Trying to catch up from the weekend.
Only saw highlights of Holland/Japan and Ghana/Australia. I picked both matches, so I was pleased.
Holland are through but have yet to convince, which may be good. A dicey round of 16 against the Italians is beckoning and we’ll see if the Dutch have the winning mentality. Ghana have it all to do against the Germans. The Black Stars will have to stay compact and finish the couple of chances they get to stay in the competition. They are in commanding position but have to figure that Serbia will beat the Socceroos, which means they will need at least a draw.
As for Denmark/Cameroon, a lot of people posted on Facebook, Twitter, etc. about how valiant the Indomitable Lions were. They only played when they went behind. Doesn’t work when the opponents are organized and have something to play for. Cameroon was pretty disappointing and have only themselves to blame. Le Guen got the first game wrong, lost to Japan and after that, it was uphill and out. The Danes now have a chance to go through. I imagine their game v Japan will be the strictest definition of cagey as both teams will want to progress but not take any chances doing so. Japan have a slight edge in GD so we’ll see.
Sunday was stunning. Paraguay really nullified Slovakia and put one foot in the round of 16. Then came New Zealand/Italy. Along with the French, the Italians have to be one of the disappointments of the Cup. It was great watching them have to go for it. Thought Lippi’s subs really added the edge to the Italians and hopefully they start on the attack against the Slovaks. Couple of thoughts re: the Italians: Gilardino must go; thought Montolivo was quite good; Cannavaro is well past it.
I missed the Brazil game. I watched highlights and their goals were of real quality (except Fabiano’s second). Looks like a draw with the Portuguese will get them through. It will be interesting to see how they play without Kaka.
This morning I missed the Portugal game. How they put 7 past the North Koreans, I’ll never know. Why? This team couldn’t score in a brothel. I fear they have used up their goals though.
Chile/Switzerland was ugh. Once the Swiss went down to 10, they bunkered in like the Spain game. Chile should have had so many goals and may pay the price.
Spain really turned on the style against Honduras but couldn’t score the goals. They easily could have matched Portugal’s seven or at least Germany’s 4 but failed to finish their chances. Villa’s missed PK screwed up my pick of 3-0 but oh well.