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6.27.2010

Round of 16: Game over for the USA, Ghana still alive in the Cup

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This time the United States were favorite to win the clash and advance to the quarterfinals, but Ghana was far more difficult than anybody expected. In the end, the match went to extra-time and the African squad beat the U.S. 2-1. Kevin-Prince Boateng scored the opener only with 5 minutes after the start, but Landon Donovan netted the equalizer at 63'. In overtime, Asamoah Gyan proved his class by blasting an impressive shot to score the winner.

Surprisingly, Bill Clinton - former president of tehe U.S. - showed up at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg and sat to Rolling Stone Mick Jagger to cheer up Bradley's team.

The game was intense and tough for the United States, since Ghana had the extra motivation of remaining as the only African Team still alive in the competition. And once again, they beat the U.S. just like in Germany four years ago.

Coach Bob Bradley expressed his feelings after the game: "I really felt when we got to 1-1 there were some chances for us to win this match. But early in the overtime we go down again. At that point, with everything we put into the game early, we didn't have enough to equalize again. But we have a great squad, and we should work hard to make it better in the next World Cup."

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Round of 16: Uruguay beat South Korea and reach the quarterfinals for the first time in 40 years

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Uruguay was not far superior than South Korea but they had Luis Suarez to score at crucial moments. That was enough for the South Americans to win the game 2-1 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, in Port Elizabeth. Lee Chung-Yong scored the equalizer for Korea.

Suarez, the main star of Ajax in Netherlands, curled home a brilliant goal almost 10 minutes from time to confirm Tabarez's team as the first nation to book a place in the quarterfinals. At his young age, Suarez is already part of the history of Uruguay.

Uruguay will now face Ghana in the next stage for a place in the semifinals, and that game will be extremely tough for the "Celeste". But coach Oscar Tabarez won't give up on their dream: "I'm really proud of my players. We are among the best eight teams in the world, and even though it's real, it still sounds incredible. Let's see how far we can go now. We are not building castles in the air, but I don't see why we should think this is it. We don't have to renounce anything before playing the next games."

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Group H Results: Spain and Chile advanced as Switzerland went from surprise to disappointment

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Group H was supossed to be easy for Spain. With players like David Villa, Xavi, Torres or Iniesta, they were the strongest favorites not only to win the group but to win the World Cup, but maybe nobody told that to the Swiss players. Surprisingly, Switzerland defeated Spain 1-0 in the first game, and that changed everything. Spain defeated Chile 2-1 in their last game and only then the European Champions could breath with ease.

Marcelo Bielsa's side won their first two games, but even with six points, Chile could end up eliminated in the first stage. Indeed, Spain defeated the South American team, but Switzerland - yes, the same squad that beat Spain in the first game - only got a 0-0 draw with Honduras, and they were the ones going back home early.

Now Chile will have to play with Brazil in the round of 16, just like in France 98. Spain will battle Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal, and the winner of that game could tell us who will be in the final. For now, lets take a look a the positions in Group H:

Teams MP W
D
L
GF GA Pts
Spain
3 2
0
1
4
2
6
Chile
3 2
0
1
3
2
6
Switzerland
3 1
1
1
1
1
4
Honduras
3 0 1
2
0
3
1

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Group G Results: Brazil and Portugal, same language, same football

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Brazil got a 0-0 draw in their game against Portugal, and this tie let both teams qualify for the round of 16. Ivory Coast defeated North Korea 3-0 but that was simply not enough for Drogba and his teammates to reach the next stage.

Dunga's team proved to be a real candidate to win this Cup, even when their first victory was not that impressive (2-1 over North Korea). But with the talent of Maicon, Kaka, Elano and Luis Fabiano, they defeated Ivory Coast 3-1 to assure their ticket for the next round.

As for Portugal, we can say that the key victory of Cristiano Ronaldo's team over Korea (an amazing 7-0) helped them a lot. But now they will have to face Spain in the second stage, and that match could change the history of the entire World Cup 2010.

Group G will be remembered for the image of Didier Drogba playing with a broken bone, and for the quality football of Portugal and Brazil when they decided to use all their potential. The final positions in this zone were:




Teams MP
W
D
L
GF GA Pts
Brazil321052 7
Portugal312 0 7 0 5
Ivory Coast
3 1 1 1 4 3 4
North Korea
3 0 0 3 1 12 0

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