Ghana's win looks even more impressive now, as The Black Stars are the only group runner-up left in the tournament. Does Group D now posthumously earn the title of Group of Death? Recaps from the past 2 matchdays:
Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia: The Orange Machine marches on, albeit without impressing. Slovakia had a number of great chances to draw level before Wesley Sneijder put the game out of reach late. A consolation penalty converted at the death by Robert Vittek was not enough, but the Slovaks are a team on the rise.
Brazil 3-0 Chile: The scoreline is highly misleading. Chile outplayed the selecao for nearly 35 minutes, passing and running around an older, more experienced version of itself. Then the efficient Brazil under Dunga took over: Juan headed in a corner, then Luis Fabiano finished off a wonderful team move, and Chile was 2 goals down. And a great run by Ramires led to Brazil's third. Fun match to watch, at least for a half.
Paraguay 0-0 Japan (5-3 PK): Heartbreak for the Samurai. I thought the Japanese keeper was poor in the PKs; tough for Komano to have the only miss, and off the bar to boot. Keisuke Honda again showed his class. First time for Paraguay in the quarterfinals, congratulations. Fun to have colorful former goalie Jose Luis Chilavert as a commentator for the Albirroja's games on Univision.
Spain 1-0 Portugal: How do you control Cristiano Ronaldo? With 61% possession. A David Villa strike was the difference, but Portugal were outclassed and once again disappoint at a major tournament. While the Navegadores only conceded once in 4 matches, they only scored against lowly North Korea (albeit 7 times). No big loss.
Villarreal watch: Nilmar came on for Luis Fabiano after Brazil had finished off Chile. No goals yet, but maybe he will be a super-sub at some point. Joan Capdevila played all 90 minutes in Spain's 1-0 win over Portugal. Two rounds away from a clash in the final, but not if a hopefully healthy Diego Godin has his way.