Saturday, December 5, 2009

World Cup 2010 - The Draw

The draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup was announced today. Australia has been drawn in a 'group of death' alongside three-time champion Germany, Ghana and Serbia. South Africa landed France and face a tough first match against Mexico in a tricky group for the host nation. England fans will be pleased with their group, consisting of Algeria, USA and Slovenia. Group G throws up the mouth-watering clash of Brazil and Portugal. Top seeds Spain, Netherlands, Italy and Argentina will all be hot favourites to qualify for the Round of 16. The draw in full.

Australia faces its biggest test of the group stage in its first game against Germany. Seven-time finalist and third in 2006, Joachim Löw's side will be favourites to qualify from the group in top spot. In the second match, Australia faces Ghana; the 'Black Stars' are in their second consecutive World Cup, but they enter the match against Australia with a record of four losses and two draws from six previous meetings. The final group match for Australia is against Serbia, who topped their qualification group ahead of France, Romania and Austria. Coach Radomir Antić - with a résumé of managerial experience including stints with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid - will provide a strong test for Pim Verbeek and his Socceroos.

Australia's Group D matches are as follows:

● 13 June 2010 - Germany v Australia
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban

● 19 June 2010 - Ghana v Australia
Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg

● 23 June 2010 - Australia v Serbia
Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

The prospect of an England - Australia match-up is still a possiblity, with England and Australia drawn in Groups C and D respectively. The winner of each group will play the runner-up in the opposing group. Groups G and H serve up the possiblity of Brazil or Portugal playing-off against Spain in the Round of 16. And it is Group G where the second group of death lies, with Brazil and Portugal joined by Côte d'Ivoire and North Korea.

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