And then there were 16…

Before the tournament I did my own prediction and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that there have been many surprises in these group stages.

In Group A it was quite obvious that Brazil would top the group and so it was a battle between Mexico and Croatia for 2nd which Mexico won.

In Group B it was perhaps the most surprising for me with Spain getting destroyed by Holland and outplayed by Chile who as a result both qualified. Spain I predicted would get to the semi finals as many other people thought but fair play to Holland and Chile who played really well.

Group C was both surprising and expected with Colombia finishing top but Greece beating Ivory Coast to amazingly finish second. Just imagine if England topped the group we could have played Greece in the last 16!

Group D included England obviously who finished surprisingly for me last and Costa Rica 1st which is the complete opposite that I predicted along with Uruguay finishing 2nd instead of Italy.

Group E, perhaps the easiest, was very expected with France easily topping the group with Switzerland happy with second.

Similarly in Group F Argentina strolled past their opponents to top the group with Nigeria finishing second in a poor group compared to others.

The Group of Death certainly lived up to its name and didn’t disappoint at all with it being the closest group and going right to the end. Germany were the favourites to finish first and they did but the USA edged out Portugal which was surprising.

Group H was also shocking in that after Belgium I predicted Russia but it turned out to be Algeria who finished 2nd.

So to summarise: The main surprises to go through were definitely Greece, Costa Rica and Algeria but the biggest shock of all was the defending champions Spain crashing out along with the mighty England and Italy as well as Ronaldo’s Portugal.

There have been plenty of surprises and dramas so far. Bring on the knockout stages with the dreaded penalty shoot out!

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