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Poll: Will South Africa advance at World Cup?

No host nation has ever failed to escape the group stage of the World Cup, but with a weak South Africa side stuck in a challenging quartet with France, Uruguay and Mexico, Bafana Bafana might very well become the first to falter. Vote!

By Steve Goff  |  June 3, 2010; 11:52 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Poll , South Africa  | Tags: Bafana Bafana, South Africa, World Cup  
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Next: Jozy Altidore has mild ankle sprain


They might score 2 goals over the course of their games, but I can't see them getting a win, let alone getting out of their group. I think Mexico is a lock, but I keep flipping back and forth between France and Uruguay. I lean towards France, but they are so inconsistent lately, and given their history of slow starts at the World Cup, it could leave the door open for Uruguay to get through the Round of 16. I don't care how hyped SA may be, they will not survive the group.

Posted by: nairbsod | June 3, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think Mexico is in for an unpleasant surprise. Mexico have scored against weaker opponents, but South Africa has shown some mettle, and will be playing out of their minds. Uruguay has the defensive tenacity to keep Mexico's front line looking timid (like it has in the past) and France should still beat them.

Quite aware that it isn't a safe bet, but I'm going to say France first, South Africa second. Uruguay can play a big part in who goes home.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 3, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I think they'll make it. The others in the group are awfully good, but the home field advantage is too easy to underestimate.

Posted by: Djyrn | June 3, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I will be very surprised if they aren't gifted matches. There will be ghostly fouls resulting in red cards and penalty kicks.

Posted by: hacksaw | June 3, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

ESPN reporting that Jozy Altidore hospitalized for a sprained ankle. X-rays negative, listed as day-to-day.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | June 3, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

It will earn a point.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 3, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@Red: where was that at? I just went to their site and didn't see it - at least not under their World Cup section. Maybe I missed it.

Posted by: nairbsod | June 3, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse


It was live on SportsCenter about 5 minutes ago.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | June 3, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Interesting story about the French players by Cody in the paper. It didn't mention the names of any French players. Very French.

Posted by: dccal | June 3, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I saw it on sportscenter as well. He is questionable for the tuneup against australia, but it doesn't appear to be a problem for the opener. Still, I hope he sits for the tuneup.

On topic: this is where journalists and fans demonstrate that they forgot whatever statistics they ever learned. While no host nation has ever failed to get out of its group, it is far too small a statistical sample to be meaningful. There is an advantage to playing at home and being seeded means playing weaker opposition, but anything can happen in three games (like us getting out of our confederations cup group). I don't think they advance, but they shouldn't be embarrassed if they don't.

Posted by: troy6 | June 3, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

If Matt Damon gets involved, they will win the whole thing!

Posted by: ldmay | June 3, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

if i had a bunch of money to bet that i could afford to lose, i would put it all on South Africa to beat Mexico on Friday. i will have to settle for the satisfaction of merely watching Mexico roll over and die. it's going to be awesome.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | June 3, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

SA will get a draw against URU or MEX, but that's it.

Posted by: glfrazier | June 3, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

what dimes said.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 3, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I have felt since the draw that South Africa and Mexico would advance from the group. France hasn't done anything at a World Cup outside of Europe since 1986.


When you consider the host nations of Chile, USA,South Korea and Japan have gotten out of the group stages I think that is some pretty solid proof that there are some major home field advantages. Not sure about Chile but I know the other 3 nations were major underdogs in those tournaments and they did what almost no one expected.

Posted by: csd1 | June 3, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I think South Africa will get second.

Posted by: GoUnited | June 3, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Chile finished third in 1962. So maybe there was more to them than home field advantage.

If we look at USA and Japan/S. Korea as the three weakest hosts (assuming that France was decent in 1938, that's 3 of 19*; not an adequate sample size. So Troy is right.

I think SA will get a point from Uruguay.

18 tournaments, 19 hosts/co-hosts

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 3, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"if i had a bunch of money to bet..." then you would turn your Dimes into Dollars!

Posted by: WorldCup | June 3, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

SA will finish last in their group.

Mexico and France to advance. Uruguay always dissapoints in major tournaments.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | June 3, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

This is easily the biggest challenge to the "home teams always advance" trend. Even in a group with 2 teams that look like they'll be overconfident (Mexico, France) and another that is the definition of pedestrian outside of their starting forwards (Uruguay), it's hard to imagine Bafana Bafana getting out of their group.

That said, I am strongly pulling for them to beat Mexico in the opener. That or the Uruguay game is where South Africa will take a point or three.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 3, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

5 of the 19 host nations have won the World Cup and in 3 of those cases it was the only World Cup those nations have ever won (France,England,Uruguay).

If someone wants to argue that home field advantages in a World Cup don't matter that is fine with me. I would argue that there is enough data supporting that hosting a World Cup is a performance advantage for the host nation. In this case I think it will give South Africa enough of a boost to advance but I have no doubts that I might be wrong.

Posted by: csd1 | June 3, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Host nations, whatever their futball competency, always manage to advance. If South Africa doesn't, don't blame the referees.

Posted by: runningcloud | June 4, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

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