Day 9 is over... and Costa Rica does it again! Not only they managed to win against Italy, but they did it with style, wit and muted the Azzurri in the process. The Italians looked like an ordinary team, their touch was heavy, and just didn't look comfortable at all. So how did Costa Rica managed this incredible feat? They gave the ball to an Italian team who doesn't like to play with the possession in their favour, they beat the Italians by playing the best Italian football ever. Simply outstanding, Tico-Taka indeed!
So what does this all mean? First: Costa Rica has qualified for the next stage, and if they win the group they'll be able to avoid Colombia. Second: Italy and Uruguay will fight for their life when they meet each other on Tuesday. Third: Costa Rica has proven that the level of the teams from North and Central America has improved in the last few years. Fourth: European teams can't stand the Tropical weather (with a few exceptions here and there). Fifth: Just to confirm, England are out of the World Cup, and Costa Rica is going to win their match against the Three Lions.
Also on Day 9, the Swiss defense had more holes than... well a Swiss Cheese, as Les Bleus rampaged their way to victory. It was an exhibition of goals, the French team took the liberty to get a cigarette break at the end of the game and let the Swiss take two goals back. In the dinner time match, Ecuador managed to beat Honduras without casualties on either side.
Day 10. Good News: Germany and Argentina are playing today. Bad News: They are playing against Ghana and Iran, respectively, Nigeria is also playing today. How I dreaded thee Day 10... The outcomes of these three games are already decided. As a matter of fact they were decided ever since FIFA published the matchday schedule. Germany is going to win. Argentina is going to win. Bosnia & Herzegovia is going to win.
Matches for today:
- 12:00 PM EST: Argentina vs Iran @ Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte.
This game has an Albiceleste win plastered all over it. Even a disjointed performance by the Argentinians (their style in the Messi era) should win by a large margin. Iran did play better than expected in their game against Nigeria, expect the 11 Iranian players parking the bus in the desperate attempt to salvage a point.
Argentina 4 - 0 Iran
- 3:00 PM EST: Germany vs Ghana @ Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza.
Ghana, the most disciplined of the African teams. Do they really have it in them to silence Germany? A German team who killed Portugal and never lost focus in what was supossed to be their most difficult match in the Group Stage.
Germany 4 - 0 Ghana
- 6:00 PM EST: Nigeria vs Bosnia & Herzegovina @ Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá.
Nigeria probably one of the worst performers of the World Cup, but since they have not conceded any goals, nor have any players suspended, well they may not be that bad. Yet they are not good enough to make it out of this group, and I don't see them scoring against a Bosnian team who, yes, was nervous in their opening match, but still managed to get a goal and intimidate an under-performing Argentinian team.
Nigeria 0 - 2 Bosnia & Herzegovina
To make things a bit more interesting... a point will be awarded to those who get the results right and two extra points for each correct scoreline. Feeling lucky? Then make a bold prediction and win an extra point for each one you get right, like The Pope plays for Argentina and recreates the Hand of God or Germany win by yodeling the Ghanians into oblivion.
So TAY what are your predictions for today's matches?
I took the liberty to create a spreadsheet (still on the early stages) to make it easier to keep track of our records... anyway, if you want to access it, just click here.