World Cup 2010 Results: South American Dominance

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World Cup 2010 Results: South American Dominance
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Including the whooping 4-1 beating by Argentian of South Korea and Uruguay's devastating 3-0 beating of host South Africa, South American countries in the World Cup are still undefeated in the seven games they've played.

The five teams (Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina) have won five and tied two.

While Conmebol is a traditionally strong division, the dominance of these teams is still quite impressiveve. These matches have included games against both 2006 finalists Italy and France.

So why are these teams having their way in this World Cup?

The Jabulani

The Jabulani's questionable aerodynamics favor teams that play on the ground.Players that keep the ball low to the ground are less likely to deal with the exaggerated flight and bounce of the Jabulani.

These teams had already adapted to problems in the air as most of them had anticipated height disadvantages against the European and African teams in the cups.

Many of the goals scored during this Cup have been elaborate, almost walk-in goals. These types of goals are staples of teams like Argentina and Brazil.

Elevation

The elevation has been understated in this Cup. Many of the stadiums, however, are thousands of feet above sea level.The South American teams, maybe more so than the European teams, are used to playing in Elevation.

All of them had to face the trouble of playing in La Paz, Bolivia--11,000 feet above sea level. Compared to that, the 5,000 ft above sea level in Johannesburg  is a cake walk.

The players are more familiar with both the fitness needed and also the specific flight of a ball in air that is much thinner than it is at sea level.

Individuality

The game of many South American teams, more than any other group, is based on a mixture of individuality and teamwork.

In the two victories for Argentina, Lionel Messi's individual play was paramount to the many goals scored.

In Chile, the most impressive part of the game was seeing Alexis Sanchez taking off on the wing.

Diego Forlan was able to take over the game against South Africa when the defense began to lag.

While Brazil is dedicated to playing defensively, the Jogo Bonito that remains is exactly this controlled balance of individuality and teamwork.

 

 

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