19 Jun 2010



First week of the World Cup 2010 seen no upset until the last game of the first round where Spain were beaten by Switzerland. click here. Since then, there are series of upset on the 'traditional' football power house especially the European team.

Upset #1 : France (vs Mexico) - Group A, 17th June 2010

The WC2006 finalist is in danger of leaving the tournament at group stage after this defeat which leave them on 1 point from 2 games. A squad full of talented player but lacked of coordination and rarely played like a unit under their controversial coach Raymond Domenech. The coach was heavily criticised by their former legend Zidane for the way he conducted the team selection and tactical. Again, Thiery Henry was left on the bench and Anelka was deployed as a lone striker upfront. Ribery playing in the hole and rarely show the talent that he possess. He is supposed to be the linchpin of the team but again failed to delivered. Mexico looked comfortable enough as the scoreline suggested. The blame should be solely on Raymond Domenech !

Upset # 2 : Germany (vs Serbia) - Group D, 18th June 2010

Germany was so impressive in the first game against Australia (they won by 4 - 0). Many people starts to rave about their efficient yet clinical performance against the Aussies. But, Serbia is a different category. Their defends is so impressive during the qualifying marshaled by Nemanja Vidic. The downfall of Germany begun when Miroslave Klose, last tournament golden boot winner, was sent off for 2 bookable offenses. The second yellow card came on the 36th minutes. Germany was forced to play with 10 man for the rest of the game.

Soon after the Klose sending off, Serbia scores on the 37 minutes. A cross from the right by the impressive Krasic, headed by the tall figure of Zigic to the path of Jovanovic who had all the time to controlled the ball and poke it passed the goalkeeper Neuer into the net. 1 - 0 to Serbia. Although Serbia took a lead and had a one man advantage, the Germany still came forward with purposed in search for the equaliser.

Germany got a break in the 60th minutes when a moment of madness from Nemanja Vidic who intentionally handle the ball in the Serbian penalty box. Penalty. Lukas Podolski step up to take the penalty. Unfortunately, his effort was superbly saved by the Serbian goalkeeper. Podolski had a forgettable night where he also misses a handful of chances in front of goal. In the end, Germany had run out of ideas and tiredness starts to took the effect on their players. The games finished 1 - 0 in favour to the Serbian. Although Germany lost this game but they should be able to pull it thru to the next round. Their next game is against the Ghanaian. The coach, Joachim Loew, had a frustrating time both on the missed chances and the referee decision.

Upset #3 : England (vs Algeria) - Group C, 18th June 2010

A draw shouldn't be categorised as an upset. However, I picked this result as an upset due to the 'supposedly superior' England lacked of composure and invention to overcome the Algerian. On paper, this game should be the easiest in this group. But, the Algerian had other idea. They played with the 5-4-1 formation with the full utilisation of the wing-back position and the wide player. Due to the system employed, the Algerian manage to swamped the midfield and made it hard for Gerrard-Lampard-Barry to took controlled. The Algerian also a pace more quicker than the English.

England managed to create some good chances but the Algerian keeper & defenders were equal to it. Rooney had, again, a poor game and rarely got the chance to threaten the Algerian goal. 'Captain Courageous' Steven Gerrard again left frustrated with the result. He seems trying to hard himself. Carragher picked up a yellow card, his 2nd for the tournament, and will miss the next deciding game against the impressive Slovenia. Capello was obviously frustrated with the result; given that England qualifying campaign was very good and decisive. The form was not on show in the proper tournament. Overall, England game was poor and it surely frustrated for England faithful. They must step up and beat the Slovenian to avoid the embarrassment of going home early.


Note : So far, the Argentine looks impressive and clinical in their group stage..

Picture source : ESPNSoccernet & ESPNStar

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