Please note that it’s first round of matches and not after the group stage. First round of matches as in, every nation participating in the world cup finals has played one match. So here are the results:
Group A : Brazil 3 Croatia 1 & Mexico 1 Cameroon 0
After a nice opening ceremony hosts Brazil opened the finals by facing off against Croatia and scored an own goal via defender Marcelo. That aside it was the Neymar show and he dazzled with a brace. But Croatia were no pushover and announced their intentions to try and finish 2nd in the group and qualify for the round of 16. Mexico were unlucky in that the referee wrongly denied them 2 goals which would have devastated Cameroon but in the end a solitary goal by Oribe was more than enough to see the Mexicans win.
Group B : Netherlands 5 Spain 1; Chile 3 Australia 1
The result of the tournament so far is the Dutch dancing around the Spanish defense and dominating the defending champions so much in the second half. Robin van Persie & Arjen Robben were on fire and the talk is that Spain might not even make it to the next round and that their era of success has come to an end . Chile meanwhile looked impressive enough in the win over unfancied Australia who still claim that they have a chance.
Group C : Columbia 3 Greece 0; C’ote deIvorie 2 Japan 1
No surprises over here although I thought Greece would put up a bit more of a fight. I remember their Euro theatrics and was hoping for more. Japan is one nation I support a lot and I had hopes for them. They could still qualify but will find it tough.
Group D : Costa Rica 3 Uruguay 1; Italy 2 England 1
Surprise here again with upstarts Costa Rica, who do have some good players on display here, getting the better of Uruguay. The South Americans have a much more fancied team on paper and should have done better. Italy vs England was a delight to watch late at night and the cool as cucumber Italians didn’t panic when England equalized and went on to win. On a positive note, England look good enough to get through despite the loss.
Group E : Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1; France 3 Honduras 0
Didn’t watch either match but I would like to look at France as a possible quaterfinalist or maybe more. With Karim Benzema scoring a brace they look strong but have a weak group to qualify from and shouldn’t have any issues. I’d pick them to win all 3 games and go with 9 points.
Group F : Argentina 2 Bosnia & Herzegovina 1; Iran 0 Nigeria 0
Ah Argentina, a perennial favorite team of mine. They started well alright but should have shone better; however Messi was the star. Will they progress far? I dunno but this side shouldn’t trouble them much. Who will join them in the round of 16? I think Nigeria should pick up their game and get a few goals in.
Group G : Germany 4 Portugal 0; USA 2 Ghana 1
Germany put on a clinic and beat fancied Portugal 4-0, aided ofcourse by that stupid sending off by Pepe who had a moronic reaction to Meuller making the most of a fall. But even by then Germany looked to be the much stronger team and will be one to watch. The Americans went all gaga over their win over Ghana, a team that beat them twice before in previous World cups. But will they make it to the next round? It could depend on the Portugese performance.
Group H : Belgium 2 Algeria 1; Russia 1 Korea Republic 1
Least exciting group to watch; for me anyway. I expect Belgium and Russia to make it and based on their performances so far, it might hold true. But Algeria played very well last night and took the game to Belgium and opened the scoring and looked good to win it for a large part of the game before the Belgians switched gears and picked up their intensity.
And that’s how it finished. Onto the second round of games! Ole!