Archive for June, 2010
Uruguay became the first World Cup Champion back in 1932 when they host the tournament and defeated Argentina 4-2 in the final game. The team then followed this success in the 1950 World Cup held in Brazil. The Uruguayans went on to defeat the Brazilians in the final game by a 2-1 after a dramatic goal by Alcides Ghiggia when there were only 11 minutes left to play. Had Brazil draw that game, they would have won the tournament. Ghiggia’s goal came before some 200,000 mostly local spectators that had filled the Maracana stadium. The stunning defeat is known as the Maracanazo.
But since 1970 things have not been as smooth for Uruguay World Cup soccer teams. They have not made it pass the second round since, and have missed a couple of tournaments because the team has not been able to qualify. The 2010 Uruguay National soccer team on the other hand, might just be able to make up for all those forty years of disappointment. They now face South Korea on the South Africa 2010 World Cup second round. And they sure have what it takes to defeat the Asians.
After the catastrophic failure of the French team to do much anything in this World Cup, the Uruguayans managed to put on some great games against Mexico (1-0 win), South Africa (3-0 win) after their initial 0-0 draw against the French. This was enough to lead Group A after the first round.
Now, here is the trick. Uruguay is a clear favorite to win their game against South Korea in the World Cup betting Odds. As of press time Uruguay is at ML-115 while South Korea has a nice comeback at ML+300 and the Draw kicking in at ML+215. However the South Koreans might come in with an upset. Sure enough, Argentina smack them down to a 4-1 on their second game, but a 2-0 win against Greece and a dramatic and explosive 2-2 draw with Nigeria has placed them in the right spot.
There is one big issue concerning the South Korean defense. Are they going to have what it takes to keep such keen and prolific strikers as Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez under the radar? Coach Oscar Tabarez knows his team well, and might have the right combination up front and on the defense to slow down the speedy and fast-paced Asian team.
There is one extra motivation behind this game. However makes it to the quarterfinals will face either the United States or Ghana for the quarterfinals. Is not that we don’t appreciate the talent and the great tour of force this two other teas have shown so far in the tournament. But it is as simple as this: you would rather have your team play either Ghana or Team USA then Brazil, Germany, England, Argentina or any of the other big names left in the tournament.
It’s going to be one heck of a game. That’s for sure. The Uruguayans are a clear favorite on the betting odds. But the South Koreans are going to give it their best try to prove they deserve to move on the next round.
Up to this point, Argentina has had quite a nice ride so far into the World Cup. Either the South Koreans, the Greeks or the Nigerians were too much of a rival for the South American squad guided by no other then the soccer legend and the somewhat controversial Diego Maradona.
But this time around they are going to face a Mexican squad that has been playing very well in their group stage. The Mexican have had to very difficult games in the round robin stage. First they defeated France with an outstanding 2-0, and then, on their last game they lost to Uruguay by 1-0. Still they managed to leave host South Africa out of the competition by finishing second in Group A.
If we have to take into consideration which squad has been tested the most, we would definitely have to put our chips on the Mexican side of the table. Argentina has proved resilient and quite clever on the midfield and the offensive ends. Still, the strikers have had some trouble scoring despite their many opportunities up front.
So one could only wonder what would happened if Argentina faced a team that had a much solid and well organized defense. It gets harder once you move up in the World Cup Bracket. Can the Mexican defense keep the talents of Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, and Juan Sebastian Veron from taking shots or making passes to the strikers Angelo di Maria, or Gonzalo Higuaín?
The Mexicans have proved to be solid. If their head coach Vincente Aguirre can find a way to conjure the talent and experience of Cuauhtémoc Blanco with the explosiveness and freshness of Giovanny Dos Santos, the Argentinean defense, that up to this point has not really been tested, might just end up not being as bombproof as their fans would like.
There is one extra little detail for this game. This is sort of a revenge for the Mexicans. On this exact same round back in Germany World Cup 2006, the Argentines won their previous game to Mexico in overtime, and sent the squad back home. Could this be their chance for revenge or is Argentina really as strong and powerful as it looked against weaker competitors?
As of press time, sportsbook industry leader BetIAS.com has made the Argentine squad favorite by ML-200 in the World Cup Daily Matchups. The Draw is at ML+275 while Mexico has a comeback at ML+530. It is certainly a very tough betting scenario. At such a high comeback, Mexico seems quite a tantalizing pick. Yet history, statistics and tradition are well behind the Argentine team.
They have the manpower not only to win this match, but to go on and win the tournament. The main question is: can the inexperienced, and quite frankly unprepared as a coach, Diego Maradona make a World Cup winning team from such a talented group of individuals? If he can’t do it with this team, he will not do it with any other team.
There is one last detailed that might give Argentina yet another advantage over the Mexicans. Maradona had the luxury of resting some of his starters on last game of the round robin stage against the Greek. Mexico, on the other hand has pushed with all their might to make it into this round. It’s hard to say if rest is better then momentum for these soccer players. One thing you can really count on. This is going to be one heck of a match.
The talented and young Spaniard who now sits atop of the ATP World Rankings has already placed foot on Wimbledon for the third Grand Slam of the season. He is going to be taking action on day 2 of the English tournament. Rafa Nadal has been absolutely outstanding over the clay-surfaced tournaments this season. His recent win against Robin Soderling in the Roland Garros Grand Slam is just clear proof of what a great moment he is going through.
It seems as if his knee injuries are well pass him, and now, the No 2. seeded and top ranked player in the tournament is ready to take on the natural surface. The All England Club had offered to top seed to Roger Federer based mostly on his previous record at Wimbledon. The left handed Spaniard gave no signs of challenging the organizers decision, but we are certain that he is going to give it his best shot to prove them wrong.
This could be a great chance for the King of Clay to repeat his 2008 feat when he won both the Roland Garros and the Wimbledon Tournament in the same season. He already knows what it takes to defeat Roger Federer, perhaps one of the most dominant players the English Tournament has ever seen. He took his 2008 championship game in one of the best matches the sport has come to know against Federer. Perhaps the two top ranked and top seeded players will manage to give us a revisit of that incredible final.
Nadal first game in the tournament will be against Japan’s Kei Nashikori. The 20-year-old player made it to the tournament via a Wild Card, and is more then ready to prove that he has finally made it back from his elbow surgery last summer. But it is not a task for the light-hearted to defeat Nadal so early in the tournament.
Nadal has made it quite clear that he really would love to win in Wimbledon. He really covets to add this tournament to his 7 Grand Slam collection. Nadal has managed to make it all the way to the final in his last three appearances, and if things keep going as they have, the Spaniard might just get this great record once again.
If you want to take part in the action, don’t miss out the Wimbledon betting lines at Sportsbook Industry leader BetIAS.com as they are offering great daily matchups on for the complete tournament. As of press time, Nadal is a clear favorite to take over the Japanese player Nashikori. Unless you really are into long-shots, Nadal at ML-4000 with a comeback of +1600 for Nashikori, I would stay away from that first matchup. The good thing is that there plenty of other interesting head to head props bets for the whole tournament.
There are some big names out there on the field. Federer had some trouble, extensive trouble, earlier today in his tournament opener. It’s very hard to predict who will make it to the finals. As big fans of the sport, we can only hope to see once more both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer take a go over the pristine grass of Centre Court at Wimbledon for the Championship Game.
Many tennis fans around the globe have been looking for the precise moment when Roger Federer, the 28 year-old tennis player that has dominated the professional scene for almost a decade, was going to give his first signs of loosing his touch. Today he might had just done that.
Federer has captured over 56 million dollars in prize earnings in his career. He is already one of the most sought after sponsorship images for everything that stands for precision, elegance and outstanding performance. He has hold the top place in the ATP for a record 237 consecutive weeks. He is one week short of matching Pete Sampras career long record of 285 weeks in front of the world rankings.
He is considered by many to be the best player of all time. The Swiss has made it to an unprecedented 22 Grand Slam finals, he has won 16 of those, to match the records of Rod Laver and Andre Agassi. He has managed to win those titles in three surfaces (clay, grass, and hard-court). But recently the Federer Express has been experiencing some unprecedented delays.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Swiss had serious trouble against Robin Soderling in the French Open. They faced each other on the quarterfinals of Roland Garros and was sent home early. This was his earliest exit from the French Open in the previous six years.
He recently lost to the Australian Leyton Hewit in the finalla at Halle. Yet, on the other hand this was the moment when the Aussie finally broke his 0-15 record against the Swiss Maestro. Sure enough, this was Federers second loss in grass in 7 years, but hey, its hard to discuss these topics when one takes into account that the Fed Express’ record over the green stuff is 76-2.
Still, Alejandro Falla, the 26 year old player from Cali, Colombia, and No. 60 in the ATP rankings managed to lead 7-5, 6-4, in the first two sets and had a clear 4 shot advantage in the decisive third set. Falla had four break points at 4-0 in the third. He was a single point from serving for the match. But then it happened. Call it the pressure, call it chewing on too big a bone, call it plain nervousness: the Colombian could not any of those chances.
And so, for the 6th time in his 888 matches as a professional, Roger Federer had to work his way back from a 2-0 deficit to win the game. Falla missed those break chances in the third and Federer finished the set with an overwhelming forehand winner.
At the end, before a quite enthusiastic crowd at Centre Courte in Wimbledon, the Federer Express had to go into overdrive and pull with all his might to pull back up from what would had been quite a monumental upset. This would have been, par-non, the greatest feat for the Colombian player who had not won a single set in their four previous matches against Federer. At the end, Federer took the win with a 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-0.