Friday, June 27, 2014

World Cup #2

Second round is filled with intriguing match ups...

Brazil v Chile
Colombia v Uruguay

France v Nigeria
Germany v Algeria


Netherlands v Mexico
Greece v Costa Rica

Argentina v Switzerland
USA v Belgium

As for favourites, the easy answer is Brazil, but they haven't completely convinced me yet.  It could well be the year for a European team to finally win a World Cup title outside of Europe.

Will be watching Colombia & Mexico with interest.  Mexico has been impressive given the team was within 90 seconds of not reaching the play-off against NZ. Colombia, one of the real dark-horses, & provided one of the moments of the tournament, when the 43 year old Goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon came on as a substitute (the oldest player in the World Cup's History).

So excited for Algeria too.  I suspect given the events of 1982 Germany will be nervous. Not only did Algeria beat (West) Germany, but Austria and Germany played out a result which meant both qualified, at the expense of Algeria. As a result, from 1986 the last group matches are played simultaneously.

The tournament, to date has the greatest number of goals scored in the first stage, 136 in 48 matches (average of 2.8 per match).

For me the disappointment of the tournaments are the Asian sides (0 wins, 3 draws, 9 losses; 9 goals in 12 games, 25 agst). Japan had enough chances to win their games but lacked a killer instinct in front of goal. Australia similarly were not able to land the chances they had. The Socceroos have been improving but they still have a little way to go you'd mark them as favourites for the Asian Cup.

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