Fifa Confederation Cup 2009 Group A

In FIFA Confederation Cup, Football on June 10, 2009 at 21:44

By Joe,

Ellis Park Johannesburg World Cup

The Fifa Confederation Cup in South Africa gets underway on the 14th of June in Johannesburg between South Africa and Iraq. The stadium Ellis Park in Johannesburg had undergone a minor upgrade for the host nation to play their first game in the Confederation Cup. The Confederation Cup is an event that is hosted every four years (a year prior to the World Cup) with the winners of the six Fifa Confederation championships in Asia, Oceania, Europe, South America, Africa, Northern Central America and the host nation along with the World Cup winners.

Group A consist of the host nation, South Africa, Spain, Iraq and New Zealand. These four teams will be contesting to qualify for the semifinals of the Cup. Only two teams will advance through the group stages and will compete in the semifinals against the other qualifying team from Group B, where it could lead a third place playoff or the final.

The host nation, South Africa, is the second African side in this competition. As the host, they have automatically qualified for this tournament. They will be playing their first game of the tournament against Iraq and their Brazilian coach Joel Santana would want to make an impression.

Iraq, AFC Asian Cup 2007 winner, enters this tournament through winning their first continental title by beating Saudi Arabia in the Asian Cup. Serbian Coach Bora Milutinovic will be leading the Iraq team in their opening game.

Spain, UEFA Euro 2008 winner is in this competition for the first time as they won the Euro 2008, marking their first major tournament title in 44 years. Coach Vicent Del Bosque could well be leading the team to their next title.

New Zealand, OFC Nation Cup 2007/2008 winner, will be representing the Oceania for the third time in this competition. New Zealand’s Coach Ricki Herbet will be testing his tactical managerial skill for the first team on a high international level.

The host nation will most likely battle it out with Iraq and New Zealand for the 2nd qualifying place in the group. The strongest team in Group A is Spain, however, they could face a stubborn opposition that decides to play a counter attacking football against them. Never the less, Spain have the players and are favorites to go through as the winners of the group and Ladbrokes are offer 1.16 as group winners and 2.50 for winning the tournament.

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