs.

South Korea

U.S.A.

vs.

Ghana

Germany

vs.

ENGLAND

Argentina

vs.

Mexico

Netherlands

vs.

Slovakia

Brazil

vs.

Chile

Paraguay

vs.

Japan

Spain

vs.

Portugal

Spain vs. Portugal and Brazil vs. Chile are the big derby matches.

Argentina vs. Mexico is a grudge match from four years ago. Argentina won 2-1 AET.

Germany vs. England…well need I explain?

Zakumi: “Here we go. Knock-out football.”

P92: “Oh yes. And remember, from now on if you lose…you go out.”

Today’s games are:

  • Uruguay vs. South Korea, ITV 15:00
  • U.S.A. vs. Ghana, ITV 19:30
 

 

Mexico

0

vs.

1

Uruguay

MotM = Luis SUÁREZ (URU)

Luis SUÁREZ 43’

Group A

Ref = Viktor KASSAI (HUN)

Rustenburg

 

 

 

France

1

vs.

2

South Africa

Florent MALOUDA 70’

MotM = Katlego MPHELA (RSA)

Bongani KHUMALO 20’

Katlego MPHELA 37’

Group A

Ref = Óscar RUIZ (COL)

Mangaung / Bloemfontein

 

Group A

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

Uruguay

3

2

1

0

4

0

+4

7

2

Mexico

3

1

1

1

3

2

+1

4

3

South Africa

3

1

1

1

3

5

-2

4

4

France

3

0

1

2

1

4

-3

1

URUGUAY and Mexico march on into the last 16, whilst hosts South Africa and France go out.

We all know that France shouldn’t have even been in this World Cup because they cheated against the Republic of Ireland, so I am so glad that they are out. They have also had an abysmal tournament. Their manager (now ex-manager) was clueless, one of their star players was sent home, and the rest of the squad refused to train at a public session. They even listened to music and chewed gum when they let the stadium after they lost to South Africa. They couldn’t care less. In my eyes the French have brought this World Cup almost to the point of disrepute and can only say again just how happy I am to see them out.

South Africa on the other hand can be proud of what they have done. Yes they have just become the first host nation to fall at the group stage, but they have shown real grit and determination. I had totally written them off before a ball was even kicked and expected them to receive three hidings. However the spirit the players and fans have shown made me will them on, and as an Englishman I found them beating France to be absolutely top draw. I wish Bafana Bafana well in all their future tournaments.

Uruguay and Mexico were by far the best teams of the group and deserved to go into the knock-out stage of the tournament.

Zakumi: “We only needed a few more goals.”

P92: “Bafana Bafana played like heroes and no football loving South African should be disappointed.”

Zakumi: “Thanks. The plus side of us going out is that we took France out with us.”

P92: “Now you’re talking!”

 

 

Nigeria

2

vs.

2

South Korea

Kalu UCHE 12’

Yakubu AYEGBENI 69P’

MotM = PARK Ji Sung (SKO)

LEE Jung-Soo 38’

PARK Chu-Young 49’

Group B

Ref = Olegário BENQUERENÇA (POR)

Durban

 

 

 

 

Greece

0

vs.

2

Argentina

MotM = Lionel MESSI (ARG)

Martín DEMICHELIS 77’

Martín PALERMO 89’

Group B

Ref = Ravshan IRMATOV (UZB)

Polokwane

 

Group B

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

Argentina

3

3

0

0

7

1

+6

9

2

South Korea

3

1

1

1

5

6

-1

4

3

Greece

3

1

0

2

2

5

-3

3

4

Nigeria

3

0

1

2

3

5

-2

1

ARGENTINA played brilliantly in all of their three group games and won the group at a canter. The only problem I can see them having in the later stages is with their defence. If they don’t improve it one of the bigger teams will tear it open.

As for the other three teams in this group, I pleasantly surprised to see South Korea going through. I reckoned that it would be Nigeria who advanced with South Korea third and Greece forth. But Nigeria just didn’t play well enough and have their keeper to thank for keeping their goals against tally at just five. Greece were just boring to watch but at least they actually scored a few goals.  

Zakumi: “And another African teams goes out, sigh.”

P92: “What’s your prediction for the England game?”

Zakumi: “You should win, but based on tournament form…”

P92: “Just stop there.”

Today’s games are:

  • Slovenia vs. ENGLAND, BBC 1 15:00
  • U.S.A. vs. Algeria, BBC Red Button 15:00
  • Australia vs. Serbia, ITV 1 or 4 19:30
  • Ghana vs. Germany, ITV 1 or 4 19:30
 

 

Portugal

7

vs.

0

North Korea

RAÚL MEIRELES 29’

SIMÃO 53’

HUGO ALMEIDA 56’

TIAGO 60’ 89’

LIÉDSON 81’

CRISTIANO RONALDO 87’

MotM = CRISTIANO RONALDO (POR)

Group G

Ref = Pablo POZO (CHI)

Cape Town

THE first 20 minutes or so of this game could have seen either team score a couple of goals each. Portugal came closest in these opening exchanges in a soaking wet Cape Town. After the European team did score the North Korean players started to fade away, but to their credit they played on with great heart and kept themselves 0-1 down at half-time. But Portugal smashed six goals past them in a second half which they utterly dominated. Portugal are now almost certain to qualify along with Brazil for the last 16, whereas North Korea are unceremoniously dumped out of the World Cup.

Zakumi: “What a second half. I can’t wait for Portugal vs. Brazil later this week.”

P92: “That’s been the game I’ve been waiting for ever since the draw was made.”

 

 

Chile

1

vs.

0

Switzerland

Mark GONZÁLEZ 75’

MotM = Mark GONZÁLEZ (CHI)

Group H

Ref = Khalil AL GHAMDI (KSA)

Nelson Mandela Bay / Port Elizabeth

A MATCH that will be remembered more for its cards than goals unfortunately. The referee seemed to like the colour yellow, as he booked nine players during the match which he never really let off the leash. Unsurprisingly to me, a red card was also shown during the game. Valon Behrami (Switzerland) caught Chile’s Jean Beausejour and Arturo Vidal in the face when they tried to tackle him from behind. Vidal went down like he had been hit with a brick in yet another show of poor sportsmanship in this World Cup. My Dad and I can’t be the only ones finding this entire fake face holding malarkey pathetic and childish can we?   

Zakumi: “Switzerland broke a record in this match. Before Chile scored Switzerland had gone 558 minutes without conceding a goal in a World Cup finals match.”

P92: “They beat Italy’s mark by eight minutes.”

Zakumi: “Don’t steal my moment.”

P92: “Oh, sorry.”

 

 

Spain

2

vs.

0

Honduras

David VILLA 17’ 51’

MotM = David VILLA (ESP)

Group H

Ref = Yuichi NISHIMURA (JAP)

Johannesburg – JEP

SPAIN knew that if they lost they would go out. But the reigning European Champions showed the world some wonderful football as they somewhat eased passed Honduras. David Villa scored Spain’s two goals on the night, and could have scored a hat-trick were it not for him missing a penalty. Spain should have won by several goals, but misses and off the line clearances prevented Honduras’s night paralleling North Korea’s afternoon.  

Zakumi: “We are now exactly halfway through the 2010 World Cup.”

P92: “And let’s hope that it continues to excite and shock us. Except for when England play.”

Tomorrow’s games are:

  • France vs. South Africa, ITV 1 or 4 15:00
  • Mexico vs. Uruguay, ITV 1 or 4 15:00
  • Greece vs. Argentina, BBC 1 19:30
  • Nigeria vs. South Korea, BBC 3 19:30
 

 

Argentina

4

vs.

1

South Korea

PARK Chu Young 17og’

Gonzalo HIGUAÍN 33’ 76’ 80’

MotM = Gonzalo HIGUAÍN (ARG)

LEE Chung-Young 45+1’

Group B

Ref = Frank DE BLEECKERE (BEL)

Johannesburg – JSC

ARGENTINA dominated the first half, racing into a 2-0 lead in just over half an hour. But a defensive lash up in injury time let South Korea back in the game. The first 20 minutes of the second half could’ve and should’ve seen both sides score, but it was Argentina who got their vital third goal. Higuaín scored his third and Argentina’s fourth soon after.

Zakumi: “Higuaín is the first player to score a World Cup finals hat-trick since Pauleta for Portugal in 2002.”

P92: “You know your stuff don’t you.”

Zakumi: “Actually I read your notes.”

P92: “Did you.”

 

 

Greece

2

vs.

1

Nigeria

Dimitrios SALPINGIDIS 44’

Vasileios TOROSIDIS 71’

MotM = Vincent ENYEAMA (NIG)

Kalu UCHE 16’

Group B

Ref = Óscar RUIZ (COL)

Mangaung / Bloemfontein

NIGERIA seemed to be strolling to victory until Sani Kaita saw the red mist and stupidly kicked an opponent. Think David Beckham in 1998. After seeing the red mist, he saw the red card and only then did what he had done sink in. Greece rallied and scored their first ever World Cup finals goal just before half-time. Both sides went for the win in the second half, but it was Greece who took the lead – and in the end their first ever finals win – thanks to a goalkeeping error by Vincent Enyeama in the Nigerian goal. The fact he won ‘Man of the Match’ again shows how much better than the Nigerian outfield he is.

Zakumi: “Is it me or can Greece only play against ten men?”

P92: “You may be right. When they had the man advantage they were a totally new team.”

 

 

France

0

vs.

2

Mexico

MotM = Javier HERNÁNDEZ (MEX)

Javier HERNÁNDEZ 64’*

Cuauhtémoc BLANCO 79P’

Group A

Ref = Khalil AL GHAMDI (KSA)

Polokwane

THE first half was pretty even with not much to separate the two teams. But as the second half progressed, either Mexico got better or France got worse. A 2-0 was what Mexico deserved, and France are now in huge danger of going out in the group stage without scoring a goal for the second World Cup out of three.

*The 2,100th World Cup finals goal.

Zakumi: “Well I think France and Bafana Bafana are both stuffed.”

P92: “Just do the world and especially the Republic of Ireland a favour and beat them.”

Zakumi: “That sounds like a plan.”

Today’s games are:

  • Germany vs. Serbia, BBC 1 12:30
  • Slovenia vs. U.S.A., BBC 1 15:00
  • ENGLAND vs. Algeria, ITV 19:30
 

 

Honduras

0

vs.

1

Chile

MotM = Jean BEAUSEJOUR (CHI)  

Jean BEAUSEJOUR 34’

Group H

Ref = Eddy MAILLET (SEY)

Nelspruit

CHILE should have smashed Honduras in this game, but their finishing let them down. When their goal did come, it was quite fortunate. The ball came off a Honduran defender and onto Jean Beausejour. You can’t help but think that Honduras are just happy to be in the World Cup.

Zakumi: “Chile claim they can go all the way to the semis, but not with their finishing the way it is at the moment.”

P92: “Agreed. Happy 16th birthday by the way Zakumi.”

Zakumi: “Ah, thank you. What did you get me, a Bafana Bafana win?”

P92: “How about a massive upset?”

Zakumi: “What?”

 

 

Spain

0

vs.

1

Switzerland

MotM = Gelson FERNANDES (SUI)

Gelson FERNANDES 52’

Group H

Ref = Howard WEBB (ENG)

Durban

SWITZERLAND pulled off one of the biggest World Cup upsets of modern times by beating reigning European Champions – and millions of people’s tip to win the tournament – Spain. The Spanish put the Swiss under constant pressure throughout the game, but the closest they came was when XABI ALONSO hit the bar. Switzerland’s goal was scrappy to say the least but it will go down in history. They to hit the woodwork, so it could have been even worse for Spain.

Zakumi: “Brilliant! I wanted a game that goes down in history on my birthday and I got it!”

P92: “See I told you I had a massive upset for you.”

Zakumi: “And a Bafana Bafana win?”

P92: “Er…”

 

 

South Africa

0

vs.

3

Uruguay

MotM = Diego FORLÁN (URU)

Diego FORLÁN 24’ 80P’

Álvaro PEREIRA 90+5’

Group A

Ref = Massimo BUSACCA (SUI)

Tshwane / Pretoria

URUGUAY outplayed South Africa for the whole match, and a 3-0 win is just what they deserved. The host nation’s keeper Itumeleng Khune conceded the penalty and was sent off. He is only the second goalkeeper to be sent off in a finals match.  It looks increasingly likely now that South Africa will become the first home nation to go out in the group stage. Whereas Uruguay look as if they can do some damage in this tournament.

Zakumi: “What happened?!”

P92: “It’s football mate. It happens.”

Zakumi: “Yeah. I suppose you’re right.”

Tomorrows games are:

  • Argentina vs. South Korea, ITV 12:30
  • Greece vs. Nigeria, BBC 1 15:00
  • France vs. Mexico, BBC 1 19:30
  

South Africa

1

vs.

1

Mexico

Siphiwe TSHABALALA 55’

MotM = Siphiwe TSHABALALA (RSA)

Rafael MÁRQUEZ 79’

Group A

Ref = Ravshan IRMATOV (UZB)

Johannesburg – JSC

 WHAT a way to open the World Cup. The noise of the crowd was awesome and the play was nonstop. Tshabalala’s goal was excellent, but South Africa’s defence let the side down when Mexico equalised. South Africa hit the post late on, but they have impressed the world and shouldn’t be overlooked on their home turf.

Zakumi: “Oh but for the width of a post.”

P92: “You guys did much better than I thought, and what a goal to open the tournament with.”

Zakumi: “Bring on the rest!”  

 

Uruguay

0

vs.

0

France

MotM = Diego FORLÁN (URU)

Group A

Ref = Yuichi NISHIMURA (JPN)

Cape Town

 NOT a great game to watch, but both sides did create chances. Nicolás Lodeiro was sent off after a poor tackle on Bacary Sagna with ten minutes to go. Both sides must up their game if they wish to have any impact on the knock-out stages.

Zakumi: “We can have these two judging by this game.”

P92: “Don’t get too confident mate, but I can see your point.”

Tomorrows games are:

  • South Korea vs. Greece, ITV 12:30
  • Argentina vs. Nigeria, BBC 1 15:00
  • ENGLAND vs. U.S.A., ITV 19:30

TODAY at last sees the 2010 FIFA World Cup get underway in South Africa.

The rainbow nation became the first African country to be awarded the tournament way back on 15 May 2004. They saw off rival bids from: Morocco, Egypt and a joint (later disallowed) bid from Libya and Tunisia. South Africa won after one round of voting 14:10:0.

South Africa initially wanted to host the 2006 World Cup, but lost out to Germany 12:11 in the final round of voting.

If this World Cup goes well for the host nation, I won’t be surprised to see the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in South Africa. Both Cape Town and Durban are potential bidders.

I shall be covering the tournament on this blog along with the official mascot Zakumi.

Zakumi: “Hi it’s great to be here.”

P92: “It’s great to be anywhere. Are you ready for South Africa vs. Mexico?”

Zakumi: “Oh you bet I am.”

The opening ceremony is on ITV1 at 13:00, and is immediately followed by South Africa vs. Mexico at 15:00. The second match today is 1930 and 1950 World Champions Uruguay vs. 1998 World Champions France. You can catch this match on BBC1 which kicks-off at 19:30. Both games are in Group A.