France continued their disappointing performance Tuesday and lost to host South Africa. The Bafana Bafana had hopes of advancing after they took a 2-0 lead over France early, and Uruguay was leading Mexico 1-0.
In the end, a 2-1 win wasn’t enough for South Africa. They became the first host nation not to advance from the group stage. The French, runners-up in Germany, were eliminated without a win. They scored only one goal in the tournament. After all the trouble around coach Raymond Domenech and the players, big chances are likely for Les Bleus.
Nigeria missed two great chances to win against South Korea and advance. They ended up drawing and were eliminated from the tournament. Argentina beat Greece and finished atop of Group B with nine points and will face Mexico in the Round of 16. South Korea will play Uruguay in the second round.
Wednesday’s early matches will decide the U.S. national team’s fate. They play Algeria, who lost to Slovenia and drew with England. The Desert Foxes showed against the English that they can play, but England has been struggling.
The U.S. need to avoid another slow start. They have fallen behind in every match at this World Cup, and have two draws on their record. While Maurice Edu’s disallowed goal should have given them the win over Slovenia, the side could have avoided a close finish by paying attention early.
Jozy Altidore missed practice Monday due to an illness, but said he will be ready to go Wednesday. The U.S. need their star striker against a strong Algerian defense. The Desert Foxes will look to play a similar game as they did against the English. They will launch counter attacks from a strong defense.
The U.S. will advance with a win. They will also go to the second round with a draw and an England loss or tie, if the English don’t outscore them by more than two. They will be out with a loss.
I think Bob Bradley will finally get his troops organized early in a match and the U.S. won’t fall behind early – this should be a win for the Yanks. Go to Pinnacle for the best line on the U.S. at +102.
England is hanging on for dear life, and they need a win against Slovenia badly. They haven’t shown that they can score the way everybody had expected. Wayne Rooney looks out of place and doesn’t get the balls he needs to score.
Slovenia barely beat Algeria in their opener. They looked good in the first half against the U.S., but fell apart when the Yanks upped the pressure. They are in the best position in the group. The side advances with a tie, and could even advance despite a loss. In that case, they need the Desert Foxes to win, and they can’t lose by more than one and Algeria can’t win by more than one.
Slovenia might come out too passive looking to get the draw. I was wrong about France on this one, but I’m going with the break-out performance in a must-win game by the big name team. I think England will come through and make their way into the round of 16 with a win.
Go to 5Dimes for the best moneyline on England at -203. Also check out the spread on Slovenia at 5Dimes. You can get $115 for your $100 if the Slovenian side comes through with their spread at +1.
The late matches of Day 13 promise as much excitement as the early ones. Anyone can still advance from Group D, even though Australia are in the toughest spot. Germany face Ghana and look to bounce back from their shocking 1-0 loss to Serbia.
Joachim Loew’s side will miss striker Miroslav Klose after his red card in the match against Serbia. Cacau will take his place in the starting XI. The Brazilian born striker brings more creativity to the pitch than Klose and has shown that he can score. He has four goals in his six caps with the Nationalmannschaft.
The Germans will come out motivated. I expect a strong match against Ghana – one that resembles the 4-1 victory over Australia rather than the 1-0 loss to Serbia. Ghana hasn’t played as well as the four points would make you believe. They haven’t scored out of play. They needed penalty kicks in both their matches to get on the board. Go 5Dimes or Pinnacle for -195 odds on Germany.
Australia will look for the win and an outsider’s chance to advance, when they face off against Serbia. They got the draw against Ghana and seem in a better rhythm than against Germany. I think the Socceroos will give Serbia a tough test, but Serbia should prevail in the end.
Go to Pinnacle (-109) or 5Dimes (-113) for the most favorable odds on Serbia.