Day 10 of the 2014 World Cup proved once again that no result can be taken for granted. Tournament favorites struggled, while it was a day of strong performances from underdogs once again, as unpredictability carried the day.
Here's a look at the results from all three group-play matches from the day:
|Group||Team 1||Result||Team 2|
|F||Bosnia and Herzegovina||0-1||Nigeria|
With the action taking place in Groups G and F, both sets of teams had a better idea of who would advance:
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2||0||0||2||-2||0|
The day kicked off with a surprisingly close match. Lionel Messi's Argentina squad was nearly stunned by Iran until the superstar saved the day in the final moments.
With the match knotted up at 0-0 and stoppage time being all that stood between the Iranian side and a surprising point in the standings, Messi did what he does best—score. The magic Argentinian fired a stunner that beat the keeper from outside the box for the win. ESPN FC had the highlight:
The long shot was impressive, even by Messi's standards, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info:
Faced with the enormous task of containing the explosive Argentine attack, the Iranian side should be applauded for its effort. Squawka football detailed the fight the underdog put up in trying to steal a point from the heavy favorite:
In the end, the takeaway is that Argentina punched its ticket to the knockout round and will likely go on to win Group F.
In Group G action, it was Ghana that would play the role of underdog against Germany. With the Germans coming off a comprehensive thrashing of Portugal, the African nation wasn't given much of a chance to get a good result on Saturday.
Instead, Ghana remained alive in the tournament by playing the favorite to a 2-2 draw in a wildly entertaining match.
The Ghana defense gave Germany fits throughout the match. As noted by Squawka Football, it was able to gain an advantage by disrupting Germany's attack with interceptions:
However, the highlight of the match had to be Miroslav Klose's equalising goal in the 71st minute. The goal was not only a pivotal moment in the match that kept Germany from disaster, but also one that etched his name in World Cup history, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Miroslav Klose now has 15 career World Cup goals, tying Ronaldo for the most all-time. pic.twitter.com/10B39fhsVT— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 21, 2014
Looking at the big picture, the result dropped the United States' chances of advancing slightly, according to Alok Pattani of ESPN:
With Germany-Ghana draw, USA's chances to advance dropped from 69% to 64%, per SPI projections. But chance to win group up from 12% to 20%.— Alok Pattani (@AlokPattaniESPN) June 21, 2014
Finishing out the night was an important Group F match between Nigeria and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Once again, it featured a side that wasn't given much of a chance to defeat the favorite. ESPN Stats & Info broke down the odds before the match:
It would turn out to be a frustrating encounter for Bosnia, though. Despite creating a tournament-high amount of chances, it was unable to cash in on any of the opportunities and walked away with a shutout loss and a ticket home:
Bosnia-Herzegovina finished with 20 chances created, most of any team in a game in this World Cup. #BIH— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 22, 2014
Peter Odemwingie played the role of hero for Nigeria. His goal at the 29-minute mark represented the lone goal in the match. Bleacher Report UK provided the highlight:
For Bosnia, it marks a disappointing end to its first World Cup trip. Although it did well to give itself opportunities, this will be remembered as a lost opportunity, as the second-place finish is still in the air in the group.
Here's a look at the latest updated World Cup odds after the action-packed day, via OddsChecker.com.
The draw obviously lowers Germany's profile a bit. While it may have simply been a stylistic issue for the Germans, the result was a bit shocking for those who believe that the European power should be the favorite to win the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Argentina found its odds a bit higher than they were entering the day. With yet another clutch performance from Messi, the South American side will be a tough draw for anyone as the tournament progresses.