Category: The Ball

World Cup 2010: South Africa 0-3 Uruguay 0

World Cup 2010: South Africa 0-3 Uruguay

Today is National Youth Day in South Africa. It marks the anniversary of the start of the 1976 Soweto riots, which began with the death of twenty-three people after the police opened fire on...

World Cup 2010: Spain 0-1 Switzerland 5

World Cup 2010: Spain 0-1 Switzerland

The important thing with covering a World Cup which has been so slow to start as this one is, basically, to at least try and keep yourself entertained. As such, our intrepid crayon-tester and some-time football journalist Dotmund had something of an ‘episode’ and decided to file his report of the Group H match between the reigning European Champions Spain and Switzerland in handwritten form. With sketches. He hopes this novel approach will become the paradigm for all sports reporting in this country. We are just glad that it keeps him off the streets.

Mungo in Africa, part 2 0

Mungo in Africa, part 2

In the latest update from the steel cage death match which is the Clack TV World Cup studio, Glasgow Paisley manager Henny Jings lets his international counterparts have it with both barrels. However, Mungo McCrackas is working on a more eloquent solution yet. Could this be just what is needed to blow the dust away and get the 2010 World Cup into a new gear? Who knows, Mungo is particularly resourceful.

World Cup 2010: Brazil 2-1 North Korea 2

World Cup 2010: Brazil 2-1 North Korea

It’s easy to disguise ignorance with mockery, and so it seems with this evening’s intriguing match between Brazil and North Korea. Before the match, ITV treats us to as many cliches about North Korea...

World Cup 2010: Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal 0

World Cup 2010: Ivory Coast 0-0 Portugal

If this World Cup has yet to really catch, there were high hopes beforehand that these two teams would provide the first really absorbing contest – both are packed with undoubted talent, and are probably battling for a single qualification sport behind Brazil. But with hindsight, this last factor was the critical one and ought to have made us realise that we’d be in for yet another game defined principally by caution. This game always looked likely to be the crunch one for both teams, and if it had come last it might have been a humdinger. Coming first, neither team was willing to take much in the way of risks, apparently happy to leave it to see who could nick a result off Brazil or else rack up the better goal difference against North Korea.

World Cup 2010: New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia 1

World Cup 2010: New Zealand 1-1 Slovakia

Having given the television coverage a review/kicking over the weekend, it’s time to take a look at the radio coverage of this World Cup. Ian Dennis is our host, and Jacqui Oatley and Graham...

World Cup 2010: Italy 1-1 Paraguay 0

World Cup 2010: Italy 1-1 Paraguay

At last, a proper football match, if still not a particularly good one until the last half-hour. Maybe it was the rain. Or maybe just Mick McCarthy’s obvious relish of the prospect of some...

World Cup 2010: Japan 1-0 Cameroon 0

World Cup 2010: Japan 1-0 Cameroon

Sloppy, unprofessional, boring, unimaginative. And that was just Guy Mowbray and Mark Lawrenson in the BBC commentary box. Whilst not personally agreeing with the decision, I could see reasons for Guy Mowbray getting the...

World Cup 2010: Netherlands 2-0 Denmark 2

World Cup 2010: Netherlands 2-0 Denmark

Half way through the opening set of fixtures then, and we’ve already seen two of the semi-finalists in action. Only Germany have really looked good enough to be worthy of it so far, but the lower half of the draw contains more big guns, with favourites Spain and Brazil, not to mention holders Italy, all to come shortly.

And then there’s Holland. They looked very good through an admittedly weak qualifying group, and even come to the World Cup as Unofficial World Champions, but no one seemed quite sure beforehand whether to put them as a good outside bet or right up there with the favourites. And I’m not sure this performance really helped us much. They won, and comfortably enough in the end although that was by no means a foregone conclusion at half-time, but they didn’t really set the heather alight or show the same sort of class as Germany had against Australia yesterday evening.

World Cup 2010: Germany 4-0 Australia 1

World Cup 2010: Germany 4-0 Australia

It’s a conundrum for English national team fans, who to support out of the football and cricket arch-enemies. But it’s not a problem for long as the game is over as a debating point within the first quarter.

World Cup 2010: Serbia 0-1 Ghana 2

World Cup 2010: Serbia 0-1 Ghana

Why are all the matches in the tournament that I have to cover for Twhohundredpercent on ITV? It’s not that the BBC coverage appears to be any better – indeed, it appears that yesterday’s Match of the Day highlights package neglected to show any footage from South Korea’s win over Greece, which is fairly appalling – but I am a snob. Actually, it’s frankly preposterous the amount of pre-game build-up and half-time punditry that I’m watching in this tournament, considering the cataclysmic effect it has on my sanity, ITV or otherwise.

World Cup 2010: Algeria 0-1 Slovenia 2

World Cup 2010: Algeria 0-1 Slovenia

I volunteered for this game. On paper it seemed a good idea to do. I’d seen Slovenia play Spain at Euro 2000, and Slovenia are some of the loudests fans I’ve ever come across. They only really have one song: “Kdor ne skače,ni Slovenc, hej, hej, hej”. And when they sing, they jump up and down in unison, and if you’re in the upper tier of a stadium with 10,000 Slovenians ten feet away for them, you get that a great atmosphere, with the slight sense of unease that the stadium is going to collapse.

World Cup 2010: England 1-1 USA 3

World Cup 2010: England 1-1 USA

Okay, let’s get it out the way first up: Robert Green. He had only one save to make in that first half, when Clint Dempsey hit – or in truth barely half-hit – a low shot from maybe 28 yards out after forty minutes in. It was a routine save, Green seemed to get his body behind it, got both hands to it, and yet somehow it squirmed over the line for the USA’s equaliser.

World Cup 2010: Argentina 1-0 Nigeria 3

World Cup 2010: Argentina 1-0 Nigeria

Diego Armando Maradona’s last World Cup game as a player, was in 1994. Against Nigeria. So, it was fitting that his first World Cup game as a manager was against the same opponents. Maradona’s playing career was controversial, but at his peak he was capable of raising above average teams to great heights, both at club level with Napoli (both their Serie A titles came with Diego at the heart) and of course at national level (Burruchaga apart, most of Argentina’s 1986 side was ordinary, or past their best).