And here is the 2nd team:
Tim Howard - USA
He didn't make any mistakes and had many good saves in a game where his team was under a lot of pressure. Just not quite as difficult ones, or as many I don't think, as Enyema in the Nigeria goal.
Another candidate was Swiss keeper Benaglio but overall I thought the other two prevented more clear chances.
Siaka Tiene - Ivory Coast
Had trouble finding suitable candidates for this position but he edges out Portugal left-back Coentrao cause he offered more forward in that game, as well as take care of his defensive duties, including, at least some of the time (he was drifting around) dealing with C. Ronaldo. Which he did very well.
For Argentina and in general it's always a good thing when Gabriel Heinze doesn't have an erratic game. He was solid defensively but I have to think about how I should rate good Argentina fullback performances when they rarely go past the halfway line. But at least, unlike compatriot Gutierrez on the other side, he is taking of business defensively.
Maybe Bastos the versatile out of position Brazilian could also have been a candidate but I just can't give out too much praise for having a good game against North Korea.
Bruno Alves - Portugal
Another centreback from a team who lost the midfield battle but then handled the ensuing pressure from the opponents (Ivory Coast) very well preventing many chances.
Carvalho his partner also did well but in this particular game Alves work in the air handling the very strong Ivory Coast players was extra impressive I thought.
Kolo Toure - Ivory Coast
Very close here between several players. Mensah, Godin, Lugano, Carvalho, Chiellini and even Cannavaro and Terry (and probably many more including various Koreans!) were people I think you could make a case for, but Toure had one of those very commanding games where he completely dominated Portugal striker Liedson.
He also looked very good starting attacks with runs or passes and generally showed good leadership.
Steven Cherundolo - USA
Edges out Duri from South Korea and Isla from Chile, because he faced and beat tougher opponents than they did.
Maybe his direct opponent Milner was sick and not at his best but forcing him out of a game like that is still something you rarely see and an achievement in itself almost.
Then later he dealt with whatever else was thrown at him from the England bench and all in all made an important contribution earning a point against a very good opponent.
Gelson Fernandes - Switzerland
Tough to say who really did the best all important job on the Swiss defensive midfield.
You can't really put a finger on either of Gokhan Inler or Huggel, but I did notice Fernandes defending both wing and central at times while looking comfortable.
He also covered possibly more ground than anyone else so far in the tournament at 12244 meters (someone should check). And he even scored the goal.
Over the years I haven't seen him consistently but whenever I have he has always looked very promising. Didn't make it at Manchester City though.
Yaya Toure - Ivory Coast
Quite simply the major contributor in winning the midfield battle against a Portugal team normally responsible for creating many chances through their passing and pace. That just didn't happen against the Ivory Coast and the pressure Toure put on both ways, defending and going forward, was very important.
Anthony Annan - Ghana
He did the holding midfielder anchor role close to perfection against Serbia. Supported the defenders, the midfielders and passed the ball around very well.
If this just happens to be something he does often then I don't think he'll be at Rosenborg for very long, since it's something a lot of clubs seems to be looking for.
Thomas Müller - Germany
Has definitely become one of my favorite players this season and is superb without the ball which we saw again this round.
Great work-rate and movement, he helps defend and he attacks. Has pace and strength. Anything good he does with the ball is just a great bonus and against Australia he did plenty.
Müller's piercing runs and Özil's passing finding him could terrorize defenses this world cup.
Giovani Dos Santos - Mexico
Has been a positive surprise the recent games where I've seen him (including some of Mexico's many friendlies that hopefully won't end up costing them) and it is obvious that he feels much more at home playing for Mexico than what we've mostly seen in European club football.
He continued his good form in the opener against South Africa and with his pace and skill created many dangerous situations for himself and others.
Robinho - Brazil
Lineup for this 2nd team doesn't really make much sense, which isn't a priority either, and I have a hard time finding good candidates for the last couple of forward spots and maybe I should have added another midfielder instead.
Diego Forlan was also good in his opener against France but will be a much stronger candidate next time around. Gervinho from Ivory Coast perhaps another decent candidate.
Robinho I think could easily become one of the stars of the tournament being a key player in Brazil's attacking game. Against North Korea with excellent skills he was one of the few Brazilian positives creating for himself and others.
Kim Jong-Hun - North Korea
Edges out Rajevac, Bradley, Eriksson and Bielsa (just for being Bielsa) who all did very good things with their teams.
But most credit of all goes to Kim Jong Hun (whatever the method..) for installing exemplary teamwork into his players. Hard work, correct movement in attack and defense. And all the right passes too! Especially in transition.
Without those ingredients this team wouldn't be able to do much at all. Instead they just gave mighty Brazil a pretty close match. Well done.