With Brazil and Czech Republic first and second respectively, it might be said that Group E adhered to the expected script. However, as FIFA.com reflects, a series of surprises and some final day drama ensured that it wasn't quite as simple as that.
The final standings
1. Brazil, 7 points,
2. Czech Republic, 7 points
3. Costa Rica, 3 points
4. Australia, 0 points
Hungary-Czech Republic, Alexandria, Tuesday 6 October, 20:00 (local time)
Egypt-Costa Rica, Cairo, Tuesday 6 October, 20:00 (local time)
Brazil-Uruguay, Port Said, Wednesday 7 October, 16:30 (local time)
The tale of the teams
Brazil: A Seleção were Group E's big draw and, in two out of their three games, they rewarded eager local fans with performances packed full of skill, flair and spectacular goals. The ease with which Czech Republic stifled them in a lifeless 0-0 draw proved that they are not irresistible, but the array of talent at Brazil's disposal ensures they will still take quite some stopping in the latter stages.
Czech Republic: The 2007 finalists rarely dazzled but came within a couple of goals of pipping Brazil to pole thanks to a tactically impressive, unbeaten group campaign. Strength, organisation and adaptability proved to be the key characteristics of a team who were just as successful defending in depth against the Brazilians as they were going on the offensive against Australia and Costa Rica. It's also worth noting that the Czechs have qualified with a better points tally than they had accrued at this stage of Canada 2007.
Costa Rica: Scintillating at times, slack and naive at others, Los Ticos were anything but predictable. If they can reproduce the form they showed in their 3-0 win over Australia, Ronald Gonzalez's side could well provide the hosts with an extremely uncomfortable evening in the last 16. If, on the other hand, the defensive frailties that cost them eight goals against Brazil and the Czechs resurface, the Costa Ricans are unlikely to still be with us for the quarter-finals.
Australia: This was a tournament to forget for the Young Socceroos. Outmuscled by the Czechs and outclassed by Costa Rica, Jan Versleijen's side briefly threatened an upset against Brazil but again fell short. The main plus point was the blooding of several teenagers who will still be eligible for the 2011 U-20 finals.
Moments to savour
A dog-gone celebrity: Group E had a plethora of outstanding performers. Ironically though, Port Said's most memorable star was not the classy Giuliano nor the rock-solid Ondrej Mazuch, but a dog who provided the crowd with some unusual half-time entertainment. This cheeky pitch-invader was so unperturbed by the fans' cheers and songs in his honour that he even took a nap in the 18-yard box, before weaving his way between a host of pursuing volunteers.
Spectacular strikes: Their penchant for the spectacular is legendary and, even at this early stage, Brazil could have a goal of the tournament competition all of their own. From Boquita's stunning 30-yard thunderbolt in the opening game to Paulo Henrique's sumptuous curled clincher in their third, A Seleção more than lived up to their flamboyant reputation.
Final day drama: There was excitement and uncertainty 'til the end in this particular section. Indeed, in a remarkable 17-minute period at the start of the second half, top spot changed hands now fewer than three times as first Czech Republic, then Costa Rica and ultimately Brazil all seized contol of the summit.
The numbers game
2 - The entire group stage at Egypt 2009 witnessed just three teams come from behind to win, and two of these comebacks came in the final day of Group E action. Brazil bounced back from a goal down to beat Australia 3-1, while Czech Republic turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 advantage against Costa Rica.
The closing remarks
"Although we would have hoped to perform better, I must say that I think this has been a very strong group and a very positive tournament overall. Looking at the bigger picture, the main positive aspect I take from the competition is that every team has tried to play football and score goals; no-one just came to defend. This a very positive development for football as a whole," Jan Versleijen, Australia coach.