Here is whaaaaaaa went down.
Group A: Brazil, Cameroon, Croatia, Mexico
Analysis: Not a bad group to be drawn into for the hosts. They should have an easy time advancing into the knockout stage- where the real test will begin. As far as the rest of the group is concerned, it is pretty much up for grabs. Reason would suggest that the game between Croatia and Mexico will be the biggest match of the group and will go a long way to determining who moves on. Fact would also be distressed if it failed to mention that Cameroon will, as always, be the best dressed team at the big dance.
Group B: Australia, Chile, Netherlands, Spain
Analysis: If someone bets that Spain and Netherlands will NOT be the two teams making it out of this group, and it happens, then they will win a lot of money. That being said, if it is a cold day in hell and another team has a chance, it has to be Chile (see what I did there…alaBAMa). Sorry Aussies, if you think you have a chance you have a “few roos loose in the top paddock”.
Group C: Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
Analysis: This is one of the more wide-open groups in the tournament. The Colombians have to be high on the fact that, like Brazil, they should make it out of this group. However, unlike Brazil, they have to play a number of you-never-know-what-can-happen wild cards. Look out for a lot of ties in this group and for everything to come down to the last day.
Group D: Costa Rica, England, Italy, Uruguay
Poor, poor England. Just can’t catch a break. This is probably the runner-up in the ‘Group of Death Race’ (Jason Statham- call me if you want to talk optioning). Uruguay, in South America, is going to be tough to beat, and the Italians always seem to be right in there. I can see this coming down to the last day, and England needing to beat Costa Rica by 6 to advance, but only winning 5-0.
Group E: Ecuador, France, Honduras, Switzerland
Analysis: This is another fairly wide-open group. Switzerland is the highest ranked team, but I don’t think anyone would be surprised if France finished on top. And if there is a group with an “upset”, watch out for Ecuador to surprise on their home continent.
Group F: Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria
Analysis: Well looky, looky another big South American team draws another weak group- this one probably the weakest. Argentina should roll through this group like that weird cheese down a hill thing they do in England. I guess after that, the door is wide open, but don’t look for whoever else comes out of this group to do anything after group stage.
Group G: Germany, Ghana, Portugal, USA
Analysis: “The Group of Death”. All week long I heard American soccer analysts fret about the USA drawing a tough group. Well, looks like they were right to fret. Group G is going to be fun to watch and hard to get out of for teams not named Germany or Ronaldo. That said, if Ronaldo has a couple of off days, this group could get flipped on its head.
Group H: Algeria, Belgium, Russia, South Korea
Analysis: Another more wide-open group. I think the Belgians have to be happy with the draw. As for the rest of the group, I think they all have to be happy as well, because from their perspectives that #2 spot is up for grabs. This may not be the sexiest group, but it might prove to be one of the more entertaining ones.
So there you have it. Brazil 2014 is set. I think this is going to be a good summer!