Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup
closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as
a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of
the World Cup.
Read earlier columns
Summary of Group F and Group G Initial Matches
The last initial group F game was concluded this morning. It was New Zealand vs. Slovakia. It was an entertaining game. Both teams were trying to get the 3 points. Slovakia was the most aggressive team in this game. However, The New Zealand Internationals did not make it easy for the Slovaks Internationals. I think the objective of two teams were to find a way to get those three points that could have give them 2 points advantage on Paraguay and Italy. The first half ended 0-0. However, it was Robert Vittek who put the Slovaks ahead with a beautiful header in the 50th minute. At that point, the Slovaks were in a good position to steal those 3 points and that would have at least made them a bit comfortable to go into the next two games. However, the Kiwis were not about to give up either. The All Whites, throughout the game, did not give up and they did continue to put the pressure on the Slovaks. Their persistence paid up in injury time when Winston Reid equalized the game in the 93rd minute for the Kiwis with a magnificent header on a beautiful cross by Shane Smeltz. It must have been a great celebration in every corner of New Zealand. Both teams have given their best and the result was fair. Now, Group F is back to square one since Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia have 1 point each with a goal differential of zero.
Today was the initial games of Group G. All of us were waiting for Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast and Kaka of Brazil. The first initial game in Group G was between Portugal and Ivory Coast. It was unfortunate that Drogba could not start the game but Cristiano Ronaldo was there. The whole world was waiting for him to see if he could have finally stepped it up to the highest level. Despite hitting the goal post with a wicked shot in the beginning of the game, Ronaldo was basically frustrated throughout the game. We have to give credit to Ivory Coast for playing a great game against Portugal. Had Drogba been able to start the game, Portugal could have been in the losing end today. The whole Africa was waiting to see Ivory Coast because so far the African Continent has 2 ties (South Africa and Ivory Coast), 1 win (Ghana), and 3 losses (Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon). Certainly, the Ivory Coast Internationals did not disappoint us since they frustrated the Portuguese Internationals. Now, both Portugal and Ivory Coast will have to face North Korea and Brazil. The greatest obstacle for Portugal and Brazil on their way to the second round will definitely be the 5-time FIFA World Cup Champions. However, these national teams must believe that they can get a positive result against Brazil. We all know this is easier said than done. However, North Korea almost caused a shock to the Brazilians.
The second game in Group G was North Korea vs. Brazil. Brazil is Brazil. No matter what an opponent will try to do. The Brazilians will invent a trick to bury their opponents. Of course, all pundits expect Brazil to walk over the North Koreans. However, the North Korean Internationals were not about to be a push over because they took it hard to the Brazilians who were a bit shocked. The half-time ended 0-0. Somehow, I was expecting a few calls from some of my Haitian friends who supported Brazil, but I did not receive any. Brazil is Brazil and any pundit knew that Brazil would have won the game. It was not long after the start that the Inter Milan player or the Brazilian International, Maicon, finally found a way to break the North Korean wall with a magnificent goal, though I thought the North Korean goalie should have prevented that goal because Maicon had no business to score from such an angle. Despite being a fan of Argentina, If I were to choose a player to score from such angle, I would have chosen a Brazilian. The Brazilians always had that magic with them and when the North Koreans thought they were comfortable by keeping the game at 0-0, they suddenly found themselves down 0-1 after a fantastic run by the talented Maicon Douglas Sisenando.
Even though the North Koreans were down 0-1, they continued to attack Brazil. However, it was not a surprise to me when Elano Blumer buried the North Koreans to give Brazil a 2-0 advantage. Many pundits thought the North Koreans were going to get a half a dozen goals from Brazil, but it was the North Korean International, Yun-Nam Ji, who exposed the Brazilian defense and then crucified the Brazilian goalie, Julio Cesar Espindola, with a missile by leaving him helpless to score a goal for North Korea in the 89th minute. The game ended 2-1 for Brazil.
It was an entertaining game and the North Koreans did play a great game against Brazil and they should feel proud of themselves. Now, Brazil is in complete command of group G and they have also set a FIFA record of winning 8 consecutive initial matches. Brazil has 3 points with a goal differential (GD) of +1, Portugal and Ivory Coast with 1 point each with a GD of 0, and North Korea with 0 point, with a GD of -1. Now, the next games in this group will be: Portugal vs. North Korea and Brazil vs. Ivory Coast. Nothing will be given easy in this group and the North Koreans proved today that they are up to the challenge.
Later today, we will be looking to the initial games in Group H: Chile vs. Honduras; Spain vs. Switzerland and South Africa vs Uruguay in Group A. This is an important game for both Uruguay and South Africa because in group A all four teams have 1 point each. For the fans, we are waiting to see Spain, a serious contender to get the world most coveted trophy in sport. However, the Spaniards have to play the game. So far, we have seen Argentina(serious contender), England (not convincing yet), Netherlands ( Contender), Germany (Serious Contender), Brazil (serious contender); Italy(always a contender despite the catenaccio) and France (not a contenderóteam not united).
Letís continue to enjoy the games. It is about to get more and more excited.
Info on how
the World Cup was founded and about the trophy as well.
on every match in every tournament.
Interesting columns about the past, present and future of the World Cup.
with appearances in the World Cup. Detailed info on every country.
of many of the most influential players in history.
An A-Z collection
of strange and different stories in World Cup history.
A big collection
of various statistics and records.
since it was introduced in 1966.
knowledge about the WC. Three different levels. No prizes, just for fun.
lots of stuff. For instance Best Goals, Best Players and Best Matches.
of links to other soccer sites with World Cup connection.
and buttons for you to link to us if you want.
A little information
on who keeps this site available.