Just four matches remain in group play before the round of 16 begins, and they will feature plenty of drama as teams battle for spots in the knockout stage on Day 15.
Thursday will be the final day featuring group stage matches. After that, there will be a day off before the round of 16 begins on Saturday, starting with Brazil taking on Chile and Colombia going against Uruguay. Before those games begin, however, there are some exciting matches to watch on Thursday.
Below is a look at the scores from Day 14, followed by the schedule and some predictions for Thursday's action.
Day 14 Results
Day 15 Schedule
|Portugal vs. Ghana||G||12 p.m.||ESPN2|
|United States vs. Germany||G||12 p.m.||ESPN|
|Algeria vs. Russia||H||4 p.m.||ESPN2|
|South Korea vs. Belgium||H||4 p.m.||ESPN|
Day 15 Predictions
United States Will Advance To Round of 16
The United States weren't expected to make much noise in the Group of Death, but with a win and draw to start the tournament, it looks like Team USA should be able to advance to the knockout stage.
Of course, it won't be easy, as the United States will be playing a very talented German squad. As of right now, Team USA have a three-point lead ahead of Portugal and Ghana, so they could clinch a spot to advance with a draw, but there are other ways for the United States to advance.
If the United States don't win or draw, but rather lose to the Germans, they will likely have to hope that Portugal can either win or force a draw. With a minus-one goal differential, Ghana would have a good chance of taking the second spot instead of the USA with a win. However if Portugal were to win, it would be unlikely that they'd advance, as they currently have a minus-four goal differential compared to the plus-one of the USA.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann was a star for Germany's World Cup team in the past, but now he's looking to take his former team down.
“We are very hungry, as you know, as you see,” Klinsmann told Christopher Clarey from the New York Times. “We are very ambitious. We did so much work, and we are almost there already to be qualified for the knockout stage. We have to do it now with this game.”
According to FiveThirtyEight, Team USA have a 75.9 percent chancing of advancing, and if Portugal can shut down Ghana, then they should be able to move on regardless of what happens against Germany.
Algeria Hold Off Russia To Advance
Belgium already have one spot clinched in Group H, leaving Russia, Algeria and South Korea to fight over the other spot. The match to watch will be between Algeria and Russia, because whoever wins will likely be the one to advance.
Algeria are currently sitting in second thanks to a 4-2 win against South Korea, dominating the first half and coasting to the end. A draw will be enough for Algeria to advance in Thursday's match, giving them the edge and the opportunity to play more conservative if needed.
Despite higher expectations in this year's World Cup, Russia have disappointed, scoring just one goal in two matches so far and going 0-1-1. Coach Fabio Capello is now on the hot seat, and his team needs to step up, or else his job could be in jeopardy.
According to WhoScored.com, Russia have ranked just 27th out of 32 teams with a 6.6 match rating in this year's World Cup, while Algeria ranks 14th. The Russians also rank 30th with just 4.5 successful dribbles per game, making it harder for the team to create scoring opportunities.
With the disappointing turnout so far from Russia and the deep and aggressive attack from Algeria, the Fennec Foxes should be able to advance, especially if all they need is a draw.
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