World Cup 2014 Groups Table: Standings, Odds, Bracket Predictions After Day 2

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World Cup 2014 Groups Table: Standings, Odds, Bracket Predictions After Day 2
Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

There's no doubt about it: The World Cup is back in full force.

Day 2 of the 2014 World Cup brought soccer fans three matches, 11 goals, suspect officiating, a flurry of yellow cards and frenzied crowds. Not a bad day for international soccer's biggest competition.

The action began with Mexico defeating Cameroon 1-0, a flattering scoreline for Cameroon considering Mexico's Giovani dos Santos had two goals disallowed by controversial offside calls.

Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Chile beat Australia 3-1, but the Socceroos put up a valiant effort and kept the match entertaining throughout. Australia's Tim Cahill was excellent, scoring his team's lone goal on a powerful header and constantly urging his teammates to attack.

The big result of the day was the Netherlands' utter demolition of Spain, the defending World Cup champions.

The Netherlands won 5-1, securing revenge for their heartbreaking loss to Spain in the 2010 World Cup final. Spain drew first blood in the match, with striker Diego Costa garnering a penalty kick that Xabi Alonso then buried for a 1-0 lead. The remainder of their appearances in the highlight reel came on the wrong end of fantastic goals from the flying Dutchmen.

Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben scored two goals each, and young Stefan De Vrij notched his first international goal on a set piece.

Four of the Oranje's goals came in the second half, but none were prettier than Van Persie's flying header, which tied the match at 1-1 just before the break. ESPN FC's Twitter account has the highlight:

Grantland.com's Brian Phillips was amazed Van Persie—a veritable glass cannon in world soccer due to his injury history—was in one piece after the goal.

It will be tough for any group-stage match to produce the same kind of hyperbolic action associated with this unlikely rout, but if any tournament is capable of ratcheting up the excitement with each passing day, it is the World Cup (apologies to March Madness).

Here are the complete group standings, bracket predictions and updated odds after Day 2 of the World Cup.

2014 World Cup Group Standings and Predictions
Group A
Team P W D L Pts Predicted Finish in Group
Brazil 1 1 0 0 3 1st
Mexico 1 1 0 0 3 2nd
Cameroon 1 0 0 1 0 4th
Croatia 1 0 0 1 0 3rd
Group B
Team P W D L Pts Predicted Finish in Group
Netherlands 1 1 0 0 3 1st
Chile 1 1 0 0 3 3rd
Australia 1 0 0 1 0 4th
Spain 1 0 0 1 0 2nd
Group C
Team P W D L Pts Predicted Finish in Group
Colombia 0 0 0 0 0 3rd
Greece 0 0 0 0 0 4th
Ivory Coast 0 0 0 0 0 1st
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 2nd
Group D
Team P W D L Pts Predicted Finish in Group
Uruguay 0 0 0 0 0 2nd
Costa Rica 0 0 0 0 0 4th
England 0 0 0 0 0 3rd
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 1st
Group E
Team P W D L Pts Predicted Finish in Group
Switzerland 0 0 0 0 0 2nd
Ecuador 0 0 0 0 0 3rd
France 0 0 0 0 0 1st
Honduras 0 0 0 0 0 4th
Group F
Team P W D L Pts Predicted Finish in Group
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 1st
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 0 0 0 0 2nd
Iran 0 0 0 0 0 4th
Nigeria 0 0 0 0 0 3rd
Group G
Team P W D L Pts Predicted Finish in Group
Germany 0 0 0 0 0 1st
Portugal 0 0 0 0 0 2nd
Ghana 0 0 0 0 0 4th
United States 0 0 0 0 0 3rd
Group H
Team P W D L Pts Predicted Finish in Group
Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 1st
Algeria 0 0 0 0 0 4th
Russia 0 0 0 0 0 2nd
Korea Republic 0 0 0 0 0 3rd

FIFA.com

2014 World Cup Odds
Country Odds
Country Odds
Brazil 3-1
Germany 5-1
Argentina 9-2
Spain 7-1
Belgium 14-1
France 20-1
Uruguay 22-1
Italy 22-1
Netherlands 25-1
Colombia 25-1
England 28-1
Portugal 28-1
Chile 40-1
Russia 66-1
United States 100-1
Mexico 100-1
Switzerland 100-1
Ecuador 125-1
Ivory Coast 125-1
Croatia 150-1
Japan 150-1
Bosnia and Herzegovina 200-1
Ghana 200-1
Greece 200-1
Nigeria 250-1
South Korea 300-1
Australia 500-1
Cameroon 500-1
Algeria 1000-1
Costa Rica 1000-1
Honduras 1500-1

OddsShark.com

(Note: Odds courtesy of Odds Shark.)

 

Group A Outlook

Ricardo Mazalan/Associated Press

Brazil will still come out on top in Group A, but Mexico look like legitimate contenders for a spot in the round of 16.

Mexico played the best soccer of the group, quite the surprise considering they limped through World Cup qualifying and needed a big assist from the United States to even make it to Brazil.

Cameroon's listless performance is a sure sign they will finish at the bottom of the group. Opta Sports' Twitter account summed up their disappointing afternoon:

The midfield was unable to find striker Samuel Eto'o in dangerous positions despite his constant effort to find gaps between defenders throughout the match. Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl was unable to identify a coherent Cameroonian strategy:

It’s hard to know what coach Volker Finke’s game plan was, since the Indomitable Lions were so often disjointed all over the field. Their problems weren’t for a lack of effort but more so an absence of efficiency. When Cameroon needed a goal in the second half, there just weren’t enough numbers moving downfield until very late in the game (when a couple chances finally came).

It would take a miracle turnaround for them to outclass either Brazil or Croatia. The Indomitable Lions could easily lose all three of their group-stage matches.

Croatia-Mexico should prove to be an entertaining back-and-forth affair. Croatia will have difficulty containing Dos Santos and Oribe Peralta, and a draw or loss against El Tri would almost ensure a surprise group-stage exit due to their loss to Brazil.

 

Group B Outlook

The Netherlands' goal-scoring prowess will surely see them finish at the top of Group B. The Dutch masters were prolific in front of the net—14 total shots, 11 shots on target and five goals. They were content to allow Spain to move the ball in midfield and then make lethal moves on the counter-attack.

ESPN FC's Twitter account brings us the full highlights of the Dutch demolition.

Spain look to be in trouble after their disastrous display in the first match, but as Wahl points out, they've been in this difficult situation before and done just fine.

In 2010, it was a 1-0 loss to a Switzerland team that kept 10 men behind the ball for the majority of the match. The loss against the Netherlands is not cut from the same cloth; Spain are definitely in trouble.

Spain's neat little triangles of passing were conspicuously absent against the Netherlands. Andres Iniesta was a threat early on, putting Costa in dangerous positions with accurate passes, but the rest of his team-mates failed to show any similar spark.

Spain's goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, was out of sorts throughout the entire match. Spain might have to make an emergency switch in goal if they are to salvage their World Cup campaign and beat out Chile for the runner-up spot.

Where will Spain finish in Group B?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and the rest of the Chilean squad held the ball 65 percent of the time against Australia, as per The New York Times. They put up 10 shots, eight of them on target, and were a threat to score from the first minute to the last. Chile will have a good shot at beating Spain, although the defending champions will likely regroup and move on into the round of 16.

Australia are clearly a resilient team, as they could have easily thrown in the towel after quickly going down 2-0. Cahill brought them back into the match with a sumptuous header, and they displayed plenty of fight throughout the match. However, they lack the talent to compete with the heavy hitters in this group and will finish last.

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