19 June 2010

World Cup 2010, Match Day 9

Two more groups finished their second matches today.

Japan 0:1 Netherlands — Slept in. No grades.

Then Group D finished its second round of matches for all teams.

Australia 1:1 Ghana — This is a classic example of a moral victory not being quite enough. Once again, Australia had a man justifiably ejected early in the match; this time, the referee learned from the error of his counterpart in the US v. Germany match in 2002 (at 1:57 and afterward). However, Australia was already up a goal, so the penalty just brought them back level... and Ghana simply did not know how to play with the extra man. The officiating was back to the standard of the first day of the tournament — that is, uniformly excellent and in control. B/C+/A

So that leaves Group D looking like this, with one match remaining for each team:

Ghana 4 +1
Germany 3 +3
Serbia 3 0
Australia 1 –4

which leaves all four teams alive, somewhat similar to Group C. Here's how it will work:

  • Any team among Ghana, Germany, and Serbia that wins its final match advances.
  • Australia advances if, and only if, both it and Ghana win their last matches.
  • Ghana advances with a draw against Serbia... and that's going to be a completely unpredictable match.
  • If both matches end up as draws, Germany and Ghana go through.

Now on to Group E's second match of the day.

Denmark 2:1 Cameroon — shocking defending, leading to a fightback. This was the first come-from-behind win of this Cup that was not taken away by the officials. Actually, the defending for both teams was not of World Cup caliber, resulting in a somewhat entertaining, end-to-end match. The officiating was invisible bar a few minor errors that did not influence the match. B/C+/B+

So that leaves Group E looking like this, with one match remaining for each team:

Netherlands 6 +3
Japan 3 0
Denmark 3 –1
Cameroon 0 –2

The Netherlands are through to the second round, the first team to mathematically clinch progression. Conversely, Cameroon are out. It all comes down to the result of the match between Japan and Denmark: Denmark goes through with a win, Japan with any other result (thanks to goal difference).