International Friendlies Summary: S-U

6th June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

 

Serbia

Pre-World Friendly Form:WDL

Serbia 0-1 New Zealand
Serbia 0-0 Poland
Serbia 4-3 Cameroon

The Serbians went over 180 minutes before finding the goal in an international, but when they did Serbia began to find their way again, locate the sort of form and ruthlessness in front of goal which seen them finish above France in qualifying.

It all began in worrying fashion when Serbia fell to a shock 1-0 defeat to New Zealand, this despite coach Radomir Antic fielding a strong starting eleven. It was, though, Serbia’s first warm up encounter whereas it was New Zealand’s second, if that’s any consolation. With 90 minutes under their belts, and a bitter defeat to spur them on, Serbia were once again disappointing against the Polish. A fabulous opportunity o wipe away some forward cobwebs was passed up by Serbia. However, in their final game before the finals, Serbia’s forward play finally began to flourish, although at the same time their defence was showing some early signs of vulnerability. As Serbia found the net four times through Krasic, Stankovic, Milijas and Pantelic, at the other Stojkovic in the Serbia goal was left exposed and ended up conceding three goals.

While the victory over Cameroon was a welcome relief, the three goals they conceded will be of great concern for the coach, who has built up a solid, resolute and consistent side and won’t want to see defensive lapses creep into their play.

 

Slovakia

Pre-World Friendly Form:WD

Slovakia 1-1 Cameroon
Slovakia 3-0 Costa Rica

Following the disappointment of drawing with an out-of-sorts Cameroon, with Kamil Kopunek scoring in a 1-1 draw, Slovakia eased some of the worries back home with a resounding win in their final international friendly, routing Costa Rica 3-0 in Bratislava, Slovakia, with goals from Vittek and Stanislav Sestak. The latter was especially lively in both encounters.

On the whole, Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss will be pleased with how their preparations went following two unbeaten friendlies. The ‘Slovaks’ will now nosedive into their World Cup opener with New Zealand on June 15th feeling confident of their chances.

 

Slovenia

Pre-World Friendly Form: WW

Slovenia 4-1 Qatar
Slovenia 3-1 New Zealand

Although the quality of opposition hasn’t been great, Slovenia have done their hopes of springing  surprise in Group D no harm with a quick-fire double. Forward Noavkovic opened the scoring against Qatar in a 4-1 romp while Novakovic was once again the player to open the scoring this time against New Zealand as he accounted for two of Slovenia’s three goals against New Zealand.

It will be beneficial to have this winning mentality instilled into the players but Slovenia will face far bigger tests in South Africa against the likes of Algeria, the United States and Group C favourites England.

 

South Africa

Pre-World Friendly Form:WWWDW

South Africa 4-0 Thailand
South Africa 1-1 Bulgaria
South Africa 2-1 Colombia
South Africa 5-0 Guatemala
South Africa 1-0 Denmark

South Africa coach Carlos Alverto Parreira pencilled in a variety of games against a mixture of teams, ranging from Asian side Thailand to European’s Denmark. They started in a positive manner, obliterating Thailand 4-0, before finalising their preparations on home soil with a hugely impressive 1-0 win over Denmark. In fact, South Africa remained undefeated after five pre-World Cup internationals, recording 4 wins and a draw. They’ve also been scoring plenty of goals, mostly against the ‘lesser’ nations however, but their 13 goals in five games will only aid the forwards in their quest to fire South Africa into the knock-out stage, thus avoiding becoming the first host nation not to qualify from the groups. It was also nice to see some team spirit and togetherness in their games, and from a nation which needs little excuse to party, Bafana Bafana’s enthusiastic manner on the pitch will likely prove infectious around the ground.

 

Spain

Pre-World Friendly Form: WW

Spain 3-2 Saudi Arabia
Spain 1-0 South Korea

The favourites to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the reigning European Champions. Spain haven’t been at all convincing nor have they justified their strong favouritism in the betting rings with their performances in recent friendlies. It took an injury time winner from Fernando Torres back-up Fernando Llronte to spare their blushes against Saudi Arabia, while Jesus Navas’ beautifully curled effort was once again a lifesaver for the Spanish, who now won two games on the spin but only by a one goal margin.

Against Saudi Arabia, there were enough errors at the back to have Vicente Del Bosque worried, while they were equally as disappointing and lacklustre against South Korea although the fact Spain are in arguably the easiest group of the lot in South Africa should allow the Spanish team to cut out there mistakes and build up some winning momentum before they really get tested in the knock-out stages.

 

Switzerland

Pre-World Friendly Form: DL

Switzerland 0-1 Costa Rica
Switzerland 1-1 Italy

Swiss fans were in dismay when their team fell to a shock 1-0 defeat to North Americans Costa Rica. In a scrappy game, where chances were few and far between for both sides, a mistake at the back led to Costa Rica’s opener and eventual winner, as Switzerland suffered a bitter blow ahead of the finals. They did, however, make amends in their next friendly, their last, by holding the reigning world champions Italy to a 1-1 draw in Geneva, Switzerland, thanks to a goal from midfielder Gokhan Inler, who has scored Switzerland’s last two international goals, his only goals in 34 appearances.

 

Uruguay

Pre-World Friendly Form: W

Uruguay 4-1 Israel

Uruguay, who need a play-off against Costa Rica to book their tickets to South Africa, only played one international in preparation for what they hope will be an enjoyable and fruitful stay in South Africa. A 4-1 win over Israel, with the La Celeste in control throughout in the Uruguay capital of Montevideo, led to joyous scenes at the end of the game as the Uruguay players and fans rejoiced at their qualification for the World Cup. That game was over a fortnight before Uruguay play their opener against France on Friday, June 11th, and there could be question marks over the lack of match practice Uruguay have had.

 

USA

Pre-World Friendly Form: WWL

USA 2-4 Czech Republic
USA 2-1 Turkey
USA 3-1 Australia

Following their 4-2 defeat to the Czech Republic on home soil, many were beginning to write off USA’s chances of even making the knock-out stage of the competition. Two wins the rafters though and Bob Bradley’s Americans are well and truly back in contention in Group C and will arrive in Rustenburg for their opener against group favourites England full of confidence and in high spirit after back-to-back victories over Turkey and Australia.

The biggest surprise to come out of USA’s warm up results was the amount of goals they scored – 7 in 3 games – as many, including us, weren’t exactly buzzing over their striking prowess. Somehow though, through their usual industrious and workmanlike attitudes, the United States have thumped in seven, with an impressive three of those coming in their final warm up match against Australia in a 3-1 win. Against Turkey, however, the American’s showed great tenacity and togetherness when coming from a goal behind, in a game they were being completely outplayed in, to record a much needed win. A sign that the Americans  have a tonne of fighting spirit within their camp.




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