Monday, December 5, 2016

5 December 2009 - Clearly, They Didn't Believe In Cover Jinxes

On 5 December 2009, the Sun celebrated England's draw for the 2010 World Cup by using their opponents' names to form the word "EASY" on their cover. It turned out to be a little more difficult than they thought, however.

The draw, which had taken place the previous day in South Africa, placed England in a group with the United States, Algeria, and Slovenia. Calling it "the best English group since the Beatles," the Sun headline touted the draw as "England, Algeria, Slovenia, Yanks." Several commentators agreed, with former English international Jack Charlton going so far to say "I think it is probably the easiest of the World Cup groups."

It turned out to be anything but, as England struggled to draws with the United States and Algeria in their two opening matches. Going into the group's last match day, they were level on points with the United States and needed a result against leaders Slovenia to ensure their progress into the next round.

As it turned out, they advanced with a 1-0 win over Slovenia, but did so as the group's second place team after the US topped the group by defeating Algeria. The relief was short-lived, however, as both England and the US were knocked out in the next round with losses to Germany and Ghana, respectively.

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