|Saudi Arabia's big win over Argentina remains the biggest shock of the tournament but Group E's drama will also come to mind. (Photo credit: FIFA)|
In every language we understand, it’s been a bipolar World Cup and we’re not complaining; upsets, shock results, and the arrival of super world beaters on the big stage, it’s indeed an unusual FIFA World Cup.
How do we come to terms with the fact that the hosts that made so much noise about camping together for six months didn’t register a single point throughout the tournament? Scoring only once and becoming the only hosts to end up with a such record, sorry Qatar.
Their Arabian neighbors flattered to deceive; despite receiving so much love from the Qatari fans that probably shot them to a shock result against Argentina, it was sad to see that Herve Renhard’s side only amassed bookings and not points as they crashed out albeit, as expected before the tournament started.
Step forward Germany; it’s important to note that the distractions the German machines encouraged in their ranks probably led to their failures; it’s note worthy however to state that Jamaal Musiala proved his worth throughout the tournament and deserves all credits despite his team crashing out in round 1.
How did Australia qualify ahead of Denmark? After beating France twice in a short space in the UEFA Nations League, one would have thought Le Bleus would struggle to be second behind the Danes but see who’s mopping the group?
How then do you come to terms with the fact that Morocco topped the group that had Croatia and Belgium in it? Is this the end of the golden generation of Belgium? What next for Roberto Martinez and his assistant Thierry Henry?
Cameroon may have crashed out but they did well against a second-string Brazil side on Friday night; the highlight of the game would certainly be Vincent Aboubakar scoring and then receiving his marching orders for his ill-advised celebration when he was already on a yellow.
Did you notice that no team earned maximum points all through the group stage? The first time such has happened in the history of the game and it only adds more to the fact that this is a super strange tournament and we only just survived the group stages.
One downside is the fact that players are limping off injured and clubs will suffer for it when the tournament ends; at least in every other game, a player is replaced due to injuries, how worse will it get in the coming games?
It’s hard to place money on any team right now but the round of 16 parings is ready and the Netherlands will play the USA first on Saturday before Argentina try to overcome an unpredictable Australia. Sunday would see England against Senegal and France vs Poland.
Monday’s two games are between Japan and Croatia and Brazil up against South Korea while the final games of the second round would be played on Tuesday with Morocco up against their colonial masters Spain and then Portugal entertain Switzerland.