Monday, June 21, 2010

Mexico v Uruguay - looks like a draw, smells like a draw but will it be a draw?

So tomorrow Group A will wrap up their first round matches and more importantly the soap opera that is the French national team will come to an end - Raymond Domenech's 6 year tenure as the manager of the national side will come to an end....finally. With France sitting tied with South Africa with 1pt, while Uruguay and Mexico have 4 pts.

Group A
South AfricaSouth Africa2011141

It appears all but academic since a draw will ensure both Mexico and Uruguay will head on to the final 16. Not so fast..okay I realize this is grasping at straws however...looking towards the last 16 and beyond. The winner of this group goes into, arguably, the easier side of the bracket.

Clearly the winner of Group A will head to knockout side including the runner up of Group B, D and winner of Group C. Whoever ends first, they would face either South Korea or Greece if they win that match most likely face the United States/Slovenia or Ghana/Serbia. No world beating nations. However the team that ends in second will have to face Argentina in the first round of knock out. And if they get past that, may have to face England/Germany...quite a difference in terms of coming in first or second in the group. While all signs point to a lackluster draw between Mexico and Uruguay...there might be some motivation for both sides to seek a victory to ensure they miss Messi and co in the first stage of knock out. Also, both sides know that it will most likely take a 3 to 4 goal victory from Les Bleus to overcome the goal differential, meaning a 1-0 loss will not be fatal to the losing team, but could prove monumental for the winner.

While it smells, walks, talks and looks like a draw, something tells me that both sides might be more motivated than many expect to try and get the full 3 points...unless of course France are up 3-0 at half time....then again France need to score ONE goal before they can score 3 or more! Hey one can always dream. And based on the drama that has clouded the French camp the past few days we could see a team that comes out and completely implodes losing 2-0 to South Africa, or somehow finds motivation as a unit to show the world and management that they have been held back by Dumbenech.  Somehow I fear the former but would love to see the latter.


Anonymous said...

Thank you!
A lot of people don't realize this seeding, including Ruud Gullit on ESPN.

GFC said...

I think the talking heads just think both nations are happy to get to the next round. However I would really want to avoid playing Argentina - both nations would have been very happy if they were told they had a legitimate chance to get to the 1/4 finals or even 1/2 finals prior to tournament - however if they end second that task will be monumental.

For a team like Mexico I think they would fancy their chances playing South Korea and then who ever comes out of a potential England/Serbia there remains some hope, albeit slim!

GFC said...

Lalas just spoke about the fact Uruguay and Mexico will look to get a result for the first 2/3 of their game and if there is no advantage after that sit back and go for the draw...what I do not think he realizes is that France and South Africa have to win by at least 3 goals! So if it is also 0-0 why wouldn't Mexico go for a win, they don't want to meet Argentina!