Tag Archives: Greece

Who Won't Win the World Cup Part 2: Group B

Courtesy Olhares Mágicos Picasaweb

By Ryan Thies of The Long Beach Post

As I told you last time, there is no clear-cut favorite in this year’s World Cup. This year’s field is more wide-open than any in recent memory. But it’s not just that there are no clear-favorites, it’s that every team in the tournament has a glaring weakness. Some commentators will say that means that whoever wins the Cup will be the team that kept their weakness in check; I say, these weaknesses mean that no one will win the Cup. Group B is probably one of the weakest groups of the whole tournament, but at least I can find all of them on a map (I’m still trying to find Uruguay–it’s an island, right?). So without further ado: here’s why no one in Group B can possibly win the World Cup.

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World Cup Draw Part 1: Groups A & B

Courtesy Wikicommons/ Audrey & Patrick Scales

By Kevin Koczwara

Let’s look at the first half of the Group Stages of the World Cup. The draw was Friday afternoon, and now that I have had some time to digest the pairings, I am going to make a few predictions. I will write a wrap-up of each group, two at a time, in this series. There will be four parts and all will be posted this week.

So let’s start it off with groups A and B.

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Darren Bent Deserves A Call-Up

By Kevin Koczwara

Darren Bent added another goal to his Premier League tally– he has 8 goals in 9 matches. and 1 assist. Bent’s goal in the fifth minute at The Stadium of Light gave Sunderland a 1-0 lead against Liverpool. The goal would be the only one in the game and also of much controversy.

Bent’s shot appeared to bounce off a beach ball that had made its way on the field. According to the rules the goal should have disallowed and play stopped until the ball was removed from play. A drop-ball would start play again. But the goal was allowed, giving Sunderland a much needed win against a top opponent, and hurts Liverpool in their hunt for the EPL championship. Now Liverpool’s chances of their first title in 20 years is slim to none. For Sunderland, they look to be in a good spot right now, they have a chance to qualify for European play next year.

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Give'en A Chance

Shay Given has put FIFA on the hot seat for their World Cup Qualifying system. The Republic of Ireland has every right to his opinion, not only is he right but he is bringing up and important issue that needs to be changed. (Courtesy Flickr mikebrown59)

Shay Given has put FIFA on the hot seat for their World Cup Qualifying system. The Republic of Ireland has every right to his opinion, not only is he right but he is bringing up and important issue that needs to be changed. (Courtesy Flickr mikebrown59)

By Kevin Koczwara

Republic of Ireland goal keeper Shay Given has come out and said what other players have been thinking: FIFA has set-up a barrier preventing smaller nations from getting into the World Cup final. By creating a seeding system FIFA has ruled out the chance that big-market nations(larger nations) will play one another in the play-off for the final spots for South Africa from European qualifying (UEFA).

The system that would make sense would be a random draw of teams. It works for the FA Cup and The Champions League and The Club World Cup every year. So, why shouldn’t it work for The World Cup?

This should be a hot topic in the footballing (Soccer) world. This system is surely working in the favor of potential play-off teams like France, Russia, Greece and potentially Portugal (if the stars align properly). And the system works against countries like Ireland, Bosnia, Croatia (in truth they should have no trouble beating just about anyone if they are healthy), Norway, and Scotland.

But FIFA could care less about the smaller countries who have less experience in the World Cup. What if one of those teams went on a historical run and made it to the Finals? That would not draw as many people as France or Russia (except maybe Ireland because people around the world have ancestors there, especially here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.).

Look at the Qualification Numbers for some of the teams that are in Second place and in control of there destiny.

  • Republic of Ireland – 3 times
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – 0 times
  • France – 12
  • Russia- 9
  • Norway- 2
  • Croatia – 3
  • Greece – 1
  • Sweden – 11
  • Scotland (tied with Norway in points, behind in Goal Differential) – 8

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