Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Group A Decided! La Celeste and El Tri Advance

Group A was decided today. I try to unravel the action in two halves, highlighting the differences in attitude and excitement in both Uruguay-Mexico and France-South Africa.

La Celeste and El Tri need a draw for both to progress. France need a big win and hope that Uruguay win by two goals. Finally South Africa need three points, three goals and hope Mexico loses by two goals.

Action from the first half:
Luis Suarez made amends for a 5th minute miss by heading home a 43rd minute cross by Cavani. Mexico and Uruguay fought out an unexpectedly open first half with both teams having chances to score in this match. El Tri seemed to have the upper hand but always looked susceptible to the counter attack. Uruguay took their chance well and Luis Suarez further enhanced his reputation as a lethal striker. Uruguay on course for the top of Group A, possibly avoiding Argentina in the process.

Raymond Domenech said that a miracle is needed to advance. Les Bleus got off to the worst possible start, going a goal down and then having Yoann Gourcuff sent off within the first 25 minutes. South Africa clearly refused to accept that they are on the verge of going out in the group stage. Bafana Bafana need to win, score three goals and hope that Uruguay beats Mexico. Mphela got South Africa's second goal which meant that Group A is perfectly poised for more drama. Tshabalala was outstanding for South Africa as they played with a lot more attacking intent.

Action from the second half:
South Africa continued where they left off in the first half. Tshabalala again instrumental in making Bafana Bafana tick. Mphela was unlucky to hit the post after being put through by Tshabalala. As the third goal refuse to come, France redeemed some pride by pulling a goal back through Chelsea's Florent Malouda. The hope of progress had all but disappeared.

If the first half was open, Uruguay shut up shop in the second. Mexico virtually camped in La Celeste half but could not apply the finishing touch to their excellent moves. Javier "Chicarito" Hernandez showed that he is still a raw talent which Ferguson can polish. Guile Franco, for all his skills, is possibly playing his last games for Mexico. Franco should make way for the younger, more mobile strikers. The speed of the Mexican attack was repeatedly slowed down by Franco when he could have kept the momentum going with more quick one touch passes. But Mexico's been great in the group matches and thus Javier Aguirre's team's reward is a last 16 match against the mighty Argentina.

After a tense first half, the excitement petered out in the second half. South Africa's resurgence was held back by Malouda. Mexico just could not find a way past the 10-man Uruguayan defence. In the end, the two best teams (Uruguay and Mexico) in Group A advanced into the Round of 16.

France is the first former champion to exit South Africa....will England follow next?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular Posts

Directories That I Am On

Label Cloud

Powered By:Blogger Widgets