As fast as you can feel, FIFA World Cup 2010 has reached its halfway mark. All 32 teams has played 2 times each and some has known thei faith, while some still pretty much depended on the last match of the group. To preserve the thrill, drama, and living memory of this FIFA World Cup 2010 – here is the snapshot of the halfway mark and a little bit amateur commentary from me. Enjoy…

[FIFA World Cup 2010]
See analysis of Group E, F, G, H

Group A

The cup is kicked start with the host nation South Africa make a surprise draw again more favorite Mexico, followed by yet another surprise that 1998 Champion, France also forced to draw by Uruguay.

Ireland can have a little bit smile seeing karma at work. Remember, France only qualified to the world cup by defeating Ireland 2-1 with hand ball’s goal. The superstar of 1998 world cup, Thierry Henry, admit it openly, but France still through. (Even Pizza Hut Ireland gives away 350 pizza for the Irish for each goal any country put into France as token of consolation)

And after that France only see bad things one after another: criticize by their own minister to be too luxurious, defeated by Mexico, their striker Nicolas Anelka sent home, fight between coach and players, even  the player refuse to do training session. What a laughable matters…..

[World Cup 2010 Group A]

World Cup 2010 Group A

But with only last group game remaining, everybody in group A still have a chance to go to knockout stage. But Uruguay and Mexico only need a draw for both of them to qualify.

If Uruguay beats Mexico, say 1-0, then for France, they can qualify by winning with at least 4 goals against South Africa to overcome the goal difference. For South Africa, it is tougher because they need to beat France with 6 goals to qualify.

If Mexico beats Uruguay, say 1-0, then for France, they can qualify by winning with at least 5 goals against South Africa to overcome the goal difference. For South Africa, it is tougher because they need to beat France with 7 goals to qualify.

My take: despite Uruguay’s coach claiming they will play to win, with the risk of injury, yellow card and fitness of the player, it will be very economical for both Uruguay and Mexico to spare a draw, meaning: France and South Africa are out.  So, Uruguay and Mexico will through.

UPDATE: Uruguay win, but as predicted Mexico and Uruguay through…

Group B

No surprise in this group as Argentina cruise along with 2 wins and Korea beats Greece, but  Greece beat Nigeria.

[World Cup 2010 Group B]

World Cup 2010 Group B

So Argentina is qualified already and will face Greece on last group match and South Korea will face Nigeria. But everybody in group B still have a chance to go to knockout stage. Korea and Greece can still go through by winning the last game. Whoever win with the most goal will trough.  But even Nigeria can still qualify with a win with 2 goals (at least) provided Argentina beat Greece.

My take: with Maradona (Argentina’s coach) got a beef with Pele, plus Portugal kills North Korea (the other Korea) by 7-0, Argentina will go for win, maybe a big win, for the prestige. So, Korea and Nigeria will fight for their spot in top 16. But Nigeria need 2 goals, Korea need just a draw. With Argentina wins and Korea wins, so Argentina and Korea will through.

UPDATE: Korea only draw, but as predicted Argentina and Korea through…

Group C

Group C is one of the dull group. England supposed to be in “easy” group but way under performing and only produce 2 draws against USA and Algeria. Only a just win by Slovenia against Algeria 1-0 make them on top of the group.

[World Cup 2010 Group C]

World Cup 2010 Group C

But everybody in group C still have a chance to go to knockout stage. The last match in group C will be:  Slovenia vs England and USA vs Algeria. Whoever win can go through, simple.

My take:  With all play all out, England and USA will be the most probably to win. So, England and USA will through.

UPDATE: As predicted.

Group D

When Germany was seeded in this Group D, no body would dare that Ghana is the one topping the group after 2 matches. The biggest surprise is that Serbia can beat German on their own game. Australia was given a football lesson 0-4 by Germany when Pim Verbeek (Australia coach) made a weird decision to play 4-4-2 where they never play or try it before (instead of the usual 4-3-2-1 pattern).

[World Cup 2010 Group D]

World Cup 2010 Group D

Again, everybody in group D still have a chance to go to knockout stage. Ghana just need a draw, the rest need a win. Australia will play Serbia and German will play Ghana. Germany for sure will determine to win (instead of draw, as Australia or Serbia could still qualify). But even Australia still can make to the next round if Australia win and German vs Ghana don’t end with a draw.

My (bias) take:  German and Australia will win. But for the Aussie, the goal difference probably is still not enough to qualify (Hopefully If German win 4-0,  Australia still have to win 2-0). So, Germany and Australia Ghana will through.

UPDATE: As predicted, but both German and Australia did not make enough goal, so Germany and Ghana through…

See analysis of Group E, F, G, H

The Top 16

So according to the analysis (read: “guess”) above, the top 16 are:

Uruguay Mexico
Argentina Korea
England USA
Germany Australia Ghana
Netherlands Japan
Italy Slovakia Paraguay
Brazil Portugal
Spain Swiss Chile

Let see how many I was wrong next week. Have fun !

UPDATE: hey, 13 out of 16 (81%)!, not bad…

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