The "playoff run" started today in World Cup 2010 with the final games in Groups A and B. Both group games are played at the simultaneously to teams won't have an unfair advantage, and at the start of play, all four teams were still alive in both groups.
My picks for Group A were France and Mexico, which ended up half right. I didn't think France had a very strong team, but still thought they'd be able to advance, but the French melted down in spectacular fashion, scoring just one goal and ending up at the bottom of the group.
South Africa beat France today, but also failed to make it, the first time ever that a host nation hasn't made it to the knockout stage. The two representatives from Group A are Uruguay and Mexico. Hooray for the Americas (North and South)!
In group B, I picked Argentina and Nigeria, which was also half correct. Argentina won all three games and easily won the group. I stand by my pick for the Argies to make the finals and win, then getting Oasis to reform to play their victory celebration in Buenos Aires. Messi and Tevez are both big fans, and Maradona might be too. The Gallagher brothers are big in South America!
The other representative from Group B is South Korea, who meet up with Uruguay in the round of 16. The other A-B matchup between Argentina and Mexico is a rematch of 2006 where Argentina won 2-1 in extra time on a great goal by Maxi Rodriguez.
Gooal!! There are no ties in the elimination round -- they play until there's a winner, even if they need to go to penalty kicks.
Tomorrow is the final games in Groups C and D, which is the England-USA group and the Germany group. The Americans advance with a win or tie against Algeria. Go America!! (United States of)