Sportsball (World Cup 2010), Matchday Seven

Argentina 4-1 South Korea

Now we’re talking. They looked a little rough around the edges against Nigeria, but Argentina came roaring out the gate today. And it wasn’t Messi who got the glory, but Higuero.

With the exception of a brief second half spell, Argentina were dominant throughout. Very convincing performance and this is the kind of thing we were expecting from a team with so many prolific strikers. A certainty to get out of the group now, Argentina will already have their mind on the second round when they face Greece.

As for South Korea, this is a very discouraging sign, after such a good start. Where was the battling team that chased down every ball against Greece? It might be that SK were made to look better than they were by bad opposition. Whatever it was, SK have to pick themselves and move on. A win against Nigeria on the last day should get them through. They can do it, as long as they don’t let this result get to them.

Greece 2-1 Nigeria

Great match, and a fighting performance from Greece who finally got both the goal and victory drought done with. But it was largely a result of the sending off, before which, Nigeria were in control. It was a completely stupid red card offence too.

Nigeria remain a poor unimaginative side, only dominating because of a straightforward thinking opposition. Greece’s entire game plan semmed to boil down to disappointing cross after disappointing cross.

Once in control following the red card, Greece showed their talent while Nigeria just seemed to fall apart. Greece had all the work to do and did it. Moreover, because Argentina have practically qualified already, barring an incredibly unlikely series of results, Greece must fancy their chances of stealing a point against the South Americans, which might be enough to get them into the second round. Tough group to call going into the last day. I’d say Argentina to top the group, and South Korea to follow.

France 0-2 Mexico

Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes. For all Irish football fans, this was a sweet game to watch.

A green team, shouting “Ole, Ole, Ole” beat France. Next best thing.

This is going to have no sense of balance. Fuck France. You stole our place at the World Cup. You did a lap of honor afterward. You embarrassed the sport of football. You got backed up by footballing officials more interested in your 60 million viewing figures then fair play.

And now, at the World Cup, itself, the grand stage, you play like a team that doesn’t care less. You play like a team riven with discord and racial tension. You play like a team that has no respect for its manager.You don’t pass effectively. You don’t make forward runs. You don’t support each other. You’re set-plays are atrocious. When you go behind, you fall apart utterly. You are an embarrassment to this sport and this competition and the sooner you fuck off home, the better the sport will be and the better the World Cup will be.

Just go away, would you? Go away and stop ruining the game for others.

Anyway, Mexico, an excellent team, defended well and passed well. Ran a lot, right to the end. Counter attack needs a little work, as does the final ball into the strikers. Hernandez impressed me and I look forward to seeing him at Old Trafford in the coming season.

France could still get into the second round, more’s the pity. They’d need to beat South Africa and have a winner between Uruguay and Mexico as well as making up a 4 goal difference in the process. But I doubt it. France have yet to score in the WC and South Africa will want to go out with a bang.

Mexico and Uruguay are battling to avoid Argentina in the second round. Based on the performance tonight, I’ll predict top spot for Mexico with Uruguay getting second.

Viva Mexico!

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