Which two teams will go through from World Cup Group G which is made up of Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA?
World Cup Group G: Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA
Germany, as always, are considered among the favourites to win the World Cup. Beaten semi-finalists in the past two competitions and runners-up in 2002, they are always a difficult team to beat. Since winning the trophy in 1954, Germany have failed to reach the quarter-finals on only one occasion, in 1978. Germany are a very experienced and organised team who qualified by winning 9 0f their 10 games in a European group which included Sweden, Austria and Ireland. The only blemish to their 100% record was a 4 – 4 draw at home to Sweden. They scored 36 goals and conceded only 10.
Portugal finished second to Russia in their qualifying group – a point behind the winners. Their only defeat was in Russia but unexpected dropped points in home and away draws with Israel and at home to Northern Ireland prevented them claiming top spot, putting them into the play-offs against Sweden. They reached the Finals, on an aggregate of 4 – 2, winning both games with a second-half hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo in the away leg. There were injury concerns over their star player during the preparations to the Finals but Ronaldo has declared himself fit.
In 2010 Portugal went out in the last 16, while four years earlier they failed to progress from their group. Portugal’s best performance in recnet years was in 2002 when they reached the quarter-finals.
USA finished as winners of the CONCACAF group, 4 points clear of Costa Rica. Jurgen Klinsmann’s team recorded 7 wins but lost in Costa Rica and Honduras. They scored only 15 goals in their 10 games so may find it difficult against top class opposition. The USA are playing in their 7th successive Finals and reached the quarter-finals in 2002. Last time in South Africa they progressed to the last 16. Klinsmann’s squad is a blend of players with clubs in Europe, those who have experienced football in Europe like Clint Dempsey but have returned to MLS teams and others being developed by clubs in the States.
Ghana qualified for the Finals in Brazil with an emphatic 7 – 3 final play-off game win over Egypt. Having topped their group, suffering only one defeat they beat Egypt 6 – 1 in the 1st leg of the play-off, although they did lose the return game. Ghana have played in the last two finals, reaching the quarter-finals in 2010 and the last 16 four years earlier.