Tuesday, May 25, 2010

World Cup Favourites Win Their Friendlies

Two World Cup favourites played friendlies on Monday night and got the results they wanted. England beat Mexico without playing particularly well and Argentina clobbered Canada without Messi, Milito and Samuel.

After announcing Argentina's squad of 23 last week, Maradona had this to say after winning 5-0 in Buenos Aires.
"I am encouraged that we made people happy. What I value most from the players is the desire they have to prove they can do this and much more," he said, as quoted by Spanish publication AS. "The Argentine people can be calm because we have good players that we can put on the team, when the time is right."

The five goals were scored by Maxi (2), Tevez, Di Maria and Aguero. An impressive attacking display which shows that the Argentinians are gathering form and confidence. Going into the World Cup with 3 goalkeepers, 7 defenders, 7 midfielders and 6 strikers, Maradona has no worries at all in the attacking department. What was more controversial and surely would be a mistake is the omission of Esteban Cambiasso.

Defensively Argentina look shaky but other than that, Messi, Tevez, Aguero, Mascherano, Milito, Higuain and Maxi have massive firepower and world-class creativity to frighten any nation. My guess is that Jonas Gutierrez to be the "water carrier" for this team. Even though Argentina struggled to qualify and with an imploding manager, the unpredictable Albiceleste still remains the team to be avoided in the World Cup finals.

Here are the highlights of that 5-0 against Canada.

Ledley King marked his return to international football with a headed goal. It was a great outing for him, and surely has cemented his place for South Africa. Under Capello, England has finally mastered the art of winning without playing particularly well. Winning ugly is a great trait to have in a tournament and that could be the deciding factor in tight matches. Capello has managed to bring out the best of the English style (setpieces, power and pace) and effectively moulded these characteristics into a winning formula. England will be hard to beat in South Africa.

Guillermo Franco continues to impress me with his football, really hope that West Ham will keep this very intelligent footballer. Here's the video of the England win.

Portugal also played a friendly against Cape Verde with disastrous effect. A goalless draw meant that Carlos Quieroz' preparations are not going to plan. Portugal is in the toughest group of the tournament with Brazil, Ivory Coast and South Korea. With confidence shaking, it could be a poor outing this time for Carlos Quieroz and his men.

On the other hand, South Korea could yet again be the dark horse of the tournament. Driven on by their captain, Park Ji-Sung, the never-say-die attitude and super fit Koreans have the necessary World Cup experience and talent to shock and surprise. They defeated Japan 2-0 in a friendly Monday night as well. Ji-Sung scored a superb first goal. You can see Park's goal in this video.

Only 16 more days to go!

1 comment:

football gifts said...

Argentina probably have one of the best squads for the World Cup and should do well, however, the Maradona factor may play a big part, they could easily capitulate at any time, and after all, who really wants to see him run naked through the streets of Buenos Aires if they win

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