World Cup: Much heartbreak, few cheers
New Delhi: The World Cup extravaganza in South Africa kicked-off with its first week sprouting with some of the most interesting developments as opposed to the general sentiment. Tournament favourites Spain lost their opener against a tight Swiss attack while hosts South Africa were almost wrapped-up by a gritty Uruguay.
The German blitzkrieg of Podolski and the likes have sent a strong warning to Brazil and Argentina who have a long way to go despite their victories. England on the other hand, have a lot of pondering to do as their Butterfinger goalie needs to get his act straight real soon. Rooney too is the target of all teams and his stake to a Red Card for one foul or the other is growing stronger by the day.
With the entire globe converging for the glory ball, five South American teams are so far unbeaten, and in six games have recorded four of the 11 victories currently seen. Compare this with Europe - Only four teams from the continent won their opening games, with two of these being against European opposition. Considering there are a grand total of 12 sides, this makes for pretty desperate reading.
The continued strong showing from South America could have interesting consequences for the rest of the tournament, particularly concerning Uruguay and Paraguay’s refusal to follow the formbook. Instead of a daunting clash against rivals Argentina, Diego Forlan’s men could have the much less intimidating prospect of South Korea, Greece or Nigeria in the second round, while France would have the nightmare of facing Messi and company.
Paraguay obviously have much further to go before they can think of surpassing Italy in the group, but the outlook if they do is very encouraging. Impressive Holland would be avoided in favour of Japan, Cameroon or Denmark, which would be far more agreeable to the Guaranies.
The Pool of Death (Group G) will be the most watched in the week as all eyes are on Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba who has to come with something special of Ronaldo powered Portugal are to be halted in their tracks. The opening match between the two power houses of football went without a goal and this now makes for an interesting watch as Brazil has points and goal difference in their favour.
All in all, if the first week was marked with some solid hits and misses, the second one will bring on the football frenzy with full fervour!