Who invited Ghana to the quarterfinals?
Oh yeah ... we did.
Spain's 1-0 win over Portugal today ensured that three of the four quarterfinal match-ups will be pit South America's best against Europe's best. Ghana, which defeated the U.S. on Saturday, is the lone outsider as it faces Uruguay Friday.
David Villa continued his pursuit of the Golden Boot title with a goal off his own miss in the 63rd minute. Surprise, surprise, he may have been offside. Regardless, he is now tied with Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain and Slovakia's Robert Vittek (eliminated) as the tournament's top scorer with four goals.
Spain moves on to the final 8 and will play Paraguay, which defeated Japan earlier on penalty kicks. In a devastating stat for United States fans, seven of the eight group winners won their Round of 16 games. Guess which team didn't.
Two of the four games next round feature high-profile showdowns. Germany faces Argentina in a rematch of their 2006 quarterfinal, which Germany won in penalties. Brazil faces the Netherlands in what is sure to be a colorful treat for the fans.
In the next round, Europe attempts to improve upon its .500 record (17-11-17) in the World Cup. South America, meanwhile, continues to dominate with a 14-4-2 record. Chile is to blame for both of the continents' losses, but those happened to come to the top two teams in the world, Brazil and Spain.
The four South American teams left all have a chance to reach the semifinals, which would be quite the accomplishment for a region that entered just five teams into the tournament.
Overall records by region:
South America - 14-4-2
Europe - 17-11-17
Asia - 4-2-8
Africa - 3-5-10
North America - 2-4-5
Oceania - 0-3-0