Overview of the FIFA World Cup draw

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 5:32 PM ET

The World Cup is seven months away but after Friday's World Cup draw, there are already some big-time winners and big-time losers.

Group A proves that cheaters do prosper. France qualified by eliminating Ireland on a Thierry Henry, gets rewarded with a relatively easy group, even though lousy French coach Raymond Domenech makes nothing easy. The host South Africans are big losers in this draw.

Group B will be the proving ground for Argentine coach Diego Maradona. Even he will have trouble screwing up a trip to the next round. Beware though because Greece and Nigeria would love to give Maradona an early trip home. There's no home-court advantage this time around for South Korea.

Group C left England cheering. The only time the crumpets will fly is when the England plays the United States. Both will make it through the next round and the good thing is, they won't have to knock themselves to do it.

Group D left many with a feeling Germany made out like bandits. But the three-time champs need to be wary. Australia plays with great heart. Serbia has some talent and Ghana is an African nation that wants to show well in its own backyard. Not as easy as it looks.

Group E should be dominated by the Netherlands although any team with an African nation in their group will have to be careful. And even though the Danes haven't made much noise internationally in recent times, they would love to tilt the Dutch windmills.

Group F looks like a cakewalk for the defending World Cup champions. Italy has never been a particularly quick starter in major tournaments but they'd have to be dead to not qualify out of this group. But this is Italy we're talking about and they've laid eggs before against opponents they should beat handily.

Group G is the Group of Death with Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast and Portugal. No explanation needed.

Group H and Spain is dancing the fandango or paso doble, take your pick. The European champs rival Italy for ease of passage to the next round. No sweat, no injuries, bring on the rest of the world.


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