Wasn't yesterday tense? It was for me, I was following the earlier games in the office via the comments and live blogs. Not a lot of work got done! No doubt the same pattern will be repeated in offices elsewhere in the world today among those who couldn't get time off, or simply didn't plan ahead and ask (oops).
In Group C, England finally woke up and got themselves into the next round and the USA made it by the skin of their teeth with a goal in the dying minutes. Perhaps Slovenia were unlucky not to qualify and it is a shame to see the former leaders exit the competition, though some would no doubt argue England (and indeed the US) ought to have put this round to bed much earlier than they did. Algeria took their expected last spot, but gave the others a scare along the way.
Over in Group D, Germany's win secured their top position and they'll be playing England in the next round on Sunday, and while Germany's opponents Ghana lost they did remain 2nd in the group and shall face the USA on Saturday (as the only remaining African team in the contest). Australia won their game against Serbia but they lost out in the group standings to Ghana on goal difference. The Group D deciders were played at the same time as that rather epic longest-of-all-time tennis match at Wimbledon so my plans to follow the fortunes of Germany and Australia went awry - it was a great match though.
Coming up today
Groups E and F shall be decided today, but what is this? The F games will be played before the E games! These things could at least be in the right order.
Group F is currently led by Paraguay on 4pts, with Italy and New Zealand tied on 2pts and on goal difference, with Slovakia last on 1 point. I think this means if any team wins their game they are through! Slovakia need a win to qualify so no doubt they'll be fighting the underpeforming Italians hard (they could probably use the win too), while the perhaps overperforming New Zealand are up against Paraguay. All four need a good result to confirm their place so both games could get quite scrappy. It all gets complicated if teams draw, I try not to think about it and just find out what happens if it happens.
In Group E we have The Netherlands on 6pts, with Japan and Denmark on 3pts each (Japan ahead on goal difference) and Cameroon bringing up the rear with zero. I'm sure Cameroon were good when I was younger.
Netherlands and Cameroon play each other and you'd expect the top team to beat the bottom team, so all eyes will surely be on Denmark v Japan to find out the other qualifier in the group - a draw will mean Japan goes through so hopefully Denmark will make a game of it.
Remember, the top two from these groups will meet in the next round. I don't have any particular allegiances so I'm just going to enjoy what should hopefully a good evening of sport. We've already established F1 Wolf is backing Slovakia and RubberGoat has fingers in the camps of Denmark, New Zealand and Italy (I don't envy that position - they can't all win!). Who are you backing, if anyone?
- Slovakia v Italy, 3pm ITV1
- Paraguay v New Zealand, 3pm ITV4
- Denmark v Japan, 7.30pm BBC1
- Cameroon v Netherlands, 7.30pm BBC3
Enjoy the games!
6 hours to go before Italy exits the world cup :-)
Oh boy - what a day for RubberGoat!
in all seriousness this is that stage of World Cup when the usual suspects start to grind out the results ... I always said we should have played Italy in our first match, not the last ...
Now that Italy are waking up, you mean?
Look, in fairness, your boys have a heck of a good chance - I was shocked to see how well NZ held them back last week... they haven't got much going forward either..
I do not mean they are waking up, but in football you do not need to be awake to win ... see England yesterday as an example ... Germany, England nothing special yesterday but they still managed that lousy 1:0 they needed and I have that funny feeling that Italy will follow :-(
Slovakia can make history today:
a) beat Italy and advance :-)
b) become the first team to get beaten by Italy in 2010
or simply draw and go home quietly :-)
Some interesting internet figures from yesterday. The World Cup is becoming the biggest online event yet.
About an hour till group F action! I shall predict Paraguay and New Zealand (o.O) going through. :D
So Italy.... in a similar situation to as England were yesterday... they might struggle here.
Slovakia and Paraguay to go through.
Not supporting NZ? After all their heroic perormances?
I do mean performances :P
They'll be heroic, but not heroic enough.
Aw. Which match will you be watching?
The Italians against the Slovaks, NZ in the background.
Ferrari! I mean Italy! :P
Okay. I shall be watching the same today. :D
Hamsik! Come on Slovakia!
I suppose it's obvious which game I am watching...
Yeah, bet your eyes are all over the Italy match....
Is it any good so far?
Put it this way... I don't think it's any less entertaining than the Italy game...
Robert Vitel. Mistake from De Rossi
Vittek the goalscorer. Engines really running! ;)
SAVE! Italy severely under pressure here.
oooohhh. That was close by Martin. Good defending though.
On no... That looks bad. :(
Thank goodness he can play on.
Soooo close by Slovakia again!
Half time: Slovakia 1 Italy 0
For Gavin: http://twitter.com/InfostradaLive/status/16934474653
Ahhh more false hope!
Double sub for Italy: Criscito and Gattuso off for Maggio and Quagliarella.
They kick off.
Needed to do that, have been poor so far.
Goalkeeper diving? :D
We do that every game...
*except for Rob Green :P
No yellow card though. ;)
Pirlo is on.
Pirlo doesn't look comfortable with the ball yet... Bad to concede the ball for a throw there.
No one followed up there... Italy look like a desperate 2nd rate team...
Honestly... with half n hour to go, NZ may as well just go for it...
On the line! Cleared by fabulous Skrtel there!
Italian defense in tatters whenever Slovakia breaks, but the Slovaks haven't been able to capitalize so far...
You mean they haven't been going for it? How much do they want the berth really?
They've been too focused on not conceding...
Silky Slovakia attack! I want to watch more of them now. :D
2-0!!!!! Italy surely going out.
VITTEK! AGAIN SLOVAKIA SCORES!
hat. trick. hat. trick. hat. trick. :D
He's equal joint top goalscorer of the tournament now I think. Scored all of Slovakia's goals too.
ESPN text-writer for the Paraguay game is having a nightmare...
Credits Slovenia with scoring, then says
"Sensational news from Joburg. the World champions are about to get the wooden spoon in a group involving Paraguay, New Zealand and Paraguay. Would you credit it?"
2 of my teams out within 2 hours :(
Definitely yellow card there. Cynical hack on Stoch.
Heh... if NZ were to score, Slovakia would go out.
Can't get his mind around the awesomeness that is SLOVAKIA. :D
Either way, I would be happy. I think.
This. game. is. boring!!!!
Di Natale scores one back!
2-1.... did I write them off too soon?
Oooh, kicking off in the net
A new place to have one.
Sloppy defending there. Too complacent?
Is 2-2 enouugfh???
Is/was F really before E? I am not impressed.
2-2 will mean Italy go through on goals scored.
I can't believe no one got sent off there. Webb is no good (as all Englishmen seem to be in this tournament) :(
Offside! SO MUCH TENSION!!!
NO, offside, un-believable.
COME ON SLOVAKIA!!! SCORE ANOTHER!!!! (or at least hold on...)
I thought you were talking about Giggle's Radio show for a moment there...
Talking about Alex here in the world cup thread? LOL
ooh, All Whites in black. They look preeeetty.
3-1!!!! I don't believe it.
But they may be going out too. Unless they score?
When was the last time BOTH previous WC finalists didn't make it past the group stages?
Landon Donovan doesn't play for them... right?
They HAVE to score. It's obvious today they decided to focus on not losing...
Hello Journeyer! Lovely match going on here.
No kidding. Have been lurkwatching.
Italy scores again! WHAT?
3-2 now, superb goal.
What's the current goal average?
It's quite tricky remembering when F comes in the Alphabet though ;) At least I find it to be...
I'm watching the wrong game today!
More or less 2.1
-1 for both Italy and Slovakia. 0 for NZ.
Woops. wrong stat. #isconfusedbytoomanythings
Well, well done NZ for going unbeaten...
I am so proud. And kind of smug, to be honest :D
The lads did well *sniff*
:D AUS did qualify, though...
yeah, I don't care about that. I'm more smug about all the 'NZ don't deserve to be there, they will be the laughing stock" that I saw from so many people.
This is game of the tournament easily.
Full time: Slovakia 3 Italy 2
Turkey-Germany all over again but this is really fantastic. :D
Well, looks like we're gonna see an all-Italian F1 Forum, then. :)
Ahem, yeah, I would never stoop to such levels...
And NZ doesn't score so it is Paraguay and Slovakia as predicted by RG ;)
The World Champions.... are OUT.
I'm actually genuinely proud of that prediction.
Whoever wins out of Denmark and Japan tonight, I quite fancy their chances against Praguay...
you were far from the only one :D
and they beat Italy in the group!!
ooooohhh. Combined aeroplane dive! :D
That's OK RG ... Blame the system and all that - I'm just glad NZ did us proud when it all could have gone so wrong.
7mins of extra time. Only ManU would be afforded more to come rescue the match. Thank goodness Slovakia held. :D
No they didn't - Ghana and Germany did...
Oh yeah! Hmmm. What made me think they qualified? Odd. :D
Last thought before tonights games, in the 'top half' of the knockout stages, the following teams are there:
Uruguay, South Korea, USA, Ghana, Slovakia...
One of Uruguay, SK, USA or Ghana will make it to the semi finals.
I am wondering if Hamsek will be sacked from Napoli now that Slovakia went through to the next round and beat Italy?
Like the Korean player in 2002?
Ahn Jung-Hwan? Yeah. But it would be good news for the rest of the world since Hamsek is said to be phenomenal for his club.
Just leaving a bar after the Slovakia Italy game, all I can say is Yeeeeeessssss ! :-) unbelievable, unbelievable :-) all Italians left the premises after 3rd goal :-)
:D But what a game! I'm glad I watched it.
woohoo! on to more drinking?
work tomorrow, have to behave :-) 1:15am now, but still can't believe :-) what a game :-) feel sorry for Kiwis but WE MADE IT !!!!
Japan versus Denmark! Who is cheering for who?
seeing as i haven't seen a ball all day. i'll be cheering for goals.
The limit of goals in a day may have been taken up in the Italy-Slovakia match...
i demand more!
This group has been very kind to us in terms of permutations.
If Denmark win, they are through.
If Denmark don't win, they aren't through.
Holland are already through, Cameroon are already out making that the first pointless match of the tournament.
It's about time I consumed some more football again. What are we watching and where?
I am OK with whatever happened today :-) enough goals for me :-)
i missed them damnit. could you replay the match perhaps?
Well they were good goals - congrats Wolf!
BBC1. denamrk vs japan for me
You just missed highlights on the beeb.
Cool. I have found Gary Linekar. All is well :)
denmark/japan for me i think.
I decided to stay at home to watch Denmark because I'm still not 100% and I'm hosting a poker night tomorrow.
Danish TV is very amusing - their football graphics have just discovered 1996...
Slovakia scores an awesome goal, then nicks another, then Italy strikes back, then Italy is denied a goal due to offside, then the Slovaks score again, then Italy pulls another back but it isn't enough.
A little like the Germany-Turkey Euro semifinal. :D
seriously, nobody expected that, we actually played football :-)
how the... hell, did the bbc just do that 3d sweep around the pitch?
Yay we're all watching the same match! Hopefully there'll be some action...
... all Italians left the bar :-)
...and pretty much everyone reminded me that they hate Italy :(
I liked them today though, they all kept ordering the beer I am importing :-)
I am playing football while watching it! Okay not quite, but I get to be Germany so that's cool. I (heart) Adidas.
By the way, I say this with Japanese relatives in the family ... but the Japanese team scares me!
'Arry likes the suspended Simon Kjaer.
I think that must mean Spurs have definatly signed him then.
The children have jackets on. It must be quite chilly out there.
Would 'Arry sign him based on this sunglasses ad? http://www.nordjyskeugeaviser.dk/VisArtikle/tabid/53/Default.aspx?AID=60128484
If the Danish kids are ... then yes #toocoldhereinwinter
Come on Denmark!
OK, time to watch and see who is going to play us :-)
Please all stand for the Danish National Anthem ;)
But Slovakia didn't top the group so you'll probably be playing the Netherlands...?
better finish 2nd, I can't bear playing against your team again :-)
They sound the most on tune of all the football teams so far. :D
bring them on :-) !
The anthem is best sung after 5 Pints...
what do I watch ? Holland Cameroon or Denmark Japan ?
had 6 already :-)
So... despite Cameroon wearing Green, Holland wear all white?
Denmark Japan, or you'll get it from me ;)
i think most are watching the latter, but if you fancy keeping us up to date with the former that would be kinda handy too :)
Kiwis are back ?
I am too excited to keep anybody up to anything, I better check out, shut up and enjoy some game without stress :-)
No way man - keep commenting!
Hahahaha drawing on his legs???
Did pink boots just colour his socks pink?
those Danes :-)
I have the sound off. I honestly have no idea what on earth he was up to....
My colleague really fancies him ... I like to tease her by calling him 'Pink Boots' ;)
We are both rocking the netbooks whilst watching the game btw...
Pink on green is camouflage? Colour blind perhaps. ;)
Bendtner is fashion blind ;)
I swear, one of the Japanese players looks like a Samurai!
Danes got a better start here.
OK people, I am off, going to watch some football in peace, enjoy the rest of this unbelievable #worldcup day
I like the blue. Reminds me of France. Stupid France.
You need a win though.
See ya and well done ;)
Enjoy the taste of success, sir! :D
Tell me about it. We really aren't that great at scoring...
I hope so for Denmark's sake!
Japan goes so achingly close!
Ooooh Sorensen, dangerous keeping there.
And Denmark misses!
Once played at Newcastle...and failed. (Resist obvious joke)
JAPAN SCORES THROUGH HONDA!!!!
Well, there you go then.
What a goal, what a goal, wow, I love it, wow. What a hit.
Honda to pull out of the game before the end
This is it. The power of Honda earth dreams.
Good job they don't have a player called Toyota, or they'd be unstoppable!
Quite a strike!
Or Brawn. :P
I imagine he'd be fairly average despite the fact he puts all his money into his game
"...Denmark has to climb Mt. Fuji now..." #obviousDanishCommentators
I am liking Honda's gloves despite the fact that he isn't the keeper. #betterfashionsensethanBendtner
Can't help but argue with whoever this commentator is, how on earth do you try to meet that?
Mark Pougatch blames Tommy Sørensen...
Oooh, that was close.
He should have saved it... but this commentator says you should come out to meet it.
The ball does seem to be spending most of it's time at the red end.
How could he have saved that one?
Sadly this is normal when watching the Danes :(
He took a step to the left before diving to the right... plus Honda was miles out.
Denmark's kit is very very nice
You want? It's Approx DKK500 which is between £40-£50. I'd be happy to get you one if you pay me back somehow...
As it stands, 1) Netherlands - 7 pts, 2) Japan - 6 pts, 3) Denmark - 3 pts, 4) Cameroon - 1 pt
I thought they were the Red ones? That's what I meant anyway.
No, I'm fine. Not a fan of buying football shirts
ooooohhh. Honda again.
2-0!! Who needs Ronaldo?
What a goal!
It was the other guy. Endo
Another free kick but not Honda. My fault.
Blimey, that didn't even look like it was going in. Is it meant to be that bendy?
Cue the Jululubanabnibanana ball argument :)
Two great free kicks... and I was thinking this game would be a draw
Why shoot from 30/35 yards when so many players are back?
Bend it like Beckham! I mean Japan!
Can we blame Sørensen for that one?
So are Denmark going home if this stays like this?
The Dutch have scored, Robin van Persie
I am pretty sure the 2nd one was savable. Except Sorensen probably saw the ball coming at that angle too late.
*sobs* Yes :(
3 out of 4 teams are out :( :( :(
But they'd done so well :( I thought they were going to win :(
If you could have saved that then you either were standing in the wrong place, or have arms as long as Hadrians Wall.
At the right time. ;)
You're the goalie, so I agree with you 100%
Japan free kick. Again!
I spy a Mexican wave...
This is horrible!
*stands up, puts hands in the air, puts hands down, sits down*
Japan are playing very well!
This is really pretty Asian football.
Denmark surely wont shoot this.
SAVE! Nicely done.
Mrs. Goat is very, very annoyed!
I really don't understand why they keep shooting from ridiculous lengths.
Because Bendtner is the only one any good at going into the box...
But they're not even supplying him anything, just shooting from 35 odd yards. They don't seem to be crossing anything into Bendtner or even getting near at times, and then just shoot again.
Because they know his goalscoring record. #missessitters
Half time: Denmark 0 Japan 2
That's how Denmark play I am afraid...
HT: Japan 2-0 Denmark, Holland 1-0 Cameroon
They should just call back Michael laudrup and peter schmeichel :)
(even though both must be in their mid 40s now, ahem)
The current team aren't much younger!
so looks like Holland it is for us on Monday, bring them on :-)
You know, it's great that we got some wonderful free kick goals, but why did they have to be against Denmark???
cos you have a keeper who can let them in spectacularly ?
Quiet you - you're supposed to be celebrating in peace ;)
List of games which will be on BBC and ITV: http://www.itv.com/sport/football/fifaworldcup/news/itvandbbcagreeroundof16matches/
England v Germany on BBC, nightmare for F1?
not much on the Slovakia match in Slovak media, the coach and the players keep together and boycott them after some unpleasant incidents following the paraguay game ...
half time break :-)
Race is on BBC2 in its entirety
I saw the manager walk out of a press conference after some stupid questions?
Ah right, maybe not then...
...But still, BBC not ITV.
BBC will shunt F1 for football as usual...
well, before he walked out he used some really "nice" words to describe his feelings about them :-) I think he is forgiven after today, I would not be surprised if he is now allowed to swear as much as he wants in any direction :-)
It is England vs Germany in the World Cup.
Did your media think you had no chance or something?
well, they played badly against Paraguay, TV guy asked some naughty questions, coach lost it :-)
well, we all knew we have no chance :-) but we hoped we can at least play some football. we had to wait till today for that. but it was worth it :-)
I've switched to BBC coverage - I need a good laugh!
Kick off 2nd half!
time to go back to TV then :-)
Thomas Sorenson you lucky lucky man.
Goalkeeper almost died there! :D
The Danes have given up, like they always do.
He might not want to return home in a hurry now. Take a holiday in Africa? Go on safari or something...
they did not back in 92 ...
Different mindset back then.
How did they miss that? Japanese scrump?
Keeper did brilliantly there.
yea, the last minute substitute underdogs ...
Oh no. Bad 1st touch by number 9.
Secret to the Jabulani that England would have known if they only bothered to search YouTube.... Low passes, fast flowing football.
Sorensen must be getting nervous every time a free kick is awarded.
Kawashima showing up his opposite number so far...
I'm starting to wonder how much Germany must have benefited from a German sports company making the world cup ball...
And the fact the teams have been playing with it since January?
England chose the wrong brand. :P
Seems odd that they're allowed to tailor it to a certain style
Tweet: @back_of_the_net Van Persie withdrawn. Mark Lawrenson confirms that 58 minutes is 'about an hour'.
Top punditry there!
But isn't it the type of football most people love? Netherlands total football, Brazilian samba, silky Spain... All the prettiest football come from playing this style.
Ooops, missed the Cameroon goal.
I missed it too. :S
Replay: Van der Vaart handball, clear penalty, Eto'o converts.
Tomasson has been terrible today.
+1 A splendid chance there and he missed it.
More than usual?
Don'ttellme the Italian score. I want to see their victory later ;)
Oh but they broke the world record by scoring 11 one for each player including the goalkeeper! ;)
Hey Mr Steven.
Crossbar! Not Denmark's day.
Penalty to Denmark, late comeback?
PENALTY!!! for Denmark.
Tomasson, if scored, will equal the Danish all time record goalscorer with 52 goals...
Even the rebound looked poor.
Who held the record before?
It was saved but he puts in the rebound! Are Denmark back in it?
I dont know, thats all the commentators said.
Klass Jan Huntelaar scored for Holland.
This is normal for Denmark. It is surprising how much Euro 92 skewed the opinions of the Danish team, they're really not that good!
Wild guess Michael Laudrup
Nope. He only had 37
This guy, Poul Nielsen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poul_Nielsen
My wife doesn't know who he is, so he doesn't count :P
Never heard of him
JAPAN SCORES AGAIN!!! Game over?
3-1, lovely stuff from Honda.
YOU. ARE. JOKING!!!
Honda sets up the winner
No. 9 Okazaki scores in his 1st appearance in the finals.
Watch out Paraguay - Japan are gonna bring a big game!
Don't know who the Danish number 19 is but as soon as Honda did the drag back he lost interest and the other defender had to cover for him and leave the scorer free
Whoever they're up against next probably thought they'd have an easy time of it... not now.
Paraguay I think
Dennis Rommedahl - my father in law always curses him as 'the useless favourite of the manager'...
FT: Holland 2-1 Cameroon
Full time: Denmark 1 Japan 3
Japan very impressive
Well done Japan, watch out Paraguay!