Saturday 21st June
Argentina 1-0 Iran (Prediction 4-1)
Messi saves the day with a world class strike but I have to say credit where credit's due, Iran were excellent and defeat was harsh on them, defended really well but this time they looked to do something with the ball at every opportunity and created some really excellent chances. It's a real shame they didn't attack the same way against Nigeria, they might have won that game if they had. Argentina really got away with it though and a lot of their players need to step it up a gear, but two wins is two wins.
Germany 2-2 Ghana (Prediction 3-1)
What a second half of football, non-stop attacking and terrible defending conspiring to entertain the masses. Ghana did amazingly well to go 2-1 up and could have even gone 3-1 up with better decision making near goal but then Germany just threw on Schweinsteiger and Klose and went up a level to claim the draw. It's worth noting that a lot of the German players tired very quickly out there which doesn't bode well, considering they were playing ten men for most of the game against Portugal. P.S. what the hell was going on with Muntari having the arse of his underpants out near the end?
Nigeria 1-0 Bosnia & Herzegovina (Prediction 1-2)
Bosnia go out a whimper, very weak at the back in this game and also lacked creativity and shrewdness at times and Dzeko unfortunately had another stinker but could have nicked a draw in the end, his scuffed shot saved late on. Maybe if Ibišević had started and Bosnia went for it they'd still be in the tournament instead of going home after the Iran game. Nigeria stifled well and never really looked troubled but they need at least a draw against Argentina to go through, not easy.
Sunday 22nd June
Belgium 1-0 Russia (Prediction 1-1)
Absolute turd of a game, really poor stuff but six points from two games for the Belgians who only looked useful when Russia seemed to have zero energy left with about 8 mins to go. Belgium really should be more fluid for the attacking talent they have and Russia look like going out unless they have a right go at Algeria, can't see it happening.
South Korea 2-4 Algeria (Prediction 1-1)
Well who'd have thunk it, what a match. I thought Algeria, on the evidence of the first game, could surprise but still wasn't expecting them to win this match with such aplomb, sure a couple of the goals came from long balls but no harm in that if it works. South Korea gave it a real go in the second half at least and still have a slight chance of progressing, but can't see it myself.
USA 2-2 Portugal (Prediction 1-1)
Really sloppy defending by Cameron for the opening goal from Nani, but thankfully Nani recovered from that early break to return to his normal game of miscontrolling the ball, falling over and shooting wildly from distance. USA created little in the first half but created a lot more second half, starting with Bradley's close range effort cleared off the line and then thankfully a great goal from Jones. Then footballing God, Clint Dempsey showed real gut (his stomach, geddit?) to put USA into a 2-1 lead but Portugal pulled it back in the last minute with a great header by Varela, set up beautifully by Ronaldo in fairness. However a draw between the US and Germany on Thursday will put both teams through.
Right so 32 games in I've only managed to get 2 exact scores correct and only 12 overall results correct. In my defence I wasn't expecting the conditions being as hard on nearly all the teams, I thought it was all hype, apart from Manaus of course, but I was very wrong; it has to be part of the reason performances have varied so much from game one to two, presumably recovery time isn't enough for some.
PREDICTIONS FOR MONDAY 23rd JUNE:
Australia 1-3 Spain (surely some pride restored?)
Netherlands 2-1 Chile (both sides should make changes, so who knows?)
Croatia 3-0 Mexico (that Croat midfield should be too good for Mexico)
Cameroon 0-2 Brazil (Cameroon awful, Brazil need to go through, not just for FIFA's sake!)