Uruguay Fourth

Uruguay
Uruguay

It’s been a little over a week since we got back from South Africa. I feel I am calm enough to write this summary of South Africa 2010. I would like to start with a huge thank you to both Andres and Luis who made the trip a success and it was sensational to share our experience of watching Uruguay at a World Cup together. It was also great to meet Javier and travel together even though it meant I now had 3 bolsos to deal with. Javier brought the true Uruguayan to the table with chants, flags that took up a whole stand and castellano lessons thrown in. Fantastic to meet Alvaro “Recoba” and Enrique, both from Melbourne but we wont hold that against them.

Locos por Uruguay
Locos por Uruguay

Now for a huge thank you to the Uruguayan Squad including everyone from the coaching staff, delegates, cooks and media. If it wasn’t for all the Uruguayans in South Africa I don’t believe I would have lasted on the African continent.

The games that Uruguay played were amazing in many ways. The first game against France is where I learnt my first chant. ” Francia te vamos a cojer”

The next game against South Africa was incredible as we were surrounded by Bafana Bafana fans blowing on their vuvuzelas. Hearing the silence in the stadium after the third Uruguayan goal was bliss and I can still hear it now ssshhhhhh!!!!!

Then we played Mexico and the lesson there was “OOooooHHHhhhhhh Putos”. When Suarez scored the winner it was a highlight and I screamed that goal with passion, insults and the famous chant….. Putos!!!!!!

Uruguay vs Mexico
Uruguay vs Mexico

Uruguay first in Group A which meant we avoided Argentina and would play against the Korea Republic. Though avoiding Argentina did not please all Uruguayans!!!

The game against Korea Republic in the rain and being behind the goal where Suarez scored the winner was a magical night I will never forget it. Uruguay No Ma!!!!

Uruguay 2-1 Korea Republic
Uruguay 2-1 Korea Republic

Then next was the game against Ghana and all of Africa. This game took everything out of me as it was a rollercoaster ride. Luckily we had visited the Cheaters in preparation for this game.

Uruguayans patting the Cheaters
Uruguayans patting the Cheaters

The game against Holland was a strange game as I thought I was at a fancy dress party. It didn’t feel like a game of futbol but instead a visit to a cafe’ in Amsterdam. Forlan’s goal was a sensational experience with El Mono giving us hope but not enough to get through.

Drugs Anyone?
Drugs Anyone?

Then there was the third and fourth play off which we watched in 3D. Maybe Muslera should have watched the game with 3D glasses as he didn’t seem to see the jabulani ball very well. The chant I learnt for this game was: ” A este pulpo le tenemos que ganar, a este pulpo le tenemos que ganar”

3D Glasses in hand
3D Glasses in hand

Then there was all the other things that happened throughout the tournament. Like the prophetic discussion we had on whether handling the ball is allowed only to laugh after the Suarez incident happened weeks after. The code we used for all blacks, Chenque y Palito. The way we managed to get close to the Uruguayan squad. We hung out with Uruguay before and after the Mexico game.

Palito y Andres
Palito y Andres

Achieving one of my goals for South Africa, which was meeting and getting Ghiggia’s signature. It sure wasn’t easy catching him as he still moves fast for being in his 80’s.

Ghiggia's Signature
Ghiggia's Signature

Ghiggia still moving fast
Ghiggia still moving fast

Then there are the sacrifices one must make when hanging around nacional supporters, but it’s the least I can do.

El Presidente'
El Presidente'

Then there were all the extra games we went to see; Brazil vs Korea; Argentina vs Korea Republic; Australia vs Ghana and Australia vs Serbia.

Australia vs Ghana
Australia vs Ghana

Then there was the South African wild life:

Pato Loco
Pato Loco
Wild Lions
Wild Lions
Wild Birds
Wild Birds

To finish this post with Diego Forlan who upon arriving in Cape Town we saw the following poster showing Forlan as the “Bomber”. Looks like South Africa knew what was going to happen. Diego Forlan, player of the tournament, scored the goal of the tournament and equalled the leading goal scorer in the World Cup. Gracias Diego y Gracias Uruguay. Gracias por todo and for a fantastic World Cup. It was a Dream come true which nearly finished with the World Cup in hand.

Forlan El Bomber
Forlan El Bomber
Missed it by that much
Missed it by that much

Gracias Uruguay Gracias
Gracias Uruguay Gracias
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We’re on a Mission from God

  

We're on a Mission from God

Sometimes I feel I’m in the Blues Brothers, driving around South Africa with a mission. I sometimes hear in my head the Blues Brothers theme playing and feel “We’re on a Mission from God”. Not trying to upset the religious folk out there but I’m an atheist, thank God.    

 
 

Blues Brothers Speedometer

Yesterday was an amazing game that totally drained every bit of energy I had left. We had driven for 12 or 16 hours from Port Elizabeth and arrived the morning of the game. After waiting for McDonald’s to open at 6am, we proceeded to have breakfast. We then arrived at our accommodation and I think I fell asleep for 30 or 40 minutes. We got ready and headed off to watch Holland vs Brazil. We watched the first half only and then proceeded for an endless journey to the stadium. 

It started with a drive to the designated area to park and catch a bus. We parked the car and walked for 10 to 15 minutes to the bus. Caught the bus which seemed to take the scenic route around Jo’Berg. After what seemed like a 30 or 40 minute bus ride we got dropped off about a 40 minute walk from the stadium. We walked and walked to the stadium only to be walking further away from the stadium but finally arrived after the marathon journey. 

I knew it was going to be a tough game as everyone and his dog were instant Ghana fans. Everyone we spoke to said they felt sorry for us having to play against all of Africa. I guess they don’t understand that we have done all this before. During the qualifiers Uruguay played in hostile environments and are very experienced with these type of games. 

The noise coming from the stadium could never pass the regulatory frequencies that are allowed, as these vuvuzelas have no rhythm and are just a loud noise. I believe they were actually as much a problem for Ghana as they were for Uruguay. The Ghana fans were playing drums and had a nice rhythm going but were drowned out by the rhythmless South Africans. 

The stadium erupted everytime Ghana attacked and went mad when Ghana scored. They seemed to get a little scared after the Forlan goal as the stadium went totally quiet except for the Uruguayan fans. The Africans were complaining about everything, Suarez diving, the referee, the offsides, the freekicks but only if they were against Ghana. I got the feeling that a lot of the African fans didn’t know the rules and seemed confused with the missed penalty kick and then the penalty shootout. 

When El Loco stepped up to take the penalty kick to win the game, most around me did not realise that if El Loco scored it was the end of the game. After seeing El Loco take the penalty kick in the Copa America I knew he was going to do the same thing and I prayed that the Ghana Goalkeeper had not done his research. When El Loco scored the stadium went dead quiet and people around me did not understand what had happened. I explained to them that Africa is out of the World Cup, Ghana has lost the game and Uruguay are in the Semi Final. 

Save of the Tournament

Who said that the volleyball training wouldn’t pay off. A lot of people are comparing this to Maradona and Henry but I would like to remind everyone that the difference is that Suarez got caught. He got sent off and a penalty was awarded. Now if Ghana cannot score that penalty it’s not Uruguay’s fault. These things happen in futbol and you have to move on and for Africa move on out of the World Cup 2010. 

  
 

Golazo Forlan
Muslera Que Grande
Esta Loco
Grande Muslera y Suarez
Uruguay No Mas
Uruguay Que No Ni No

 Holanda te vamos a cojer, Holanda te vamos a cojer, te vamos a cojer, Holanda te vamos a cojer!!!!!!!!

 

Holanda te vamos a cojer

 

English Ref for Uruguay vs Ghana

 

FIFA has appointed an English referee for the game between Uruguay vs Ghana. This now adds the extra element I was already expecting. To win the World Cup not only do you need to play decent futbol but you also have to beat the establishment. You can see it clearly at the World Cup, all the preference are for teams like Brazil, Argentina and Germany.

From a Marketing point of view the dream FIFA final would not include Paraguay, Ghana or Uruguay. FIFA would hope for a Brazil vs Argentina, Brazil vs Spain or any variance with Germany in it. This isn’t a surprise for me as I expected this type of favouritism.

One thing is for sure, it’s going to take more than the referee to stop Uruguay reaching the Semi Final. Uruguay will be intense and will never give up. We have depth on the bench with players they don’t even expect. We can change the game from a defensive style to a double playmaker if both Nacho and Lodeiro play. We can play any formation with a strong midfield as both Eguren and Gargano have either not played or played very little.

We have a great coach who has found the tactic and players. We might end up winning in extra time or on penalties with ony 8 men but we will fight to the end. Uruguay is used to playing against the odds and the Africans will learn what it’s like to play in the qualifiers in South America. We have already been in every situation possible. We were even out of the World Cup at one stage  in Ecuador only to turn the game around and win with the last kick of the game.

Vamos Uruguay Vamos Carajo Vamos!!!!!!!

Uruguay Gana

  

Uruguay vs Korea Republic

Uruguay are one game away from a Semi Final appearance at the 2010 South African World Cup. The game that Uruguay needs to win is against Ghana, who is the only African team left in the first World Cup held on African Soil. 

An African committee has been established to encourage all Africans to support Ghana. The South Africans were supporting Korea Republic, which ended up being a home ground feeling for the Koreans. Now the Africans want everyone to support Ghana because Uruguay knocked South Africa out. 

What the South Africans don’t understand is that we actually helped them by beating Mexico in the last group game and they beat France but missed a host of goals which would have got them through to the next round. It was the South Africans lack of goals that eliminated them. It’s a matter of how you see the glass of water, it’s either half full or half empty. Now for the game against Ghana it will be a home ground for Ghana which actually suits the Uruguayans as we are small in numbers, the only large numbers we have is our Futbol history. 

When I look at the possible Quarter Finals that are left we have what I believe as the most accessible Quarter Final. The referees have been in the highlight with huge mistakes against England and Mexico and will always be a decisive element to the game. Lugano has expressed his concerns with the referees, Lugano explains that against Korea Republic the referee did not award a hand ball in the penalty box, an offside was given when Suarez was left one on one with the keeper even though he was on side and the Korean free kick which led to the goal he believes should not have been a free kick in the first place. 

We are now getting ready to watch Brazil vs Chile and have just watched Holland beat Slovakia 2-1. We have been without an internet connection for 24 hours as this is Africa. We had no hot water this morning, they ran out of garbage bags and toilet paper. When we asked for fresh towels they told us they will get some for us and ended up arriving the next day. Welcome to African time. This is all a great omen as Forlan, Suarez and Cavani will score against Ghana before they even kick off. 

 

  

 

Uruguay 2 -1 Korea Republic
Vamos Uruguay Carajo Vamos!!!!

 

38 Days: What are the Odds?

 

Fortune Teller
Let me look into the Crystal Ball

 

It seems every where I turn there is someone predicting the teams that will qualify for the second round and how they will progress throughout the tournament. Everybody seems to be talking but nobody is putting their money where their mouths are. Then there is Sportsbet who are putting their money on the line, so lets analyse what they predict.

Group A

A1: France $2.00

A2: Mexico $4.33

A3: Uruguay $4.50

A4: South Africa $6.50

Group B

B1: Argentina $1.50

B2: Nigeria $5.00

B3: Greece $6.50

B4: South Korea $11.00

Group C

C1: England $1.33

C2: USA $5.00

C3: Slovenia $10.00

C4: Algeria $19.00

Group D

D1: Germany $1.73

D2: Serbia $4.50

D3: Ghana $5.50

D4: Australia $8.00

Group E

E1: Holland $1.67

E2: Cameroon $5.00

E3: Denmark $5.00

E4: Japan $8.00

Group F

F1: Italy $1.44

F2: Paraguay $4.00

F3: Slovakia $7.00

F4: New Zealand $26.00

Group G

G1: Brazil $1.67

G2: Ivory Coast $4.00

G3: Portugal $4.00

G4: North Korea $41.00

Group H

H1: Spain $1.33

H2: Chile $5.50

H3: Switzerland $8.00

H4: Honduras $17.00

Well now that we have all the Group Winners we can begin with the second round. There are some instances where the odds are the same for the Group Winners so you will see two countries vs one. This will not cause an issue as the rest of the tournament will be based on the odds of winning the World Cup.

Second Round

A1: France $15.00 vs B2: Nigeria $101.00

M1: France

B1: Argentina $8.50 vs A2: Mexico $81.00

M2: Argentina

C1: England $6.50 vs D2: Serbia $67.00

M3: England

D1: Germany $14.00 vs C2: USA $76.00

M4: Germany

E1: Holland $14.00 vs F2: Paraguay $67.00

M5: Holland

F1: Italy $14.00 vs E2: Cameroon $101.00 or Denmark $126.00

M6: Italy

G1: Brazil $6.00 vs H2: Chile $67.00

M7: Brazil

H1: Spain $5.00 vs G2: Ivory Coast $31.00 or Portugal $26.00

M8: Spain

Quarter Finals

M1: France $15.00 vs M3: England $6.50

QF1: England

M2: Argentina $8.50 vs M4: Germany $14.00

QF2: Argentina

M5: Holland $14.00 vs M7: Brazil $6.00

QF3: Brazil

M6: Italy $14.00 vs M8: Spain $5.00

QF4: Spain

Semi Finals

QF1: England $6.50 vs QF3: Brazil $6.00

SF1: Brazil

QF2: Argentina $8.50 vs QF4: Spain $5.00

SF2: Spain

World Cup Final

SF1: Brazil $6.00 vs SF2: Spain $5.00

2010 World Champions: Spain

What are the odds of a penalty shootout?

168 Days “Ghana 34 del Mundo”

Ghana

Ghana are team 26 with a FIFA ranking of 34 in the World. Germany 2006 was Ghana’s one and only appearance at the World Cup Finals. For a young team they successfully got to the second round only to find Brazil and that’s where the tournament ended for Ghana.  

Ghana is in Group D with Germany, Serbia and Australia. A difficult group with a past World Cup Champion. Ghana’s first game is against Serbia and a strong performance will be required if Ghana wants to reach the second round. My only concern is with Milovan Rajevac (Ghana Coach), who just happens to be a Serb.  

This could work in Ghana’s favour but then again I would like to see a closeup of Milovan while they play the Serbian National Anthem.  Could the emotions make him make tactical changes that make no sense, or could he advice his fellow Serbs how to beat Ghana. 😉  

My prediction: Out at Group Stage.  

   

  

    

 

Milovan Rajevac

What will Brasil do?

Uru vs Gha 2

Uruguay did everything possible to beat Ghana and came away with a draw in stoppage time. Uruguay 2 – 2 Ghana. This puts Uruguay in 2nd position in the group and awaits the game between Brasil and Australia.

The question is; What will Brasil do? If they win, they will be first in their group and meet Uruguay next. If they field a team of reserves,  Australia might beat them and depending on the other result between Costa Rica and the Czech Republic…Brasil has the potential of avoiding Uruguay.

After seeing the game today, Ghana seemed strong and the answer to the question is that Brasil will beat Australia and meet Uruguay in the quarters.

Below are some highlights of Uruguay vs Ghana:

Uru vs Gha 1