The first big upset of the tournament – and one of the best heads up plays of the tournament. A look at today’s games, and where things stand after last night. A packed day.
- As upsets go, yesterday was quite significant. The difference in power ratings between the two teams was 173 points! Let’s take a look at upsets 173 points and larger – they happen, but as you see from the graph they happen more often in friendlies and secondary tournaments (marked with a square), not in major tournaments (marked with an x)
Point difference between teams on y-axis, ordered chronologically left to right:
Upsets have gotten more frequent in the last 10 years – as the rest of the world has caught up with the traditional soccer powerhouses, there are very few throwaway games
- So what happened yesterday? Three keys:
- Our models took in to account that Suarez wasn’t playing – but the impact on them has been even greater than we factored. If you had $10 on Venezuela you’d be the proud owner of $60 today
- Take a look at the still below – the goalkeeper is at the edge of the box, far off his line and Alejandro Guerra made him pay. He lobs the ball over the keepers head – the ball hits the crossbar and drops back for a chip in. That goal was Guerra’s – Rondon just delivered the coup de grace. GIF attached.
- Uruguay couldn’t finish – they created plenty of chances. But Cavani couldn’t convert. Which brings us back to Suarez – without him, this team is lost. When he plays, Cavani and others around him also play better. He’s 29, and while he has a few more good years ahead of him, Uruguay have some soul searching to do on the flight home.
- More upsets on the way? The odds are even longer than they were for Venezuela. Argentina have Messi back – and were able to handle Chile even without him. Bolivia are at the bottom of the power rankings table – today could be a normal day.
- So where does that leave all the teams. The updated power rankings are below:
Mexico hold their position at #3, with CONMEBOL owning the top half of the table, with the US on the verge at #9.
The top 4 teams are all in different groups, so we could still see #1-#4 in the semis – but there’s a lot of soccer still left to play.