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FIFA 2014: Down to the last 8

FIFA 2014: Down to the last 8. 53074.jpeg
Di Maria is having a good Cup

And so the first knock-out round ends with Argentina knocking out Switzerland (who nearly equalized in the final minute) and Ottmar Hitzfeld, twice voted best world coach of the year, retires... but after guiding Switzerland to another level. In Salvador de Bahia, Belgium and the USA put on an excellent show, which Belgium won... just.

What a fantastic game of soccer between the USA and Belgium. Let there be no doubt: the USA, as I wrote two weeks ago, is finally a force in world soccer. From a wannabe troupe of thugs eight years ago, the USA transformed itself into a more balanced team in South Africa 2010 and in Brazil, presented itself as a team with the capacity to organize and reorganize, trying different tactical formations, evolving throughout the game, showing some excellent technical touches and playing as equals with national teams which have been part of the scenery in FIFA finals for decades.

The USA is no longer a laughing stock in international soccer and will garner the respect of the very best, I predict, for many years to come. In Brazil, Juergen Klinnsmann took the USA to the last 16. I predict that in 2018 in Russia, he or his successor will reach the semi-finals... unless political events overtake the sports show..

Congratulations to Klinnsmann, Vogts and company, and the US soccer team for some class soccer without the violence which marred its performances of yesteryear.


On another note, let us not underestimate the brilliant Belgium side which won the match with some splendid attacking soccer and a great team effort. Yet another fantastic game of soccer which left the fans sitting on the edge of their seats.


Argentina 1 Switzerland 0

(Full time 0-0)

(Extra time)

Di Maria 118



Romero, Zabaleta, Rojo (Basanta), Mascherano, Fernández, Garay, Lavezzi (Palacio), Gago (Biglia), Higuaín, Messi, Di María

Coach: Alejandro SABELLA

Yellow card: Rojo, Garay, Di Maria



Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Rodriguez, Behrami, Schär, Djourou, Xhaka (Fernandes), Inler, Drmic (Seferovic), Shaqiri, Mehmedi (Dzemaili)

Coach: Ottmar HITZFELD

Yellow card: Xhaka, Fernandes


Ball possession: Argentina 64% Switzerland 36%

Shots/on target: Argentina 29/8 Switzerland 15/4

Corners: Argentina 13 Switzerland 5

Fouls committed: Argentina 18 Switzerland 29



Belgium 2 USA 1

(Full time 0-0)

Extra time

De Bruyne 93   Green 107

Lukaku 105



Courtois, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Witsel, van Buyten, Kompany, Mertens (Mirallas), Fellaini, Origi (Lukaku), De Bruyne, Hazard (Chadli)

Coach: Marc WILMOTS

Yellow card: Kompany



Howard, Johnson (Yedlin), Beasley, Cameron, González, Besler, Zusi (Wondolowski), Jones, Dempsey, Bradley, Bedoya (Green)

Coach: Juergen KLINNSMANN

Yellow card: Cameron


Ball possession: Belgium 46% USA 54%

Shots/on target: Belgium 39/17 USA 17/5

Corners: Belgium 19 USA 4

Fouls committed: Belgium 27 USA 11




FIFA 2014: Brave African teams out


Nigeria fought hard against France but Benzema made the difference and the Eagles go home...together with Algeria which put on an excellent display of football against Germany. A truly amazing game of soccer for 120 minutes, a memorable day in the annals of the World Cup. Algeria, especially, will be remembered as a sensational team in FIFA 2014.



Germany 2 Algeria 1 (After 90 minutes 0-0)

Extra time: Djabou 120

Schürrle 92

Özil 119



Neuer, Mustafi (Khedira), Höwedes, Lahm, Mertesacker, Boateng, Schweinsteiger (Kramer), Kroos, Müller, Özil, Götze (Schürrle)

Coach: Joachim LOEW

Yellow card: Lahm



M'Bolhi, Mandi, Ghoulam, Lacen, Belkalem, Halliche (Bougherra), Feghouli, Mostefa, Slimani, Taïder (Brahimi), Soudani (Djabou)


Yellow card: Halliche


Ball possession: Germany 67% Algeria 33%

Shots/on target: Germany 28/14 Algeria 10/4

Corners: Germany 10 Algeria 4

Fouls committed: Germany 10 Algeria 20



France 2 Nigeria 0

Pogba 79

Yobo (o.g.) 90




Lloris, Debuchy, Evra, Cabaye, Varane, Koscielny, Pogba, Matuidi, Giroud (Griezmann), Valbuena (Sissoko), Benzema

Coach: Didier DESCHAMPS

Yellow card: Matuidi




Enyeama, Ambrose Emuobo, Oshaniwa, Mikel, Yobo, Omeruo, Odemwingie, Onazi Gabriel), Emenike, Moses (Nwofor), Musa

Coach: Stephen KESHI

Yellow card: -



Ball possession: France 53% Nigeria 47%

Shots/on target: France 13/5 Nigeria 9/2

Corners: France 12 Nigeria 9

Fouls committed: France 12 Nigeria 15


Knock-out phase: Costa Rica and Netherlands


Greece had never reached this stage of a World Cup and deserved to pass through, but it was not to be their day or that of their Portuguese coach, Fernando Santos. Costa Rica faces the Netherlands in the quarter-finals.


Netherlands 2 Mexico 1

                        Dos Santos 48

Sneijder 88

Huntelaar (pen) 90


The first half belonged to Mexico, and so did the second, until just after the goal, when Robben started spurring the Netherlands forward. Mexico dropped their arms, and allowed themselves to be overtaken in midfield. Despite the excellent intervention by Ochoa, the Netherlands proved too strong at the end of the game. The late rally knocks Mexico out. Netherlands face...



Cillessen, Verhaegh (Depay), Kuyt, Blind, Vlaar, de Vrij, de Jong (Martins Indi), Wijnaldum, Sneijder, van Persie (Huntelaar), Robben

Coach: Louis VAN GAAL

Yellow card:



Ochoa, Aguilar, Layún, Moreno (Reyes), Márquez, Rodríguez, Herrera, Salcido, dos Santos (Aquino), Peralta (Hernández), Guardado

Coach: Miguel HERRERA

Yellow card: Aguilar, Márquez, Guardado


Ball possession: Netherlands 56% Mexico 44%

Shots/on target: Netherlands 13/4 Mexico 10/5

Corners: Netherlands 10 Mexico 2

Fouls committed: Netherlands 8 Mexico 12



Costa Rica 1 Greece 1

Ruiz 52         Papastathopoulos 90

90 minutes 1-1

Extra time: 1-1

Penalties: Costa Rica wins 5-3


Greece dominated the game, although Costa Rica put up a spirited performance. The goal from Sokratis Papastathopoulos right at the end of normal time was just desserts for a well-organised Greece, very well managed by the Portuguese coach Fernando Santos. Penalties... Costa Rica passes through to face the Netherlands.


Costa Rica

Navas, Gamboa (Acosta), Díaz Campbell, Umaña,  Gonzalez, Duarte, Ruiz, Tejeda Valverde (Cubero), Campbell, Borges, Bolaños (Brenes)

Coach: Jorge Luís PINTO

Yellow cards: Navas, Duarte (2), Ruiz, Tejeda Valverde

Red card: Duarte



Karnezis, Torosidis, Holebas, Samaris (Mitroglou), Manolas, Papastathopoulos, Salpingidis (Gekas), Maniatis (Katsouranis), Samaras,  Karagounis,  Christodoulopoulos

Coach: Fernando SANTOS

Yellow card: Samaris, Manolas


Ball possession: Costa Rica 40% Greece 60%

Shots/on target: Costa Rica 7/1 Greece 23/8

Corners: Costa Rica 3 Greece 11

Fouls committed: Costa Rica 22 Greece 16



Scolari factor: Brazil classified


Luiz Felipe Scolari is one of the rarest soccer coaches on the planet: he dresses in sportswear instead of stupid suits and ties which have as much to do with soccer coaches as... never mind. Colombia also passes through, to face...Brazil.



Brazil 1 Chile 1

Jára 19  Sánchez 32

Extra time: No goals


Brasil wins 3-2


Hulk had a perfectly valid goal considered invalid by the English referee Howard Webb, who confused his arm with his chest, with which Hulk had controlled the ball, and the  referee disallowed the ensuing goal.



Julio César, Dani Alves, Marcelo, Luiz Gustavo, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Hulk, Fernandinho (Ramires), Fred (Jô), Oscar (Willian), Neymar

Coach: Luiz Felipe SCOLARI

Yellow card: Luiz Gustavo, Hulk, Dani Alves, Jô



Bravo, Isla, Mena, Jara, Medel, Silva, Aránguiz, Díaz, Vidal (Pinilla), Sánchez, Vargas (Gutierrez)

Coach: Jorge SAMPAOLI

Yellow card: Mena, Silva, Pinilla



Ball possession: Brazil 48% Chile 52%

Shots/on target: Brazil 23/6 Chile 13/2

Corners: Brazil 9 Chile 5

Fouls committed: Brazil 28 Chile 23



Colombia 2 Uruguay 0

James 28 50



Ospina, Zuñiga, Armero, Aguilar, Zapata, Yepes, Cuadrado (Guarín), Sánchez, Martínez, Gutiérrez (Mejía), Rodríguez (Ramos)

Coach: José PEKERMAN

Yellow card: Armero



Muslera, Maxi Pereira, Pereira (Ramírez), Cáceres, Godín, Giménez, González (Hernández), Arévalo Rios, Forlán (Stuani), Cavani, Rodríguez



Coach: Oscar Washington TABAREZ

Yellow card: Giménez




Ball possession: Colombia 51% Uruguay 49%

Shots/on target: Colombia 9/4 Uruguay 16/4

Corners: Colombia 3 Uruguay 5

Fouls committed: Colombia 19 Uruguay 17



Knock-out stage (Last 16)


Brazil 1 Chile 1 (3:2 pen)

Colombia 2 Uruguay 0


Goal scorers


Brazil: Jara

Chile: Sánchez

Colombia: James Rodríguez (2)
Uruguay: -

Netherlands: Sneijder, Huntelaar

Mexico: dos Santos

Costa Rica: Ruiz

Greece: Papastathopoulos

France: Pogba, Yobo (Nigeria: own goal)

Algeria: Djabou

Germany: Schürrle, Özil

Belgium: De Bruyne, Lukaku

USA: Green



Quarter-finals (Last 8)


Friday July 4

France v. Germany

Brazil v. Colombia


Saturday July 5

Netherlands v. Costa Rica

Argentina v. Belgium



France v. Nigeria

Switzerland v.Argentina

Belgium v. USA

Germany v. Algeria


Latin America: 7

North America: 1

Europe: 6

Africa: 2


Group Phase








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