Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2010 World Cup: Group A to draw to a close?

Today's Group A game between Uruguay and Mexico seems to be attracting conspiracy theories already.

With both teams needing just a point to progress is there a risk that they'll both settle for a draw?

It's a tricky one. Our collective memory of such things is coloured by the footage of West Germany and Austria and their 1982 farce. It's unfair to judge the players of Mexico and Uruguay because we've seen dodgy dealings in the past.

There's also the spectre of Argentina. Winning the group means avoiding them in the last 16. Hopefully that's enough to ensure we see a proper game between the Group A's best two teams today.

On the other hand both teams will be aware that they deserve to progress. Will a couple of changes to the starting teams, a little shift in the tactics, lead to an unofficial non-aggression pact that suits both?

I don't think so. I think Uruguay in particular will go for it and get the win that sends them through.

And, given the required swing in goal difference, I expect Mexico to go through with them. Although we can but hope that South Africa hand France the beating they so richly deserve.