5 things we learnt from Wednesday’s World Cup matches

Here are the 5 things we learnt from watching Wednesdays World Cup fixtures:

1. Chile are amongst the dark horses

Chile kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Honduras. Although, the score line doesn’t suggest it was a great game, the Chileans certainly played one. Chile absolutely hammered minnows Honduras in the first of the group H matches. The South Americans flair, strength and speed proved all too much for the Central American country, and inevitably Chile grabbed all 3 points when the final whistle blew. Yes, it was their first match and, people will argue that it was their weakest opponents in their group, but the Chileans look strong and should be taken very seriously in this World Cup. With the likes of Mark Gonzalez, Artudo Vidal and wonder-boy Alexis Sanchez pulling the strings, they could cause any defence in the tournament a problem. Chile did not end up second behind Brazil (by a point) in their qualifying campaign for nothing guys. Definitely keep an eye on them from here on in, as they look to be amongst the dark horses…they might just spring a surprise this summer.

2. Spain remind me of Arsenal – bags of creativity, no end product

Arguably, Spain are the most talented and forceful team in South Africa this summer. The likes of Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta, David Villa and David Silva is something quite frightening to be put up against wouldn’t you say? However, with all the Spaniards creativity and technique comes no end product at times…in a sense they remind me of how Arsenal play the game, a thousand passes, yet no goals. Undeniably, Spain acquire a fantastic squad, all 23 men are world-class players and are established in their own right. The European champions play some mesmerizing and beautiful football, probably the best in the world and credit to them, but at times it’s so frustrating to watch because they don’t finish off majestic team moves…are they Arsenal in disguise?

3. Spain CAN be beat!

Switzerland undoubtedly shocked the football world and certainly rocked the World Cup yesterday when they grabbed all 3 points from the Spaniards, proving that the European champions CAN actually be beaten. The Swiss showed the world how the best team in the world can suffer just like any, all that’s needed is a concoction of desire, determination and most importantly discipline. They never proved to be a threat to the Spanish, many in fact thought that Spain would have walked all over them in score line terms, but they didn’t. Switzerland did not play good football, they were in fact on the ropes throughout the 90 minutes. However, Switzerland’s plan to frustrate and hit the Spaniards on the counter proved effective, and as a result, beat the favourites to win the cup. The result in general proves that any team in the world can suffer defeat, including the mighty Spain.

4. Itumeleng Khune – The first goalkeeper to see red

South Africa’s own Itumeleng Khune was officially the first goalkeeper in the four week tournament to receive a red card. The Bafana Bafana shot-stopper received his marching orders after bringing down Uruguay’s Luis Suarez in the penalty area late on in the second half. Quite a few players have already seen red at this years World Cup, although the 22-year-old is the first in his position so far.

5. ‘Bafana Bafana’ down for the count?

It looks as if the World Cup 2010 hosts, South Africa, could be on their way out of the tournament after suffering a devastating 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Uruguayans last night. Many would want the South Africans to stay in the competition for the atmosphere and colour of the games, but then again, is this a blessing in disguise to get rid of those annoying vuvuzelas? Bafana Bafana are on the count of 9, although, not necessarily knocked out, many will feel that they have taken a major blow and are reeling big time. They now face a gargantuan battle to progress into the last 16…can they do it? Here’ hoping.

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