Tag Archives: Switzerland

2014 World Cup Draw Set

6 Dec

Yeah, I know, it’s been forever and a day since I actually posted anything, but the World Cup makes a person want to blog again, if only to complain about how rough the US has it.  Anyway, the ridiculously drawn out official draw was today and while yeah, the US has it rough, spare a thought for the Aussies, who have an even tougher go.  And while almost everyone can complain about the groups right now, in the end it’s all about what happens on the field.  Anything can happen on any given day and that’s one of the things that makes the World Cup (and sports in general) so awesome.

Group A: Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon

Group B: Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia

Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan

Group D: Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy

Group E: Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras

Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria

Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA

Group H: Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea

I’ll admit that my initial thoughts were that the USA was on the receiving end of a brutal draw (In fact I think my exact words were ‘holy shit’).  But after thinking about it a little bit, I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as it could’ve been.  I think it’s great that the US will open against Ghana.  It’s going to be huge for the Yanks to start the tournament well and if they can do so against a team that’s knocked them out of the last two World Cups, so much the better.  There’s no doubt they’ll have the motivation to take down Ghana.  Portugal is tough, even if they only qualified through the strength of one Mr. Ronaldo, but I do think they are beatable if the US can play an entire 90 minutes.  I believe that Germany is the top team in the group and probably one of the favorites for the tournament.  That will be interesting if only for the storyline of Klinsmann taking on his home country.  I’ll chalk that one up for a German victory.

As I’ve said in the past, the key to US success on the big stage is putting together a solid 90 minutes. They can’t afford to have lapses and give up early goals like they did against England, Slovenia, Ghana x2 last time around.  Coming from behind to win/draw is not a sustainable model for success. The US has been playing well in the past year and I think Klinsmann’s system is finally starting to click.  It’s just a matter of whether they can show up when it really counts and play consistent football.

Now for the extremely premature predictions.  Of course a team’s chances could go to hell in a handbasket pretty quick with a couple key injuries and we all know that there is a lot of football to be played before we get to Brazil.  But based on how things stand currently, this is what my gut says:

Advance to second round (1st, 2nd)

Group A: Brazil, Croatia

Group B: Spain, Chile

Group C: Colombia, Japan

Group D: Italy, England

Group E: France, Honduras

Group F: Argentina, Nigeria

Group G: Germany, USA

Group H: Belgium, South Korea

Knockout

A1 vs. B2: Brazil vs. Chile – Brazil

A2 vs. B1: Spain vs. Croatia – Spain

C1 vs. D2: Colombia vs. England – Colombia

C2 vs. D1: Japan vs. Italy – Italy

E1 vs. F2: France vs. Nigeria – France

E2 vs. F1: Honduras vs. Argentina – Argentina

G1 vs. H2: Germany vs. South Korea – Germany

G2 vs. H1: USA vs. Belgium – Belgium

Round of 8

Brazil vs. Colombia – Brazil

France vs. Germany – Germany

Spain vs. Italy – Spain

Argentina vs. Belgium – Argentina

Semifinals

Brazil vs. Germany – Brazil

Spain vs. Argentina – Spain

Final

Brazil vs. Spain – Brazil

Going with the home country in this one.  France was the last team to lift the World Cup in their home country, but I think Brazil has the talent to get it done.  Spain’s got the experience though and Brazil will be under mountains of pressure, so I anticipate this final going down to the last minutes.

World Cup results – June 25

25 Jun

The final day of group games lacked any real drama.  In group G, Brazil and Portugal played a lackluster 0-0 draw to both advance to the round of 16.  Ivory Coast went out on a positive note, beating North Korea 3-0.  The Ivorians needed to make up a nine goal difference to surpass Portugal, a tall task by any stretch of the imagination.

In group H, every team was alive for a spot in the round of 16 going into today’s games.  Honduras and Switzerland each needed to win to have a chance at advancing, but it just wasn’t happening for either team as the game between the two ended in a 0-0 draw.  Spain clinched top spot in the group with a 2-1 win over Chile.  David Villa scored Spain’s first goal in rather spectacular fashion.  After Chile goalie Claudio Bravo cleared the ball way out of his area, Villa was in the right place to belt the ball into the empty net from about 50 yards out.   Andres Iniesta added the second only 13 minutes later.

Group G results
North Korea 0
Ivory Coast (Toure 14, Romaric 20, Kalou 82)

Portugal 0
Brazil 0

Group H results
Chile 1
Spain 2 (Villa 24, Iniesta 37)

Switzerland 0
Honduras 0

Final Group G standings
Brazil – 7 (+3)
Portugal – 5 (+7)
Ivory Coast – 4 (+1)
North Korea – 0 (-11)

Final Group H standings
Spain – 6 (+2)
Chile – 6 (+1)
Switzerland – 4 (0)
Honduras – 1 (-3)

Round of 16 matchups
Brazil vs. Chile
Spain vs. Portugal

World Cup results – June 21

22 Jun

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted.  Anyhoo, the biggest story of yesterday was Portugal’s 7-0 drubbing of North Korea.  After only scoring once in the first half, Portugal hit six in the second half.  Six different players scored with Tiago notching two.  With the loss, North Korea was officially eliminated from the tournament.  Portugal put itself in good position to advance as Ivory Coast would need to put at least 10 past North Korea to even have a chance.

Chile kept top spot in group H with a 1-0 win over Switzerland.  The Swiss played the last hour a man down after a dubious straight red card to Valon Behrami.  Mark Gonzalez scored Chile’s lone goal in 75th minute.  By all accounts, Chile should have put several more in the back of the net and the team’s lack of scoring could come back to haunt them as they only have a one goal advantage over second place Spain. 

Spain got a double from David Villa to notch a 2-0 win over Honduras.  Villa scored once in each half and had a chance for a hat trick but missed a penalty.  Honduras was completely outclassed in this match and if Spain had played like this against Switzerland, they probably would have won.  The last group game against Chile will be vital for Spain.

Group G results
Portugal 7 (Meireles 29, Simão 53, Almeida 56, Tiago 60, 89, Liedson 81, Ronaldo 87)
North Korea 0

Group H results
Chile 1 (Gonzalez 75)
Switzerland 0

Spain 2 (Villa 17, 51)
Honduras 0

Group G standings
Brazil – 6 (+3)
Portugal – 4 (+7)
Ivory Coast – 1 (-2)
North Korea – 0 (-8)

Group H standings
Chile – 6 (+2)
Spain – 3 (+1)
Switzerland – 3 (0)
Honduras – 0 (-3)

Six thoughts after six days

17 Jun

Well, I meant to post this yesterday, but I forgot, so you get it today instead. 

The World Cup is six days old and every team has played its first group game, so here’s my thoughts on the first 16 matches.

  • Meh.  Team are playing cautiously, which means lots of defense and not a lot of goals.  Not exactly super exciting stuff so far.  Only four teams have scored more than one goal in a game (South Korea, Germany, Netherlands and Brazil). Things should open up more as teams push for wins to get to the next round.
  • Germany is the only team so far that looks like it wants to win.  Granted, Australia looked rather poor, but Germany’s passing was spot-on.  They did such a good job controlling the ball and the pace of the game.  Plus, the Germans got four goals from four different people and it’s always nice to have multiple strike options.
  • Game of the first round: Switzerland 1, Spain 0.  South Africa has not been kind to Spain.  A year after losing to the U.S. in the Confederations Cup, Switzerland shocked Spain in the opening game of group H.  Spain had plenty of opportunities to score, but just couldn’t convert.  Spain should be able to recover and get out of the group, but Chile also looked dangerous so the road once viewed as easy might get a little bit rougher.
  • As much as I would love to see South Africa get into the second round, I just don’t see it happening.  The team just doesn’t have the depth. (Also, a 3-0 loss to Uruguay and a red card for the starting goalie made that road a LOT tougher.)
  • The stars have yet to shine.  Lionel Messi and Argentina’s formidable strikers haven’t scored a goal (defender Gabriel Heinze scored the winner against Nigeria).  Cristiano Ronaldo was a non-factor and Didier Drogba was relegated to substitute duty.  Wayne Rooney hardly touched the ball.  No one has put their team on their shoulders and carried them a win (Zidane style, of course).  The big names have to step up their game.
  • As a whole, the refereeing has been solid.  I’m sure Tim Cahill would beg to differ, but compared to four years ago, refs are pulling those cards out a lot less.

World Cup results – June 16

16 Jun

Switzerland pulled the upset of the tournament so far, beating favored Spain 1-0 on a 52nd minute Gelson Fernandes goal.  Spain had several chances to score, but couldn’t ever put it in the back of the net.  Xabi Alonso came closest though, nailing a shot off the cross bar in the final minutes.  In the day’s opening game, Chile knocked off Honduras, 1-0, but it could’ve easily been 3-0 or 4-0.  Honduras just never really got in a groove. In the second set of games in group A, Uruguay dominated host South Africa in a 3-0 win. Diego Forlan became the first player in the tournament to score multiple goals in the same game.

Group H Results
Honduras 0
Chile 1 (Beausejour 34)

Spain 0
Switzerland 1 (Fernandes 52)

Group A Results
South Africa 0
Uruguay 3 (Forlan 24, 80 – pen, Pereira 90)

Group H Standings
Chile – 3
Switzerland – 3
Spain – 0
Honduras – 0

World Cup draw is set

4 Dec

The groups are set for the 2010 World Cup. Host South Africa will open the tournament on June 11 against Mexico. At first glance, group G looks like the toughest one of the bunch with Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast and Portugal. The US ended up with a pretty good draw in group C – it’s definitely a group they can get out of. The Yanks will open with England and also play Algeria and Slovenia. Only 188 days to dissect all the possibilities…

Group A                            Group B
South Africa                      Argentina
Mexico                                Nigeria 
Uruguay                             South Korea
France                                 Greece

Group C                          Group D
England                             Germany
USA                                    Australia
Algeria                              Serbia
Slovenia                           Ghana

Group E                        Group F
Netherlands                  Italy
Denmark                        Paraguay
Japan                              New Zealand
Cameroon                     Slovakia

Group G                      Group H
Brazil                              Spain
North Korea                Switzerland
Ivory Coast                 Honduras
Portugal                       Chile

World Cup latest

2 Dec

FIFA has decided that there will be no extra referees in World Cup matches, although bungling president Sepp Blatter said there are plans to add more officials and/or technology later on. FIFA, why are you waiting?! If you want to keep the integrity of the game intact, you need to make some changes now. Heaven forbid you do something out of the box. Like I said yesterday, if anything like the Henry incident happens in the World Cup itself, there will be hell to pay.  If it weren’t for the Henry handball, this wouldn’t be a big deal, however since it did happen, the refereeing will be scrutinized even more than usual in 2010.

FIFA has also announced the top eight seeds for Friday’s draw. Host South Africa, along with Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina and England are the seeded teams. FIFA used their October rankings to determine the seeded teams, although there has been speculation that France was denied a seeding based on their controversial qualification. However, France was ninth in the October rankings, so they wouldn’t have been seeded anyways. Each group will have one team from each pot.

As far as the U.S. goes, it’s looking like they could be in for a tough group. However, they’ve shown that they can play with anyone (Spain, Brazil in the Confederations Cup) and if they can use that confidence and play a solid 90 minutes, they could do good things.

World Cup pots for final draw
Pot 1 – South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England
Pot 2 – Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, New Zealand, Honduras, Mexico, USA
Pot 3 – Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
Pot 4 – Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland