The groups were done and dealt with and two nations came out on top. 32 nations started, only 16 continue. This is where the best truly come out. This is where everything matters and slip-ups are greatly punished. Who will be the 8 to continue?
1) Uruguay v. Korea Republic
I have this soft spot for the Koreans. This is one of their strongest of squads for a long, long time, but I think this is for Uruguay to take. Uruguay only called a draw once this whole tourney and won their other two matches. Korea may be a good team, but only winning once, drawing another, and losing one doesn't make you the best team to win.
2) USA v. Ghana
Really, any one of them would be more than happy to come out of this one. The Americans have this new love of "soccer" and hope for the sport to get bigger over here is stronger as their team continues to do better than they ever really had before. (I'm feeling a movie coming out. Sorta like Miracle On Ice (not a great movie))
Ghana winning would be great for the whole continent of Africa. The highly touted Cote d'Ivoire didn't make it past the Portuguese and Brazilians (it was a group of death; what can you expect?) and the South Africans couldn't make it past their group either. If Ghana continued, Africa would still have hope to bring that World Cup to their continent and show the rest of the world that they are a great continent.
I like the chance of USA coming out of this one. With a new surge of confidence that wasn't there before, the Americans can play their way to a great underdog story.
3) Germany v. England
Germany is going to win this pretty much hands-down (if I'm wrong, I'll eat my words). England has defintely not looked like the England everyone expected (or wanted). Barely making it out of their group, they didn't get their much wanted win till their last group match.
Germany is strong. At the back, in the midfield, and up front there is talent and strength. Why doubt Germany? I hate them too, but I'm picking them over England (sorry you Brits!)
4) Argentina v. Mexico
Battle of the Latinos I'm calling it. But Argentina will take this. Mexico looked GREAT in their group, but they got nothing on Argentina. Argentina got stars and a bucket load of players that had incredible seasons and doing pretty damn well in the World Cup too! Mexico could cause an upset, but I don't Argentina will be willing to let go of the ball that easily.
5) Netherlands v. Slovakia
Netherlands will take this hands down. Slovakia I expected to get out of the groups, but not past the Dutch. The Dutch are just too oranje for anyone to do anything about it! Holland has ones of the best midfields and fronts in this year's cup.
6) Brazil v. Chile
No doubt. I'm going to sound like everyone else and say Brazil. Chile have a chance (a very strong chance), but Brazil just always has that extra special quality in them and their play that cannot be beaten. Brazil is a powerhouse for a reason. If they weren't, they wouldn't be at the top of FIFA's international rankings. Brazil will win this - unless they can't break the Chile defence. But Spain managed to break it, why can't Brazil?
7) Paraguay v. Japan
I want to sorta say Japan, but something tells me that Paraguay will come out of this one. Paraguay have a certain simplistic skill to their play that sometimes Japan lack. I like Japan and their chances, but they're not that brilliant/lucky.
8) Spain v. Portugal
What I say to you Portugal fans - BACK OFF! This isn't yours and won't ever be with Cristiano Ronaldo as your bloody captain and on your bloody squad! Spain has depth, teamwork, skill (individually and as a team), star power (that works together!), strength, and so much more. WE WILL ROCK YOU, PORTUGAL!