12 June 2010 – Day 2
And so the 19th World Cup is well and truly underway. Group A completed their first round of matches and it was fitting that the hosts scored the first goal of the tournament with a stunning finish. It was a shame for South Africa that they conceded late on, with defending and marking that was more akin to that diplayed at Sunday League level rather than at a World Cup tournament. With France drawing a blank against the 10 men of Uruguay, the Group will be interesting for the neutral as the final round of matches will be meaningful after the opening draws.
Even though yesterday was the start of the competition, for me it really starts today with England in action later. It’s like the opening day of the season, but with a greater intensity. Already I’m a mixture of emotions – anticipation, hope, expectation, excitement sit side by side with fear, dread and anxiety – all the usual suspects of any pre-match build-up. I just want the game to start now – bloody hell it’s still another 5 hours to kick-off!! I’ll not be able to settle and watch the other games today; instead I’ll be checking if I’ve got enough beers in, checking the team news on the net, texting mates to see how they feel and get their predictions – anything that will pass the time.
So my plea along with that of the nation is, “…Mr Capello, please, please, please no repeat of the 1950 World Cup England v USA result…”
C’mon England, C’mon England, C’mon England.