Monday, May 31, 2010

There May be clues

The month of May just before a World Cup is a time when players whose countries have qualified for the finals hope to avoid injury but impress their managers for selection. Results in May can give some indication of the strengths and weaknesses that the teams will take into the World Cup, but ultimately their performance on the big stage is what counts. New Zealand caused the biggest shock of the matches played in May by beating Serbia 1-0 in Austria while Portugal also suffered an upset when they were held to a goalless draw at home to the Cape Verde islands. The Czech Republic who did not qualify took pleasure in beating the USA 4-2 on their home patch. South Korea who enjoyed a 2-0 victory away to Japan were brought back down to earth when they lost 1-0 to Belarus in Austria. Hosts South Africa are on their way up in the rankings after a 2-1 win against Colombia and a 5-0 triumph over Guatemala.

Teams not playing in the World Cup were also in action. Estonia celebrated a 2-0 win over their neighbours Finland in Tallinn while Albania returned from Montenegro with a 1-0 victory and Gabon punished Togo 3-0 in Corsica.