1. Some very interesting stats and I guess the performance of host nations has weakened over time as less established countries have hosted tournaments (see also the European Championships where there have been some dreadful records – Belgium in 2000 spring to mind in particular). I do think the USA deserve credit for their 1994 performance – as you say, that was a very skilful Colombia side and Romania had Gheorghe Hagi and other players of a golden generation. To lose 1-0 to a functional but extremely effective Brazil side was no disgrace.

    Japan benefited from a straightforward group in 2002 but their performances were bursting with energy and enthusiasm. They just seemed to lose confidence for their second round game against a wily Turkey team. Spain in 1982 were just awful though – a world away from the side of today.

    April 9, 2010
  2. deathawk said:

    in re the US: “One of the rare incidences of a host nation producing a worse performance than they had managed before or since”

    Not sure what you mean by this. The US managed an 0-3 group stage disaster in ’98, among other disappointing if not wretched displays.

    April 11, 2010

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