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Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

South Africa ready to set history

June 11th, 2010 No comments

phpJff1AnSoccer City’s metallic pot is gleaming in the sunshine, the vuvuzelas are becoming more cacophonous by the moment and a nation is now bathed in such a fever that even a Brazilian who has brought home a World Cup to show his compatriots reckons he has seen nothing to compare.
Now all that is needed to launch Africa’s World Cup is for the Bafana Bafana to deliver the perfect opening stanza by beating Mexico here on Friday. With a kind of madness descending upon Johannesburg which seems guaranteed to induce frayed nerves in the sturdiest of South Africa’s players, it is just as well the hosts have a manager of Carlos Alberto Parreira’s experience and stature to keep them calmly grounded.

So while Nelson Mandela makes his lump-in-the-throat appearance and amid all the opening ceremony razzmatazz before the historic kick-off in Africa’s biggest stadium, the man who guided Brazil to the 1994 title reckons he will have only one simple, soothing message to his players this afternoon: “Just have fun, enjoy the game.” Read more…

England 3-1 Mexico

May 25th, 2010 No comments

php7WHHUiOn a night of Mexican waves, Wembley waved goodbye to England but Fabio Capello can wave goodbye to any hopes of winning the World Cup unless he deploys Steven Gerrard more centrally. Only when Gerrard was liberated from his left-sided wilderness did England look a team close to finding a path to the promised land in South Africa.

England were leading 2-1 by the time of Gerrard’s switch inside, first-half goals from Ledley King and Peter Crouch masking a multitude of sins. Just before the break, Guillermo Franco pulled one back and Capello’s face bore the look of thunder. Gerrard and James Milner swapped positions and suddenly England had more balance, more conviction.
The positives were clear: Robert Green impressed in goal during his 45 minutes, making two exceptional saves from Carlos Vela, Glen Johnson confirmed his attacking talent with a sublime strike, Theo Walcott looked lively down the right while Adam Johnson delivered a sparkling late cameo.

The negatives were difficult to avoid: England’s back-line looked vulnerable to sudden attacks and central midfield lacked substance until Gerrard shifted inside. The scoreline will have engendered some hope but the way Mexico’s nimble ball-players passed their way through England was alarming. Read more…

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