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World Cup – Day 1

I realize this is a little late .. most of my World Cup posts will be as I will be watching most of the games after the fact on DVR.

South Africa 1 – Mexico 1

This was a thoroughly enjoyable game to watch, and a great way to kick off the World Cup. The hosts played far better than I expected them to, and the 1-1 tie was an appropriate outcome.  However, the Bafana Bafana will very likely regret that they let El Tri off the hook. Mexico controlled the first half, but couldn’t score.  The second half started the same, but a nice long ball to Tshabalala and a beautiful strike put the hosts ahead.  However, pitifully poor defense on a set piece allowed Rafa Marquez as easy a goal as you are likely to see,  and Mphela missed a golden chance for a winner in stoppage time.  The referees did a great job. A Mexico goal was properly disallowed properly for offside in the 30th minute, although the commentator spewed nonsense about an error.

Uruguay 0 – France 0

This game, on the other hand, was a snoozer.  France has to talent to reach the semi-final, but they played terribly. There was no flow or purpose to their game. They needed to get the ball to Franck Ribery, but he was nowhere to be found.  And I am baffled that Florent Malouda, a key piece of Chelsea’s domination of England this year, was only a late sub. There was some late action after Uruguay went down to 10 men, but a goal would have been good fortune rather than good play. The referees did a good job.  Nicolas Lodiero was properly dismissed for two poor challenges. I quickly tired of the Uruguayans asking for cards after every French foul, and wish that the referee had shown a yellow card for unsporting behavior to one of them. It was also ironic to see the French complaining (wrongly) about a handball not called on Uruguay in the penalty area.

This is going to be a fun few weeks!

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