Monday, June 28, 2010

World Cup Round 1 review part 2

Group E
The Dutch have a tendency to self destruct. So no saying when they will undo all the good work . They have been looking good so far. Add Robben to the mix, and you have genuine title contenders. Though Van Persie at times reminds on of the forwards in Chak De India. He just refuses to pass!
Japan were very impressive with their organized play. Danes disappointed. They were not able to put their pace and height to good use in the key matches.

Group F
I think it was Gatusso who said, "With all respect to the other teams, if you can't qualify from a group that contains New Zealand, Slovakia & Paraguay, you need to have tomatoes thrown at you." Or something to that effect. What more can I say?

Group G
Argentina packed their team with so many forwards, that they had to play some of them in the midfield. Brazil played some defenders in their midfield. And at the end of every match, Dunga would complain that they didn't score enough goals because the opposing team wouldn't let them! With the likes of Kaka, Maicon & Robinho they could have put on quite a show if they wanted to. If.
Not to be outdone, Portugal played even more defensively. They split the playing ground into - Ronaldo covers the opponent's half, and the other 10 will cover their own. They were more open in the game against North Korea, where virtually every shot they took went into goal.
North Korea were impressive on 2 counts, despite the thrashing they took in a couple of matches. They held Brazil quite well to a very large extent. And they played a relatively clean and positive game. Cote d'Ivoire were unlucky to be in this group. They'd probably have topped if they were in C or E.

Group H
In the biggest shock of the round, the methodical Swiss beat the flamboyant Spaniards in the 1st round. Thus avenging all the losses a flamboyant Federer has had to take against the methodical Nadal. After that they failed to score at all, and got knocked out.
Spain recovered, and went on to play some of the most pleasing, but not effective, football and top the group. Torres joined the likes of Messi, Kaka & Rooney to have note scored at all so far. Chile were the only ones to take the game into the Spanish half, though they were not able to sustain it beyond the 1st 25 minutes.

Round up.
On the looks of it, the best 4 teams seem to be Argentina, Brazil, Netherlands & Spain, in  ascending order. Since Brazil could meet the Dutch in the quarterfinals, (and hopefully lose:) the 4th semifinal spot is most likely to be filled by Uruguay. The other contenders Germany & Portugal.

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