A dozen days in and half the groups are decided. In Group D, first place Portugal faced Mexico while Angola dealt with the Iranians. Went out on a limb for this group thinking Angola may be the first African team to qualify for more soccer. They needed a multi-goal win, and a Mexican loss for the prediction to hold. In group C the only thing left to play for was first and second as Argentina and the Dutch dueled in Frankfurt.
- Portugal got off to a quick start against the Mexicans as Maniche bundled one home in the 6th minute. A penalty 20 minutes later by Mexico (what was Marquez thinking with that handball?) left the question up to Angola for the fate of the second spot. Mexico pulled on goal back later the first half, but the damage was done Portugal 2 - Mexico 1. Portugal keeps hold of top spot while Mexico had to scoreboard watch and hope to live another day.....
- The dream started to play out for Angola as they struck first, via a Flavio (great name) goal in the 60th minute. But the dream died as Iran put one in the 75th minute and held on for their first and only point of the Cup. Angola 1 - Iran 1, goodnight Group D.
- Group C action secured the coveted Tivo slot in the Richter entertainment center. Argentina vs. Holland was due to be the masterclass of the dozen day. As things would have it, all the kings horses and all the kings men (resting all pertinent players) couldn't break the goal drought as the game ended 0-0. It had it's moments and showed some weakness in the Argentinian arsenal, but things stayed tame as both teams already appeared focused on the knockout round. Tevez looked the part most of the day while Messi had some crazy leg moments of his own. Argentina is going to have trouble against a very physical team. With so many 'star' players they do not have an overwhelming warrior mentality, or temperament to deal with physical pressure (outside of Carlitos). This could prove costly come Quarter or Semi time.
Knockout Round Match-ups:
Argentina vs. Mexico
Portugal vs. Holland - my Four Star game of the next round