​World Cup: Final World Cup power rankings after group play

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By ALEC KLEYER
XN Sports

Guaranteed there are few people in the world who predicted Costa Rica to win their group; a group consisting of Italy, Uruguay and England. Costa Rica defied tremendous odds with a win against Italy and Uruguay. They finished off an unbeaten run with a tie against England in their last game of the group stages.

Now Costa Rica heads into the round of 16 against a below average Greece side that can easily be beaten.

Defending champions Spain finally bagged a few goals and ended the tournament on a better note. They played youngsters and fresh faces in their final game and showed off their bright future. But, how bright will it be?

Guess what else happened. Yep, Suarez got hungry. This is not the first, not the second, but the third cannibalistic act of the Uruguayan. Uruguay will surely miss him when they face Colombia in the round of 16.

The updated power rankings include Suarez's absence.

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Final World Cup Power Rankings
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​World Cup: Final World Cup power rankings after group play

1. Germany (3)

The Germans finished off an unbeaten run with a 1-0 win against USA hopefuls Thursday afternoon. Both teams advance to the round of 16 with Germany winning the “Group of Death.” The German offense is dangerous with seven goals scored and their defense, led by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, remains solid with only two goals conceded.

Shots on goal per total shot: 65%

Average Possession: 58.7%

(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

2. France (1)

France has a dangerous offense with eight goals scored, but Ecuador showed that they are not impossible to stop. They also boast a solid defense with only two goals conceded. The French are vulnerable in size and will show their weaknesses if pushed around enough.

Shots on goal per total shot: 63%

Possession: 55.3%

(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

3. Netherlands (2)

Like France and Germany, the Dutch boast a very dangerous offense. They have scored the most goals out of any team in the tournament so far with 10 goals. They have remained decent at the back with only three goals conceded. They stunned the world with a 5-1 thrashing of Spain and then finished off the perfect start with a 2-0 win against Chile to seal the group. They are defying expectations with their fairly old lineup.

Shots on goal per total shot: 80%

Possession: 43.7%

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

4. Brazil (9)

Brazil has bounced back offensively with a 4-1 win over Cameroon. Neymar rediscovered his scoring touch and Brazil looks like decent favorites to make a deep run in the cup. Brazil scored seven and only conceded two. A good goal differential heading into the round of 16.

Shots on goal per total shot: 74%

Possession: 55%

(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

5. Colombia (6)

Even without their top scorer in Falcao, Colombia still managed to pull off nine goals in three matches. They’re goal scoring form is tremendous and Uruguay’s poor defense will face their wrath in the round of 16 matchup. Colombia also has a great defense and have only let in two goals so far.

Shots on goal per total shot: 69%

Possession: 43.7%

(Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images)

6. Chile (4)

Alexis Sanchez is lighting up the storm with his wonderful form. Chile looks like a decent contender but face a tough opponent in the first round of knockout stage against Brazil. This matchup will surely be an interesting one, and possibly high scoring.

Shots on goal per total shot: 56%

Possession: 56.7%

(GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

7. Belgium ( – )

Belgium needs to pick up their goal scoring if they want to make a deep run in this tournament. They have only scored four in three games but their defense led them to a sweep of their group. With only one goal conceded, Belgium boasts one of the strongest back lines in the tournament.

Shots on goal per total shot: 65%

Possession: 55.7%

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

8. Argentina ( – )

Argentina is quite similar to Belgium except their defense is nowhere as good and they score slightly more. However, both teams seem to be playing in first gear at the moment. Argentina face a fast paced Switzerland side in their first match of the round of 16 and need to wake up or else they can be outrun by the Swiss. Messi has been doing well lately and needs to keep his form going if Argentina has any shot at the cup

Shots on goal per total shot: 56%

Possession: 60.7%

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

9. Costa Rica (5)

The biggest surprise of the tournament. Very few probably predicted that Costa Rica could make it out of this group alive; and possibly no one predicted they would not lose a single game in the group.

Shots on goal per total shot: 50%

Possession: 45%

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

10. Mexico (11)

The Mexican defense is one of the most solid lines in the entire tournament. They have only given up one goal — with the help of tremendous play from goalkeeper Ochoa. Mexico faces a tough offensive opponent in Netherlands and that matchup will truly test the defense of El Tri.

Shots on goal per total shot: 44%

Possession: 50%

(AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

11. Uruguay (12)

No Luis Suarez, no goals. Uruguay has scored a total of four goals this tournament and two of them belong to national hero Suarez. With the ban for biting Italian defender Chiellini, Uruguay is left to reminisce how poorly they played without him against Costa Rica. Colombia will embarrass this weak Uruguayan side in all likelihood.

Shots on goal per total shot: 61%

Possession: 45.7%

(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

12. USA (13)

They believe that they can win. However, they didn’t against Germany. Despite the loss, the two teams both made it into the round of 16 with Germany winning the group. USA needs to find some goals out of Dempsey and a striker off the bench. The loss of Jozy Altidore will surely play a huge role in minimal goal production.

Shots on goal per total shot: 67%

Possession: 41.7%

(AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

13. Switzerland (20)

The Swiss have a tremendous midfield pair in Shaqiri and Xhaka. They have experience playing for their national team and also playing in Europe. The two are very dangerous together but perform poorly when one of them are off. Switzerland is a counter attacking team and could catch Argentina sleeping.

Shots on goal per total shot: 65%

Possession: 50.7%

(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

14. Italy (10)

The Italians were eliminated from the World Cup with a loss to Uruguay on Tuesday. Italy was predicted by many to win the World Cup, or at least make the round of 16. Unfortuanetly for their fans, the nation was placed in a tough group which saw two great nations get prematurely eliminated.

Shots on goal per total shot: 52%

Possession: 55%

(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

15. Portugal (17)

The Selecao picked things up at the end with their 2-to-1 win over Ghana. However, their goal differential was far worse than that of the USA’s and therefore they were eliminated. Portugal was a great team that happened to be dealing with many injuries. Fabio Coentrao, Hugo Almeida, and even Cristian Ronaldo were all dealing with something major.

Shots on goal per total shot: 52%

Possession: 50.7%

(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

16. England (18)

The Three Lions would’ve made it to the round of 16 if they were perhaps in the same situation as Argentina or Belgium. England let down a quite hopeful fanbase that was very optimistic about going far in the tournament. England is getting too used to saying “Maybe next World Cup”

Shots on goal per total shot: 49%

Possession: 54.3%

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

17. Spain (19)

Spain’s fall from grace was not predictable but should honestly be overlooked. Spain put in some fresh faces in their last game against Australia and they played really well. Spain has a bright future and so does England. They will both bounce back in 2018.

Shots on goal per total shot: 66%

Possession: 56%

(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

18. Croatia (14)

Croatia can score; Croatia can also get scored on. They started off well despite a loss to Brazil, but lost it once they went down to Mexico. Offensively they were somewhat dangerous with Olic’s crosses and Mandzukic’s headers. Their defense needs some work.

Shots on goal per total shot: 56%

Possession: 49.3%

(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

19. Ivory Coast (16)

SOGPTS: 64%

Possession: 55.7%

(Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

20. Ghana (15)

SOGPTS: 41%

Possession: 49%

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

21. Ecuador (21)

SOGPTS: 62%

Possession: 45$

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

22. Nigeria (23)

SOGPTS: 62%

Possession: 50.7%

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

23. Algeria (25)

SOGPTS: 58%

Possession: 42.7%

(AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

24. Russia (22)

SOGPTS: 59%

Possession: 49.3%

(Photo by Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

25. Greece (27)

SOGPTS: 50%

Possession: 44%

(Photo by Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

26. Bosnia & Herzegovina ( – )

SOGPTS: 62%

Possession: 54.7%

(Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

27. Japan (24)

SOGPTS: 62%

Possession: 55.7%

(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

28. Korea (30)

SOGPTS: 65%

Possession: 52.3%

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

29. Iran (28)

SOGPTS: 55%

Possession: 34%

(Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)

30. Australia (29)

SOGPTS: 52%

Possession: 43.7%

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

31. Honduras ( – )

SOGPTS: 52%

Possession: 49%

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

32. Cameroon ( – )

SOGPTS: 43%

Possession: 45.7%

(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
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