Our World Cup blogger Adrian Demack casts his eye over the Germany v Portugal (4-0) and Ghana v USA (1-2) World Cup results and gives his Top 5 things we learned from Group G.
1. Germany’s attack is smooth
And that’s a huge understatement. Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze played a wonderful rotating forward line, with each capable in every position across the front. The nine wasn’t just false, he was a different man every five minutes. The close control and interplay is outstanding, and allows the three midfielders behind to control the centre of the park and play it forward with confidence.
2. Portugal’s defence isn’t
Again, understatement. Even before going down to 10 men, they were being given the run around by the Germans. Pepe’s outburst is unfortunately not out of character. He is becoming more and more of a liability, and they performed much better with him off the pitch. Ricardo Costa held his own, coming on at half time in his third World Cup, he will be vital if Portugal are to advance. To add injury to insult, Fabio Coentrao leaving the field on a stretcher is a huge blow after he was one of the better players in a red shirt.
3. Third times a charm for the USA
After being handed two 2-1 defeats by Ghana in consecutive World Cups, the Yanks were keen to get the monkey off their back in the first game. So keen, that Dempsey scored after 32 seconds. But the second half performance was perhaps the more important. After injuries in the first half they produced a very gritty defensive performance, holding off an onslaught of chances, but still having the determination to grab the winner. They showed huge character for that 45 minutes and reversed the score line of four and eight years ago.
4. The rumble in the jungle will be massive
I think after that performance we can all now agree that Germany are finishing the group with nine points, which intensifies the other games in the group that much more. It was already going to be a hard fought game in the middle of the Amazon on Monday morning, but it’s stepped up a notch now. The USA will be hoping to get their second win and virtually seal their advance to the Round of 16, and Portugal will know a result gives them a decent chance of catching the red, white and blue.
5. Numerous numbers
I mean sure, players are required to display numbers on the front of their shirt, the back of their shirt and their shorts, but is that really enough? Ghanian captain Asamoah Gyan doesn’t think so, and has taken matters into his own hands, dying his number 3 into his hair. It’s a step in the right direction, and perhaps should be mandatory for the rest of the tournament. Nani got the memo, but went with a far more generic star shaved into his hair, but it’s possible he simply couldn’t remember his number he hasn’t played in so long. But let’s not limit it to hair, perhaps Andre Pirlo could dye his beard with a 21 and really kickstart the movement.