Host team performance in World Cups

[Also posted at my other site, HexagonalBlog.]

I think it might be a good idea to look at previous World Cups and
find out how the hosts fared in their opening matches.  Here's the full
list, with the hosts listed first:

1930: Uruguay 1-0 Peru
Italy 7-1 USA
1938: France 3-1 Belgium
1950: Brazil 4-0 Mexico
Switzerland 2-1 Italy
1958: Sweden 3-0 Mexico
1962: Chile 3-1
1966: England 0-0 Uruguay
1970: Mexico 0-0 Soviet
1974: West Germany 1-0 Chile
1978: Argentina 2-1 Hungary
Spain 1-1 Honduras
1986: Mexico 2-1 Belgium
1990: Italy 1-0
1994: USA 1-1 Switzerland
1998: France 3-0 South Africa
South Korea 2-0 Poland, Japan 2-2 Belgium
2006: Germany 4-2 Costa

So from 19 opening matches, there have been 14 wins by the
host team and five draws.  No defeats.

There are some variances in
quality amongst the hosts, of course, but the host teams' performance in
their World Cup openers is not something to be considered lightly.

agree that South Africa are perhaps the weakest host team in the
history of the World Cup finals, but Mexico have a tall order if they
are to score a win on Friday.  It will certainly be a historic result if
they do.