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African festival turns to nightmare
by Paul Kennedy, June 21st, 2010 2:27AM

TAGS:  world cup


[MY VIEW] This was supposed to be the best chance for an African team to win the World Cup. Unfortunately, home continent advantage has not been factor. African teams have won only once and scored just six goals in 12 games. What's gone wrong?

POOR GOALKEEPING. The pattern was set when Algeria goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi allowed a Robert Koren shot to slip right past him, handing Slovenia a 1-0 win in its opening Group C game. Nigerian goalie Vincent Enyeama failed to hold on the ball on Greece's second goal in its 2-1 comeback win.

POOR DEFENDING. In the opening game, South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena played Mexico's Rafael Marquez onside, allowing the Barcelona star to score the tying goal. Cameroon led Denmark, 1-0, but poor defending cost the Indomitable Lions the game. They gave Dennis Rommedahl and Nicklas Bendtner far too much room to combine for a pair of goals.

POOR FINISHING. Cameroon had its chances to recover against Denmark in wide-open match, but Pierre Webo and Achille Emana both missed chances to pull the Lions even. Ghana had a man advantage against Australia for 66 minutes but couldn't break a 1-1 tie. Algeria was the better team in its game against England but never threatened and had to settle for a 0-0 tie.

POOR DISCIPLINE. Nigeria was leading Greece until Super Eagles midfielder Sani Kaita lashed out at Greek Vassilis Torosidis, which gave Colombian referee Oscar Ruiz no choice but to send off Kaita. A 1-0 Nigeria lead became a 2-1 Greece victory. Ivory Coast's comeback bid against Brazil was sidetracked by the antics of Abdelkader Keita, who got Kaka sent off but couldn't pull the Elephants back from a 3-1 deficit.

POOR LUCK. Katlego Mphela had a chance to win the opening game for South Africa, but his shot hit the post late in the game. Diego Forlan's first goal for Uruguay against South Africa bounced off Mokoena's shoulder blade and fooled goalie Itumeleng Khune. Bafana Bafana went on to lose, 3-0.

  1. nace zavrl
    commented on: June 21, 2010 at 8:01 a.m.
    POOR AMERICAN players. as you all saw they can't play fair soccer, while Slovenian players shoot beautiful shots , they played rough, unfair and desperate,.. it's not even shame for america... it's worse
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: June 21, 2010 at 12:50 p.m.
    Poor mental toughness and never adjusted to the 'floating-ball' which needs to be played on the ground.
  1. Jim Wise
    commented on: June 21, 2010 at 12:53 p.m.
    Nace - what the ____ are you spouting about? On Edu's goal the Slovenia players looked like WWF wrestlers! Bocanegra was pile-driven into the goal box! Blatter needs to get beyond his desire to have officiating crews from as many countries as possible and just get the best - this is football's most important competition, it deserves the no less.

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