2010 FIFA World Cup: First Day of Knockout Stage Shows Promise

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2010 FIFA World Cup: First Day of Knockout Stage Shows Promise
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The 2010 FIFA World Cup's group stage was extremely poor.

Teams seemed more interested in avoiding defeat than getting a win of their own which setup a lot of 0-0 or 1-1 draws.

Argentina seemed to be the only team that could really put up the goals, scoring four against Korea Republic and two against Greece.

We're now onto the knockout stage which is the time for these teams to come out of their defensive shells. Right? Wrong.

After Luis Suarez scored an early eighth minute goal off a Diego Forlan cross, Uruguay stepped back and tried at any cost to waste 82 minutes.

Thankfully, Bolton's Lee Chung-Yong put an end to it by heading in the 68th minute goal to tie it up 1-1.

Uruguay tried to set up some chances but were unable to come out of their shell until Luis Suarez scored an amazing curler from the left side of the box in the 82nd minute.

Uruguay played the way they wanted and didn't give up any offensive opportunities. 

The second game was a free for all. After Ricardo Clark gave up a terrible turnover to Kevin-Prince Boateng, Ghana took a 1-0 lead in the just the fifth minute.

Bob Bradley conceded to his (and Clark's) error by replacing him with Maurice Edu who should've been starting in just the 30th minute.

Clint Dempsey was taken down in the box and the United States got a penalty shot, Landon Donovan scored the equalizer in the 62nd minute.

The US kept up a strong attack throughout the rest of the game as did Ghana, with both teams trading sucker punches. Asamoah Gyan delivered the heaviest punch of either team scoring a great goal in the third minute of extra time.

This would be the last nail in the USA's coffin as the team couldn't stop early goals in regulation or extra time.

These two games will hopefully setup what will be a great knockout stage with exciting games and a tremendous climax. 

Tomorrow's games will have a tough act to follow but a Germany-England matchup to start the day should provide some fireworks with the Three Lions looking to avoid penalty kicks at all costs.

That game will be followed up by Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain leading Argentina into battle against Mexico, who will most likely focus their energy on stopping Diego Maradona's high powered strikers instead of scoring goals of their own.

However, if Messi finally has his breakout game in this World Cup we should be in store for some excitement with Mexico trying to claw their way back into the game.

 

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