The first phase of group play finished early this morning, with Groups A, B, C, and D all sending two shirts through to the Round Of 16. It was an exciting opening round — and not without some surprises. In Group A, European tradition saw Germany and Poland easily through. In Group B, Paraguay was a shock runaway winner, with England sneaking through at the expense of voteless Trinidad and Sweden (not a single ballot for either shirt!). In Group C, largely considered to be among the most competitive groups, traditional power Argentina went through along with upstart Cote D’Ivoire. As usual, the Dutch flatter to deceive and crash out of the tournament. Finally, In Group D, Angola wins the group and a last-minute push for Portugal sends them into the knockout rounds — and leaves Mexico scratching their head.
Be sure to vote on Groups E-H. The draw for the knockout rounds will be released mid-week.