The entertainment level improved a bit today with all three matches providing more attacking football.
All 32 teams have now played, and the indications are that there seems to be no outstanding candidate. Argentina and Germany have looked the most efficient sides so far, while Brazil didn’t convince yesterday, and Spain looked anything but favourites in their 1-0 defeat to Switzerland earlier today.
In fairness to the Spanish they dominated the possession and passed Switzerland off the field for most of the 90 minutes. It was a bit of a freakish result, and on another day they would of won comfortably. Having said that David Villa was uneffective up front on his own, and Fernando Torres looked rusty and well out of touch when he came on in the 61st minute.
Their passing game worked well enough, but I felt they had little width and Hitzveld knew this and his team showed them down the outside almost every time. From a Spanish point of view I would be a bit worried by the fact that Del Bosque didn’t really address this issue until 30 minutes from time, add to that the poor performances from Torres and Villa, and the Spanish have plenty to think about.
They certainly can’t afford any more slips now, with Chile beating Honduras 1-0 in the days other Group H fixture, the Spanish now face the prospect of not winning the group, and that could mean facing Brazil in the last 16 which would really open up the tournament.
Of the other Group H teams. I thought the Swiss looked a well organized unit, you could clearly see the influence of their German coach Ottmar Hitzveld in the way that they played. But they won’t trouble any of the better teams, ok they beat Spain, but it is a one off, and I just can’t see them scoring enough goals to progress much further.
Chile looked the dark horses of the tournament. They played a free flowing attacking brand of football and should have beaten Honduras by a lot more than they did. They look a team to be avoided in the last 16, someone that on their day could beat anyone. While Honduras showed they are not the worst side in the competition, they tried hard enough, but there is no way they will progress from this group.
South Africa are in big trouble now. Their 3-0 defeat to Uruguay already leaves them on the brink of elimination at the group stages. Diego Forlan played well again and scored two of the goals, any watching Manchester United fans must be wondering what went wrong with him at Old Trafford, as on this showing he looks a top class striker.
South Africa now really need tomorrow’s game between France and Mexico to be a draw if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the last 16. The hosts played some neat stuff, but again got found out as they nothing up front.