BLOEMFONTEIN, June 26 (Reuters) – England and Germany fans
are converging on Bloemfontein, scrambling for accommodation,
transport and tickets for Sunday’s World Cup showdown but two
things are not in short supply, beer and goodwill.
Despite the long-standing rivalry between the teams, which
meet in a last 16 clash at the Free State Stadium, everyone was
basking in the glow of South Africa’s feel-good World Cup and
had traveller’s tales to share.
BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (Reuters) – Poor little Honduras have been ejected from Latin America’s World Cup party.
The Central Americans go home with the dispiriting knowledge that they are the only Latin American side to fail to qualify for the knockout round. Not only that, they were unable to score any goals.
BLOEMFONTEIN (Reuters) – Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld blamed an attack of nerves by his players for their failure to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup on Friday.
The Swiss could have qualified from Group H if they had secured a two-goal victory against lowly Honduras but instead the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
BLOEMFONTEIN (Reuters) – Switzerland and Honduras drew 0-0 in their final Group H game with chances missed at both ends as the two sides were eliminated from the World Cup.
Switzerland, who had beaten European champions Spain in their opener, could have reached the second round with victory over the Central Americans but rarely looked like scoring.
MANGAUNG, South Africa (Reuters) – Barcelona soccer club have been training this week on a grassless, hard-dirt pitch in South Africa’s Mangaung township. Not Lionel Messi and his team of champions from Spain, but a group of local youths.
They have no sponsorship from Coca Cola, McDonald’s, or anyone else. They cannot afford tickets to see Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and other household names from England when they come to Bloemfontein to play Germany in the World Cup on Sunday.
MANGAUNG, South Africa, June 25 (Reuters) – Barcelona soccer
club have been training this week on a grassless, hard-dirt
pitch in South Africa’s Mangaung township. Not Lionel Messi and
his team of champions from Spain, but a group of local youths.
They have no sponsorship from Coca Cola, McDonald’s, or
anyone else. They cannot afford tickets to see Wayne Rooney,
Frank Lampard and other household names from England when they
come to Bloemfontein to play Germany in the World Cup on Sunday.
BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (Reuters) – Honduras will be playing for “honour and dignity” in their final Group H game against Switzerland after a disappointing World Cup campaign, coach Reinaldo Rueda said on Thursday.
The Swiss are looking for victory by two goals to make it into the last 16, a result that could see European champions Spain out of the tournament.
BLOEMFONTEIN (Reuters) – France fans who had travelled all the way to South Africa only to see their national side implode off and on the pitch poured scorn on the controversial coach and his mutinous players on Tuesday.
“I’m very disappointed. I support France but how can I respect them?” said Romain Fabart, a 34-year-old procurement officer as he mingled with South African fans after France’s exit from the World Cup.
BLOEMFONTIEN (Reuters) – Often cast as underdogs amongst Latin America’s illustrious soocer nations, Paraguay have a feeling their shot at glory is finally within grasp.
After drawing with world champions Italy then dispensing with Slovakia 2-0 on Sunday, they have their sights on topping Group F to set up an easier game in the Round of 16.
BLOEMFONTEIN (Reuters) – Paraguay will not settle for less than topping Group F ahead of world champions Italy following their victory over Slovakia on Sunday, striker Roque Santa Cruz said.
Paraguay drew with Italy in their opening World Cup match and now sit on top of the group with four points, with world champions on two points after a surprise 1-1 draw with New Zealand on Sunday.