And so, just like that, we’re a fortnight into this World Cup.
Today’s games weren’t overly inspiring, save for Lionel Messi versus Nigeria. Without much fuss, actually none at all, Messi has carried his team into the knock-out stages. Argentina hasn’t looked fantastic so far but, like the Belgians, that could be the way to play it.
Some of the other big favourites – Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany – have already exposed their frailties, while yet more have already been sent packing. Maybe the Argies will be the side that improves as the tournament progresses and we’ll see Messi lift the trophy in the Maracana in a couple of weeks. If he can do that then he will, without doubt, be able to lay claim to being Argentina’s greatest ever player, moving ahead of that other nut job.
Switzerland made it through thanks to a hat trick from their little man and a couple of good saves from their keeper. If the Swiss progress much further I’ll learn to spell, and maybe even pronounce, their names. At the moment, though, I’ve had to wipe my screen down. Spit flying everywhere…
I guess today was more about filling a few more boxes on the World Cup wall chart ahead of the knock-out stage. The door to the next round is nearly closed and business end of this tournament is taking shape. We’re about to see the real games begin.
I’ll have my review of the Group stage tomorrow after the final four games are done and dusted.
Score picking update
I haven’t had a correct score for a little while, but I’m still scoring enough decent points each day to stay clear of my challengers.
Picks for Day 15
USA 1-2 Germany, Portugal 1-1 Ghana, Algeria 1-1 Russia, South Korea 1-3 Belgium.