Costa Rica were looking to advance to the quarter finals for the first time ever against Greece. The game was a bit boring in the first half, but in the second half Costa Rica scored (Bryan Ruiz) to make it 1-0. Greece needed a goal and after about ten chances they scored (Sokratis Papastathopoulos) in the 91st minute! The game was still tied after extra time and it went to penalties! Costa Rica won 5-3, making it to the quarter finals for the first time ever!
Today two undefeated teams faced each other in a thrilling match; it was Mexico vs. the Netherlands. The Mexicans dominated the first half and were rewarded with a goal (Giovani Dos Santos) in the 48th minute (the beginning of the second half). They then held the lead all the way until the 88th minute when Wesley Sneijder tied the game up. After that the Dutch were determined to get a win. The ref awarded them a questionable penalty (90+4th minute) which was a great chance to win the game. Klaas Jan Huntelaar stepped up and buried it to put the Netherlands into the quarter finals!
Brazil hasn’t been playing up to their potential lately and today’s game against Chile was a bit of a wake up call. They started off well with a David Luiz goal in the 18th minute. Then in the 32nd minute, Alexis Sanchez tied the game at one. Surprisingly, there wasn’t any more goals (Hulk scored, but it was called back for a hand ball) and the game went to extra time. At the very end of extra time Chile rattled the bar, but the game was still tied; the game then went to penalties. Brazil was leading penalties 3-2 when Chile took the final one. Mauricio Pinilla needed to score. He came agonizingly close, but the post saved Brazil. Brazil will now be advancing to the quarter finals (they will play Columbia).
Columbia crushed Uruguay, who were without superstar Luis Suarez, in their first match of the knockout rounds. James Rodríguez opened the scoring in the 28th minute with an amazing volley that was off the crossbar and in (I think it was the goal of the tournament) to put, Columbia ahead. Uruguay had no answer and James Rodríguez scored again to make him the top scorer in the World Cup (5 goals)! Suarez was certainly missed and that may have had a big impact on Uruguay’s performance. Columbia will now be advancing to the quarter finals (they will play Brazil).
Here is the link to James Rodriguez’s first and second goal:
The USA made history today in their game against Germany. Even though they lost to the Germans, 1-0, with Thomas Muller scoring the only goal in the 55th minute, they made it out of the “Group of Death”. Portugal also helped, with their 2-1 win against Ghana. The group finished with Germany in first, with seven points (advancing to Round of 16). The US were right behind them with four points (also advancing). In third was Portugal, also with four points, but their lower goal differential was the tie breaker that prevented them from going through to the round of 16 ahead of the U.S.(eliminated). Our arch-rivals, Ghana, finished in last with one point (eliminated). The results demonstrate how much the United States have grown in the world’s most popular sport (soccer). Few experts gave the U.S. much of a chance of advancing from this group before the games were played.
Here is a brief recap of match day three for Group H. Belgium beat South Korea 1-0 with another late goal (75th minute). Algeria tied Russia 1-1 which put them through to the knockout stages for the first time ever! As the group finished, Belgium were in first with nine points (advancing to Round of 16) Algeria finished in second with four points (also advancing). Third place was Russia (eliminated) with two points and in last was South Korea (eliminated) with one point.
Here is a brief recap of match day three for Group F. Bosnia-Herzegovina ended Iran’s chances of advancing to the the knock out rounds, when they won their first ever World Cup match, 3-1. Sadly, Bosnia-Herzegovin had already been eliminated from the tournament. Argentina secured first place with a 3-2 win over Nigeria; Messi scored twice, of course! The group finished with Argentina in first, with nine points (advancing to the Round of 16). Nigeria finished in second with four points (also advancing). In third, Bosnia-Herzegovina with three points; so close to advancing. Iran finished in last place with zero points (eliminated).