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All up for grabs on final day of World Cup 2014 group games
TODAY is the final round of World Cup group games, with all to play for in Group G and Group H, before the tournament has its first day off since beginning two weeks ago.
At 5pm Portugal take on Ghana, while USA play Germany, both in Group G.
Germany and the USA, who are managed by legendary former international Jurgen Klinsmann, are tied on four points, with Germany having the better goal difference.
Both teams know that a draw would see them through, so it could be a tight, drab affair potentially.
That doesn’t make for great news for Portugal or Ghana, both on a point each.
If there is a winner of the Germany against USA match then either Portugal or Ghana could both snatch a place in the final 16, although Portugal need to score several goals to do so.
Bournemouth-based Susann Idris, following Germany, said: “I am feeling okay about tonight. If something does go wrong there is still a good chance we will go through.
“I think it will be a difficult game. The states are very ambitious and of course they have a German coach. Klinsmann will want to show that he is a better coach than Low. There is a bit of competition there.
“Klinsmann definitely wants USA to win – he is more American than he is German now. His wife is American and his kids have grown up there.”
Susann added that even though both teams only require a draw she does not think there will be a repeat of “The Shame of Gijon” – when Germany and Austria played out a draw in the 1982 competition to ensure a safe passage for both to the next round.
“That won’t happen again,” she added. “I think both teams will try to win.
“I am going for 2-1 to Germany. I think Podolski might start and I think if he does he will put one in. It would be nice to see Ozil score too – he has been lacking some confidence and hasn’t been playing as well as usual.”
Vianna Renaud, who works at Bournemouth University, is cheering on her home country, USA.
She said: “What an interesting situation for the Group of Death!
“It’s not only about the USA and Germany, but also Ghana and Portugal, so anything is up for grabs at the moment.
“For the match tonight, Germany clearly need a result to make sure they go onto the knockout.
“While I think the money is on them, the USA has been pressing collectively quite well, particularly Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley.
“However, with Jozy Altidore still suffering from his hamstring injury, Team USA is really going to have to pull out all of the stops to beat Germany. Let us hope and pray they can, as it would be wonderful to be recognised as a top team.”
Portuguese Alex De Freitas, who runs the Good Food by Alex restaurant in Bournemouth, said she thought her team could still get through to the knockout stage.
“I think in the last game they did a bit better. It’s nerve-wracking but we have to remain positive.
“I’m cheering for Portugal and so is everybody else in Portugal,” Alex added.
Enoch Kwoffie, who lives in Bournemouth and is following his native Ghana, said: “Big game tomorrow, the boys really turned up in the Germany game and were very unlucky not to get a result.
“Portugal got a full fit squad and we are missing some big players but I predict 2-1 Ghana and Germany to beat USA by three goals.
“Come on Ghana!”
At 9pm, the final two Group H games take place, with Algeria playing Russia and South Korea taking on Belgium.
Belgium have qualified after winning their first two games, but their opponents could qualify if they win and Algeria fail to beat Russia.
If Russia beat Algeria and South Korea fail to win, Russia could go through, depending on goal difference.
Junbeom Kim, a student living in Poole, is following South Korea.
He said: “I hope it’s going to be a big day.
“I hope it’s not the last game but it will be tough, as Belgium have beaten two teams and are the strongest team in our group.
“The problem is that the coach doesn’t change his strategy, so I think they (Belgium) will know how to play us.”
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