When the odds as stacked in favour of football giants, it's easy to forget how unpredictable football matches can be. Competitors learned this lesson the hard way in Matchday 7 of the McDonald's FIFA World Cup™ Predictor, as favourites fell hard and fast in some interesting 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers.
France, Mexico and Spain were the only favourites to honour the odds placed on them and win their respective matches. Everywhere else in the world, games played out with some stunning results.
In Asia, favourites Iran crumbled at home to Saudi Arabia. The result earned Saudi backers a huge 84 points, and caused such a stir in Iran that coach Ali Daei was given the boot. Another big surprise transpired in Africa, where Togo beat Cameroon 1-0 to earn their backers 89 points. South America Group leaders Paraguay were stunned 2-0 by Uruguay, a welcome 67-point surprise for underdog backers.
Portugal's draw with Sweden returned 77 points, while Brazil's 1-1 stalemate in Ecuador was worth 82. The biggest shock draw was in Egypt, though, where Zambia shared two goals with their hosts.
Top predictors this matchday
LarsLehmann won the day with 665 points and second-placed homerofox finished 82 points behind the leader. The remaining top five places were dominated by Germans: nostREDamus, cruzeiroBH and kammer all finished tightly packed together.
jonasindk is the new number one followed by Canadian yoichibk. Honourable mentions go to xpert0 (25th to fourth), ilirqorri (19th to fifth), Juggernaut (18th to sixth) and Josedust8a (15th to seventh). Previous leader ronyma dropped to third place, bichon fell from third to ninth and Supercoach from fifth to tenth.
The big question now is, with Matchday 8 only days away, will the new positions hold or are many more surprises in store for the challengers at the top? The deadline for Matchday 8 is 00:00 GMT 01 April 2009. Make your predictions now!