by Doug Stevens, manager of the RICS England team and former Cambridge United player.
No, this is not my predication of tomorrow’s score-line it is a replication of the error made by English Journalists in 1950 when they received notification via Reuters that England had lost 0-1 to USA. They thought such a result impossible and that a typographical error had been made so ‘corrected’ the score to England 10 – USA 1.
These days it would not be unthinkable for the USA team to win. After all they have qualified for the last six World Cups, they beat Spain 1 – 0 in the semi-finals of the Confederation Cup in 2009 and were 2 – 0 up against Brazil in the Final before losing 3 – 2.
Tomorrow’s England match is played in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium (capacity 44,530) in Rustenburg towards the border with Botswana.
Let’s hope that the altitude training in Austria and an 8.30pm kick-off will enable the technically superior England team to prevail over the physically fitter USA team.
My tip for the World Cup winners are Argentina who boast an extraordinary array of football talents, including Lionel Messi, but they are managed by the mercurial (or is it mad?) Maradona. Will he really dance naked in the streets of Buena Aires should Argentina win. Answer - Probably!
The South Africa team bear the unfortunate burden of being the only host nation in the history of the World Cup to fail to qualify for the World Cup. Qualification is normally automatic. Their African Nations Cup qualifying matches counted as World Cup qualifying matches and they failed to qualify from the group. Nevertheless ‘Bafana Bafana’ as they are known are the hosts and could well provide some upsets as previous host nations such as Mexico, Japan and South Korea have done.