World Cup Last 16 Report

Uruguay vs South Korea: Felt a bit sorry for the Koreans, but they defended sloppily for the first Suarez goal. They did well to get back level, but ultimately the Uruguayans’ quality shone through to take their place in the Quarter-finals. Will they fancy their chances against the only African hope left?

USA vs Ghana: The Black Stars took an early lead and then fell into the dangerous trap of  feeling comfortable. The Americans equalised and looked more likely to win in my opinion. They couldn’t make the breakthrough and once Ghana retook the lead in extra time, USA looked tired and short on ideas. Ghana now face the equally unfancied Uruguayans for an unprecedented Semi-final place.

Germany vs England: Ah yes, ‘ the goal that never was’. We should not kid ourselves that this was a key turning point – the fact is, England were out-played, out-fought, out-thought, and out-ran. Poor performances throughout the side, baffling substitutions combined with ruthless German efficiency and abysmal refereeing decision to show up the so-called ‘Golden Generation’. It’s probably just as well England lost, had they faced Argentina, heaven only knows how bad it would have been!

Argentina vs Mexico: Apart from another horrific refereeing decision, a great game unfolded between two Latin American giants. Where Tevez scored one controversial goal, he matched it with a superb one. Diego’s men through now to a repeat of the Quarter-Final from 2006 which went to the Germans on penalties and included a good ol’ fashioned melee!! More of the same?

Netherlands vs Slovakia: The Dutch through thanks once more to steely determination and functionality more than free-flowing football. Robben returned with a goal, and the more he plays, the better he’ll be. Slovakia weren’t completely out of their depth, but never really caused any problems. The Dutch will clearly have to step up for their Quarter-final meeting with the Brazilians.

Brazil vs Chile: As expected, the Brazilians had too much for Chile. Although they showed endeavour and determination, they couldn’t reproduce their form from the group stage and were eventually pulled apart by the skills and movement of the Brazilians. I’m looking forward to the Brazil / Netherlands Quarter-final!!

Paraguay vs Japan: Both teams were wary of losing this game. The Japanese had some great chances, as did the South Americans, but the deadlock remained unbroken for the whole 120 minutes to signal the first penalty shoot out of this World Cup. Eight well taken penalties later, it was a missed Japanese spot-kick that proved telling. Disappointing for me on a personal level, but just further evidence of the South American dominance in this tournament. However, I don’t envy their next challenge!!

Spain vs Portugal: Thank God Spain won!! Portugal seemed intent to get men behind the ball and wait for penalties. Torres was off the pace yet again, and his replacement, Llorente, had plenty of chances. Bet Torres was cursing his luck! The goal, when it came, was well crafted as usual. A lesson to be learned for the English?? Now they have perhaps the kind of Quarter-final that most other teams would be envious of.

Now, we have 2 days without football… What the hell are we all going to do??!!!! Apart from watch Andy Murray get knocked out of Wimbledon that is…

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