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.


  1. I disagree that either West Germany or Austria team should be ashamed of that game. If a draw suits both teams, then why not make sure you draw?

    If other teams think this is unfair, tough, they should have achieved better results in their previous games.

    Will it be bad for spectators? Yes, but surely no worse than the Algeria vs England game. That's football.

    Will it happen? Maybe not initially, the best form of defence is attack after all. But if it's all even half way through the second half it would be insane of either team to risk defeat.


  2. It's a strange one. I suppose it's not in the spirit of the game but football is about results.

    Maybe today's different from 1982 in that back then Germany needed a win and Austria seemed happy to lose. Also because the games weren't played at the same time it was quite clearly premeditated.

    I don't think it will happen today anyway, Uruguay and Mexico will both want to win the group so will go for it. Like you say though if word filters back after 70 minutes that the current result suits them both then they will take their foot off the pedal.

    I have actually seen something similar happen in the SPL when Hibs and Rangers played out the last 20 or so minutes of a game just passing the ball about. The result (I think 1-0 to Rangers) was enough for Rangers to win the SPL and Hibs to get into Europe.

    So it's not just these foreigners who can stretch the Corinthian spirit.