So far, it’s all gone according to plan. Argentina and Germany are slated to meet in the quarter finals (assuming both can navigate past Mexico and Sweden respectively – matches they they should win), while England (assuming they get past Ecuador), will meet one of Portugal and Holland in the second quarter final.
The lack of upsets in the first four groups makes for a stunning array of football in the second round and in the quarter finals. It also falls in line with my world cup predictions, although on current form Holland should edge Portugal out.
The next two days will see the last four groups decided – Spain and Brazil are the only teams through so far (topping their groups, and on form should meet in the quarters (even if Spain meet France and Brazil meets Italy). Group E and Group G, the two undecided groups are also the most open, with only Togo sure of going back home after their final match. They could very well be accompanied by the French, unless Saha starts and Ribery does a more creditable Zidane impression.
Highlight of this 3rd round of matches so far – the fascinating, enthralling match between Argentina and Holland. Argentina refused to attack, while Holland knew that they had to defend first but without Robben they didnt have the width to seriously trouble Argentina (although they came close several times).
Nistelrooy suffered in the game, mainly because he got little service, but van der Sar shone, including one stunning save from a Tevez shot.
Ronaldo sat out of the Portugal vs Mexico game, courtesy of his yellow card. Portugal still won, albeit not so convincingly, and need to do better if they are to beat Holland in the second round.