World Cup 2010 – Day One – Those Horns Are Already Annoying

Posted: June 12, 2010 by The Mark in Soccer
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The World Cup kicked off last night (in Korea) and there were two pretty good games.  The Uruguay – France game came on at 3:30 am so it was a bit rough trying to get through it.  Both games were exciting but I’m already hating those horns.  I can’t imagine sitting next to person who has the Vuvuzela horn.  In 1994 I went to see Brazil – Sweden and sat with the Brazilian supporters and it was two straight hours of some dudes banging drums to a samba beat so the scantily clad women could strut their stuff.  I was enjoying the chicks shaking their asses but by the end of the first half I had a headache.  In the middle of the second half I was so annoyed that I was cursing the whole country of Brazil.  Don’t worry Brazil, we’re good now.

Samba girls, yes. Guys beating drums, no.

On to the games:

South Africa – Mexico (1-1)

Goals – Tshabalala (RSA) 55′ , Marquez (MEX) 79′

Mexico controlled this game in the first half.  Well…most of the first half.  At the 40th minute South Africa turned it up and had Mexico on their heels for the rest of the first half and that momentum continued into the second half.  The left side of the South African defense had lots of difficulty with Juarez.  Kuhne (RSA) was lucky that Dos Santos didn’t score at 2′ because the rebound went right to his feet.  Dos Santos (MEX) owned the center of the midfield.

Mexico had three clear chances on goal in the first half but the referees did South Africa a favor at 37′.  Somehow the linesman decided that Vela (MEX) was offside even though he was even with the defender and the goalie while a South African defender was standing on the goal line.  Maybe I’m wrong but it looked like he made a mistake.  The referee otherwise had a pretty good, even game.  I thought he was a bit quick to give Juarez (MEX) a yellow at 18′.

You were robbed

In the first half, the South African coach looked a bit drowsy but he was awake enough to make a key adjustment to start the second half.  Parreira brought on Masilela in place of Thwala at left back.  Huge difference.  I would be surprised if Masilela didn’t start the next game because Thwala looked lost while Masilela was solid.

Mexico looked lost in the second half.  A nice pass put Tshabalala (RSA) took a nice though pass and put a little space between himself and the defender and rifled a hard diagonal shot in the corner of the net.  Mexico was lucky because South Africa had about five clear scoring chances.  Mphela (RSA) hit the post at 90′.  So close to taking the three points.

I wonder why Aguirre (MEX) didn’t start Guardado over Juarez in the first place?  Juarez was good in the first half but Guardado was better after he came in at 55′.  His cross to Marquez resulted in Mexico’s tying goal.  Blanco (MEX) came on at 69′ and even though he’s old, for a soccer player, he still has some spark.

I had higher hopes for Mexico in this game.  I had predicted they’d win 2-0 and the way things were going in the first half it looked likely.  I still like Mexico to go through.

Uruguay – France (0-0)

Red Card – Lodeiro (URU) 81′, two yellows

This game ended the way I thought it would.  I was thinking both teams would have scored a goal but 0-0 ties are common in the World Cup.  I hope it doesn’t continue that way.  Both teams tried but just couldn’t put the ball in the net.  Diego Forlan (URU) was the best player on the field.  He was everywhere up front for Uruguay.  Ribery (FRA) looked a bit rushed all game.  He is one of my favorite players and has such a high energy level but he would have done better to tone it down in this game.  He looked angry the whole time.  When he’s on for Bayern Munich it looks like he’s having a good time but he didn’t look that way here.

Mr. Everything for Uruguay

Bakari Sagna (FRA) was solid on defense and did a lot of work.  Toulalan (FRA) was all over and Anelka (FRA) didn’t impress me that much.  And no, it has nothing to do with the fact he plays for Chelsea.

Very good player, terrible hair

I didn’t think Uruguay would be this good and now their game with Mexico should be interesting.  Expect that game to be played at a high pace.  Actually, expect that for all the games in this group because these teams showed that they aren’t content to grind things out.  They want to go forward and put pressure on the defenses.

Standings – Group A

Team (points)

South Africa (1), Mexico (1), Uruguay (1), France (1)

One day down and so far so good.  See you tomorrow

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