World Cup news snippets
Posted: 24 June 2010 Time: 9:04 am
There is nothing but pride to play for in the 2010 Fifa World Cup Group E match between Cameroon and Netherlands in Cape Town today, but the Indomitable Lions would love to go out on a high.
According a report put out by Mzansi Football, it has been a disappointing campaign for the Cameroonians, with rumours of infighting and dissatisfaction with the team selections of coach Paul Le Guen.
Defeats to Japan and Denmark, games they really should have won, mean it will be an early flight home for Samuel Eto'o and company.
The Netherlands have already secured their place in the Last 16 and will be gunning for top spot with another point, though that would throw up the possibility of a second round meeting with Italy.
Meanwhile, the future of Le Guen at the helm of Cameroon may depend on this match. He has already said he would like to stay on as coach, but the notoriously fickle Cameroon FA would not look kindly on a campaign that yielded three defeats.
Ivory Coast need 8-0 victory Ivory Coast needs one of the unlikeliest results in World Cup history if it is to prolong its stay at the 2010 tournament.
The Ivorians retain just the slimmest of mathematical chances of qualifying for the last 16 stage but they need a swing of nine goals to accomplish this.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's team has to beat already-eliminated North Korea in Nelspruit in the final round of Group G matches on Friday and at the same time Portugal has to lose to Brazil in Durban.
"There's one match to go and we owe it to ourselves to win it and hope events go in our favour," said defender Guy Demel, insisting The Elephants still retained hope of an incredible outcome. "Nothing's over yet."
World Cup history is not in Ivory Coast's favour.
A one-goal loss by Portugal to five-time champion Brazil would require the Ivorians to win by at least eight and in the 80-year history of the World Cup there have been just six matches with an 8-0 scoreline or greater.
Swiss heroes or zeros? After toppling Spain in its World Cup opener, Switzerland wouldn't have thought its tournament would be hanging in the balance going into its final Group H match tomorrow against Honduras.
The Swiss can still top the group - or finish rock bottom. But the path at least is clear: beat Honduras by two goals at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein and the Swiss are through to the knockout round.
Chile, which plays Spain in a simultaneous game, currently leads Group H on six points. Switzerland is level with Spain on three points, although the Spanish have a better goal difference. Honduras is last on zero points.
Those tactics look set to change against Honduras in a game that Hitzfeld said "everybody expects Switzerland to win easily."
"Against Spain we were the underdogs and concentrated on defending and hoping for a successful counterattack," Hitzfeld said. "Against Chile, we were forced to defend after our player (Valon) Behrami had been sent off.
"Against Honduras we must win with a two-goal difference to make sure we reach the second stage of the World Cup, and I am very positive that we are going to do it."