Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The struggle of the big guns

It is already historic that the World Cup is on the African continent for the first time. The tournament, despite being still in the group stages, has exceeded expectations.

What is mostly happening is what many people did not expect. In the build up to the tournament, African teams were expected to do better but as things stand, it is just the other way round as they started badly and are likely to fall earlier.

Also, just like in the previous tournaments, traditional big guns were given a nod over other countries but they are finding the going tough.

Many people can’t believe what is happening as the power houses are struggling and the underdogs are doing wonders.

This could be due to the fact that the traditional power houses do not have those inspirational players like in previous tournaments.

Traditional soccer powerhouses include the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany and France.

Little known countries that are giving powerhouses sleepless nights include the likes of Slovenia, Uruguay and North Korea.

Who ever thought that after two matches, former champions would only have a point?

The 1998 champions and 2006 finalists face the danger of being eliminated in the group stages. Many soccer gurus had already given Spain the title, mainly because they are the reigning champions of Europe but underdogs Switzerland shocked them with a solitary goal in the opening game. The loss to Switzerland has put Spain under tremendous pressure because they have to win their next encounter against Honduras tomorrow (Monday).

Brazil did not have it easy either in their opening match against North Korea and if their performance is anything to go by, they might as well be eliminated early from the tournament as was the case at the 2006 tournament.

In 2006 they fell in the quarterfinals after being defeated by France. The North Koreans have not qualified for the World Cup for over 30 years but if their performance is any yard stick, they might progress further.

Many thought Brazil would just smoothly sail past their opponents but it was not to be, as they escaped by the skin of their teeth against North Korea. Serbia’s national team is only four years old but they are already doing wonders.

At the 2006 tournament, they were participating as Serbia and Montenegro but they are now an independent nation after breaking away from Montenegro.

Serbia shocked the world after defeating Germany by also a goal on Friday. Germany came into the game buoyed by their 4-0 demolishing of Australia in their opening match. But Serbia showed no respect to them by handing them a defeat.

Germany is now in dire situation because their passage to the second round is not guaranteed.
Another underdog that looks set to cause a major upset is Slovenia. So far they have managed to hold USA after defeating Algeria. This then means England, which is the most popular at the tournament, might also not make it to the second round.

So far, the team that looks to have a clear passage to the second round is Argentina because they have managed to collect maximum points from their last two matches.


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