Day 13 ended with my favourite match of the tournament so far – Nigeria pushing Argentina all the way literally had me on the edge of my seat! But before that exciting end to the day, there was the dreary fare served up by France and Denmark in the first goalless match of the tournament so far (in match number 40)…
France won the Group, which will have pleased everyone but Rico-Bradley Ellis (who went with Australia) and Jason Brown who fell from top spot overall as a result of choosing Group Runners-up Denmark. The Danes displayed no intention at all of trying to gain top spot.
The two Europeans played out what some are saying was an inevitable goalless draw, seeing as it was enough to see both teams through to the knockout stages. Jamie Cox was the only player to secure 3 points and there were just three one pointers from this one.
Australia could still have qualified prior to this match, but the Peruvians who had been unlucky not to collect any points from their first two Group matches were in no mood to be bottom of the pile and brushed aside the Australians as a result. There was a smattering of single points around, but nobody had the foresight to predict a Peru two goal win.
27 people had chosen Argentina as their Group D Winners – they’ll be collecting 5 points a piece, but it’s the five players who went with Croatia that made out like bandits. Well done Richard Gamble, Jemma Gibbons, Jason Brown, David Mason and Craig Ellis.
Messi turned on the style with an excellent goal in the first-half, but Nigeria came out like a train in the second half and really took the match to Argentina. A Victor Moses penalty conversion on 51 minutes meant that the Super Eagles were looking at a place in the Last 16 for 35 whole minutes until Man Utd’s Marcos Rojo calmly slotted in 86th minute the goal that made the Beeb show everyone watching Maradonna flipping the bird! All but five people scored points for this win, with as many as 16 players securing three points.
Iceland came close a couple of times in the first half, but ultimately neither team scored in that opening period. Come the second half though and both teams found the net, but Iceland never really looked like scoring the two goal victory that might have sent them through. There was a right jumble of predictions for this game with players scoring nil, one and three points in almost equal measures.
In the Round of 16 Croatia will face Denmark while Argentina will have a mouthwatering tie with France.