We are privileged to have Yumna Mia filing us reports from South Africa during the World Cup. Here are her two latest stories, the first relating to the Brazil-Ivory Coast match she saw at Soccer City Stadium and the second her reaction to South Africa’s exit on Tuesday. Enjoy!
“I was there”. That’s right I had the great privilege of attending the match between Brazil and Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, 20th June 2010. In 50 years time (if I’m alive), I don’t know if I will remember that Brazil won 3-1 or that Kaka received a red card, but the fact that “I was there” will forever be etched in my memory.
How this came about is a story of pure luck. I was actually suppose to be attending a wedding in Lesotho (officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave—entirely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa) on that Sunday, but due to some issues with transport and the fact that was sick with the flu I decided not to go. I have never seen Lesotho so I was quite upset that I couldn’t go. However, I guess everything happens for a reason. AT around 15:00pm I received a call from my cousin saying that she might be able to get tickets to the match and if I would like to go. Continue reading
After qualifying for their first World Cup in 2006, the Black Stars are back hoping to do better than their positive performance four years ago in Germany. It was then when in a difficult group including Italy, the Czech Republic, and the United States that Ghana advanced to the second round but ultimately lost to Brazil 3-0. This time another they are in Group D, another tough draw that has seen them land Germany, Australia, and Serbia. A place in the knockout round would be considered a success, however there is a feeling that this team can go far if all the pieces fall into place.
TALE OF THE TAPE
FIFA Ranking: 32nd
World Cup Appearances: 1 (2006)
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 2-0-2
Best World Cup Finish: 2006, Round of 16
Road To South Africa: Finished 1st in Africa’ Group D
Back at the World Cup for the first time in 24 years, Algeria endured a tumultuous qualifying campaign that eventually saw them claim a spot for the finals in South Africa. Seven points ahead of Egypt at one point in Africa’s Group C, it looked like the team was self-destructing as their rivals eventually tied them at the top. Level on points, goal difference, and goals, the two countries played out a one game play-off in Sudan where Algeria triumphed 1-0. Now in Group C against England, the USA, and Slovenia there is no room for error if the side want to advance to the Round of 16.
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FIFA Ranking: 31st
World Cup Appearances: 2 (1982, 1986)
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 2-1-3
Best World Cup Finish: Group Stage 1982, 1986
Road To South Africa: Tied 1st in Africa Group C, Defeated Egypt in Play-off 1-0
South Africa is the host nation for a historic World Cup, the first ever to be held in Africa. There is widespread joy over this and South Africa is ready. After concerns in the last couple years about whether preparations for the tournament would be completed on time, the infrastructure (stadiums, facilities, airports, etc) is all set and South Africa is ready to welcome the world.
The national team however has not enjoyed the best of preparations for the tournament, suffering through mixed results in the lead-up to the competition that has dampened expectations. Many observers believe this is the weakest host of a World Cup finals ever. That remains to be seen, but even South African fans know that their team must play out of their skins in order to avoid becoming the first host nation to exit at the Group Stage of the competition. South Africa were handed a very difficult draw in Group A as they will face off against Mexico, Uruguay, and France. Should they claim a spot in the second round, the entire nation and continent for that matter would create a wonderful atmosphere which would only serve the World Cup itself well.
TALE OF THE TAPE
FIFA Ranking: 90
World Cup Appearances: 2 (1998, 2002)
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 1-3-2
Best World Cup Finish: Group Stage (1998, 2002)
Road To South Africa: Qualified Automatically As Host Nation
Hello all, welcome to the Monday Morning Kick-Off. A couple bits of business to tend to first before we dive into some hopefully interesting football tidbits.
For starters, One Game, One World will go all World Cup starting in mid-May. We are planning previews of the teams, along with news, interviews, and stories ahead of the 2010 World Cup which begins on June 11th. This is a historic tournament, the first in Africa, and it means that here at OGOW we are excited to bring you coverage of the competition before, during, and after the competition.
Of course, there will be a million media outlets to receive coverage from, but we hope you will check out our mix of traditional and non-traditional coverage for perhaps something a bit different ahead of the world’s greatest sporting event.
Ok, well off we go for today’s Kick-Off.
Yes, we have reached what is commonly known as the business end of the season in many leagues, mostly Europe. In most leagues it is a two-horse race as Barcelona and Real Madrid contest La Liga, while Chelsea is attempting to hold of Manchester United in the English Premier League. Continue reading
Eze Collins’ road to football stardom may not be your typical footballer story, however the Nigeria-born striker has made a name for himself across Asia, turning out for clubs in India, Bhutan, and now Nepal.
Collins is a talented frontman who has banged in the goals in virtually every place he has played. Now at Macchindra FC in Nepal, Collins is hoping to lead his current team to the top of the Martyrs League.
How long Collins stays in Nepal remains to be seen, though he doesn’t hide his affection for Machhindra FC. A move to Europe represents the player’s ultimate dream along with playing for Mozambique, the national team he selected to play for thanks to his mother’s citizenship. Collins ability can be detected while watching him in action and it’s no surprise that he was a former Nigerian U-17 National Team member.
One Game, One World was delighted that Collins was interested in answering a couple of questions and we became even more excited about the responses he gave us. How does a foreigner fit in Nepal? How did it feel being the first black man to play the sport in Bhutan? And how does he feel about the World Cup coming to Africa?
What follows are the views of a player who has grown up around the game, motivated by his parents and family. Read on for the inspiring tale of a footballer who has taken the road less travelled and, who at only 22, has most of his career ahead of him. Continue reading
Good morning everyone! We’ve received some great feedback on our article of Macchindra FC which you can find below. It really is a great story of an up-and-coming club from a part of the world that usually receives nothing but scant coverage. Anyway that’s our job here at One Game, One World, to provide coverage of football in areas that don’t receive it from the mainstream media.
We still aim to cover the big stuff too though and I don’t know if it’s just spring and things always seem to be happening fast, but I have a serious case of World Cup fever this morning. Anyway read on for today’s Morning Kick-Off.
Who’s got World Cup Fever? I’ve Got World Cup Fever
Yes, like I said, serious World Cup fever has hit us here at OGOW. So, just in case I’m not the only counting down (77 days, 9 hours and a bit if you’re wondering), a couple of cool clips for you today. My wife and daughter insisted that I spice up the site a little with these, so without further adieu, here are two World Cup related songs by K’Naan and Akon. Enjoy and let us know which one you think is the best.
K’Naan (featuring David Bisbal), Waving Flag, Official Coca-Cola Anthem For the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Akon (featuring Keri Hilson), Oh Africa, Official Pepsi World Cup Theme Song