Best of Day 13
Last Updated: June 23, 2010 11:24pm
Defoe & Milner: Big decisions to come into the team
Shin of the Day: Well done Jermain Defoe. It didn't matter how he scored against Slovenia, just that the ball nestled in the back of net as England reached the last 16 with a 1-0 win in Port Elizabeth.
Defoe got his shin on the end of James Milner's excellent cross to volley home from close range and spark joyous scenes across the country - boy did we need that win and the performance that went with it. Just the small matter of Germany next.
Decisions of the Day: Fabio Capello may not have made the changes that some of us wanted to see but you have to give credit to the Italian for turning to James Milner and Jermain Defoe, who combined for the goal that saw us see off Slovenia.
Capello also included Matthew Upson for the suspended Jamie Carragher, thus restoring the solid central-defensive pairing of Upson and John Terry, who served England so well in the qualifiers. Both made brilliant saving challenges to prevent what could have been an equaliser for Slovenia and must be the partnership to take to the field for the remainder of the tournament. Top marks for Fabio today.
Goal of the Day: There were a few decent goals flying around on Wednesday but I reckon Mesut Ozil's strike for Germany in their 1-0 win over Ghana scoops the prize. The talented playmaker picked the ball up in space 25 yards from goal and as the ball rose off the turf he volleyed a brilliant effort beyond Richard Kingson. England beware!
Celebration of the Day: The USA were minutes away from crashing out of the World Cup when Landon Donovan grabbed their winner against Algeria, sparking wild scenes of celebration in Pretoria.
The matchwinning strike also ensured the US finished top of their group and handed them a clash with Ghana in the last 16. Will they be thinking of the quarter-finals already?
Final Thoughts: It was nervy and not always pleasing on the eye but who cares because England are in the last 16 and anything can happen from here. Okay so it's Germany next but bar one or two decent players I honestly think we are the better side, and if we can step it up another notch then there is a possible quarter-final with Argentina beckoning.
Congratulations must also go the USA and Ghana for reaching the knockout stages, at least we will have one team representing Africa at the next stage.