Got withdrawal symptoms yet?
For the first time in what seems like months (although it is only 19 days) the world woke up to the first football free day since June 11th. As the world takes a 2 day breather, the remaining 8 teams prepare for the Quarter Finals of this year's competition.
FridayUruguay (16) v Ghana (32)
Netherlands (4) v Brasil (1)
Germany (6) v Argentina (7)
Paraguay (31) v Spain (2)
With 3 surprise teams (Ghana, Uruguay & Paraguay) in the last 8, and for the first time since 1930 4 South American teams, it promises to be an interesting couple of days.
The balance of power certainly seems to have shifted back to South America. In 2002, the only South American quarter finalists were the eventual winners Brasil; in 2006 we had Argentina & Brasil in the last 8, along with 6 European teams. The semi-finals (and therefore obviously the final) were all European match ups.
This time there is the possibility of an all South American semi-final line up, although I think Spain might ruin that 'fiesta'.
After 56 games, we're now at 123 goals; that's a rate of 2.20 goals per game. It's getting better, but 2010 in South Africa is still on course to be one of the lowest scoring World Cups of all time.