Joy for the winners, bitterness for the losers
The thirteenth day of the tournament is the second day of the final round of group matches. As the tournament progresses there is definitely a certain sorrow in seeing some of the exciting entertaining stories of the world cup end...
Today the tournament bid goodbye to a game South African team who lost out on goal difference to Mexico after defeating the disappointing French side. The other African team playing for a spot today lost out to South Korea raising the distinct possibility that by the end of the week all the African teams willl have been eliminated.
Day 13 promises to be no less dramatic. In the first pair of games England plays Slovenia and Algeria plays the United States. All 4 teams still have realistic chances of qualification. The US should take something from their comeback draw against Slovenia, but Algeria will be confident too after having drawn with England. Tiny Slovenia, having eliminated Russia in qualifying for the tournament must be full of confidence. England on the other hand are in disarray and their are even signs of internal dissension in the English camp with former England captain having apparently conceived an abortive player revolt.
Predictions: England 2-0 Slovenia, USA 2-1 Algeria. USA finishes first, England 2nd.
The second pair of games sees Germany play Ghana and Serbia play Australia. The question facing Germany is whether they can overcome the suspension of Miroslav Klose. I hope I am wrong, but I expect Germany to methodically deal with this difficulty and dispatch of Ghana. The Socceross are unlikely to be able to hold off a determined and experienced Serbian team buoyed by their success against mighty Germany.
Predictions: Germany 3-0 Ghana, Serbia 1-0 Australia. Germany finish first and Serbia 2nd. Ghana, the last of the African teams with a realistic chance of qualification is eliminated.