World Cup groups

2010 WC fi­nal­ists drawn in same group

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

REIGN­ING cham­pi­ons Spain will be­gin their de­fence of the World Cup with a re­match of the 2010 fi­nal against the Nether­lands, while Eng­land were paired with Italy in yes­ter­day’s draw.

Spain, who won their first ti­tle in South Africa four years ago, start their Group B cam­paign against the three-time run­ners-up on June 13 in Sal­vador.

They will also meet Chile, who they beat in the group stage in 2010, in Rio and Aus­tralia in Cu­ritiba.

Hosts Brazil were drawn to face Croa­tia in the open­ing game, sched­uled for Sao Paulo on June 12.

The Brazil­ians will then take on Mex­ico and Cameroon in a Group A that ap­pears on the face of it un­threat­en­ing, if not easy.

Eng­land, mean­while, will start off with a Group D meet­ing against four-time cham­pi­ons Italy in the heat of Ama­zo­nian venue Manaus on June 14.

That match is a re­peat of the Euro 2012 quar­ter- fi­nal, which Italy, who knocked Eng­land out of the 1978 World Cup qual­i­fiers, won on penal­ties.

“It’s a tough group, there’s no doubt about that,” said Eng­land coach Roy Hodg­son, whose team also face Uruguay and Costa Rica.

“In Italy and Uruguay it’s al­most as though we have got two num­ber one seeds in our group.”

Hodg­son’s side then take on Uruguay in Sao Paulo and Costa Rica in Belo Hor­i­zonte.

A no­table sub­plot will see Ger­many go up against the United States, now coached by for­mer Ger­many coach Jur­gen Klins­mann. Also in Group G are Cris­tiano Ron­aldo’s Por­tu­gal and Ghana.

The draw build-up had been dom­i­nated by news of sta­dium de­lays and anti-World Cup cam­paign­ers threat­en­ing pub­lic protest.

Yes­ter­day’s lot­tery in­volved some com­plex jug­gling by Fifa to sep­a­rate as far as pos­si­ble teams from the same con­ti­nent.

And, while five groups un­avoid­ably con­tained two Euro­pean sides, given the Old Con­ti­nent’s 13 qual­i­fiers in the 32-strong field, they just about man­aged it.

All eight for­mer cham­pi­ons are tak­ing part and only sur­prise pack­age Bos­nia- Herze­gov­ina will be mak­ing their de­but.

France, cham­pi­ons in 1998 but forced to come through the play­offs, will meet Group E seeds Switzer­land as well as Ecuador and Hon­duras in what should leave coach and 1998 Group A Brazil, Croa­tia, Mex­ico, Cameroon Group B Spain, Nether­lands, Chile, Aus­tralia Group C Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Ja­pan Group D Uruguay, Costa Rica, Eng­land, Italy Group E Switzer­land, Ecuador, France, Hon­duras Group F Ar­gentina, Bos­nia-Herze­gov­ina, Iran, Nige­ria Group G Ger­many, Por­tu­gal, Ghana, USA Group H Bel­gium, Al­ge­ria, Rus­sia, South Korea win­ning cap­tain Di­dier Deschamps gen­er­ally op­ti­mistic.

Other groups threw up some mixed bags as Ja­pan were lumped in with seeded Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece in Group C while Bos­nia have to im­press against the might of two- time cham­pi­ons Ar­gentina, Iran and Nige­ria in Group F.

Group H, com­plet­ing the line-up, con­tains seeded Bel­gium, un­pre­dictable Rus­sia, South Korea – semi-fi­nal­ists on home soil in 2002 – and Al­ge­ria.

● Ghana mid­fielder Kev­inPrince Boateng has said he is de­lighted to po­ten­tially face half brother Jerome Boateng at another World Cup when the Black Stars play Ger­many at Brazil 2014.

Ghana’s Black Stars will play Ger­many in For­talez on June 21 in Group G, hav­ing also drawn Por­tu­gal and the USA, mean­ing Schalke’s at­tack­ing mid­fielder Kevin Prince could be up against Bay­ern Mu­nich cen­tre-back Jerome.

This is not the first time the brothers have met at a World Cup as they both played when Ger­many beat Ghana 1-0 at the 2010 World Cup – the first time brothers had played on op­po­site teams at a World Cup.

“Brother, it’s time again... that’s how beau­ti­ful life is!” Kevin- Prince wrote on his Twit­ter ac­count.

Boateng will also be up against Schalke team­mate Jer­maine Jones when the USA play Ghana in Natal on June 16.

“I’m happy with that,” Boateng told Sport Bild.

“You can see that dreams can come true.

“I am look­ing to another game against my brother at the World Cup.

“And also against my team­mate Jer­maine Jones, he’s sim­ply great.” – Sapa-AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.