Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Look Back at my Groups A and B Predictions

In Group A it turns out I severely underestimated Uruguay, who won the group while I predicted a last place group finish. And France completely imploded, taking only 1 point out of the group while I predicted a second place finish and advancement to the second round. I was correct in guessing that South Africa would be the first host nation in the history of the tournament not to advance from the group stage.

I was right about Mexico moving on, but I had them in first place. Uruguay have performed quite well so far and at this point I'd say they're good contenders for a semi-final run.

My Group B forecast was almost spot on.  Although looking back on it now I've realized I screwed up my point calculations and seem to have left out a whole match. It wasn't possible for the points to come out as I predicted. But anyway, my primary predictions are really about the top two places in group, which I accurately pegged as Argentina and South Korea. Nigeria gave me a few good scares in their final match tonight, nearly scoring the go-ahead goal to advance to the next round ahead of Korea.

South American teams are performing very well at this tournament. Argentina are doing much better than I expected under the tutelage of Diego Maradona. Parguay really impressed in their draw with Italy and then 2-0 win over Slovakia. Chile are sitting on 6 points going into a crucial match against Spain on Friday.

African teams, on the other hand, are not looking so good. In this first World Cup held on African soil, it could well be that not a single one of the 6 African sides advance to the Round of 16. With South Africa, Nigeria and Cameroon already eliminated it's down to Algeria (can only advance with a win over USA - please, please no), Ghana (out of 12 possible scenarios in tomorrow's matches, Ghana advances in 8 of them, but if they lose to Germany and Serbia defeat Australia they're out. And those two results are better than likely), and Ivory Coast (will only advance if the defeat North Korea and Brazil defeat Portugal and the combined margin of victory in both matches is 9 goals or more. Ivory Coast is not likely to match the 7-0 drubbing Portugal handed the North Koreans - they simply don't have the talent up front).

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