Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2010 World Cup: Final Round Of The Group Stage

by Dick Mac

Today begins the home stretch of the World Cup Group Stage.

32 teams in groups of 4 have each played in two matches within their groups. For the next four days the teams will meet their final group opponent.

Many teams' future in the competition will be determined between now and Friday.

The only countries assured of a spot in the Round of 16 teams are Chile, Portugal, and Brazil. Some teams have been mathematically eliminated: Cameroon and North Korea cannot move on, irrespective of the result of their final match. Others like Honduras, Nigeria, and South Africa are up against nearly insurmountable odds.

Four matches a day for the next four days! It's a soccer fan's dream.

Living in the Eastern U.S. Time Zone, the matches are shown during my workday. I record every match and have been remarkably disciplined about avoiding the scores during the day so I can watch them at night.

Today Mexico and Uruguay. Tomorrow USA v Algeria. Thursday I am looking forward to New Zealand beating Paraguay (as unlikely as that it), and Friday Brazil meets Portugal, and the result could be that one of the world's best teams does not go through!

It has been a very exciting tournament so far!

What team are you supporting? Is your team going to move on to the Round of 16? Who do you think will win the World Cup?

See FIFA's calendar here, and ESPN's broadcast calendar here.

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