Monthly Archive: June 2010

France Fall At The First 3

France Fall At The First

In England, it isn’t difficult to run into Francophobia. Sometimes it feels as if a range of feelings from mild dislike to irrational, rabid hatred are hard-wired into our DNA. As such, those of...

World Cup 2010: Nigeria 2-2 South Korea 4

World Cup 2010: Nigeria 2-2 South Korea

It’s the fault of Germany, Austria, Argentina and Peru, although it was bound to happen one day, although as Mexico and Uruguay proved earlier, some teams can enter a game knowing that a specific...

World Cup 2010: South Africa 2-1 France 5

World Cup 2010: South Africa 2-1 France

Twelve years ago, at their own World Cup finals, France comfortably beat South Africa in their opening group game, going on to become the sixth nation to win the tournament at home. Today South Africa became the first hosts in the 80-year history of the competition to fall at the first hurdle, but their blushes were somewhat spared with this spirited display against an abject French side in their last game under Raymond Domenech. Twelve years is a long time in football.

World Cup 2010: Mexico 0-1 Uruguay 2

World Cup 2010: Mexico 0-1 Uruguay

My first memories of Uruguay as football team – and quite possibly of their existence as a country at all – came from the World Cup in 1986. They were in Scotland’s group then, and were portrayed as thugs, a bunch of big cheating, spoiling, fouling, cynical bruisers who would – if the ref let them – hack Scotland’s magnificent collection of creative wizards out of the tournament. In the event, of course, Scotland did get some help from the ref; Uruguay played the last 89 minutes with ten men, but a Scotland side who had in any case already lost to Denmark and Germany weren’t good enough to break them down.

John Terry & English Expectations 9

John Terry & English Expectations

On Friday night in Cape Town, the England 2010 World Cup team played as if they had passed into the spirit world. All but invisible, they made an absolute mockery of their pre-tournament hype...

World Cup 2010: Spain 2-0 Honduras 2

World Cup 2010: Spain 2-0 Honduras

The part-timers from Honduras took on the mighty European champions Spain with it all at stake: a loss for the Spanish side would see the tournament favourites eliminated at the first hurdle. What could possibly happen? Well, naturally enough, Spain won at a canter. However comfortable the performance, though, the margin of victory could yet cause some furrowed brows and frenzied abacus work come this Friday evening’s Group H deciders.