This was an exciting tournament, but it was also sadly predictable. Like we knew how the groups would shake down before a game had been played and the same teams would be victorious. Still, it was highly enjoyable and I'm looking forward to the playoffs. Final group wraps before quarterfinals preview tomorrow.
Pretty much what I thought would happen except Scotland finished ahead of Serbia. Ireland took care of Sudan in the first game of the tournament and then coasted the rest of the way through. Sudan almost pulled off the upset, then almost had a Colombia moment when it narrowly beat the Serbs on Sunday. This was the most boring group of the tournament.
Now we're talking entertainment. I got the order correct except for Laos and Canada switching spots, which happened on the final day and surprised me. Actually, everything about this group surprised me. Canada crapped the bed against Jamaica and then got great victories against Afghanistan and Laos. Laos played solid with good wins against Afghanistan and Jamaica, but couldn't beat a determined Canada. Afghanistan was on the cusp, but not good enough. Jamaica had one good game, but sucked against Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Laos. Colombia didn't get an upset, yet looked like a good team the whole way through. Northern Ireland just looked bad.
Great games right off the bat with Nigeria tieing Poland. Then Poland beating Germany and suddenly there was only one more important game to go. Germany pulled out the improbable win in the final seconds against Nigeria and that was the only difference in my predictions. Props to Portugal for playing hard all the way through, but that initial loss to Germany was your only real chance to get ahead. Hungary also played well and came close in some games. Vietnam crapped out an all-time stinker.
Super disappointed in the finish for this group and still think it could have turned out differently. My prediction for the top three was pretty mangled, but it had everything to do with one game, so it was close. Greece played even worse than I thought they would and Italy was a pleasant surprise. South Korea was better than Vietnam.