International Friendlies Summary: A-D

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

 

Algeria

Pre-World Friendly Form: WL

Republic of Ireland 3-0 Algeria
Algeria 1-0 UAE

One of England’s opponents in Group C, Algeria were thrashed by one of England’s neighbours when the travelled to Ireland to take on the Republic of Ireland in Dublin. The Irish cruised to a 3-0 win against a toothless Algeria, with the African’s messy and lacking organisation in defence. It doesn’t bode well for the Algerians, after all, Republic or Ireland are nothing in comparison to England and the fact Algeria rarely troubled the ROI goal will be a concern for coach Rabah Saadane.

Algeria did make amends in their final warm up game however, registering a 1-0 win over the United Arab Emirates thus ensuring the Algerian’s went into their first World Cup game against Slovenia with something to shout about. Wolfsburg Karim Ziani with the game’s only goal, Algeria’s one and only in their two pre-World Cup friendlies.

 

Argentina

Pre-World Friendly Form: W

Argentina 5-0 Canada

Diego Maradona clearly didn’t see the point in scheduling a load of friendlies in before the finals, opting instead to keep his squad fresh ahead of Argentina’s World Cup opener against Nigeria on June 12th. However, the one and only pre-World Cup friendly they did play finished with an impressive Argentine victory, smashing North Americans Canada 5-0 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Amongst the scorers was Liverpool’s Maxi Rodriguez with a brace, Benfice’s wonderkid Angel Di Maria, Man City’s Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, as Argentina ran riot in the Argentine capital.

The talk beforehand surrounding Argentina has been the wide array of striking talent Maradona has at his disposal; Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi and Diego Milito, and against lowly Canada, Argentina shown exactly why everyone is hyping up their chances, especially in regards to finishing the tournament with the most amount of goals scored.

 

Australia

Pre-World Friendly Form: WW

Australia 2-1 New Zealand
Australia 1-0 Denmark
USA 3-1 Australia

Pim Verbeek, Australia coach, pencilled in several friendlies ahead of the finals and must be under the impression that his Aussie players were rusty and needed to tweak their match sharpness before their Group D opener against three-time World Cup winners Germany. Despite obtaining a winning result in their final home international before the World Cup, Australia were ordinary at best throughout their clash with international neighbours New Zealand. However, a late strike from Holman ensured the euphoric Aussie support would say their goodbyes with celebrations. It would appear Verbeek was correct in his identification of a rusty squad as with a first pre-World Cup friendly victory under their belts, Australia recorded an impressive 1-0 win over fellow World Cup participant Denmark.

However, in their final game before facing Germany in Durban on June 13th, Australia were given a bit of a pasting by the United States, losing 3-1 to the Americans, with Tim Cahill grabbing the only Aussie goal. No longer will Pim Verbeek’s Australia head into the World Cup with immaculate, the complete opposite in fact after their USA humbling.

 

Brazil

Pre-World Friendly Form: W

Zimbabwe 0-3 Brazil
Tanzania – Brazil

Just the two friendlies for the five-time World Cup winners starting with a bizarre although money spinning trip to Zimbabwe in Harare. The opening exchanges went, surprisingly, the way of Zimbabwe as ‘The Warriors’ carved out a number of glorious opportunities, even walloping a shot against the woodwork. It wasn’t until 42 minutes when Brazil found some confidence, as a free-kick from left-back Michael Bastos was rifled into the top corner of the Zimbabwe net. The ‘Samba Kings’ didn’t look back thereafter and just minutes later doubled their lead through Robinho. In the second half Zimbabwe lost their erly first period swagger which seen them cause the Brazil defence all sort of problems, with Lucio in particular all over the place, and after a sweet passing move involving Baptista and Alves, Elano prodded home into an empty net to complete the rout. Hardly convincing stuff from the tournament’s second favourites but a win nonetheless, while there’s getting away from the fact that all three of Brazil’s goal were sublime.

Brazil’s second and final warm up match will be against Tanzania on June 7th. Another game they should win rather comfortably.

 

Cameroon

Pre-World Friendly Form: LLDD

Georgia 0-0 Cameroon
Slovakia 1-1 Cameroon
Portugal 3-1 Cameroon
Serbia 4-3 Cameroon

Paul Le Guen publicly expressed his concern over the Cameroon team by scheduling four friendlies, more than most of the remaining 31 participants. The fact none of the four went the ‘Indomitable Lions’ way leads to many an alarm bell ringing in the Cameroon camp. Against Georgia, a team which struggled throughout qualifying, Le Guen’s men could only muster a 0-0 draw, as chances were few and far between for Cameroon. Their second warm up game did see them score, although it was the scrappiest goal you’ll ever see, as Enoh’s scruffy goal levelled the scoring against a more adventurous Slovakia. Their third, arguably their most difficult on paper, was against Portugal of which they found themselves completely outclassed. A 3-1 defeat to one of the weakest Portugal teams in recent history doesn’t bode well, while Eto’s dismissal in the first half won’t have gone down too well back home whatsoever.

In their final game before the finals, Cameroon put in their best attacking display thus far but still came away with nothing to show for their efforts, with the 4-3 loss to Serbia leaving Cameroon winless after four pre-World Cup warm up matches. They were. Though, without the suspended Samuel Eto so coach Paul Le Guen can at least take some heart from Cameroon’s three goal exploits without their superstar forward on the pitch. His defence, however, has now conceded eight goals in four goals and that has to be of great concern for the coach.

 

Chile

Pre-World Friendly Form: WWWL

Mexico 1-0 Chile
Chile 3-0 Zambia
Chile 1-0 Northern Ireland
Chile 3-0 Israel

While Chile have played more friendlies recently than most, they exactly overextended themselves in either. Two, though, were comfortable 3-0 wins, thus reinforcing the comments made by many experts claiming Chile can and will score goals in South Africa. Zambia and Israel were both despatched with a touch of class, but their second string could only conjure a narrow 1-0 win over Northern Ireland which does have us drawing up conclusions that Chile’s strength in depth isn’t great. Even so, eight goals in four games isn’t to be sniffed at, and neither is three successive clean sheets.

Chile will be the last of two teams to take to their field in a warm up match ahead of the finals in South Africa, with New Zealand awaiting them on June 9th.

 

Cote d’Ivoire

Pre-World Friendly Form: WD

Paraguay 2-2 Ivory Coast
Japan 0-2 Ivory Coast

New Les Elephants coach Sven Goran Eriksson, a manager which took England to the quarter-finals at Japan/Korea in 2002, didn’t dither when selecting his sides pre-World Cup friendlies when choosing games against two South Africa-bound teams in Paraguay and Japan. Their first clash ended 2-2 with Paraguay, a game which produced as many negatives for Eriksson as positives. Ivory Coast, or Cote d’Ivoire, found chances in front of goal easy to come by although putting them away was another matter, with captain Drogba in particular wasteful. They did, though, power their way into a 2-0 lead with goals from Drogba and Bamba, but goals from Barrios and Torres cancelled out some early Les Elephants celebrations leaving Sven to ponder over his sides in complacency issues, as well as some arrogance in front of goal.

Their second and final warm up game ended in disaster despite beating Japan in a straightforward manner. Goals from Didier Drogba and Kolo Toure were enough for Sven’s Les Elephants to record a vital victory ahead of their opener against Portugal on June 16th, however, the win came at a heavy price as captain Drogba now looks destined to miss the entirety of the finals after fracturing his arm.

 

Denmark

Pre-World Friendly Form: LLW

Denmark 2-0 Senegal
Australia 1-0 Denmark
South Africa 1-0 Denmark

The Danes have looked in good nick during their warm up encounters despite falling to a narrow defeat in one of them. Their one loss came against Australia in a game neither side really deserved to win, but in their first run-out against African side Senegal, Denmark displayed the sort of solid, reliable and clinical traits that seen them finish above Portugal and Sweden in qualifying.

Despite fielding a strong and experienced starting eleven in their last game before the finals against South Africa, Denmark fell to pretty shocking 1-0 defeat to the hosts South Africa. The Danes were toothless and wasteful in front of goal and paid the price with defeat. It leaves Olson’s Danes winless once again following their 1-0 loss to Australia days earlier. Far from ideal form heading into a game against Holland on June 14th.



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