Some World Cup Big Boys Already Eliminated
It’s little more than a week since the World Cup began and already a few of the “big names” in the sport have been all but eliminated. Here’s a look at a few of the teams who will be packing their bags early…
Spain – After being humiliated by the Netherlands 5-1 in their opening game of the competition, Spain returned to the field for game two against Chile. The Chileans poured another defeat upon the Spaniards 2-0, to leave the defending World Cup champions with two losses. Two wins for both Chile and the Netherlands at this point means that Spain is already eliminated from progressing to the knockout stage of the competition. The Spanish team will be hoping their third group game, against also-winless Australia, will at least restore a little pride to a shaken giant of world soccer.
England – Costa Rica has followed up its shock win over Uruguay with another shock win over Italy. Their second win also eliminated England, which has lost both its games so far, from advancing in the World Cup. England would have needed Italy to beat Costa Rica, then hope for a lot more help in the third round of group games. Costa Rica’s two wins gives them 6 points going into their last group game against England. And with Italy and Uruguay both on 3 points after two games and playing each other in round three of the group stage, that means Costa Rica and the winner of the Italy/Uruguay game will advance. And if Italy and Uruguay tie, then whichever of them has the best goal difference will go through. In any case, England is going home early.
Cameroon – This African soccer giant’s problems began long before they ever took to the field in Brazil. A pay dispute kept them from boarding their plane to Brazil, postponing their arrival. Other disciplinary problems have spelled another early end for Cameroon. After two group games, Cameroon finds itself with 0 points and a -5 goal differential. That horrible start spells Cup over for them. Like Spain and England, their third game will be a mere formality and a basically meaningless affair.
Several other teams could find themselves eliminated by the time this weekend is over. Chief among those could be perennial powerhouse Portugal, should the U.S. team be able to overcome them on Sunday and Germany defeats Ghana. Yet, while some teams are already guaranteed of an early trip home, others are still in the thick of the World Cup battle. It should be another great weekend of soccer action, with more “don’t miss” games in store.