I think the statistics do a good job of telling the story of the Germany-Portugal game. Both teams had nine shots on goal. Germany had a few more tackles, Portugal had a few more fouls, and Germany had slightly more possession with 54% to 46% for Portugal. Pretty even all around. The only real difference is that Germany scored four goals, while Portugal had a player sent off for being a complete and utter idiot.
If you’ve seen Spain’s tiebreakers, you’ve got a pretty good idea what to expect for Portugal’s. Must be an Iberian thing. Moving on.
I’m sure there was a good scoring chance at some point in the Iran-Nigeria game, but I’ll be darned if I can remember it. Both teams will need to do better if they intend to advance. While Nigeria is a point ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a draw against them in their next game would put them in a tough spot. B&H is likely to defeat Iran, and even a draw against Argentina wouldn’t save Nigeria at that point. As for Iran, they’re up against Argentina next, so they probably won’t put up another clean sheet.
While I’m quite pleased at the result, I’m not sure what to make of the USA-Ghana game. The Yanks scored early, but were clearly outplayed for most of the game. Ghana’s offense was actually quite awful, only putting 8 of their 21 shots on goal (Yanks were 7 of 8). Ghana was able to equalize late, but the Yanks had as perfect a corner kick set play as you’ll see, with a perfect kick setting up a textbook header. It’s telling that despite what we saw today, Portugal are still clear favorites to pick up three points against the Americans. On the plus side, even a mere draw in that game would put team USA in an excellent spot to advance, even with a loss against Germany. Ghana is an awful spot, needing to get a good result against the Germans. Group G is going to get very interesting before we determine which team will join Germany in the next round.
Nate’s projections bounced back from their first negative day, responding to an 0-3 day with a 3-0 sweep. That ended up putting Nate back at $302,705, just $4,825 off his peak. With Brazil back in action, Nate will again be risking a significant portion of his bankroll.
Game 15: Algeria +0.5 goals, 9.00%: Risking $27,243 to win $68,109
Game 16: Brazil, 46.00%: Risking $126,712 to win $44,349
Game 17: South Korea +0.5 goals, 12.51%: Risking $18,609 to win $20,009
Brazil did not play well against Croatia, so it will behoove them to raise their level against Mexico. I expect them to do so, although I’m not quite as confident as Nate is.
This has been a great World Cup so far, and thankfully I don’t believe in jinxes. 🙂