After the attacking masterclass Argentina put on against the South Koreans, hopes were high that other teams would follow suit, something only previously seen from the Germans in their 4-0 thumping of the ‘Shockeroos’. Yet Serbia had other ideas. Serbian head coach Radomir Antić made some substantial changes to his squad before the Germany clash, calling up no less than eight of the Serbian Olympic Diving team to the Orlovi. Throw in a card-happy referee and an ordinary Lukas Podolski penalty and you have the recipe for a 1-0 boilover.
The surprises didn’t end there. Slovenia forgot they were allowed to win matches at the World Cup and threw away their two-goal cushion to the USA, who had what would have been the winning goal correctly disallowed by referee Koman Coulibaly for interference by small fairy-like creatures.
And England disappointed yet again as their campaign struggles to kick-start; held by an Algerian team that ‘parked the bus’. Wayne Rooney channelled his inner Didier Drogba and vented his frustration by shouting into a television camera.‘Nice to see your own fans booing you. If that’s what loyal support is … for f#$k’s sake,’ waxed the ever-eloquent Rooney.
During the match, the English support was loud enough to drown out the din of the vuvuzelas. Afterwards, their anti-support was loud enough for The Sun to quote Winston Churchill… kind of: ‘Never in the field of World Cup conflict has so little been offered by so few to so many.’ The Poms love to hate themselves.
It seems England clearly needs the one and only ‘Smithy’ to encourage their full potential.
MUST-SEE: Haven’t you just wanted to experience the World Cup atmosphere while you’re browsing the web? Of course you have… right?
EYEBROW-RAISER: Joachim Löw continues to impress in the touch-line fashion stakes with his t-shirt and cardigan combo. Sadly, the classy look did little to inspire die Mannschaft against Serbia.
REASON TO CHEER ON THE NETHERLANDS: They gave the world ‘Total Football’. Robben (when not diving) is a joy to watch, as is young star Eljero Elia, who impressed against the Danes. And Japan tried to cheat us at the last World Cup.
REASON TO CHEER AGAINST THE NETHERLANDS: They also gave the world Pim Verbeek, who in the wise words of Craig Foster, ‘is a disgrace and should be sacked’. Also, a lot of Orange can get hard to look at.
TONIGHT: The Dutch look to progress to the last 16, but a tricky Japanese side stands in their way. Coming off a shock win against Cameroon, the Japanese will give the Dutch a contest, but may find themselves passed off the park with the return of Arjen Robben: Netherlands 2-1 Japan. Tonight, simply for Australia is a must win. After Serbia blew open the group by cheating beating the Germans last night, the Socceroos need to claim the three points against the Black Stars, who looked pretty sharp against the Serbians. Harry Kewell to start, score and generally be fantastic as the nation forgives Pim Verbeek for the now ‘silly thing of the past that happened against the Germans’: Ghana 1-3 Australia. And to finish the day the Danes take on Cameroon, two teams desperate to rekindle any hope of progressing in the tournament. Expect long balls, poor tackles and bad misses from Nicklas Bendtner (for a change): Cameroon 1-1 Denmark.