The performance of the big teams at South Africa 2010 has been less than impressive in their group matches. There was a lot of hype on the media about what to expect from them, months before the commencement of the tournament.
Now that they are all there in South Africa, they are giving a lot of people high blood pressure, because of their lacklustre performances. Only three of the big teams (Brazil, Argentina and the Netherlands) have had 100% wins in their first two games so far.
Brazil won their opening match against Korea DPR by 2-1 and defeated Cote D’Ivoire 3-1 in their second match. Argentina defeated highly rated Nigeria by a lone goal in their opener, and then went ahead to beat South Africa 4-1 in their next match. They completed the group matches with a 2-0 win over Greece, to maintain a 100% wins. The Netherlands trounced highly rated Denmark 2-0 in their first match, and also defeated hard fighting Japan 1-0 in their next match.
Four times champions and defending champions, Italy could only manage a 1-1 draw against Paraguay in their opener, and played another 1-1 draw against the groups Underdogs New Zealand. Three time champions, Germany, walloped Australia 4-0 in their opening match and then lost 0-1 to unknown Serbia in their second match. 1966 champions, England, played a 1-1 draw against USA in their first match, and another 0-0 draw against Algeria in their next game. They were however lucky to triumph by a lone goal over Slovenia in their last match, courtesy of Jermain Defoe. The host and winners of the 1998 edition, France, played out 0-0 draw against two time winner, Uruguay in their opening, but they lost their second game 0-2 to their North American opponents, Mexico in their next match, and then lost the last by 1-2 to the host, South Africa.
Highly rated Nigeria lost 0-1 to two time champions, Argentina in their opening game; and surprisingly lost their second game 1-2 to second time participants, Greece which has never won any world cup match before. They only managed a 2-2 draw against South Korea in their last game. Cameroon playing with three time African footballer of the year, Samuel Eto’o, lost by 0-1 to Japan in their first match, and also by 1-2 to Denmark in their next match to become the first African country to be knocked out in the first round of this year’s tournament. Cote D’Ivoire with current African footballer of the year Didier Drogba, managed a 0-0 draw against Portugal in their opener, but lost 1-3 to favorites Brazil in their next match.
Algeria lost their opening game 0-1 against little known Slovenia and played out a 0-0 draw against England. They finally crashed out after losing 0-1 against USA in their last match. Portugal played a goalless draw against Cote D’Ivoire in their first game; they eventually tried to redeem their name by beating Korea DPR 7-0 in their next match, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring only once.
So what has happened to the big teams and great names like Miroslav Klose, Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda, Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe, Frank Lampard, Obafemi Martins, Yakubu Aiyegbemi, Osaze Odewingie, Didier Drogba, Gervinho, Salomon Kalou, Samuel Eto’o, Steven Pienaar, Fabia Canavalro, Camoranesi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Deco etc.
France, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Greece and Slovenia have all crashed out in the group stages. We hope the rest teams would be able to give a better account of themselves as they seek to qualify for the round of 16. so far only Argentina, South Korea, Uruguay, Mexico, England and USA have qualified for the round of 16.