There are 5 South American Teams, 6 European Teams, 2 Asian Teams, 1 African Team, Mexico and the USA in the next round, while surprises Japan, Slovakia and Uruguay made it through.
Here are my predictions for the next round and who will go on to the Quarterfinals:
Uruguay 1 – 3 South Korea
This matchup gives us two surprise countries and should provide fans with an exciting game. Uruguay has played a high-octane, attacking style lead by Diego Forlan, while South Korea has been their usual speedy, counter-attacking selves.
As much as I am fully on board the Uruguay, this game will go South Korea’s way as their counter-attack will give them a 3 – 1 win.
USA 1 – 0 Ghana
The USA squeezed through into this round with a last gasp winner by Landon Donovan but have no doubts, they are a real threat to make it deep in this tournament. Ghana were unconvincing, but are the only African side to make it through and that gives them a continents support and should push them into a fantastic display.
This will be a tightly fought game but I’m giving the edge to the USA in a 1-nil win.
Germany 2 – 3 England
This is one of the marquee matchups in World Cup history and it’s unfortunate that the match isn’t a semi-final or final game.
I’m giving the edge to an experience and now unified England squad, over a young and inexperienced German team. My money is on Wayne Rooney hitting the back of the next twice and John Terry to get the winner from a set piece. The final score is going to be 3-2 for England.
Argentina 4 – 0 Mexico
The Hand of God still haunts me, but you can’t argue against the style of play that Diego Maradona has his team playing.
Argentina is a heavy favourite to win this tournament and Mexico just doesn’t have the quality to compete in this and will be heavily outplayed, with a final score of 4-nil in the South American’s favour.
Netherlands 2 – 0 Slovakia
The Dutch are perenial choke-artists much like England, but I am counting on them to go far in this tournament
They have far too much talent for an overmatched side like Slovakia, and I don’t see this as being much of a contest, Oranje will win easily 2-nil.
Brazil 4 – 2 Chile
This matchup will be one of the most exciting games to watch, with both sides playing beautiful passing football and going for a win. Brazil will just have too much class and easily open up the Chilean defence with their counterattack and constant pressure.
Paraguay 1 – 2 Japan
Japan were a shock team to make it into the second round but it is no fluke that they dominated Denmark in their final group game. Although Paraguay is a strong squad, Japan’s discipline style and quick counter-attack will provide too much trouble.
A 2-1 final for Japan is in the books.
Spain 1 – 3 Portugal
The last match of the Round Of Sixteen is another exciting matchup, with rivals Spain and Portugal squaring off in a match that I think favours Portugal.
After their 7-0 win over North Korea, Portugal is on a high and have their talismanic captain feeling relaxed and focused on football, instead of diving and parading around town.
Spain still hasn’t looked their best and their injury worries will hurt them, with Portugal taking an early 2-0 lead, and holding on for a spot in the quarterfinals.
With those predictions done, here are the teams going through: South Korea, USA, England, Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil, Japan and Portugal.
Let me know what you think and if you agree, disagree or just think I’m crazy!