Olympic Soccer 2012: Predicting Who Advances to Semifinals
The quarterfinals of the men's soccer tournament are all set and ready to go down. Group play offered up some fun, exciting and ultimately surprising results. The knockout stages will most likely do the same, and they kick-off with the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Here is who I predict will take each match today to advance to the semifinals.
Japan vs. Egypt
Egypt has played well since the second half against Brazil, but Japan has been one of the best teams thus far at the London Games.
There is some quality talent that will give Egypt an excellent chance of knocking off the Japanese squad, but I do not think they will be able to do it.
Look for Japan to control the pace. They will control the style of the match and that will make the difference. This will be a tight affair. Japan will strike twice before Egypt has a chance to respond, but Egypt will get on the board late in the second half.
Prediction: Japan 2 – 1 Egypt
Mexico vs. Senegal
This match up has all the makings to be the day's best game.
The player to watch is Senegal's Pape Moussa Konaté. He has scored all four of Senegal's goals in this tournament. Mexico will have to key in on him all match to ensure he does not find the back of the net.
That is what I expect they will do.
With Konaté taken out of the match by their defense, Mexico will be the side with all of the momentum. Mexico will advance to the semifinals against Japan after a close match with Senegal.
Prediction: Mexico 1 – 0 Senegal
Brazil vs. Honduras
The matchup between Brazil and Honduras will be the fastest action of the day. Honduras, however, will be outmatched by the powerful Brazilians.
The march toward their first gold will continue. Neymar and company are simply took good to drop the match.
I predict the Brazilians will use this game to make a statement that they own this tournament. They will use their offensive firepower to shell-shock Honduras early, and then put them away in the second half. Senegal will have their chances to get on the board, but Brazil will crush their hopes and dreams to keep the clean sheet.
Prediction: Brazil 3 – 0 Honduras
Great Britain vs. South Korea
The host nation got a good draw for taking Group A.
Feeding off of the energy of the home crowd they will dominate the match, advance to the semifinals, and give golden hope to a nation.
The tactical South Korean side will need to slow the pace down against Great Britain. South Korea will want to use possession to control the match, find the opportunity to strike, and stun Team GB. That is what they need to do, but it is unlikely to happen.
Team GB has stepped up in this Olympics. Giggs and the band of U-23 talent should coast in to the semifinals.
They will grab the lead in the first half and hold on to advance. I do not think South Korea will be an easy out, but Great Britain's defense should shut down the majority of chances South Korea have during the match.
The pace of the match is key, and Great Britain should control it. After nabbing the victory they will turn their attention to the favored Brazilians.
Prediction: Great Britain 1 – 0 South Korea
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