Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy New World Cup Year

It feels like an eternity...., but it's finally here....

After 4 years in the making, 2010 is really here, and with it comes the 19th World Cup tournament kicking off in June. In fact as I write this there are less than 120 days to go before the first kick of the first game in Cape Town, and I for one cannot wait any longer.....

Since I last blogged, our little group has now gotten our full allocation of tickets to 14 of the matches during the tournament. I think we should be rightfully proud with this exceptional haul in the ticket stakes, and even though we did not to get any tickets for the World Cup Final, I still think we have done quite well....

So here is the full list of Group matches we will be seeing : -
  • M2 - Cape Town - Fri 11th June -20:30 - Uruguay vs France
  • M11 - Cape Town - Mon 14th June -20:30 - Italy vs Paraguay
  • M20 - Soccer City - Thus 17th June -20:30 - Argentina vs South Korea
  • M22 - Ellis Park - Fri 18th June-16:00 - Slovenia vs USA
  • M24 - Rustenburg - Sat 19th June-13:30 - Ghana vs Australia
  • M29 - Soccer City - Sun 20th Jun-20:30 - Brazil vs Ivory Coast
  • M39 - Soccer City - Wed 23rd June-20:30 - Ghana vs Germany
  • M42 - Polokwane - Thu 24th June-16:00 - Paraguay vs New Zealand

Actually, I think we have a couple of exciting games in there. As our whole trip was based around 2 specific locations, we did not get to choose which teams we get to see in the early stages of the tournament. Even though we were not lucky enough to bag an England game in the group stages, we will get to see some World Cup favourites, including Brazil, Argentina and Germany.

On a personal note, I am glad that we have tickets to see one of the historic New Zealand games, plus we'll also see a couple of our other favoured teams, (USA & Australia) during the group stages.

Moving on, we also have tickets for the following 'Round of 16' games: -
  • M50 - Rustenburg 1C v 2D (3) Sat 26/06/2010-20:30
  • M52 - Soccer City 1B v 2A (2) Sun 27/06/2010-20:30
  • M54 - Ellis Park 1G v 2H (7) Mon 28/06/2009-20:30
  • M55 - Pretoria 1F v 2E (6) Tue 29/06/2009-16:00

In the 'Round of 16' we get a slender chance of catching an England game.... If England qualify as winners of Group C, we will get a chance to see them when they take on the 2nd placed team of Group D, (possibly Australia or Germany perhaps?) Can everyone please keep your fingers crossed for us... We will also get to see the winners of Groups B, G, F take on the 2nd placed teams from groups A, H, and E, which offers us some interesting permutations...

Finally we have tickets to the following Quarter Final games: -
  • M58 - Soccer City 1 v 3 (A) Fri 2/07/2010-20:30
  • M60 - Ellis Park 6 v 8 (D) Sat 3/07/2009:20:30

Again, with a bit of luck, (well a very large slice of luck actually), if England qualify top of their group and win their 'Round of 16' game, we could see them at one of our Quarter Final matches.... (I'm keeping everything crossed from now onwards...!)

Unfortunately, neither of the Semi-Final matches are being played near where we are staying outside Pretoria, so I'm planning to either find a 'happening' bar, or make a trip to one of the 'Fan Parks' being set up around South Africa to watch the games in a crowd atmopshere.

It's a shame about not getting Finals tickets, but they are as rare as hens teeth so I'm not surprised. If we get offered some Finals tickets on the quiet, (from someone we can trust), then maybe the dream of seeing a Final will come true. Otherwise, we'll have to wait until Brazil 2014.

So anyone that has been keeping a careful eye on the dates of all our matches, will have noticed that there are only 9 days out of 22 when we WON'T be attending a game. Hopefully we will be able to squeeze our sightseeing requirements into the non-match days we have. We will be making the most of game days by heading into the city earlier in the day and seeing some stuff befor ethe game kicks-off. Still, it a hardcore, world cup loving, travel adicted, football fanatics schedule, but I think it can be done... :-)

From now on, I'm counting the hours until we get on the plane to South Africa, it can't come soon enough...!

PS. This blog entry is dedicated to Ollie Ellis, the newest England fan on the planet... Respect...!