Saturday, June 26, 2010

World Cup Predictions: Saturday, June 26th

The group stage is behind us, and now it's do-or-die team. The World Cup is now in Sweet Sixteen mode, and we start with the U.S.'s portion of the bracket. The Americans have the second game of the day, but let's start with them.

United States vs. Ghana - 1:30pm - ABC

When the United States last met Ghana, it was in the final game of their group stage in the 2006 World Cup. With a win, the U.S. would have advanced to the round of 16, although it would have been a matchup with Brazil. Still, Ghana was able to beat the Americans and knock us not only out of the Cup, but left us sitting last in our group.

Four years later, it's a whole different set of circumstances except for one - if the U.S. loses, their World Cup run is once again over. It's amazing how the Americans got to this point, with all the controversy, comebacks, and strokes of luck that went both for and against this team, but they did win their group and here they are. Ghana is no walkover, but I'd much rather be facing them than Serbia (who finished third in their group), or Germany (the group winners). It's the most favorable draw for our guys, but now they have to get the job done.

Ghana is going to be a challenge though, as they are faster and probably more physical than this American team. But they do have one overarching problem. Ghana only has two goals in this tournament, and they both game the same way - via the penalty kick. All I think the Americans need to do to win this game is score within the first 45, while keeping Ghana off the board. If we can get the lead first, I think the only African nation to get past the group stage will resign to it's fate, but if not, we might have another cardiac classic on our hands. With this favorable bracket, I see a potential semifinal run for Uncle Sam. They could very easily blow it tomorrow, cite the fact that the group stage was too emotional and they are worn out, but I see a U.S. victory.

United States 2, Ghana 0

Uruguay vs. South Korea - 9am - ESPN

Really what you have here is two surprise teams, especially Uruguay who looked a lot better than the other teams in their group, especially France. Uruguay topped Mexico and beat South Africa after what was basically a tuneup game against the Frenchmen, and now they have a prime opportunity to go far in this tournament. South Korea is definitely going to give them fits on the attack, and I wouldn't be surprised if SK went up a goal early. But I'm believing in Uruguay this year, and think they will be meeting the United States in a matchup next Friday afternoon.

Uruguay 2, South Korea 1

0 comments:

Total Pageviews

Disclaimer

This site is not affiliated with, nor endorsed or sponsored by, the University of Wisconsin.