Now that we know the teams that will be making it to South Africa for the World Cup finals, i think its time we all took the bold step of picking our favorites to win the tournament. I know many of you might say that the right time to do this will be after the group stage draw that will happen in about two weeks time on the 4th of December.
However, if you are as confident as ai am about the teams you support, then you will have no problem letting the cat out of the bag. Last night, French die hard football fans must have been having an experience they would love to forget ASAP! Experiencing your team almost not qualifying for the biggest football tournament on the planet is a very bad feeling to say the least.
The ‘gods’ must have been with them as they managed to qualify but only by the skin of their teeth. This is a story i am sure won’t be ending anytime soon. France’s controversial 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland has sent them through on 2-1 aggregate win after ‘Les Bleus’ won the first match in Ireland 1-0 thanks to a Nicholas Anelka strike.
However you may want to look at it, France derserves to be in the finals because of the level of competiteveness that they provide. Lets just hope that they put their house in order before June the 11th. That said , there was another match of equal magnitude taking place in Khartoum on Wednesday night.
Africa’s sixth and final representative was decided when bitter arch rivals Algeria and Egypt locked horns in the Sudanese capital before a 35,000 strong crowd. These two nations were both looking to make it a third appearance at the finals but Algeria proved to be the better side in the tension filled Khartoum stadium.
A 39th minute goal form Yahia Cracker was enough to hand Algeria the final ticket to represent the continent in next year’s finals. This match was a re-make of their 1989, qualifier which turned violent after Egypt secured a spot in Italia 90 thanks to a lone goal from Hossam Hassan in Cairo.
The first fixture in Constatine ended in a barren draw and Algeria had to only draw in Egypt to make it through. Things did not go their way and they found themselves eliminated in the most painful of ways. Fast forward twenty years later and the tables have turned.
The Pharaohs were humbled by an Algerian side that is scarcely known in the football world. Now Algeria will join the other five African nations: Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa for the chance make Africa’s dream of wining the Cup a reality.
P.S. My favorites to win the World Cup are Ivory Coast and Brazil. I hope you will follow suite and reveal your favorites!