What We Learned From Uruguay vs South Africa (3-0)

And So It Begins…

A bit like the second half of Gladiator, it started off slowly but now it’s time for Maximus Gladiatorius Violentius to walk out alone and stab a whole load of bastards to death. This round of matches matter. There will be those who will effectively be out of the running by the end of this Round, so unlike the first match, where not losing was, apparently, more important than actually winning, winning is everything. Let’s say it again, Losers Will Go Home. Starting now.

Who Was The Star Of The Show?

Anyone remember Poborsky, the topiary-haired Czech winger Man U bought on the back of Euro 96, who stumbled and fell and never quite managed to live up to the promise of a couple of good matches in the Euros? Well imagine everyone’s surprise when a player who was deemed even less successful at Old Trafford (no not Eric Djemba-Djemba or Juan Sebastian Veron) appears to be the Star of the Show here in Aferica. Yes, while Rhino, Ronalda, Messi, Kaka, Juan Sebastian Veron, Uncle Tom Cobley and all, misfire like a bunch of badly converted starter pistols, the one-time useless boy of the Stratford End has become the tournament’s top scorer and the influential lynchpin of Uruguay’s campaign. He scored a fantastic long range whammer, then helped cement the victory by whacking in the penalty to make it 2 – 0. Who’d have thunk it?

That’s The End Of South Africa Then

Despite the blaring noise of vuvuzelas and the overwhelming enthusiasm of pretty much the entire non-Uruguayan world, a distinct lack of footballing talent wasn’t quite enough to get South Africa through this game. Unless they achieve the super-double-bonus miracle of having France and Mexico draw and then beat France in their final match by something like 4 – 0, South Africa are on their way home. Fortunately for them as the tournament is being held in South Africa, they won’t have far to travel. Sadly for them they will be the first host nation to fail to make it through the Group games.

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