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June 17, 2010 at 3:34 PM

World Cup group-stage reviews after two games: Group A

Team-by-team breakdown

Mexico (1-0-1, 4 pts.) — My predicted group winner has looked the part so far. Probably deserved a win in the opener and took care of France. Still in great shape to advance and make a run in the knockout stage.

Uruguay (1-0-1, 4 pts.) — Views were varied on these guys before the tournament began (by me included), but a Diego Forlan-led rout of the hosts have put them in a good spot to advance.

France (0-1-1, 1 pt.) — I picked them to advance, but should’ve known. The talent is there, but chemistry and managing aren’t. Mathematically alive still, but look defeated in every sense.

South Africa (0-1-1, 1 pt.) — Got off to an optimistic start, but the humiliation against Uruguay — and losing their starting goalkeeper — has the hometown side in serious trouble.

What stands out so far

1. Tshabalala strike — The first goal of the tournament was a wonder-strike and the best moment so far.

2. Uruguay explodes — A deflected shot and a PK by the S. Americans silenced the vuvuzelas in a 3-0 win.

3. Putrid France — Two shutouts and not a lot of chances created. Henry benched. Will this team ever score?

Three stars

1. F Diego Forlan, Uruguay

2. M Rafa Marquez, Mexico

3. M Siphiwe Tshabalala, S. Africa

Look ahead

Mexico and Uruguay are certainly in the driver’s seat to advance. They might play it safe in the final match against each other to avoid catastrophe in goal-differential, but I think they might play hard to avoid Argentina in the round of 16. France and South Africa will each need lopsided scores on the final day to move on.

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