- Australia survives England battle to make it to the final
- South Korea overcomes Argentina easily for semi-final victory
- AsiaPac's growing presence on global stage reflected in final make-up
It was touch and go, but both Australia and South Korea came through tough knock-out stages to make it to the final on Sunday.
Australia's big battle with old enemy England in the semi finals ultimately came down to the vacillations of the forex market and, from the English perspective, the untimely arrival of weak manufacturing production numbers on the day of the match-up to cut the legs from underneath sterling.
Australia too benefited from the gradual receding effects of the Reserve Bank of Australia's jawboning on interest rates in the days leading up to the match to pull off a victory that will have surprised many given the UK's vibrant economic recovery of the last 12 months.
South Korea's personal catharsis came in its quarter final against Algeria, who so nearly pulled off one of the shocks of the knock-out phases after inflation, perhaps one of the few metrics on which the African minnow could hope to match the north Asia powerhouse, came out of the hat. The 1.7 percent rate for both countries meant this one went to extra time (the only knock-out phase match to do so) where a deciding metric - GDP per capita - tilted the balance South Korea's way.
So who will win On Sunday? That all depends on the luck of the draw of course although we will be using three metrics to determine the outcome.
One thing is for sure though. More fancied economies - global powerhouse US, European-engine-room Germany, recovering England, commodities-led Brazil and an Abenomics-inspired Japan - fell by the wayside. Germany, which competes against Argentina on Sunday in the real World Cup, did not even make it through the group phase.
So, and let's never forget the huge slice of luck involved in Saxo's World Cup, are we witnessing a global sea change in the economic geopolitical centres? One World Cup might be too soon to draw that conclusion. But, if AsiaPac does just as well in Russia in 2018, then we might definitely be on the way to a trend here!
Who'll win the Saxo World Cup on Sunday? Can commodities-led Australia overcome one of North Asia's most vibrant economies? Will South Korea be able to pull off a won-led victory? Have your say below!