Thursday, 24 June 2010

The second of our look at the conclusion of the group stage of the World Cup looks at Group’s E to H.

Group E

Netherlands      +3      6
Japan                 =      3
Denmark           -1      3
Cameroon         -2      0

The Dutch will win group E with a draw against Cameroon in Cape Town. All eyes will be on the other match in Rustenburg, with a draw enough for Japan to qualify for the knockout stages for the second time. Due to their inferior goal difference, Denmark need a win to keep up their record of qualifying for the knock-out phase of each World Cup finals they have qualified for. Both matches take place tonight at 8:30pm (local time, 7:30pm BST)

Group F
Paraguay          +2      4
Italy                 =         2
New Zealand   =         2
Slovakia          -2        1

A win for Paraguay against New Zealand in Polokwane will see them qualify as Group F winners. New Zealand have to do better than Italy to qualify. Italy have to beat Slovakia in their match at Soccer City to ensure qualification, and avoid the fate of Brazil in 1966 and France in 2002 by avoiding elimination as defending champions at the group stages. Slovakia need win and hope that Paraguay win to see them into one of the qualification spots. Both matches here take place this afternoon at 4pm (local time, 3pm BST).

Group G

Brazil                +3      6
Portugal            +7      4
Cote d’Ivoire    -2       1
North Korea     -8       0

Portugal only need a draw against Brazil to ensure qualification as Group runners up. A Brazil win in Durban would let in Cote d’Ivoire, who would need a heavy win against North Korea in Nelspruit to snatch an unlikely qualification spot. Truith be told though Brazil and Portugal are playing for winning Group G in Durban. Both matches here take place on Friday at 4pm (local time, 3pm BST).
Group H

Chile               +2      6
Spain              +1      3
Switzerland     =        3
Honduras       -3        0

Chile need a point from their match against the European Champions in Pretoria to ensure qualification to the knockout stages. Spain need a win to qualify and to overtake Chile as group H winners, possibly avoiding Brazil in the process. Switzerland needs to beat Honduras by a larger margin than Spain manages against Chile, to overtake Chile in qualifying for the knock out stages.  Both matches take place on Friday at 8:30pm (local time, 7:30pm BST)

After that, it’s proper knock out football. Sudden death. Oh and I’m sure we’ll see penalties.

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