FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - Yes, it’s a bummer a U.S. is out of a World Cup, generally given a prolonged holiday weekend meant we could watch games guilt-free.
You’re already hooked, however, so we might as good keep watching. Especially given a biggest games are still to come. The quarterfinals are Friday and Saturday, and here’s what we need to know about a 8 teams that still have a shot to win a World Cup.
The horde began a contest as a complicated favorite. It has an All-Star register headlined by Neymar, who is usually good adequate to be estimable of Brazil’s dedicated No. 10. The Selecao won a Confederations Cup final summer, and hasn’t mislaid a diversion on home dirt in roughly 40 years.
And oh yeah, it’s Brazil, a record five-time champion. It’s ALWAYS approaching to win a World Cup.
Neymar has been spectacular, and his 4 goals tie for second-most in a tournament. But Brazil has looked shaky, being hold to a scoreless pull by Mexico in a organisation theatre and wanting chastisement kicks to get by Chile.
Unless you’re from Colombia or have kin who are, don’t even try and explain we saw this coming. You didn’t. Nobody did. Who would have when Radamel Falcao, Colombia’s tip scorer, was ruled out given of a ruptured ACL?
But instead of weakening a team, injuries infrequently concede other players to gleam and that’s been a box with a Cafeteros. There simply aren’t adequate adjectives to report how good James (pronounced HAH-mays, please) Rodriguez has been. He’s a stream front-runner for a Golden Boot with 5 goals, and his ability to emanate plays and approach Colombia’s offense is mesmerizing.
And a unequivocally best thing about all a goals Rodriguez has scored or set up? They prompt a Colombian dance party.
Like Colombia, France wasn’t given most of a possibility though Franck Ribery. But Mathieu Valbuena has been a some-more than adequate replacement, and Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba continue to make large contributions.
The French have been surprisingly liquid and open, with all 8 of a goals they scored entrance from a run of open play. (They also got dual possess goals).
But a French haven’t unequivocally been tested yet, either. No offense, Nigeria.
Germany lived adult to a pre-tournament hype when it routed Portugal 4-0 in a opener. Since then, however, it’s been a muted mess. With Thomas Mueller, Mesut Oezil, Miroslav Klose, Toni Kroos and Andre Schuerrle, Germany should be scoring goals aplenty. Instead, everybody is struggling to finish — Mueller included. He’s got 4 goals, though usually one given that initial game.
As for a behind line, what’s that about if we can’t contend something nice?
Continuing a thesis of a pre-tournament favorites, Argentina hasn’t accurately been strenuous so far, either. Even Lionel Messi certified Argentina’s husky win over Switzerland in a turn of 16 was “lucky.”
But when we have Messi, we fundamentally only need a other 10 guys to uncover up.
The hit on a initial four-time Ballon D’Or winner, given to a world’s best player, has always been that he doesn’t play for Argentina like he does for Barcelona. Not in this World Cup. Messi has scored 4 of Argentina’s 6 goals (it also got an possess goal) and assisted on another, with one of a goals and a support entrance in a failing mins of a game.
Belgium has no necessity of players who can score, though has struggled to finish. Granted, Tim Howard played out of his mind in a turn of 16 diversion — 16 saves. 16! — though with a register that looks like an English Premier League All-Star squad, somebody should have gotten a idea before a 93rd minute.
Then again, maybe a Red Devils don’t need to score. Their invulnerability has been superb, and Thibaut Courtois has been one of a best goalkeepers in a tournament. After giving adult a idea on a chastisement flog in a opener, Belgium hold a opponents scoreless for some-more than 350 mins before Julian Green scored in a 107th notation Tuesday night.
Which Netherlands organisation will uncover adult when it faces Costa Rica in a quarterfinals Saturday? The one that walloped Spain in a opener? Or a one that indispensable additional time and some decoration by Arjen Robben to kick Mexico in additional time?
Costa Rica warranted each bit of a initial quarterfinal appearance. The Ticos went dominant to win what was arguably a toughest organisation — England, Italy AND Uruguay — and afterwards forced penalties in a turn of 16 compare opposite Greece notwithstanding personification a male down for 60 minutes.