Now that the brackets are reset, the TSG writers make their picks and commentary on how the rest of the tournament goes down.
And some commentary:
(Brian) I called that Paraguay and Uruguay would reach the quarters, and I’m sticking to my pick that CONMEBOL reps hard, as we have three South American teams in the semis and an all CONMEBOL final.
(Shaun) Ghana vs. Uruguay – This will be a close game. Ghana are a well-disciplined side and will be buoyed by being the only African team left. I actually think that they didn’t play all that well against the US (compared to their games against Serbia and Germany). They will be missing a couple of starters due to FIFA’s stupid card policy which will hurt them. Ghana wins.
(Matthew) I think Ghana played their best game versus the States. They’ll be in, but they won’t be able to solve Uruguay’s defense. Suarez scores.
(Matthew) I’ve got Brazil running it, but if Holland….oh Holland you deserve more time…end up pulling the upset it will because of the mastery of Wesley Sneijder–who is on the top of his game right now–pulling the strings.
(Tuesday) Holland vs. Brazil – Just when you thought the Dutch landscape couldn’t get any flatter, look who shows up in your quarter. This Brazil team is a steamroller but they won’t be running up the score when missing the under-rated Elano against a solid Dutch defense. Okay, so I thought one of Brazil and Spain might head to an early grave when colliding in a second round match, but really they’re on a collision course for the dream final instead.
(Tuesday) Germany vs. Argentina – It’s all happy party times for Go, Diego, Go in South Africa. With his side brandishing their leader’s attacking flash, Diego is like the World Cup’s very own Jolly St. Nick. Unfortunately his unique gifts for management will run out in this quarterfinal against an expansive German attack featuring more speed on the flanks than a pile of blow on the touchlines. I thought an inexperienced German side might be out by now, but these new-fangled Deutschlanders have been a delight to watch and will hang around for the semi-finals in style, just like and unlike in the past.
(Tuesday) Ghana vs. Brazil - With the Ivory Coast out, I’m still backing an African team to get into the semis. The vanquishers of the USA become the first African semi-finalist but the Black Star’s yellow-brick road into the reaches an abrupt end here. You could see this going the way of last summer’s Confederation’s Cup Final with Brazil going down a goal but in the end, Ghana gonna get Maiconned.
(Shaun) Argentina vs. Spain - A wonderful clash that will showcase the best of attacking football. Unfortunately Spain will expose their weaknesses in defense as Argentina do not have the ability to deal with the one trick, sexy passing of Spain. Winner: Spain
(Matthew) I’ve actually been very impressed with Spain thus far. Fernando Torres isn’t firing and I don’t think they’ve played their “A” or “B” game yet. There is still a chance that Puyol, Capdevila and company get exposed in the back, but they shown a lot more resolve and character this World Cup than I’ve seen them. I have them going to the Final.
(Matthew) I picked Brazil to win it when the draw came out in December of last year and I see no reason to change that. Lucio and Maicon have been lights out. Fabiano is probably the best striker in the pivot….again. They’ve got a long and glorious history of offense that will show if it needs to. Brazil to victory.
(Shaun) I originally chose Argentina to win it all but their defense has been so poor that I think it will be outdone. I hope I’m wrong cause an Argentina versus Brazil final WOULD BE EPIC!
(Tuesday) Balls: Gold-Villa, Silver-Maicon, Bronze-Oezil. Gloves: Kingson
(Matthew) I stated Alexis Sanchez would be the top newcomer and he distinguished itself, but if Germany march to the final it might just be straight Özil, no Mesut needed.