World Cup 2010: The Last Eight

There is nothing like the knock out stages of a football tournament – the anxiety, joy, tears and sweat of players and supporters alike is there for all to see on television! Every World Cup throws up its fair share of controversy, and 2010 has been no exception. Read on for more….

The Round of 16 kicked off on Saturday June 26th, and featured two games a day at 15.00 and 19.30pm.

Saturday June 26th

In the first 2nd round game, in the wind and rain of Port Elizabeth, a strong Uruguay team held off a spirited and brave South Korea team 2-1. Two goals by the outstanding Luis Suaréz were enough for Uruguay to reach the last eight for the first time since 1970.

The second tie was a thriller that went to extra time – and like in 2006, a determined Ghana beat USA by 2-1 with a wonderful extra time volley by Asamoah Gyan being the difference between both sides. The USA won plenty of plaudits for their ‘never say die attitude’ throughout the tournament but they came up just short of beating Ghana, who became only the third African side to reach the last eight after Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002 .

Sunday June 27th

Both games on this day saw huge refereeing errors, and while both factors were crucial in determining the course of the game at a time, but at the same time both teams who lost cannot use the excuse of the error as a major factor in their defeat.

The first game of the day was the mouth watering clash between old enemies England and Germany. Frank Lampard’s goal that was ruled out at 2-1 was a major talking point, but the reality is that England were outclassed by the Germans in every department in Bloemfontein, systematically taken apart by Germany’s superior tactics and technique, movement and mentality. In the final analysis, the so-called golden generation of England has been exposed as decidedly average, and huge question marks remain regarding the future of coach Capello and many of the squad panel.

The second match of the day saw an outrageous offside decision go against Mexico that enabled Tevez to put Argentina in the lead. After this, Mexico capitulated and were 3-0 down on the hour. The men in green did produce a fight back of sorts to pull a goal back.  Mexico are a young team to watch out for in the future, and Argentina are proving to be formidable opponents in South Africa.

Monday June 29th

Day 3 of the round of 16 saw a strong, solid and enterprising Holland team beat first time qualifiers Slovakia 2-1 in a comfortable win. A wonderful first half goal by the fit again Arjen Robben sent the Dutch on their way and an injury time consolation penalty goal was all the brave Slovaks could muster.

The evening game saw an outstanding Brazil performance as they swatted aside with ease the challenge from fellow South Americans, Chile. The Brazilian side are not as flash as prior tournament outfits, but they have a strong work ethic, fight hard all over the pitch and have flair up front in Kaka and Robinho. Put money on the team that beats them to win the trophy.

Tuesday June 29th

The final day of the 2nd round games saw the first penalty shoot out of World Cup 2010 – as Paraguay and Japan could not be separated after 120 minutes of, it must be said, poor football, with both teams it appears, afraid to risk too much in pursuit of victory. A penalty shoot saw the Paraguay team hold their nerve and kick five great penalties to win 5-3 on spotkicks to make it through to their first ever quarter final.

The final match of the last 16 saw the Iberian derby between 2008 European Champions Spain and Portugal in Cape Town. This proved to be a disappointing encounter with Spain’s top scorer and new Barcelona striker David Villa score his fourth goal of the tournament in a 1-0 win. Portugal were a major disappointment, and didn’t muster many attacks until it was too late. Spain have improved immensely since the first day shock defeat to the Swiss, and once star striker Fernando Torres gets back on track they will be even more of a threat.

2010 World Cup Quarter Finals

The Quarter Finals start on Friday June 2nd, the following are the pairings for the last eight fixtures:

Friday July 2nd

Brazil v Holland, Port Elizabeth, 15.00

Uruguay v Ghana, Johannesburg, 19.30

Saturday July 3rd

Germany v Argentina, Cape Town, 15.00

Spain v Paraguay, Johannesburg, 19.30

Join us in our next update on the Quarter Final results and the prospective semi finals!

Are you in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup? There are a few days before the quarter finals kick off, so if you want to do a bit of sight seeing and check out the tourist hot spots, why not visit our Rent A Car South Africa page and grab yourself a value for money car rental deal!

What are your thoughts on the second round matches of the 2010 World Cup? What team impressed you the most?  Who do you fancy to win the Tournament outright? What do you think of England’s inglorious exit? Please let us know in the comments box below. Thank You.