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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.