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The 2010 World Cup is upon us – SportsUntapped.com
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Added June 13th, 2010 by Steve

The 2010 World Cup is upon us
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The 2010 World Cup in South Africa got off to a sad note due to a few off the pitch incidents. The most notable of these was the death of Nelson Mandela’s 13-year-old great granddaughter Zenan, who was killed in a car accident after attending the Kick Off Concert.

There were also some disturbing reports of thefts against several journalists from around the world, most notably Spain, Portugal, and China, as they had thousands of pounds worth of camera equipment stolen in separate incidents. Thankfully nobody was injured physically during the robberies. There have also been quite a few empty seats at some of the games so far, most notably the Greece vs South Korea match on June 12.

However, on the field, things have looked pretty good over the first two days of competition. There have been only two wins to go along with three draws, but most of the games have been played without any theatrics and controversies so far. The World Cup opener between the hosts South Africa and Mexico was one of the best in recent memory as both teams played an attacking style of football and entertained the fans in their 1-1 draw. Giovanni Dos Santos had an excellent game for the Mexicans and he looks like he could be a future star in world football.

France has continued to play quite poorly of late as they were held to a 0-0 draw against Uruguay on opening day. They could be in for an early exit if they don’t start hitting the back of the net as South Africa and Mexico look to be the best two teams in Group A after just one match.

Over in Group B, South Korea looked very good against Greece in their 2-0 win, but then again the Greeks looked terrible, so it’s hard to tell if the Koreans are really that good or the Greeks are that bad. Greece has still never won a World Cup game. In fact, they haven’t even scored a goal yet in their four total matches in the world’s top tournament.

In the other Group B game, Argentina started strongly against Nigeria, with Lionel Messi showing he really is one of the best players in the world. Gabriel Heinze put the South Americans ahead with a wonderful long-range header, but then the team seemed to take their foot off of the gas and eased up a little. Nigeria kept on coming and creating chances, but simply ran out of time in their 1-0 loss.

Group C kicked off with one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament with England taking on the USA. Nothing really would have been a surprise here as there really isn’t too much of a gap between the eight-ranked English and 14th-ranked Americans, especially with England’s reputation of starting slowly. However, England shot out of the gate with a fourth-minute goal by new skipper Steven Gerrard to take an early lead, which might have been the worst thing for them as they sat on it for the rest of the first half. Clint Dempsey tied it up in the 40th minute as England keeper Robert Green made a brutal mistake by letting Dempsey’s long and easy shot slip through his hands. England started the second half with a lot of pressure and created enough chances to win it, but couldn’t beat American Tim Howard again.

There’s bound to be a few snoozers during the month-long event, but after the first couple of days, things look quite positive with entertaining and clean games and none of the rolling around on the pitch we so often see.

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