I FINALLY DID IT! I finally correctly predicted a match! And what a match it was! The US-Ghana game almost gave me a heart attack, but we pulled it out in the end, finishing 2-1, just as predicted. I also wasn’t far off with my assessment of the Germany-Portugal game—I had the right number of goals, just not the right distribution—and I knew Iran-Nigeria wouldn’t be a high-scoring affair, but I incorrectly assumed there would be at least one instance of a ball hitting the back of the net. I gain a huge 4 points from the day’s action, though, which is really all that matters.
Brian’s Prediction Points Tally = 10
Someone asked me yesterday what I got for correctly guessing a scoreline, which got me thinking: I should set up some sort of prize/punishment. Right now I’m at 10 points over 14 games, which isn’t great. My goal is to reach 64 points and average one point per game of the cup. What do you think my prize/punishment should be? Having something to play for will give me more incentive to take my guesses seriously. For example, tomorrow’s early game is Belgium v. Algeria. I was going to predict something ridiculous like 7-0 because Belgium are full of attacking youngsters and Algeria are…not. Seeing how well Germany faired against Portugal today made me think that Belgium will do much of the same, but 7 goals is a bit of a reach. My prediction:
Belgium 4 : 0 Algeria
Sorry, Algeria. I’m still probably overshooting (3-0 would be a more reasonable guess), but I really want to see Belgium do well (Hazard! Lukaku! Courtois! Kompany! Dembele! Vertonghen! Vermaelen! Januzaj! Mirallas! De Bruyne! Defour! Chadli! Fellaini kinda but not really!), and as a young squad they have a lot to prove, especially in a group that should be easily winnable. The second match of the day is the first of the second set of group games: Brazil v. Mexico. This is a tough one. Since the 1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Brazil have lost to Mexico an incredible 8 times. On the other hand, Brazil haven’t lost a competitive home match since like the last Ice Age, so they’re still heavily favored. On the other other hand, Brazil looked like crap in their opener and probably shouldn’t have won (::cough::match fixing::cough::), while Mexico had two goals wrongly disallowed for offsides and looked fantastic in their opener. This is going to be tough. My prediction:
Brazil 4 : 2 Mexico
Brazil need to reassert their dominance, and I just don’t think Mexico can hang with them if they do. The final match of the day is also the last of the first group games. I’m not sure why it was scheduled in this manner, possibly for TV reasons, but Russia and South Korea will kick off their first game after Brazil and Mexico will have already finished two. This is going to be a fierce contest because both will believe that they can move on from this group. Russia have a bit more of a stake to that claim, however, especially given South Korea’s recent (lack of) form. This is a Russian team that’s going to want to prove itself after a rather humiliating failure to reach the knockout stages of Euro 2012 following a draw with Poland and loss to Greece. They’ll see this match as vitally important towards their efforts to move out of the group. My prediction:
Russia 2 : 0 South Korea
I’m still feeling the joy of that win against Ghana, and hopefully my luck stays with me as well. I can’t wait for this second string of games!