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An Early World Cup Run Down

worldcup (courtesy of FIFA.com)

The World Cup isn’t even a week old, but now is a perfect time to see how the world’s biggest sports event has been going. There have been some surprises, and some expected results. From the defending world champions in action, to the much-hyped U.S. vs. England, to the host nation South Africa kicking things off, there was plenty of action to see. Just in case you missed it, here are some of the highlights, and lowlights, so far.

The Biggest Surprise: Paraguay ties Italy

It’s not just that Paraguay is ranked 31st in the world and Italy is fifth. It’s that the reigning World Cup champions came out with such a lackluster performance that they should be lucky to have just tied the game. Paraguay had only one shot on goal and Antolin Alcaraz made it count. After only one game, many are criticizing the Italians’ effort and are wondering if this is really a team that has aspirations of repeating as champions?

Meeting the Expectations: Germany Crushes Australia

Quite simply, the German squad was expected to steamroll the Austrailians and a 4-0 win should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Enough said.

Change in the Tide: Japan defeats Cameroon:

There were few that thought Japan would make it out of group play. Stuck in Group E with the Netherlands, Denmark and Cameroon, the Japanese were coming in as below underdogs. Now, after a 1-0 win against Cameroon, their first World Cup win not on Japanese soil, the 45th ranked Japan team is one upset against Denmark from possibly making their way into group play.

The Biggest Hero: Siphiwe Tshabalala, South Africa

By scoring the first goal of the tournament, Tshabalala got the South African faithful on their feet. Even though their game against Mexico ended in a tie, that goal gave validation to the team, that the host country can compete and will not be easy pickings for the rest of Group A. South Africa will get their next chance against Uruguay to see if they can do what just one person expected: make it to the next round.

The Biggest Flop: Robert Green, England

We’ve seen plenty of flops lately, in the World Cup and from the Lakers, but the biggest flop came from the English goalkeeper. After a simple Clint Dempsey roller scooted its way around Green, he could not bury his head any deeper in the ground. He could have the chance to redeem himself, if England does not pull him from goal before Friday’s game versus Algeria.

What to Watch For:

  • Tuesday’s games feature the GROUP OF DEATH! It’s the Ivory Coast against Portugal and Brazil against North Korea. It’s hard to believe that one of these teams will be eliminated during group play, except for North Korea, which was kind of expected.
  • South Africa against Uruguay kicks off the start of Game 2′s, but more importantly, can South Africa pull off an upset and try to make its way out of group play?
  • Of course, this Friday, the U.S. will go up against Group C leader Slovenia. A loss or tie could jeopardize the Yanks’ chances of moving on; the same goes for England’s game against Algeria.

About Teddy

Was born in Queens, NY, but moved up to New Hampshire around 12, when my interest in sports really began to boom. A huge fan of the Boston sports scene, especially the Sox, Celts, Bruins and Pats. Went to Keene State College where I majored in Journalism and went around covering the college teams. Not just a bandwagon fan... i tend to follow everything from the Draft to Championships. Love to write and look forward to bringing a fun, interesting style... hopefully...

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