World Cup: Quarterfinals Day 2

With the first day of the Quarterfinals wrapped up yesterday, we have the total football Netherlands through and the resurgent Uruguay through to the final four.

Today features the young, impressive Germany against a Diego Maradona led Argentina, while another South American team, Paraguay, take on an underperforming Spain.

Once again, you can go check out my predictions for the quarterfinals but for now here’s a reminder on what I predicted for today:

Argentina 1 – 2 Germany

Paraguay 0 – 2 Spain

I managed to go 50% with yesterday’s results, let’s see if my predictions hold on for today. Here we go:

Argentina 0 – 4 Germany

After thrashing England 4 – 1 in their encounter, I felt that there was no way that Argentina could keep up with such an impressive German team. I was right. For the entire ninety minutes it was all Germany, the South American’s seemed out of their depth and Maradona just didn’t have the tactical answers to compete with Joachim Loew.

It took just three minutes for the Germans to strike first blood, with Bastian Schweinsteiger curling in a free-kick that Thomas Mueller headed home, leaving Sergio Romero wondering why he’d come out instead of staying on his line.

With a lead in hand, the young Germans went to work and continually opened up space going forward, with Mesut Ozil taking full advantage of the space and setting up a number of clear cut chances. However, with all their pressure Germany could only put one past the Argentineans in the first half.

Argentina started promising in the second half and looked favourites to score the next goal, but Germany slowly took back control of the game and all hope was lost for Maradona when Thomas Mueller, while on the ground, sent in Lukas Podolski who then passed a ball in front for Miroslav Klose to tap home and give the Germans a two-goal lead. The goal was another example of the German’s pin-point passing and their raw football ability.

The German’s looked relentless and just six minutes later Bastian Schweinsteiger danced through half the Argentinean defence before setting up Arne Friedrich in front for his first ever goal at the international level.

Germany was rampant and the rout was on.

Javier Mascherano, who had been tasked to hold off the entire German Midfield, looked lost for much of the game and picked up a yellow card in the 80th minute, but it made no difference as his team looked well and truly trounced.

With just one minute remaining, Germany added insult to injury as young star Mesut Ozil floated in a perfect cross that Miroslav Klose volleyed home to put him second all time with 14 goals in the World Cup. He is now only one goal behind Ronaldo’s record of 15 at the World Cup.

A final score of 4-nil was nice to Argentina, as a master performance by Germany could have easily put ten goals past a lacklustre and uninspired South American side.

Man Of The Match: Bastian Schweinsteiger

Spain 1 – 0 Paraguay

What. A. Boring. Match.

Other than a few moments of madness, this match was a complete bore from start to end. A lacklustre Spanish side failed to capitalize on chances, and an even worse looking Paraguay rarely looked interested in making it into the final four.

Another cap for Fernando Torres and another uninspired performance from the soon-to-be ex-Liverpool striker, it is a real wonder why he keeps getting awarded starts. Maybe the manger likes his new haircut?

The game lacked any energy for much of the first half, and it was a sad display after three other wonderful Quarterfinal matches. Both teams lacked an attacking flair and neither looked interested in moving into the second round to face an impressive German side.

The match finally found some energy halfway through the second, when controversy poked it’s ugly head.

With Spain bringing on Cesc Fabregas to inspire the troops and try and pull out a win, it was Paraguay who finally had the first clear chance to win.

Oscar Cordozo went down in the box after a Gerard Pique challenge and it was a penalty for the South Americans. Cordozo took the shot himself but Iker Casillas‘ got down in time for the save and maintain the deadlock.

The excitement wasn’t finished there, as just two minutes later as David Villa breaks into the Paraguay box going full tilt and goes down softly under a challenge from Antolin Alcaraz.


This time it`s Xabi Alonso who steps up, surely a goal, and sure enough he puts the ball away in the corner and it is… wait… no… the referee has called the goal back for encroachment by the Spanish players in the box.

Alonso clearly shaken now, steps up to re-take the biggest penalty shot of his life, shoots…SAVED!

Justo Villar guesses correctly and dives to make an incredible save; it may well have been the biggest save in his career. Fabregas is taken down in the box during the chaos that ensured after the shot, but the referee isn’t interested in another Penalty it seems.

Giving the fans some time to catch their collective breathe, the game once again slows down and loses all sense of life, until David Villa decides it’s time for Spain to go through to the Semi-finals.

Andres Iniesta moves in past a couple of Paraguayan players, sends in Pedro who crashes a shot off the woodworks but it’s Villa who is there for the rebound and latches onto the ball, a shot that careens off of one post, along the line and off of the other post before crossing the line. An unbelievable shot, you really have to step back and admire that effort.

With a one goal lead and a place in the next round secure, Spain goes back to sleep and the game is done with.

Man of The Match: Anyone that had the courage to watch the full ninety minutes…

World Cup: Quarterfinals Day 1

Only eight teams are left in the World Cup and today we have our last remaining African nation in play, with Ghana facing a resurgent Uruguay, while the late match offers us a classic matchup between the five time world Champions Brazil and the nation that brought us total football the Netherlands.

My predos came out before the matches and you can go find them here for the whole Quarterfinals, but as a quick reminder here’s today’s predictions:

Uruguay 2 – 1 Ghana

Brazil 3 – 2 Netherlands

With those predictions sure to be utterly wrong, here’s today’s recap and roundup of the matches:

Uruguay 1 [4] – 1 [2] Ghana

Forty years have passed since Uruguay have made it into the last four of the World Cup and on the other side of the bill, Ghana is hoping to remain Africa’s last hope to crown a champion at this year’s tournament.

The game started tentatively, with both teams cautiously attacking and probing for space, trying to find the go ahead goal. With so much pressure on the teams to get a result, the first thirty minutes offered few clear cut chances but Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Kingson was called upon for a  couple of keys saves from Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez.

It was once again Asamoah Gyan who led the African attack and had a number of clear chances as the first half came to a close, however, it was Sulley Muntari who would open the scoring with a forty yard strike in first half injury time. The forward was allowed too much space and seemed to move in slow motion as he turned and struck a long-range speculative effort, only to be rewarded with a goal that curled just outside of the reach of keeper Fernando Muslera.

Although it was Ghana with the edge going into halftime, it was the South Americans that came out hard and full of life in the second half. They started brightly and were rewarded just ten minutes after the break when Diego Forlan curled in a wide free kick that deceived Kingson with its movement and tied the match at one goal apiece.

The game once again fell back to the two teams playing for extra time, but Ghana looked brightest forcing the opposition keeper into a number of important saves. The game finished 1-1 after ninety minutes and the two teams were forced into extra-time.

As the game looked to head into penalty kicks after a pair of scoreless halves of extra-time, it was controversy that took over the game.

In the dying seconds of the game Dominic Adiyiah has a shot cleared off the line by Suarez, and then second later it is Suarez again saving the day stopping a header from Adiyiah, however, this time he uses his hand and punches the ball clear.

A certain goal is stopped; Luis Suarez sees red and Asamoah Gyan steps up to take the penalty, where a goal will put his side just one match away from the World Cup finals.

He steps up. And. MISSES. With the ball skimming the woodworks and going over the net, absolutely heartbreaker and the match heads to penalty kicks.

Forlan scores first, then Gyan steps up moments after missing his chance to win the game and scores top corner. Brave move and it pays off.

Then Victorino scores, but Appiah answers back for Ghana and its tied two a piece after two shots. Scotti then scores for Uruguay and Mensah tries to score without a run up but Fernando Muslera guesses right and makes a save. 3 – 2 for Uruguay after three shots.

Maxi Periera up next and can put his country in the driving seat, but gaffes the shot and puts it high and wide, while all of Africa goes wild. Adiyiah steps up to score but is saved by Muslera.

With a goal putting them through, Abreu steps up, the weight of all of Uruguay on his shoulders, and dinks the ball right down the middle and puts his country through to the final four.

Man Of The Match: Fernando Muslera

Netherlands 2 – 1 Brazil

Netherlands 2 – 1 Brazil

Whenever these two teams meet up, dreams are crushed and memories are imprinted upon supporter’s minds forever.

Five time world champions Brazil had been pegged as favourites to win the tournament, whilst many were waiting for the inevitable collapse that has plagued Dutch teams in the final stages of international tournaments for decades.

Le Oranje came out impressively and had a number of clear chances in the first few minutes, but the Brazilians hit back quickly on the counter-attack. In the 8th minute the South Americans sent Dani Alves in and he slipped a ball across for Robinho who tapped home but a late flag from the linesman put Alves offside and the Brazilians were unlucky to not be ahead.

Robinho didn’t have to wait long for his goal, as just two minutes later Felipe Melo sent him in alone and the on-loan Man City striker slotted a strike past Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg to give his team a 1-nil lead early in the game.

With a lead in hand, Brazil is eager to sit back and hassle their opponents, fouling Arjen Robben at will and slowing the pace of the game down. Brazil pushes back and has a couple of chances with Juan blazing over from a few yards out and a brilliant curled shot by Kaka is turned away by Stekelenburg.

Michel Bastos, who had already fouled Robben a number of times, is shown a yellow card in the37th minute and has to make sure he doesn’t fall into Robben’s crafty movements, and although Brazil held a lead going into halftime their players looked increasingly frustrated at the fouls being called by the referees.

Going into the second half, it was up to the Dutch to come out and take control of the match as the new look Brazil who plays defence first were more than happy to sit back and play the game out to a 1-nil win.

Moments after receiving a yellow card, Felipe Melo turns villain as he goes up to head away a Wesley Sneijder cross and heads it into his own net. Own goal for Melo and it’s a 1-1 game in the 53rd minute.

The goal woke up both sides and suddenly a match was being played, Kaka has a chance go narrowly wide and Dani Alves has another shots saved. With Brazil looking frustrated and Netherlands growing in confidence, Arjen Robben drills in a corner kick that takes a deflection off of Dirk Kuyt and onto the head of Sneijder who heads home goal and puts his team into the driver’s seat with only 20 minutes remaining.

Just five minutes after the goal, Brazil finally implodes as own-goal scorer Felipe Melo see’s red for a vicious stamp on the leg of Arjen Robben. What a terrible day for the Brazilian, who set up the first goal, hit in an own goal and received a yellow and a straight red card.

Down a man Dunga’s side just seemed unable to compete and the Dutch seemed to smell blood, attacking over and over again, and throwing caution to the wind looking for more goals. Kuyt was unlucky not to add a third, but in all fairness, the final moments saw Netherlands walk out easy winners and into the next round.

Man Of The Match: Wesley Sneijder

Quarter Final Predos

This year’s Round of Sixteen gave us some mouth-watering matchups with rivals Germany destroying England 4-1, neighbours Spain crushing Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugual with a 1 – nil win, while the Brazil gave a lesson in football to Chile in a 3 – 0 thrashing.

I went a dismal 3/8 in the last round with my predictions, only correctly sending through Netherlands, Brazil and Argentina.

If you need a reminder you can find my predictions for this round right here, but here we go with my Quarterfinal Predictions:

Netherlands 1 – 3 Brazil

With Arjen Robben back in the line-up, the Dutch had much more movement against Slovakia and will look to exploit the attacking nature of the Brazilian players to try and pounce on the counter attack.

Look for Wesley Sneijder to make runs to open up the back for of Brazil, while his forwards create problems in the box. However, their attacking prowess will not be enough to get past an inspired defence-first Brazilian side.

Look for Kaka and company to once again dominate the game, allowing another late goal after controlling the match for much of the full ninety minutes.

Key Player For NetherlandsArjen Robben

Key Player For BrazilKaka

Uruguay 3 – 2 Ghana

This match is the one that I personally look forward to the most in this year’s Quarterfinals.

It offers us an African nation with the possibility of making it into the Semi-Finals, but also a chance for Uruguay to announce their return to the top of the football world.

Ghana will off early attacking pressure, but once again the counter-attack will be key to this match with Uruguay pegging them back time, and time again. Asamoah Gyan will attempt to get the win for his team and will be the catalyst for the Ghanaian attack but it just won’t be enough.

Look to Diego Forlan to hit the back of the net twice and lead his team to an inspired 3 – 2 victory, booking the Uruguayan’s place in the Semi-Finals.

Key Player for Uruguay Diego Forlan

Key Player for GhanaAsamoah Gyan

Argentina 1 – 2 Germany

What a matchup this is!

It’s tough to choose a winner between this two teams, with both being heavy favourites before the tournament to life the Jules Rimet trophy, it is unfortunate that this will not be the final matchup.

Both team’s feature very young goalkeepers, with a combined age under 45 and just 19 caps between the two, but both teams have full confidence of making it through to the final four. Germany has relied on the inspiration of youngster Mesut Ozil, while Diego Maradona’s side will focus their movements forward through Lionel Messi.

The pace and creativity in the German side will win out, as they will sit back and wait to hit back on the counter attack, causing havoc on the Argentina back four.

I’m predicting a dominant performance from Germany, on their way to a 2 – 1 victory.

Key Player for GermanyMesut Ozil

Key Player for ArgentinaCarlos Tevez

Paraguay 0 – 2 Spain

With Paraguay lucky to squeeze by a resilient Japan side in their last match, I make Spain heavy favourites to pick apart their South American opponents.

I had thought that Portugal would be able to exploit the Spanish side going forward but their players showed control, and efficiently pulled apart their opponents game plan.

I look for David Villa to be key in this matchup and for the Spanish defence to provide a masterclass performance, giving Spain a clean sheet and a place in the Semi`s.

Key Player for SpainDavid Villa

Key Player for ParaguayRoque Santa Cruz

Well, there you have it, going through to the finals will be: Brazil, Uruguay, Germany and Spain.

Throw me your comments, concerns or your own predictions and let me know how wrong you think I am!

We`ll be back with match-day recaps this week and will keep you updated with all the football news!

England – Germany Preview

England went out for drinks to fix their issues before the Slovenia match; they turned up and showed the World that when backed into the corner that the Three Lions will come out swinging.

Germany comes into the match after an impressive game against Australia, a tough loss against Serbia, but was able to pull off a win against Ghana and book their place in the next round.

Here’s a breakdown of each side as they prepare for a classic show down.


Key Player – Wayne Rooney

Injuries – Ledley King (Knee)

England will have to push the tempo and keep a consistent effort for a full ninety minutes in order to get by a tough German squad. If they can get Rooney scoring and push wide, putting balls into the box, they should be able to score against a suspect back line.

Their experience should be invaluable and despite playing with three different defensive partners at the back, former captain John Terry has been the heart of this team.

It will be up to Jermaine Defoe and Wayne Rooney to pepper the German net, and expose a sluggish backline that has the same level of pace as England.

With Owen Hargreaves not named to the squad and Gareth Barry seen as England’s ‘defensive midfield specialist,” he will be given the task of keeping Mesut Ozil under control. If he is successful in shutting down one of the best players at this tournament thus far, well, England may in fact have a chance of getting past the German football machine.


Key Player – Mesut Ozil

Injuries – Cacau (Stomach), Bastian Schweinsteiger (hamstring), Jerome oateng (calf)

Germany looked unbeatable against Australia, but Serbia exposed them and their main area of concern is the back four. A lack of pace in defence and of leadership from their keeper, a hole that has been there since Oliver Kahn retired, will be the main problem for the Germans.

Mesut Ozil will continue to be their catalyst for offence and he will attempt to pick apart the English Midfield, while providing balls into the crafty veteran Miroslav Klose.

Klose will be returning from the suspension he was awarded, and will be looking to prove his skill once again against England. Dominant with his head, he will compete with the likes of John Terry in the box for supremacy in the air.

World Cup: Day 16

Here it is folks! It’s time for knockout rounds and the fun, drama and excitement that comes with extra time and penalty shootouts!

Today’s matches feature dark horse Uruguay against South Korea, while in the other match we have the surprising USA facing off with the lone African side left, Ghana.

My predictions can be found right HERE, here are today’s results:

Uruguay 2 – 1 South Korea

The South Korean’s went in slightly ahead as favourites and dominated the opening flourish of play. South Korea’s speed and creativity were throwing off their opponents in the opening five minutes, but it was Uruguay who opened the scoring on the counter-attack in the 8th minute courtesy of a Luis Suarez strike.

The early goal settled Uruguay and the match remained even and both sides were unlucky not to score before halftime, as each side missed a number of chances. As strong as South Korea looked up front, their defence had been dreadful at times, keeping the game close for both teams.

Eventually, South Korea was able to break down the Uruguayan defence and in the 68th minute they tied up the match. From a free kick, Lee Chung-Yong jumped on a failed clearance and nodded the ball home.

With the sides trading chances, it was once again Suarez who would provide the difference, as he dashed in from the left and put a perfectly curled strike past a helpless Jung Sung-Ryong and into the back of the net.

With just ten minutes left, South Korea piled forward but Uruguay was able to see off the threat and booked their place in the Quarterfinals.

Man of the Match: Luis Suarez.

USA 0 – 1 Ghana

This game was a story of the American dream against Africa’s final hope at this World Cup, and boy did it deliver an exciting ninety-minute.

USA missed an early chance, but it was a Ricardo Clark give away at half that allowed Kevin-Prince Boateng to race in and open the scoring just five minutes in. Moments later Clarke picked up a yellow card and the USA seemed to be losing their composure.

Just a few minutes after, Steve Cherundolo picked up another yellow card for the USA, while Asamoah Gyan had another chance to add to Ghana’s opening score.

Coach Bradley shook things up early, replacing a woeful Clark with Maurice Edu and almost immediately it sparked a lacklustre American side. Robbie Findley had a shot on net and there it seemed that after the opening goal that the flow and pace had really opened up, but neither team were able to score before the half.

USA made their second change at halftime and brought on Benny Feilhaber for Findley, it almost paid off immediately when USA broke down the wing and Feilhaber poked a cross on net, but Richard Kingson stood tall and made a big save.

With wave, after wave of pressure being turned aside by Kingson, the Ghana defence finally cracked in the 62nd minute, when Jonathan Mensah tripped up Clint Dempsey inside the box and USA were awarded a penalty. Landon Donovan stepped up and slotted home the penalty, sending Kingson the wrong way, and tying up the match at 1 – 1 apiece.

The game slowed down, and it appeared that both teams were content to play for extra time and settle down for penalties.

Extra time kicked off with an early push by USA, however, with both teams looking tired it was the keepers punting long balls and slowing down the game.

That is, until Asamoah Gyan decided to score.

He had looked dangerous all game and after beating the USA defender he blasted a strike home past Tim Howard and put Ghana ahead 2-1 in the 96th minute. The US were once again forced to go on attack and fired cross after cross into the box, but it was to no avail as the African side held on until halftime in extra time.

In the last fifteen minutes USA pushed forward, as they powered on forward they were allowing Ghana a lot of space to counter and use their pace to push the ball up the field.

It was now a game of cat and mouse, with both sides looking dangerous but the Ghana players seemed happy to fall down and stay down, as they attempted to slow down the game and waste time.

In the dying moments of added time, Tim Howard went up front for a corner but his team were just unable to find a much needed goal and it was Ghana that prevailed heading to the Quarter finals and the Americans who were sent crashing out of the tournament.

Man Of The Match: Asamoah Gyan

Group Predictions Recap

The Group Stage is over and it’s now time for some knockout action, complete with freedom from Italy and France who have been the two top dogs to go home early.

Argentina looked impressive, while Brazil showed a keen defensive nature. England stumbled into the second round, while Japan made a shock progression into the knockout round.

With the first round complete, here’s a wrap up of how the groups ended and what my original predictions were:

Group A

My Prediction – Mexico (W), France (R), Uruguay, South Africa

Actual Result – Uruguay (W), Mexico (R), France, South Africa

–          France had an epic self destruct and Uruguay stole top spot over an unconvincing Mexico.

Group B

My Prediction – Argentina (W), Nigeria (R), South Korea, Greece

Actual Result – Argentina (W), South Korea (R), Nigeria, Greece

–          Argentina won all three, while South Korea came out and impressed and sent Nigeria home

Group C

My Prediction – England (W), Slovenia (R), USA, Algeria

Actual Result – USA (W), England (R), Slovenia, Algeria

–          Took faith in England and they almost didn’t make it through, USA snuck through with a 92nd minute goal in their final game to take first place

Group D

My Prediction – Germany (W), Australia (R), Ghana, Serbia

Actual Result – Germany (W), Ghana (R), Serbia, Australia

–          Germany came out strong and dominated Australia, stuttered against Serbia but still took top spot.

Group E

My Prediction – Netherlands (W), Cameroon (R), Denmark, Japan

Actual Result – Netherlands (W), Japan (R), Cameroon, Denmark

–          The Netherlands were dominant, while a crafty Japan side snuck in after an impressive win over Denmark in their final group game

Group F

My Prediction – Paraguay (W), Italy (R), New Zealand, Slovakia

Actual Result – Paraguay (W), Slovakia (R), New Zealand, Italy

–          Paraguay easily won this group, Italy showed they’re old and need to rebuild, allowing Slovakia into the next round

Group G

My Prediction – Brazil (W), Ivory Coast (R), Portugal, North Korea

Actual Result – Brazil (W), Portugal (R), Ivory Coast, North Korea

–           Brazil easily won this group, but an unlucky and unfocused Ivory Coast slipped up against Portugal and allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to take his team to the next round.

Group H

My Prediction – Spain (W), Chile (R), Switzerland, Honduras

Actual Result – Spain (W), Chile (R), Switzerland, Honduras

–          Spain took the group after an opening loss to Switzerland, while Chile showed why they’re one of the darkhorse’s of the tournament

I correctly predicted the winner of 6/8 groups, while only going 18/32 for a correct average of 57%. Not too shabby indeed.

Check back soon for my Round Of Sixteen predictions.

World Cup: Day 13

It’s so long France and nice try South Africa after yesterday’s results and Mexico going on with Uruguay to the next round.

South Korea and Argentina will begoing through from Group B, with a disappointing Greek side going home and Nigeria not far behind.

Up today Group C has England against Slovenia and feisty Algeria up against the wall with USA their opponents. All four teams have a chance at going through, but it’s England and the USA being favorites to advance.

In Group D action, the Socceroos take on Serbia and the faltering German football machine faces a Ghana side that has real hopes of progressing in the tournament.

Slovenia 0 – 1 England

With reports of rifts in the camp, rumours of Fabio Capello leaving and John Terry calling out his manager for omiting Joe Cole in their first two matches, the Three Lions had alot to prove against group leading Slovenia.

The Italian Maestro made three lineup changes and introduced Jermaine Defoe upfront in place of Emile Heskey, Mathew Upson in for Jamie Carragher at centerback and James Milner on the wing for a lacklustre Aaron Lennon.

From the very fist kick of the ball, England showed a passion and intensity that had been lacking in their first two matches. Slovenia looked hardpressed to find an answer for the pinpoint passing and hardly touched the ball in the first half.

The changes paid early dividends, with Jermaine Defoe finding the back of the net in the 22nd minute and he could have had his hat-trick before halftime, but narrowly missed a number of chances.

England continued just a strong after the half and once again Defoe missed a chance up close, in the second half Capello took off Wayne Rooney for Joe Cole and although the Manchester United striker did not hit the back of the net, he played a great game.

The only complaint for England fans will be Emile Heskey coming onto the pitch for Defoe in the 86th minute, leaving many wondering what Heskey would do without Rooney on the pitch.

Although they showed complete supremacy over their opponents, the team will be most happy over their dominant defensive display. John Terry had a number of impressive tackles and coupled that with some daring blocked shots.

Man of the Match: John Terry

USA 1 – 0 Algeria

The underdog story has paid off for the USA and a win against Algeria would allow them to go through to the next round in first place and avoid a possible matchup with Germany.

The Americans started well and carried much of the play, while Algeria looked dangerous on the counter-attack and had a few near misses. In what it appears is now USA tradition, they had a clearly legal goal called back and this seemed to boost the Algerian players.

However, at the exact moment that the final whistle blew in Port Elizabeth, it was Landon Donovan who took the ball and slotted it home to give them the goal they needed to advance. The final scoreline stood at 1-nil and it meant that they’d end up top of the table, with England finishing second in Group C.

Man Of The Match: Landon Donovan

Australia 2 – 1 Serbia

The Socceroos were the underdogs in Group D, but after a strong performance against Ghana, they were a much different side against Serbia.

The game was slow and chess-like in the first half, but in the second half Tim Cahill sparked his team and the entire Australian squad seemed to play with a passion that had been lacking for the first forty-five minutes. Returning from a red-card suspension, Cahill put the Aussies ahead with a trademark header in the 69th minute and when Brett Holman added another four minutes later it was jubilation for the underdogs.

Serbia pulled a goal back in the 84th minute, but the Australians got the win they deserved and will be more than happy with their display in the World Cup.

Man Of The Match: Tim Cahill

Ghana 0 – 1 Germany

After a lacklustre performance in their loss against Serbia, Germany had a lot to prove against the upstart Ghana side that had put in strong performances in their first two matches.

Germany played as their usual dominant self and were unlucky to not be ahead going into the second half, but a resilient Ghana knew they needed one point to progress and seemed intent on keeping the scoreline at nil-nil apiece.

However, knowing that a nil-nil draw and a Serbia win would send them home, Germany came out with authority and after a number of near misses by Mesut Ozil, he finally hit the back of the net in the 60th minute and sealed his teams progression to the Round of 16.

Man Of the Match: Mesut Ozil