day eleven
day thirteen

day twelve

To get Group F out of the way, the matches were underwhelming, the results unsurprising. Morocco ended up at the top of the group, with Croatia second, which matters in a way I'll get to in a second.

In Group E, the standings at the start of play were Spain 4, Japan 3, Costa Rica 3, Germany 1. Germany were expected to beat Costa Rica, and if Spain beat Japan, as I thought would happen, the world would resemble something normal and the two European countries would advance. But their opponents had other ideas:

10' Germany scores. SPA 5 GER 4 JAP 4 COS 3.

11' Spain scores. SPA 7 GER 4 JAP 3 COS 3.


48' Japan equalizes. SPA 5 GER 4 JAP 4 COS 3.

51' Japan takes lead, 2-1. JAP 6 SPA 4 GER 4 COS 3.

58' Costa Rica scores, 1-1. JAP 6 SPA 4 COS 4 GER 2. (I admit I'm losing track at this point of tie-breakers, but Spain beating Costa Rica 7-0 seems important.)

70' Costa Rica scores on a German own-goal, 2-1. JAP 6 COS 6 SPA 4 GER 1!

At this point, Costa Rica will advance at the expense of Spain, even though Spain beat them 7-0.

73' Germany equalizes. Spain fans (i.e. me) say "whew!". JAP 6 SPA 4 COS 4 GER 2.

85' Germany takes the lead. JAP 6 SPA 4 GER 4 COS 3.

89' Germany goes up 4-2. The Germans are still five goals behind Spain on goal differential, so the finish is effectively decided.

Now, about that Morocco team. They finished first in their group, meaning they get to meet the second-place team in Group E. Which, thanks to the upset Japan win, means instead of facing Croatia in the next round, Spain will get Morocco. Which, if I'm Spain, is a good thing.

Tomorrow, the group stage ends. In Group G, Brazil has qualified. They play Cameroon (1 pt.), while the Swiss (3 pt.) meet Serbia (1 pt.). A Swiss draw sends them through (unless Cameroon somehow wins). Brazil should squash Cameroon, leaving Serbia-Switzerland as the match to watch. In Group H, Portugal is through. They play South Korea (1 pt.), while Ghana (3 pt.) meets Uruguay (1 pt.). It's basically the same situation in both groups ... Ghana is in the driver's seat. Having said that, Uruguay is fully capable of beating Ghana and stealing second place.

P.S. That wasn't a goal:

May be an image of 2 people, people playing football, grass and text that says 'COPA MUNDIAL DELA C FIFA™ JPN ESP 50:58 T EN VIVO'