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Italy was having such a pleasant dream on the ride to the airport. Pretty girls, pasta, traipsing through Bavaria without a care in the world... it was perfect.

The beeps and whistles from Denmark's video game in the seat behind him wakes him up, however, and Italy's back in reality. He's still traipsing through Bavaria, in a manner of speaking, but it's hardly care-free by his standards.

Unfortunately, he's wide awake now and finds himself unable to fall back asleep. Not with seven other guys in the van, one of whom is his destined opponent tonight.

After watching the countryside, Italy gets bored. There has to be something he can do to kill time, and that something certainly could involve one of the other nations along for the ride.

Anyone want to play a game?

Nobody responds.

Anyone? Twenty questions? I Spy? Just not the one where you punch people when you see a VW. There's a lot of VWs in Germany and I'm very delicate.
Already playing one, sorry.

He isn't, but Italy turns around. Denmark is sitting next to Hong Kong and Egypt, playing a PSP. Hong Kong is staring at him, probably annoyed but you can never quite tell.

Where'd you get that?
Borrowed it from HK here.
Can I-
No.

Dejected, Italy faces front again. Next to him, France is absorbed in some trashy novel. He frequently smiles, gestures, and flares his eyebrows in some strange show of affection for whatever fictional character he is pretending to seduce. Italy wisely leaves him alone.

In front of him, Finland and Estonia are talking to each other quietly. Out of sheer boredom, Italy wants in. He's even ignoring the fact that Estonia's his opponent.

Hey! What are you talking-

Just as he leans forward, Bubi the owl jumps on the back of Finland's seat and glares daggers at Italy. Italy screams and cowers his head.

Ah! Mean birdie! Don't let it get me!
SHUT THE HELL UP BACK THERE!!

Switzerland, riding shotgun, quickly silences the car and faces forward again.

But it's not long before Italy gets antsy again. With all other options exhausted, he returns to the back row. Denmark's a lost cause, but he smiles at Hong Kong and Egypt. They glare at him.

Ve... how are you guys doing?

No response.

Great day for football, right?

No response. Nothing Italy says cracks them.

Ve... pasta?

Hong Kong leans forward and starts repeatedly hand-chopping Italy's head.

Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow!
SHUT UP, DAMMIT!!

Italy gives up and faces forward again. Hong Kong leans back and looks at Egypt. Egypt cracks a slight grin and nods in approval.

Day 14
Denmark vs. France - Finland vs. Hong Kong
Estonia vs. Italy - Switzerland vs. Egypt

Australia and Cuba keep on trucking.

G'day everybody! Australia here for another exciting day of Hetalia World Cup soccer. It's the penultimate day for the group stage and we'll see four more advance and four more say goodbye. With me as always is Cuba.
Thanks, Aussie. Groups E and F are on the menu today, with a top-shelf match to decide Group E, and a potential winner-take-all showdown in Group F.
We'll also have 2006 Cup champion Italy in a must-win game and... well, Finland and Hong Kong had their moments.
Yeah, that's not the exciting match of the tournament, especially as Denmark's late equalizer last time was a huge blow to Finland's chances of advancing. Hong Kong's been competitive, but fell short on defense twice. This one's a bit of a formality if you ask me.
I'm sure Vietnam's thrilled to be in Nuremberg for that one. But their Group E counterpart between Denmark and France is sure to be exciting. Both sides pretty much have a spot locked up, but this one decides who wins the group.
Raises the question of if you want to win the group since it could put them against Italy, but I doubt Denmark and France are thinking that far ahead.
And the Azzurri have not been up to their usual might this tournament, while Switzerland and Egypt have both looked impressive.
Against Estonia. We'll see how they do tonight. In the meantime, let's get down to Hamburg for the start of this one.

 


Day 14- Hamburg

Match 41

Group E

DENMARK vs. FRANCE

Denmark starts out as the early aggressor, moving up quickly and setting up shots before France really gets a feel for anything. France is taken aback by the urgent tactics, but stops them and runs a few counters to try to take advantage.

It forces Denmark to play fair, and things are a bit more reasonable after a frantic early couple minutes. The two sides trade possessions, with France seeming to get the better shots.

At the same time, Denmark shows itself to be more aggressive in his efforts. France is certainly not sitting on the ball, but isn't making a huge deal about scoring. It's a balanced, sensible affair for him.

Denmark, you're working so hard. Relax for a moment and enjoy the dance.

Denmark has no such intentions.

Denmark in French territory but France with constant pressure on him.
By not trying to force it, France has a good defense lined up for Denmark's persistent attacking.
Denmark forced towards the side of the box, two men on him but he crosses! Leaps up, heads it... IN! What a display by Denmark to surpass the defenders and put on in the goal!
Wow, a goal like that really sets the tone for this game. Denmark's hungry, and it shows he has the tools to get past France even with a tight defense.

10' - GOAL (DEN) - Denmark 1, France 0

Denmark doesn't let up, earning a corner kick amidst increased confidence.

Denmark could really set the tone here, but passes short. Crosses in, gets a head to it! France pops it into the air, Denmark leaps, heads it, GOAL! France blocks but Denmark puts it in before it touches the ground again! 2-0!
Denmark finding all sorts of opportunities on offense. He's really eager today and France looking more vulnerable than he ever has. France has a spot locked up, but don't forget that he could still fall to second in the group.

12' - GOAL (DEN) - Denmark 2, France 0

France is advancing just as well as he always had, but Denmark just has that extra spring in his step, giving him the edge.

Let's get an update from Nuremberg. Vietnam?
What?
Er... what's the status on Finland-Hong Kong?
There is no status. It's Finland and Hong Kong. Absolutely nothing of interest has happened so far. I don't know why I'm even here.
That's the stuff. We'll check in again later.
Great. If somebody scores, maybe the crowd will wake me up. Maybe.

Actually, things get monotonous in Hamburg as well. Denmark is playing some inspired ball, and France has nowhere to run. He picks it up as much as he can, but Denmark just seems to have his number.

France passing around, trying to avoid Denmark's midfielders. Spots an opening, long pass! Connects! France with a breakaway!
Now that's more like it!
Rushes into the box! Takes a shot! No! Denmark's keeper throws himself in front of it! Loose ball scooped up by the defense and the Danes win another one.
That's the game in a nutshell. France is playing well, maybe a bit casually, but Denmark is just throwing everything into this game. You can tell he wants this one.

Nearing the end of the first half, France builds up on offense, but Denmark rallies his defense and stops him. He also counters in the final minute.

Denmark dribbles up, stalled a little, looks for a sec and passes forward, and again! Into the box, quick shot... GOAL! Practically a one-two but he still manages to net it!
For such a quick play, you have to admire the precision on that strike. Tapped that ball into place and fires it with enough curl to get it to the left of the diving keeper and then to the right of the post. What an impressive way to end the first half.

45' - GOAL (DEN) - Denmark 3, France 0

It does indeed end the first half. Prussia runs out to catch France.

What kind of a half was that? I thought you were supposed to be the hotshot at this.
Mon dieu... he's trying awfully hard today. It's hard to practice my form when he's so aggressive. As if he needs to win this game or something.
Form looks pretty lousy when it's losing 3-0.
Perhaps. This was supposed to be a relaxing afternoon of friendly football. Not a... a...
World Cup match?
Exactly! I suppose I need to try harder...
That would help. Back to you guys!
Thanks, Prussia. Before we discuss this further, we abandoned Vietnam back in Nuremberg. Any updates?
Oh, uh, yeah, apparently Hong Kong scored sometime... sheet says minute 40.
Weren't you watching?
Thought I was. Must have nodded off for a bit. But Hong Kong leads 1-0 at the break.

40' - GOAL (HKG) - Hong Kong 1, Finland 0

Time for some more professional discussion.

Never thought I'd see the day where Prussia out-reported Vietnam.
Yeah, but the story from his game is pretty simple: Denmark wants it more. France already has a spot lined up. While Denmark was a pretty safe bet to make it in, it wasn't set in stone, so he figured he may as well take the group while he's at it. He's in great shape now.
Thankfully, we do have the stat line from the Finland-Hong Kong match and it looks pretty consistent with what we've seen so far: Hong Kong far more concerned about generating scoring chances while Finland's more conservative.
Finland seems to be better at adjusting though. We'll see if Hong Kong can hold this lead or if he's due for another second half collapse. Assuming 'Nam stays awake, that is.
With that, we'll head out to the second half.

When France says he needs to try harder, apparently he means it.

Denmark trying to keep the momentum going, but France very aggressive on defense now.
Like he really wants the ball back.
Gets it! Sends it down the pitch! France flying with the ball, past the unprepared defenders, has a crack! Knocked away by the keeper!
Now that's a lot better. Alarming way to start the half, with France forcing something right away.
Looks like he's not the only one. Vietnam?
I saw this one! Hong Kong scores early on a corner kick. Kicked to the far end, but headed back to the near post. He now has a 2-0 lead on Finland.

48' - GOAL (HKG) - Hong Kong 2, Finland 0

Problem for France is that Denmark never really relaxed, nor did he ever intend to. He loves that France seems to be playing now, and makes him all the more aggressive. Both sides create several chances and a number of shots, but good work by the defenses and keepers prevent any scoring.

Much as you have to love France stepping up suddenly, give some credit to Denmark's defense. Not as highly regarded as his attack, but they're responding nicely to the sudden challenge.
Time for another update for Nuremberg... which suggests something happened again.
It did, and it was another corner kick for Hong Kong that did it again. Finland's keeper cheated to the near post, so Hong Kong went the other way. 3-0 now and it's getting boring for an entirely different reason.
Gotta be disappointing for Finland. A minute away from beating Denmark and now you're trailing 3-0 to... hello!
Sudden breakaway for France, slips past the defense, on his own... hesitates a bit. Takes a shot, but easily saved. A bit curious there, Cuba.
That might have been an intentional stutter step. France is normally a very confident striker. It was a bit out of place to slow down like that. Either way, Denmark stayed with it and made the easy save.

60' - GOAL (HKG) - Hong Kong 3, Finland 0

France gets another chance a few minutes later.

France looking, good pass to the side of the box. Tough shot from an angle stopped by Denmark. Defense clears... blocked by France! Keeper's out of position and it's tapped in! France on the board!
There's the Danish defense we know and love! Misplayed that a little bit. France able to capitalize, like he always should.

64' - GOAL (FRA) - Denmark 3, France 1

France continues to seize the momentum, getting some pretty good breaks and some good shots. Denmark holds him off for the most part and Australia cuts to Vietnam.

You've seen some life out of France, we're seeing some life out of Finland. Hong Kong unable to handle Finland's cross and the little Nordic manages to punch one in. Might be a bit late with only 20 minutes left, but he's not going home empty-handed again.

71' - GOAL (FIN) - Hong Kong 3, Finland 1

France won't be outdone.

France with a long pass up into the box, headed towards goal! Keeper punches it away. Off to the side where France puts it back into the box. Shot from the side... GOAL! Impossible angle, but he drills it to the other side of the net!
Fantastic shot by France! The keeper cut almost every possibility, but France found the slightest of openings and buried it! Suddenly, it's a one-goal game!

73' - GOAL (FRA) - Denmark 3, France 2

Denmark grins off the frustration and gets back to work. France is eager to equalize, but Denmark slows things down and takes better care of the ball, especially on France's side of the pitch. He's still taking shots, but isn't in any hurry to do so, especially if it might result in an error.

Denmark starting to slow things down here and cool off France. Vietnam, what do you have?
Here comes the mighty Finland! Making things interesting with a corner kick of his own. Hong Kong's late-game defense looking suspect yet again as Finland pulls within one.

77' - GOAL (FIN) - Hong Kong 3, Finland 2

Denmark could only slow things down so much as France rallies back and earns a corner kick.

Chance to tie it here. Corner kick is towards the middle of the box, France heads it- DIVING SAVE! Denmark keeps the lead with a tremendous stop!
And he caught it too. That's the big thing. France was right there to nab it back. Now all he can do is jog back to midfield.

But he's not giving up yet as the game concludes.

France in the box, running out of time and down by one. Passes forward! Then back, shot is blocked! Right back to a second attacker who puts it in! He's done it!
No he hasn't! Cameroon's flag was up. It's offside. That second guy was too far in front and the goal won't count. Denmark catches a big break.

And that pretty well does it as France is never able to get any closer and Denmark holds him off. Denmark whoops it up big as he finds his way to the top of Group E.

Day 14- Hamburg

Match 41

Group E

DENMARK 3:2
FT
FRANCE
10'
12'
45'

Tomasson
Jorgenson
Tomasson

Referee
CMR

Cisse
Henry

64'
73'

Back in the studio, Vietnam has one last update.

At the last minute, Finland does the impossible! A late steal sets up the cross as Finland heads in a goal to tie it up! Down 3-0 with twenty minutes left, Finland storms back, takes advantage of Hong Kong's withering defense to take a point! It's all over here!

89' - GOAL (FIN) - Hong Kong 3, Finland 3

Day 14- Nuremberg

Match 42

Group E

FINLAND 3:3
FT
HONG KONG
71'
77'
89'

Eremenko
Eremenko
Tainio

Referee
SEY

Akandu
Wong
Sham

40'
48'
60'

Vietnam catches an exuberant Finland afterwards.

What an impressive comeback after such a disappointing result in your second game. What did it take for you to storm back after all that heartbreak?
Wow, um, I don't know. I tried to put the last game behind me and concentrate, but I just needed to get that first one in. Once that happened, I started to feel better and started to catch Hong Kong making mistakes.
Funny how this time it was a last-minute goal that helped you.
I know! I'm not going to think about it much. I guess I can go home pretty happy with two points and a draw against the group winner. Just one point wouldn't have felt like enough, you know?
Right. Congrats on the draw and good luck in your next tournament.
Thanks, Vietnam. Glad you woke up to catch the end of that one.
Boy, what Denmark did to Finland, Finland does to Hong Kong.
Give some credit to Hong Kong for getting a point after competitive losses in his first two games.
Still the same story for him- late defensive lapses. Finland's hardly an offensive power and still equalized late. But in the end, this game's moot since Denmark had no room for drama today.
Prussia is with him in Hamburg.
Damn right I am! So you go from a minute away from losing to Finland to Group E winner! Now that's awesome.
Mad awesome, Prussia! You like how I let France make things interesting in the second half?
Master stroke! So how do you think you'd stack up if you end up with Italy next?
Getting Italy next would be great! You wanna see a 10-7 football game?!
You bet I do! Way to win, Denmark. Back to you two.
Evz about letting France back into this one. He was gunning it for the full ninety.
No, but I'm not evz-ing about the possibility of a 10-7 score against Italy.
But first Italy needs to beat Estonia to have a shot at advancing. If he wins by at least three, he clinches a spot.
I love that Group F could come down to who beats on Estonia the most. But that's only if our featured match between Switzerland and Egypt ends in a draw.
If not, it's winner-take-all tonight. Wy's with Switzerland in Stuttgart.
Switzerland, after your first win of the tournament, you face off against Egypt in what could be a must-win game. How do you prepare for this?
I prepare the way I always do. Get angry and act like he's invading.
That might be difficult given Egypt's manner.
You can't trust those quiet ones. And I've seen enough out of him to want to take him down.
What have you seen?
Uh... things. That make me angry... look, I'm trying to get excited for a match against someone who doesn't say a whole lot to piss people off. Just let me work with what I've got, okay?
Since your fate may rest on how Italy does, will you be watching his scores as the night goes on?
Girl, the last thing I want to do is spend the night watching Italy. I gotta go...

And let's follow him...


Day 14- Stuttgart

Match 44

Group F

SWITZERLAND vs. EGYPT

However he channels his anger, Switzerland gets things started pretty quickly...

Switzerland takes the opening pass forward in a hurry, passes up, finds a hole! Egypt wasn't ready for such an early attack, Switzerland shoots... keeper stops it! Almost early disaster for Egypt!
Might as well call that early disaster for Egypt. Switzerland's not going to wait for Egypt to get into a rhythm tonight. He's going for the jugular early!

That applies on defense too as Egypt's early advances are pressured and squeezed out immediately. Switzerland continues to press hard.

Switzerland passes into the box. Finds a striker, shot knocked away! Loose ball! Switzerland charges but Egypt's keeper scoops it up. Another close play.
Six minutes in and Switzerland already has had two big opportunities. Egypt better find a solution fast.

Egypt starts to figure things out, but that only turns the match into a defensive stalemate. It's a good time for a game break.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's covering Estonia and Italy in Dortmund. What do you have for us?
What do you expect? Italy's dominating this one so far and scores in the eleventh minute on a wide-open breakaway. Estonia's goalkeeper stopped the first shot, but not the rebound. 1-0 Azzurri!

11' - GOAL (ITA) - Italy 1, Estonia 0

A brief span of Egyptian intensity doesn't last very long. Switzerland can out-intense Egypt any day.

Egypt's attack falters and Switzerland heading down the other side quickly! He has men, sharp pass to the box, under heavy pressure but gets it off! Blocked, but the striker finishes the job! Switzerland on the board with a nice counter-attack!
Just when it looked like Egypt was going to step things up, Switzerland swats him back down. I don't know how he got that first shot off under tremendous pressure, but the keeper couldn't secure it and gives up the score on the rebound.

15' - GOAL (SUI) - Switzerland 1, Egypt 0

Egypt responds quickly and earns a corner kick.

Egypt looking for a quick equalizer here. Corner's away, headed out by Switzerland.
And the cavalry charges again!
Egypt not back on defense quickly enough and Switzerland has another break! Passes up, splits the lax defense, into the box, fires- drills it! It's 2-0 in a heartbeat!
Wow, Egypt brings men up for the corner kick like everybody does and Switzerland just charges the other way and gets a wide open shot, and it's a beauty.

16' - GOAL (SUI) - Switzerland 2, Egypt 0

Switzerland has no intention of letting Egypt get fired up again, if Egypt ever got fired up at all. He continues to attack, rifling shots around like he was some sort of gun nut. Egypt is lucky not to give up another one.

When he does get the ball, Egypt continues to face pressured defense and has no answer for it. He's able to circle the wagons on defense, but scoring seems like an impossible task.

Time for another update from Dortmund.
Despite possessing the ball almost the entire game so far, Italy just now is able to drive his second goal in, popping it over the keeper's head and falling into the goal. Estonia's doing what he can, but it's all Italy here.

27' - GOAL (ITA) - Italy 2, Estonia 0

With Egypt clamping down pretty well, nobody is able to do a whole lot for most the rest of the half. Egypt finds a little drive, a few good shots and a couple corner kicks, but Switzerland continues to hold the momentum.

Switzerland moving up once again, finds an opening, hits it! Open into the box, keeper charges forward, dives, Switzerland pops it over him! It bounces in! Goal!
All that anger and he scores by putting a little bit of touch on that one! Nice little lob shot gets past the charging keeper and floats into the goal. It's only halftime and this one may already be over.

43' - GOAL (SUI) - Switzerland 3, Egypt 0

That takes things to halftime. Both sides march off quietly and not very happily. But Switzerland's always like that.

Well, we expected this to be an epic showdown to decide Group F. Striking how one-sided this has been.
It really has. The way Egypt played against Estonia and Italy, you'd think he would be a lock for the next round, but Switzerland is just far more revved up for this one and dominated start to finish.
Egypt never seemed like the type to get excited about big games, which might explain how he's one of the best teams in Africa, yet never seems to qualify for the World Cup.
His draw against Italy was a lot of capitalizing on mistakes and playing smart, opportunistic football. But Switzerland isn't giving him any opportunities.
Paired with the second match, where Italy is still up 2-0 at the break, Egypt may end up on the outside of this one.
Absolutely could. The bigger story would be that Switzerland is 45 minutes way from winning this group. If so, only two of the six top seeds will have won their groups. And America's probably not winning his either.
Though except for Holland, they have all qualified, which is what really matters. Italy's in fine shape to do that, so let's see if he and the Swiss can finish the job.

Things start out pretty slowly in the second half as Switzerland appears content with preserving rather than expanding his lead. It takes a while, but Egypt gets a couple shots off. They go nowhere.

Switzerland moves it up to do something with it and ends up with a corner kick.

Not a lot of aggression from Switzerland in the half, which is to be expected from most teams. But he does earn a corner here. It's away, Egypt gets a head to it, but a poor one. It drops, bounces, Switzerland gets there, shoots, SCORES! As if Egypt's day couldn't get worse!
No kidding! Switzerland was barely even trying for a goal and ends up with one. Egypt gets to the corner kick first, but can't get his head under it and it sets the table for Switzerland to pound home his fourth of the day.

51' - GOAL (SUI) - Switzerland 4, Egypt 0

A couple minutes later, Switzerland earns another corner that Egypt is able to counter into an open shot, but Switzerland takes care of it. Other than that, Switzerland either holds onto the ball or plays great defense to keep Egypt out of things.

Switzerland at midfield, met with strong resistance by Egypt. Possession stalls, kicked to the sideline. Has some running room there. Switzerland to the corner, crosses it into the box! Header... GOAL! The dominance continues as Switzerland makes it five!
Switzerland is barely trying to score at all and something like that goes in. That's the advantage of playing with the lead- when it rains, it pours.
Looks like the weather's different in Dortmund. Taiwan?
Don't start the party quite yet. Estonia had been getting some penetration in the box, and after an Italy steal and clearance is deflected, Estonia is able to pick up the loose ball and shoot one past the goalkeeper! Don't look now, but it's a one-goal game.
And Italy needs to win, too. If Estonia somehow equalized, Egypt would still advance.

63' - GOAL (SUI) - Switzerland 5, Egypt 0

63' - GOAL (EST) - Italy 2, Estonia 1

Egypt's futility continues for several minutes, until he finally snaps.

Egypt down the line, Switzerland stepping up again but Egypt sends it long! Long pass into the box. Connects! Still some pressure, but Egypt dribbles around it! Fires! Off the post but a teammate is there to finish the job!
A bit late now, but it seems Egypt has figured out one way to get past Switzerland. Although...
Argh... DAMMIT!
...that just makes Switzerland madder.

69' - GOAL (EGY) - Switzerland 5, Egypt 1

Switzerland does not let this happen again. After a few minutes of Egypt resuming his habit of not scoring, the boys have had enough.

With fifteen minutes left and this game pretty well in hand, we'll now go live to Dortmund where Estonia is showing some fight!
One thing Italy has failed to do all tournament is put opponents away. Estonia is showing some patience, looking for opportunities and every once in a while one will emerge. And it only takes one to bring the giant down.

And look at what happens...

Estonia can't find anything, turns it over. Italy countering quickly, dribbling fast down the middle, makes one pass and finds himself wide open! Into the box, shoots, SCORES! Italy turns it around and puts it away!
Wait, what? We go through all the trouble of cutting to this game and Italy ends it in two minutes?
Sorry, mate. Every once in awhile the favored team wins these.

77' - GOAL (ITA) - Italy 3, Estonia 1

And that's that. Nothing happens for the rest of either game and Australia and Cuba are left padding their way through them.

Day 14- Dortmund

Match 43

Group F

ESTONIA 1:3
FT
ITALY
63'

Lindpore

Referee
SE
A

Totti
Gilardino
Gilardino

11'
27'
77'

 

Day 14- Stuttgart

Match 44

Group F

SWITZERLAND 5:1
FT
EGYPT
15'
16'
43'
51'
63'

Frei
Vonlanthan
Frei
Vogel
Frei

Referee
THA

Halim Ali

68'

Taiwan finds Italy dancing on the field.

I won! I won! I won! Isn't that great?!
I should hope so, especially with the level of competition. It wasn't as decisive as some would hope, but what's the feeling about the team now that you've secured a spot in the next round.
As long as I get to keep playing, I'm happy.
That's good. Was there anything you did differently towards the end that may have helped you preserve the lead this time?
Yes, I scored a goal!
Yes, but you scored late against... I'm not going to get a good answer from you, am I?
Wanna go out for pasta? I'm buying!
Hey sure, why not?
Wait, even better! We'll get Germany to pay for it!
Save some for us, Taiwan!
Shame we never get to leave the studio. Anyway, things get dicey for a bit, but this time Italy's able to put one away for three points.
Yeah, but look at who he was playing. I didn't see anything that convinced me that Italy's ready to defend his title. Not after what we saw out of Denmark today.
Gonna be lotsa offense in that game, mate. Could go either way.
Yeah. Shame we don't get that France-Italy rematch in the Round of 16, but this'll do nicely. And I honestly can't predict how Switzerland-France will play out.
We can, however, take a look at the tables to see where we're at.

 

  Group A Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
  Germany 3 2 0 1 11 9 2 6
 

Greece

3 2 0 1 8 8 0 6
  Russia 3 1 1 1 10 9 1 4
  Hungary 3 0 1 2 6 9 -3 1
  Group B Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 

Japan

3 2 0 1 13 7 6 6
  Canada 3 2 0 1 9 9 0 6
  Holland 3 1 1 1 11 11 0 4
  Belgium 3 0 1 2 3 9 -6 1
  Group C Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
  Austria 3 2 1 0 10 8 2 7
  England 3 1 2 0 9 6 3 5
  Norway 3 1 0 2 8 10 -2 3
 

Korea

3 0 1 2 8 11 -3 1
  Group D Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
  Spain 3 3 0 0 10 5 5 9
 

Turkey

3 1 1 1 9 9 0 4
  Latvia 3 1 1 1 8 9 -1 4
  Lithuania 3 0 0 3 5 9 -4 0
  Group E Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 

Denmark

3 2 1 0 12 7 5 7
  France 3 2 0 1 11 6 5 6
  Finland 3 0 2 1 5 9 -4 2
  Hong Kong 3 0 1 2 9 15 -6 1
  Group F Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 

Switzerland

3 2 1 0 12 6 6 7
  Italy 3 1 2 0 12 10 2 5
  Egypt 3 1 1 1 11 12 -1 4
  Estonia 3 0 0 3 4 11 -7 0
  Group G Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
  Sweden 2 2 0 0 10 2 8 6
  Iceland 2 1 0 1 3 5 -2 3
 

Poland

2 1 0 1 4 7 -3 3
  Liechtenstein 2 0 0 2 3 6 -3 0
  Group H Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 

Ukraine

2 2 0 0 11 3 8 6
  Belarus 2 1 0 1 7 4 3 3
  America 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 3
  China 2 0 0 2 3 14 -11 0

Wrapping things up will commence!

So with that, only one more day in the group stage! Groups G and H will sort things out tomorrow.
In Group G, Sweden has all but assured himself a spot, which actually adds an interesting twist to his match against Iceland. Does he show a little sympathy for his fellow Nordic, who could advance with a win?
That, of course, hinges on Poland. He faces Liechtenstein, who may be weak but has proven to put up a strong fight.
Group H will have China and America, where China hopes to salvage some respect after humiliating losses to Belarus and Ukraine.
...and America's trying to qualify for the knockouts. Don't forget that.
Belarus is trying to qualify too, but she'll have to go through Ukraine first. If the Holland-Belgium match was any indicator, this sibling rivalry will be a classic.
That's all for day 14. Until next time, this is Australia signing off... g'nite!

To Be Continued

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