Friday, June 25, 2010

World Cup 2010: Second round predictions

This was an epic first round of World Cup 2010. So many stories: France's disgraceful exit; Italy's unexpected ouster; the dominance of the South American nations; Ghana the lone standing African nation; shoddy goalkeeping; poor refereeing; Landon Donovan's goal; Argentina scoring at will; Portugal, Uruguay and Chile yet to surrender a goal.

How can the World Cup's sweet 16 top that? We're about to find out.

Uruguay v. South Korea -- The South Americans are physical, stingy and have Diego Forlan scoring goals. 2-0 Uruguay.

United States v. Ghana -- Ghana got in on goal-differential; the U.S. got in on its goal of the century. The U.S. can't do it the easy way finally, can they? Yes. 2-0 USA.

Quarterfinals: Uruguay v. United States


Argentina v. Mexico -- Argentina has the best scoring talent in the tournament. Mexico has a lot of heart and is playing well. Argentina has Diego Maradona. Mexico does not. They don't have Lionel Messi either. 3-0 Argentina.

Germany v. England -- Oh boy. The political and traditional implications aside, this is epic and mammoth. Germany leaked badly in its group after opening with a 4-0 win. Schweinsteiger may not play. England has yet to cut loose and play its best. Capello is outcoaching himself. But in this one, he pulls the boys together and Rooney wins it in extra time. Yes, this goes to extra time. 1-0 England.

Quarterfinals: Argentina v. England


Paraguay v. Japan -- Japan has been most impressive so far, but I have to stick with my Southern hemisphere theory and go with Paraguay. 2-1 Paraguay.

Portugal v Spain -- A classic in the making. This will be everything that Brazil-Portugal was not. Portugal will have to attack and so will Spain. But in the end, we need an upset in this round, and this is it. 2-1 Portugal.

Quarterfinals: Paraguay v. Portugal


Netherlands v. Slovakia -- The dark horse to win the whole thing, Holland is ever dangerous and with Robben on his way back, they're bound to get better. 4-0 Netherlands.

Brazil v. Chile -- My Southern hemisphere theory kicks in again -- has to! Brazil stomps on Chile. 4-1 Brazil.

Quarterfinals: Netherlands v. Brazil.

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