First, a preview of Sunday's final day of play for Group B.
GROUP B Final Games: Both games, Sunday 1:45 pm.
Portugal vs Netherlands and Denmark vs Germany
on ESPN and ESPN Internet Streaming
My Predictions for Group B: (I was 0 for 2 in my Group A predictions!)
Germany beats Denmark to advance. Portugal beats Holland to advance.
Here are the permutations of this group where everyone is still alive.
NOW!!...Saturday's Results: the GREEKS stunning upset of Russia 1-0, Saturday, to advance into the knockout round. The Czechs also advanced by beating Poland 1-0.
The final day of play in the four team groups is very intense, especially when all four teams are still 'statistically' alive. The top two teams advance. On final day of group play both games are played at the same time, so that no team can know ahead of time, based on the other game's result, if it needs a win or tie to advance.
Watching two games with results of advancers dependent on one another is really intense…fans can either get the “exhulatation” of advancing to knockout round or the sudden end to their tournament hopes.
I was watching both games at once on my notebook thanks to ESPN’s web streaming of all the games, and its 'screen in screen' feature.
I am in a Euro Office Pool with 18 people, and I picked Russia to win the group and Poland to come in second. So as I sat in a Maplewood coffee shop, midday, I thought my odds were good. This was intense for me…I can only imagine the fans who are in the stadiums in thousands rooting on their countries.
I was only able to see the second half of both games (simultaneously). I was shocked to see Greece beating Russia 1 - 0. Poland and Czech republic were 0:0.
In the 72nd minute of play Petr Jiracek put the sword through the Polish hearts with a goal, 1:0 Czechs. The Polish fans sang and cheered their team on, but in the end they could not equalize the match. The Czechs and their fans celebrated, the Polish dreams are over.
The referee had still not blown the whistle on the Russia vs. Greece game. I was still hopeful that the high powered Russians could get a goal. But time slipped away, the whistle blew and the Greek players and fans celebrated a big upset victory. The Russian fans sat with a look of shock. They entered the day on top of Group A, and at the end of the day the do not even make the top two. So they will pack their bags.
WORLD CUP 2010 Flashback: Relive the US Soccer Teams Magical Moment!!!
Two years ago, in World Cup 2010 on the last day of Group play the USA had to beat Algeria. The game was already into 'extra time' (past the 90 minute mark). I was watching at OB Clark’s Bar, packed with soccer fans. Time was slipping away, the referee's whistle could blow at any second. The atmosphere in the bar was somber, when suddenly Landon Donovan scored a most memorable goal for the United States (Enjoy watching Landon's goal with Andres Cantor's "Goooooooool" call).
Watch this great compilation of fans around the U.S. reacting to Donovan's goal.
Looking forward to Group B, C, D's final day of Group Play.