Things happen quickly in the World Cup. After only two matches for some teams the dream of carrying on or even winning the tournament is over. Cameroon, Spain and Australia know that after the third group match they’re going home, while both the Netherlands and Chile have one less thing to worry about, with the position they finish in being the only thing that remains.
In Group A, Cameroon were initially signaled out as the worst team, but know one knew by how much. After two matches against both Mexico and Croatia, they’ve yet to score a goal. If against Mexico, with Samuel Eto’o up front, they looked slightly dangerous and competitive thanks to their size advantage against a Mexican defense, leading to a 1-0 loss (although it should have been a lot more), things completely fell apart against Croatia. Cameroon lost 4-0 while finishing the match with 10 men as two of their players got into a heated argument and a fight on the pitch in the closing minutes.
Group B is set. We still don’t know who’ll finish first and who’ll finish second, but we have our two teams that head into the next stage, we have the two nations going home. The Netherlands are first at the moment thanks to goal difference: They destroyed Spain 5-1 in the first match. In the second match things were a lot more difficult, but they came through with a 3-2 win, coming back from a second half deficit.
Chile have yet to be behind in this tournament. They took a two goal lead against Australia before conceding one from Tim Cahill that made things more interesting in the closing minutes, eventually winning 2-1. Against Spain they made the most of their chances, taking a two goal lead and eventually won 2-0, knocking the defending world champions from the competition.
Australia got plenty of compliments for how they played, but that is as far as it goes. Poor defending and eventually being inferior in quality to all three teams in the group is a bit too much fro them to make up for. Spain are a different story. Maybe the writing was on the wall as some might say. However, going out with two losses while conceding seven goals in the process and looking tired and fed up wasn’t something anyone expected.