June 23, 2014
World Cup Groups Stage Comes To An End, Who Will Likely Move On?

The first phase of the World Cup -- the groups stage -- is coming to an end, starting on Monday. Some of the groups are already decided or at least we know one of the qualifiers, but who is likely to move on?

Many of the predictions are coming true, but even at this late date it's hard to predict who will pull it off and qualify for the round of 16. Let's take a look at how things stand.

Group A

Even though Brazil hasn't fulfilled expectations, most believe it will move on to the next round, possibly in first place. The host nation plays later in the day on Monday and it remains to be seen if they can actually impress with their performance. So far they haven't.

First and second place are still up for grabs, but Mexico against Croatia will be the match to watch on Monday. Cameroon is out, with no chance to advance.

Group B

Chile plays for a historic match, as they have never won three consecutive games in the groups stage, but the Netherlands is one of the most impressive teams of this World Cup, pretty much knocking out the defending champions, Spain, on their debut match.

Spain became the first major upset of the 2014 World Cup, after the Netherlands destroyed them 5-1 in Group B opener. The 2010 winners are only a shadow of the team that has dominated European football for the past four years.

UPDATE: The Netherlands wins against Chile 2-0. Spain defeats Australia 3-1.

Group C

As expected, Colombia leads in Group C of the 2014 World Cup, with six points and Ivory Coast is in second place, with three. We can anticipate this group staying pretty much the same as it stands now.

Japan could still pull the upset for the small African nation, therefore their match against Greece is crucial in their hopes of moving on. Greece stands at the bottom with a negative three goal differential and effectively eliminated from the World Cup.

Group A-C World Cup

Group D

Another major surprise in Group D, with Costa Rica leading and already a qualifying team for the round of 16. This one, nobody saw coming, however, the Central American country has been steadily improving their level of play.

With three former World Cup champions (Italy, Uruguay, and England) nobody expected the Latin country to be in the lead. With England definitely out, Uruguay and Italy will battle it out for the second spot. That should be a great match for viewers.

Group E

France has been impressive, even without superstar Franck Ribery, Les Bleus have scored eight goals in two World Cup appearances and have already qualified for the next round. They face Ecuador, who needs a win to move on, at the Estádio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

Switzerland has a negative goal differential and Honduras is out, but the Europeans could still qualify if they can beat Ecuador in their match. If they both lose their matches, Ecuador could still move on with goal differential.

Group F

No surprises here with Argentina leading with six points and already qualified to the second phase of the World Cup. Nigeria was impressive against Bosnia and Herzegovina defeating them 1-0.

The Europeans and Iran are going home.

Group D-F World Cup

Group G

The "Group of Death is still up for grabs with Germany and the United States tied with four points, but the Germans lead the group on goal differential.

Surprisingly, Portugal sits in last place, but there is a glimmer of hope for Cristiano Ronaldo's team, if they can manage a win over Ghana, who shocked Germany with a 2-2 draw. Two crucial games to end this very exciting group are coming up on Thursday.

Group H

It comes as no surprise that Belgium leads Group H at the World Cup, with Algeria being the story of this last group. The African nation currently sits in second place and poised to qualify to the round of 16 for the first time in their history.

Algeria beat Korea convincingly on Sunday, to make the remaining matches in this group more interesting than many expected. On Thursday they face Russia and a win or a draw makes history.

Group G-H World Cup

The groups stage at the 2014 World Cup will be completed this week and then things get a lot more exciting. In the knockout stage, there MUST be a winner, no matter what. Are you ready for overtime and penalties yet?

world-cup-knockout-stage

[Image via BBC One/Twitter]