Arrivederci Italy. Well what a fantastic world cup! While many fans may be unhappy to see some of the leading lights get knocked out of the football world cup 2010, all the teams that get through deserve to be there as far as I’m concerned. Football is a real leveller and top teams can never take a win for granted against any opposition.
simply were not good enough to qualify even though their poor defending and pride combined to make an absolutely thrilling match. When they looked dead and buried the Azzurri regrouped late on to show that they are always a force to be reckoned with, but it was too little too late. Congratulations are in order to Slovakia who will now meet the Netherlands in the world cup quarter finals and the Dutch will do well not to underestimate them. The quarter final which ever will be talking about will be the meeting between England
and whatever happens it was great to see England avoid an early exit unlike Italy and France. This is sure to be one of the games of the tournament so don’t miss it on Sunday.
Today there are too dead fixtures and two exciting matches. Although Portugal and Brazil have already qualified it will be a fascinating clash, especially given the huge Portuguese influence on Brazil. Both teams will have a point to prove so expect some fireworks. Yet the fact that Spain may yet finish in second place slightly complicates things as the winner of Brazil v's Portugal will have to face Spain in the last 16.
or Brazil may want to avoid the Spanish, my theory is that you have to beat the best teams to win the trophy so it doesn’t matter which stage you play them at. Portugal will be on a high after their seven goal thrashing of North Korea, but Brazil have looked the real deal so far with classy goals and an attractive formation. The other game in the group is between the Ivory Coast and North Korea and I expect the Africans to recover some pride with a strong showing. They will have felt themselves unlucky to have ended up in the ‘Group of Death’ once again.
Tonight the key clash is between Chile and Spain
. After their shock opening match this is a must win game for the Spanish. The tournament favourites will have their work cut out for them though as Chile have impressed all onlookers with their attacking football and tactical awareness. We could well see another shock though i expect the Spanish to squeak through.
Ivory Coast 3 - 0 North Korea
Brazil 2 - 2 Portugal
Spain 2 - 1 Chile