Cameroon are already eliminated.
Spain and Australia are out.
Ivory Coast are in the best position and will only need a point to qualify, if Japan fail to beat Colombia by two goals.
Greece need to beat Cote d’Ivoire and hope that Japan can’t get the better of the South Americans.
The tired-looking Italians weren’t up to the job but England can only blame themselves for not being good enough in the first place.
Costa Rica now go into the final group games assured of progress to the Second Round, while England are out and Italy could join them if they get beaten by Luis Suarez and Uruguay.
Group E – Ecuador vs France and Honduras vs Switzerland.
France destroyed Switzerland with an avalanche of goals in Salvador but the French aren’t through and the Swiss aren’t out.
Even Honduras, who have yet to register a point, can progress, with a win against Switzerland; if France beat Ecuador and there’s a two goal advantage swing.
Ecuador need to win by four goals to challenge France; and the Swiss would then have to beat Honduras by five. Ecuador have a two-goal advantage over Switzerland, with both teams on three points.
Switzerland need to win, if Ecuador draw with France; although a draw with Honduras would be enough for the Swiss, if France win.
A loss for Switzerland, would see Honduras overtake them.
Nigeria’s win against Bosnia means a point against Argentina, who are already qualified, would be enough for the West Africans to join the South Americans. A win, and Nigeria would top the group.
If Nigeria lose and Bosnia earn at least a point against Iran, the World Cup first-timers can take the Iranians home with them.
Group G – Portugal vs Ghana and USA vs Germany.
Ghana’s well-earned draw against Germany means the Europeans have to wait until the final group games to know their fate.
Losing to USA as the game went into injury time, Portugal were on their way out; until substitute Silvestre Varela headed in an equaliser in the final seconds.
USA and Germany will both progress if their match ends in a draw.
USA may miss out if they lose to Germany and Ghana beat Portugal; with either game having a two goal difference.
Portugal could win against Ghana and still not qualify, if they can’t get a big enough goal diference swing.
Algeria could join them, with a draw against Russia; as long as South Korea don’t win in Sao Paulo, by five goals.
A win for Russia would work for Fabio Capello, as long as Hong Myung-Bo’s team dont beat Belgium by two goals more.
South Korea are not out, but they are a little down.
Belgium’s narrow victory over Algeria and Russia’s draw with South Korea mean that it’s still all to play for in Group H.
So Belgium became the surprise team of the tournamnet as most people thought they would be; surprised at themselves though, for trailing Algeria at the end of the first half of their opening game in Belo Horizonte.
Algeria might feel disappointed after being in front for so long but in all honesty, they can’t be surprised they lost.
After an uneventful first-half, the game between Russia and South Korea in Cuiaba looked like it was heading for a nil-nil draw.
Thanks to the substitutes, Russia and South Korea managed to score a goal each in the second-half and share the points.
In the Group G opening games, ten-man Portugal were well and truly Mullered, after Pepe not only let his team down but the world of watching football fans.
Later in the evening, USA made a clear statement when Clint Dempsey scored the fastest World Cup Finals goal ever; in their first win over Ghana at a World Cup Finals, at the third attempt.
This means that if USA beat Portugal in Manaus, on Thursday, the Americans will extend their stay in Brazil with a visit to Porto Alegre or Salvador, while Ronaldo and Co will be booking their flight tickets home.
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