Swiss Clean Spain's Clock; Cup's First 'Mini' Round Ends

Mercer 4466

Liu Jin/Getty Images

Switzerland's striker Eren Derdiyok (L, up) jumps over Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas (down) during their Group H first round 2010 World Cup football match on June 16, 2010 at Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban.

All 32 teams in the World Cup have now played a game -- which means it's time to tally some stats. For instance, there are two groups in the Cup without a victory. And only four teams have scored more than once. Please don't blame it on the horns.

Spain's loss to Switzerland marks the end of a "mini" first round -- all 32 teams in the World Cup have now played a game. We at NPR understand that today's sports fan needs info and stats… well, STAT. You probably also want it boiled down and then punched up to 11. If so, here's your summary:

Shockers: Ivory Coast and Portugal satisfice to 0-0 tie; North Korea morally defeats Brazil, 1-2; Chile obliterates Honduras, 1-0; Slovenia out-mans Algeria, 1-0; South Korea junks Greece, 2-0; and U.S. junk-shots England, 1-1. Also: Germany demoralizes Australia, 4-0; and France and Uruguay cut off noses to spite faces, 0-0.

Losers: Saddled with four winless teams apiece, Group A and Group F are a TV exec's nightmare. And since they contain France (A) and Italy (F), they're also making bracketologists lose sleep, as well.

Scorers: Only 4 of the Cup's 32 teams scored more than one goal in their first game -- Germany with 4, followed by Brazil, the Netherlands and South Korea with 2.

Parity: Once again, it's Group F, where all four teams scored one goal in their opening games.

Spoon-fed: As the first set of games ends, there's been more commentary on the cacophony of vuvuzelas than tense stories about exciting games. Throw in the griping over this year's official ball, the jabulani, and you get a sense that the 2010 Cup, so far at least, is kinda boring.

As soccer fans have been reminded in the past few days, sometimes your reward for getting up early is just a nice, long breakfast. But this morning's thorough demolition of Spain by Switzerland may be a sign that the tournament is heating up.

As the first eliminations draw closer, here's hoping that the stadiums quiet down enough, and the balls fly straight enough -- or that players will get over those distractions and just score. Then we'll really have something worth talking about. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

More in U.S. / World


blog comments powered by Disqus