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Date: 16 December 2018

  World - Soccer

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Four Quarter-final places decided, four to go

[Posted 28 Jun 2010]
Four Quarter-final places decided, four to go

By Brighton Mupangavanhu

The World Cup tournament is heating up, teams are getting eliminated in the last 16 round currently under way, and the best 8 footballing nations in the world will remain standing by the last match of this round on Tuesday 29 June.

Already two nations on FIFA's top 15 rankings have been booted out in the first four matches of the round. The 14th ranked USA and the 8th ranked England were knocked out by Ghana and Germany, suffering 1-2 and 1-4 losses respectively over the weekend. Uruguay overcame the challenge of South Korea while Argentina made light work of Mexico in the last night's match.

The intriguing quarterfinal clashes for the four quarterfinal candidates already confirmed thus far have been decided. The fast improving Ghana will meet Uruguay on 2 July while one of pre-tournament favourites between Argentina and Germany will have to bow out at the quarter-finals stage this week.

In the four remaining last 16 matches, four of the book-makers' pre-tournament favourites, Brazil, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain will battle to negotiate their way past stubborn opponents. Clearly the pick of the crop sees two of the top three nations on FIFA rankings, Portugal, ranked 3rd and Spain on 2 tussling to decide who remains in this tournament. In the other matches, Brazil and Chile renew their CONCACAF rivalry today. Ivory coast entertain surprise qualifiers Slovakia in the earlier of today's two fixtures.

African supporters remain upbeat about the chances of seeing an African nation contest the semi-finals. Some among them, especially those from Ghana feel that they have a right to even dream of the Black Stars going all the way to lift the World Cup Trophy come the 11th July. Only time will tell if their dream will remain just a pie in the sky. Anything is possible in soccer.