Well I had a pretty good weekend! I got all of the results right, and I even got one of the scorelines correct. I hadn’t taken into account penalty shootouts, though, which I think should only account for half. In all, assuming 1 point for correct win with penalties (Brazil, Costa Rica), 2 for correct win without penalties (Colombia), and 6 with correct win with correct score (Netherlands), I racked up 10 points! That’s huge for my overall score.
Brian’s Prediction Points Tally = 34
That’s a jump of close to 50%! This is exciting! Okay, enough patting myself on the back; let’s get to today’s action.
The early game today is France v. Nigeria. The French may have whiffed in their final group match, but they’re still one of the teams of the tournament, and if it weren’t for a dubious own goal call and a just-after-the-final-whistle strike, they’d have the tournament’s leading scorer. Nigeria, on the other hand, have been entirely adequate and little better than that. They put up a good fight against Argentina, but that game was responsible for 5/6 of all goals scored for and against them in the group stage, so it’s not like they’ve been exciting overall. They shouldn’t have beaten Bosnia-Herzegovina (these bad calls are killing me), and without those 3 points, they wouldn’t have gone through. They did go through, however, so here we are. I don’t think they’ll go any deeper in this tournament. My prediction:
France 3 : 1 Nigeria
The second game of the day is another European great against another African -geria, though you can call this one Al, Betty. (Sorry, I don’t know why I did that.) Germany face off against Algeria, and who the hell knows how this one’s going to go. Germany started the tournament off by utterly embarrassing Portugal, while Algeria began by losing to an unconvincing and inexperienced Belgium squad. Through three games, though, Algeria scored only 1 fewer goal than the Germans (even if they let in 3 more). Somehow, despite the fact that Belgium took 9 points out of the group, Algeria were the team to watch, and I don’t think they’re going to let us down in this one. Germany should still get the win, but they’re going to have to put on a display to earn it. After that blasé 1-0 win over the U.S. last week and the ugly 2-2 draw against Ghana that preceded it, I think they’re due. My prediction:
Germany 4 : 2 Algeria
I only predict these high-scoring games because I love you all and want everyone to have fun. Penalty shootouts are stressful, and no neutral fan enjoys a 1-0 result. The more goals, the better! Speaking of goals, did you see that beautiful strike from James Rodriguez this weekend? It’s a joy from any angle.
Brazil better watch out, because Colombia might fuck them up in the next round. That’s a bit of a spoiler for Friday’s prediction.