By Paul Bassey
Scarcity of goals notwithstanding, this world cup is fast becoming the most interesting ever.
As far back as I can remember this is the world cup that has most messed up the so called experts of the game.

Those, who believe that like pools punters, they can put form, quality and class together to be able to get an immaculate result.

Lars Lagerback

It is now fun seeing analysts punctuating their confident deliveries with phrases like ‘if’… ‘given’…and the like.
This world cup has been full of surprises, even from the most unexpected of quarters. It is in this world cup that Greece not only scored their first world cup goal but also won their first match to boot.

It is in this world cup that Switzerland, after 18 barren encounters against Spain, nicked her first victory in what has been considered the greatest upset yet.

It is in this world cup that South Africa is likely to exit as the first host ever to quit in the first round. Why not? After a commendable showing against Mexico in the opening match, they crumbled like a pack of cards against Uruguay.

It is in this world cup that Cameroun recorded the unenviable record of losing their opening match in a world cup, and against lowly placed Japan for that matter. In 1990, up against the defending Champions Argentina yet they excelled.

It is in this world cup that the world celebrated the entry of the Samba boys from Brazil only for North Korea, the 32nd best team in the tournament to rattle them to an un imaginable slim 2-1 scoreline, although the Brazilians will quickly remind you that a win is a win.

It is in this world cup that a Nigerian went into the negative side of history as the first ever to get a red card in the world cup.

I have not forgotten defending champions, the Azzuri of Italy, who had to struggle to draw against Paraguay. What about the famous draw that New Zealand eked out of their match with favoured Slovakia?

Then came England, masters of the game so they say, complete with Premiership stars yet it was the star spangled banner of the USA that glittered at the end of the day. Add to that the disaster of the French, humbled by Mexico.
Just on Friday, the Germans that thumped four past Australia lined out against Serbia and the world said give it to the machine team. At the end of ninety minutes Serbia it was that had the full points in the bag.

It is this back ground that made me laugh when Nigerians put two and two together and came to the conclusion that Greece will be meat for the boys.

Now we have moved to another level, that of believing that all we have to do is show up at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban on june 26 and all the three points will be ours. Maybe…yes maybe. Since this world cup is full of surprises, the victory of the Super Eagles over the Asian champions may just be one helluva of a surprise, so help us God.

The Bloemfontain African curse
It was at the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein that Japan beat Cameroun. It was also there that Greece humiliated us.

This is the Stadium that the South Africans are billed to play in and beat France. I am not insinuating anything. See you tomorrow.


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