Okay, not so long ago I wrote a piece about America's obsession with stats in their sports. Watching ESPN2's coverage of the England-Paraguay game showed that it doesn't just extend to US sports. I don't know if these stats rated a mention in UK coverage of the match, but did you realise that Paraguay's substitution of their goalie was the fastest substitution - of a goalie - in World Cup history? How about England's goal? Did you know that it was the second fastest goal - scored by England - in World Cup history? How about that Paraguay team? Did you know that their win-loss record - against European teams in the World Cup - at the beginning of the match stood at 1-6? And is now 1-7?
And, more importantly, did you care about these stats?
Anyway, on to today's games. No surprises.
Serbia & Montenegro 0-1 Holland
Holland. Horrible kit. Great team.
Mexico 3-1 Iran
Mexico are just sneaking around, aren't they? I mean, ask anyone to name the world's best teams and you'd get Brazil, Germany, Italy, Argentina. You might get France, England, Spain, Czech Republic. Most people would miss Mexico. Which is a shame, because they're really pretty bloody good, and honestly deserve to be up there in the first group.
Angola 0-1 Portugal
Portugal are another one of those teams that virtually nobody mentions when listing off the greatest football teams, but always seem to crop up on the winning side of the sheet. One to watch.
Okay, so yesterday's predictions were spot on - not that they were hard matches to call. Tomorrow brings Italy vs Ghana, USA vs Czech Republic, and Australia vs Spain.
I'm calling Italy, because one would have to have never heard of football to do anything else, Czech Republic, sorry my American friends, I just think the Czechs are too tough an opener, though I do believe it will be close and hard fought, and Australia, because those buggers are hungry for this, and they may just upset the Japanese side.