Winners and losers of the World Cup – Week Two

The excitement of week one has continued at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. We aren’t getting the same number of goals, but it’s still been incredible. We look at the winners and loser of week two.

Winners

Colombia

Three wins from three, nine goals scored, just two conceded and a young playmaker starting to sparkle in front of world football. Colombia have so far had the perfect World Cup. The team has settled nicely and performed despite missing Falcao from their starting lineup. James Rodriguez has pulled the strings from behind the main striker and been at the heart of everything good for Jose Pekerman’s side. Uruguay won’t be happy that their last 16 clash pits them against team playing so freely and with such pace in attack.

France

After leaving Samir Nasri behind and losing Franck Ribery to injury, there were more than few concerns about a France team that struggled to come through their UEFA play-off with Ukraine. Thankfully for their fans, they’ve hit the ground running and steamrolled their way into the knockout stages. Karim Benzema looks to be relishing the chance to be the star man in the team and with Mathieu Valbuena, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann bubbling around him, they look like a force in the tournament. Their side of the draw is opening up just a little which won’t hurt.

Greece

Any team that can progress to the Last 16 of the World Cup scoring just two goals deserve a doff of the cap. Especially in a year when every goal-scoring record the World Cup has ever known will probably be smashed by the time we reach the Quarter Finals. Fittingly, Euro 2004 winners Greece are that team. They make no excuses for their style. It’s hard-working, it’s not easy to watch at 01:00am but it is very effective. With Costa Rica as their opponents in the knockout stage, they also have a very real chance of making it to the last eight of the tournament.

Losers

England

Despite assertions in the run-up to the tournament that no-one had any real expectations on Roy Hodgson and his England team, two defeats in the opening two games quickly proved that that wasn’t the case. The majority of fans are calling for someones head as England crash out of a tournament at the Group Stages for the first time since Euro 1988. It’s still better than not qualifying like 2008, right? Maybe not. Roy Hodgson will need to win 4-0 in every game during qualifying to get back the goodwill quickly.

Côte d’Ivoire

The Golden Generation of Didier Drogba and his team-mates remain not so golden. They haven’t won the Africa Cup of Nations at any point and they just can’t find a way out of a World Cup group. Greece were there to be beaten but they proved unable to pull away from the Euro 2004 winners and it ultimately cost them. Another missed opportunity for a group of players that should be doing better.

South America

Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay are facing off for one semi-final spot. That’s an unlucky draw for the South Americans.

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