The first round of the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup has now ended and something that has never happened in any previous World Cups has happened – both the defending champions *and* the runners-up have crashed out! Holders Italy were beaten 3-2 by Slovakia, perhaps not too undeservedly, as their creaking and aging defence crumbled against the sprightly Slovakian attack. France crashed out of what has been a dismal tournament for them after a 2-1 loss against hosts South Africa. With the home team also not going through to the next round, it has been a pretty disastrous world cup for the holders, runners-up and also the hosts!
England just about scraped through to the next round with a narrow 1-0 win against Slovenia but more dramatic was the USA’s last-gasp winner against Algeria – Landon Donovan tapping home in the 92nd minute to get a 1-0 win and top group C. Germany eked out a 1-0 win against Ghana and though Australia beat Serbia 1-0, earlier results mean that its Germany and Ghana which go through.
Argentina beat a defensive Greece 2-0 and The Netherlands came up 2-1 winners over Cameroon and they are the only teams with 3 wins out of 3 matches and hope to be continuing the good form into the knockout rounds. Japan and South Korea are also though to the next round after impressive results against Denmark and Nigeria respectively. Brazil versus Portugal didn’t turn out to be the classic we all hoped for, perhaps because both were already safe. Spain beat a dogged Chile side in the last match of the round as both progress through to the next round.
All that means that the line-up for the round-of-16 matches looks like this:
Uruguay Vs. Korea
USA Vs. Ghana
England Vs. Germany
Argentina Vs. Mexico
Japan Vs. Paraguay
Netherlands Vs. Slovakia
Brazil Vs. Chile
Spain Vs. Portugal
Some tasty ties in there, right? Its warming up quite nicely…
- Game of the Third Week: Japan 3–1 Denmark
- Yawnfest of the Third Week: Brazil 0 – 0 Portugal
- Surprise of the Third Week: Slovakia 3 – 2 Italy
- Disappointment of the Third Week: Brazil’s goalless draw against Portugal
- Most Impressive Player of the Third Week: David Villa (Spain)
- Howler of the Third Week: Chile’s Goalkeeper, whose clearance fell straight into the path of David Villa, who promptly scored!
- Goal of the Third Week: David Villa (Spain) Vs. Chile