World Cup Preview: Knockout Stages and Eventual Champions!!!

10 06 2010

Only a few hours away from the first ever African World Cup.  South Africa here we all come!!!

So if you made it through our massive look at the group stages its now time to start picking the Round of 16, Quarters, Semis, Third Place game and the Final.  I’ll go in the order that the games will actually be played.  Here are the 16 teams that PSD believes will move on and there Round of 16 matchups.


June 26th

1A – Mexico –


2B – Nigeria –

The Nigerians will have the crowd and the climate, but as we know Mexico is one of the few high altitude teams in the tournament.  I’m sure the Argentinians will have exposed Nigeria more then any team in Group A would have exposed the Mexican team.  I see “El Tri” giving a valiant performance and a late goal by Javier Hernandez should cement his status as the NEW MEXICAN SENSATION!  Mexico 2 – Nigeria 1.

1C – USA –


2D – Australia –

The Aussies are a more well-rounded team that folks realize and should push the Americans.  USA has to many offensive weapons and Clint Dempsey should shine in the game.  The American offense should control the ball throughout.  Stuart Holden, Jose Torres, and Landon Donovan all have the athletic ability to run circles around Australia’s defense.   USA 3 – Australia 1.

June 27th

1D – Germany –


2C – England –

WHAT A DRAW the Mighty English vs the Stacked Germans.  Both are without Captains (Rio and Ballack out the whole WC).  The teams styles should give Germany more chances since England is missing there defensive presence without Rio.  I think a guy like Joe Cole could really step up in this game.  He’s got the speed and ability to “lose” the German defenders.  England 3 – German 2.

1B – Argentina –


2A – South Africa –

The host team will be happy to have survived a tough group stage.  The Argentinians are way to strong to let home field advantage sway them.  Argentina 4 – South Africa 1.

June 28th

1E – Netherlands –


2F – Paraguay –

Talk about offensive minded game.  I just don’t see the Paraguay back-line holding the Dutch.  Robin Van Persie, Elia, and Ryan Babel would all have a field day running around the Paraguay defense.  Dutch 5 – Paraguay 2.

1G – Brazil –


2H – Chile –

Chile’s qualifying success kept them on the heels of the Brazilians.  Though I really like Chile’s team they just can’t compete with the fire power of Brazil.  Dunga has way to many weapons to lose this early.  Brazil 3 – Chile 2.

June 29th

1F – Italy –


2E – Cameroon –

The one team that Italy would not want to see is the Indomitable Lions.  The Italian defense is really strong, but lack the height and speed to keep a guy like Eto’o.  Inter’s top target also has the advantage of seeing these defenders for a full Serie A season.  To many targets up top for the Africans and also watch for Jean Makoun pace to really shine brightly this game.  With all the other African teams already eliminated by this game the pressure will be on.  It should be a barn-burner type game.  FUN STUFF.  Cameroon 3 – Italy 2. (Extra time goal from Makoun clinches the victory!!)

1H – Spain –


2G – Portugal –

Aw the neighbors should have one of the more fun games of the round.  The stacked Spanish line-up vs CR and the flashy Portuguese.  With Nani out the whole WC the Portuguese will survive group stages, but not the mighty Spanish.  Spain 4  – Portugal 2.

Quarter Finals:  This means WAR!!

July 2nd

The Dutch – vs The Brazilians –

What a juggernaut of talent we have here!!  GK goes to Brazil, Defense goes to Brazil, Midfield goes to the Dutch and Strikers go to the Dutch.  Julio Cesar maybe the determining factor in this match-up.  Call me loyal though because I can’t go against my lovable Dutch.  Also the way Robben and Wesley have outshine Kaka makes me think the Brazilians aren’t that ready for the onslaught.  This one will be a great game to watch since it’ll be all quality action.

Gotta love the Oranje!!!

Dutch 3   – Brazil 2.

The Mexicans – “El Tri” vs The Americans –

WHAT A MATCH-UP !!! These teams hate each other with a passion.  Expect an UGLY game with a lot of cautions and fouls.  Recently America has figured out how to beat the Mexicans and this game should be a hard fought marathon.  Expect American youngsters Jose Torres and Edson Buddle to step up in this type of game.  Torres time in the Mexican league should give him a huge advantage and Buddle’s size and speed combo should allow Clint Dempsey to drop back into midfield more (helping the American possession).  USA looked great in SA during the Confederations Cup (Spain anyone!) and I don’t see them falling out this early.

USA 4 – Mexico 1.

July 3rd.

The English – vs The Argentinians –

Um…Falklands War anyone?  This match-up has RED CARD written all over it.  Here are some memories of classic games between these two teams.  The English have had a long history in Argentina.  They have met during both of there more memorable WC outings.  English brought home the WC in 66′ and they met in a heated quarter-final battle 1-0.  The Argentinians would have there own controversial victory twenty years later.  This quarter-final battle saw Diego Maradona’s famous “Hand of God” goal occur and push the Blue and White to a WC trophy in 86′.   The 98′ World Cup saw David Beckham handed a RED card for one of the more childish kicks ever committed (it took David years to win-back his own beloved English fans).  It took him 4 years and the 02′ WC to penalty kick the Argentinians out of the group stage.  This battle will see more tempers flare, violent exchanges and utter chaos.  I think this is the game where Maradona’s lack of veteran defense would have helped.  The English without Rio should be able to bully the smallish strikers of Argentina.  Aaron Lennon’s wingplay and crosses to Peter Crouch will lead to 2 goals!!  The English just come into there own in this bigger then life game.  Of course Wayne Rooney has the game-winner – who else would it be!

England 4 – Argentina 3.

The Indomitable Lions – vs The Spanish –

The Spanish simply dominate the Cameroonians.  The Cameroon goalie will showcase just how talented he is, but the swarm of double-digit shots on goal will be to much.  The Spanish midfield is way to familiar with each other to not own the possession battle.  Xavi should highlight this game with the occasional run and goal by David Villa.  Also don’t be surprised to see David Silva creep up more in attack with the Cameroon defense being so shaky.

Xavi and David Villa each score in this one.

Spain 4  – Cameroon 1.

Semi-Finals:  And Then there were 4.

July 6th

The Dutch – vs The US of A –

Giggle.  Giggle.  Giggle.  Both teams met in March of this year and the Dutch won 2-1.  The game was mostly controlled by the Dutch, but the American did showcase they can hang with this unit.  I do like the USA’s chance of scoring, but I do also like the Dutch chance of scoring more.   Its simply to much firepower against a beatable US defense.

Dutch 3  – USA 2.

July 7th.

The English – vs  The Spanish –

The Lions will be out and about for this grand match-up.  I so badly want to see how England can pull this one off, but I can’t!!  Spain’s Andres Iniesta will show up in this game and be the facilitator the team needs to pull out a crazy win.  I do see both teams pulling all strings out.  England age may showcase a bit with the more athletic Spanish.  Jermaine Defoe sighting will happen once Capello realizes Gerard Pique is having a field day with Peter Crouch.  Puyol should draw most of the wars with Rooney.  Xabi Alonso should showcase his defensive prowess and “thievery”.  His occasional steals lead to Iniesta’s attacks and end with goals.  A late header from Fernando Torres (Liverpool fame) clinches the victory.

Spain 4  – England 3.

Third Place – A Revolution.

What a fitting way for these team to end there 2010 WC.   July 10th in the lovely Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium the Americans and English will duel it out.

The Coastal views along the stadium will be breathtaking!!

The first of the five “New” stadiums boast its one unique look and shape.   I’m not bringing up the lovely stadium just for a cool picture.  The English will play one of their group matches here (while the US won’t).  If they finish the way I have above then it’ll mean the Brits will have the huge advantage of being familiar to the stadium.  After pros and cons either way in trying to figure out the winner of this game – it really comes down to that familiar advantage.  I think Brits will not have the early jitters and will capitalize early.  Rooney’s run through the heart of the US defense forces Bob Bradley to push Clint Dempsey back into the midfield.  Bradley will take off Holden at half and insert Gomez for a hopeful spark.  It pays off when Gomez works well with Torres.  The game will stay a stalemate until extra-time.  Fabio Capello’s late sub of Wayne Rooney for veteran Emile Heskey (highly argued inclusion – many wonder why not Darren Bent or Theo Walcott) will lead to heroics.  Joe Cole’s killer dribbling will allow Old Emile to free up space from “Gooch”.  A beautiful chip through by JC leads to Heskey one on one with Timmy.  Emile fires a missile into the lower left corner and the English go wild.  Americans don’t have enough time to answer and the Brits win 3rd place.

England 2 – USA 1

The Final – The best two teams meet in the end!!!

Our old friend Charlize Theron and my family’s older friend Nelson Mandela (seriously had a cousin who was his neighbor in Joburg).

Nelson’s home.

I bring up these two since they’ll be in attendance as the Dutch take on the Spanish in the first African World Cup Final.  Like the 3rd place game the venue will be a pivotal factor.  The Dutch play a group match while this will be the Spanish first game in front of 90,000 fans.

Both teams offenses will be able to cause numerous runs into the heart of defense, but we’ll enter the half still scoreless.  Fiery Puyol gets into trouble with the speed of (half-time sub) Elia (for a hobbling Kuyt).  Robben will partner better with Elia and also Robin Van Persie won’t be snaring over at Dirk too.   Van Persie and Elia will shock the fans as the dutch dart to a decisive double goal spectacle.  The Spanish will gain back one goal with-in ten minutes thanks to David Villa’s speedy run.  The game will get more heated and fouls will start to pull yellow’s out of the refs back pocket.  In STOPPAGE time Xavi fires a rocket that shocks the dutch keeper Stekelenburg.  One of the goals of the tournament sees the game go into EXTRA Time.  The first fifteen minutes sees both squads trying to fight off exhaustion.  The second extra time half will see Wesley Snjider solidify his Player of the Year season by brilliant dribbling through the heart of the Spanish midfield.  A cheeky flip to a running Elia opens the defense long enough for Robben to sneak through.  Robben schools Iker Casillas with a nifty lob.  The moment of silence, that happens as the ball “floats” just over Iker’s shoulder into the net, is shattered by epic roar from the crowd.  The long history of the Dutch in South Africa really comes to life as the stadium is engulf in roars of excitement.  The first ever African Final sees the Dutch finally live up to all the hype.

The Dutch 3  – Spanish 2.

The Dutch pay back the Spaniards for Euro 2008.   They also do what Dutch legends Johan Cruyff, Ruud Gullit, Marco Van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp could not do.  BRING HOME THIS.

What an ironic journey for the duo that brought the gold home to the Dutch people.

Real Madrid O how you must hate yourself – A Champions League final and now the World Cup (against your Spanish!!)



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