From hero to villain as Holland’s Arjen Robben, who has enjoyed a magnificent tournament, admitted to diving in their game against Mexico which led to the winning penalty and a wonderful performance was once again overshadowed by foul play. Really sad as the plucky Mexican team looked like they were going to win the game and were playing very well when with about 10 minutes to go there was a water break due to the extreme heat. During that time the Dutch re-grouped, re-hydrated and snatched the winner via the penalty.
Maybe these water breaks are preparing us for Qatar???????
Brazil made it through on penalties and sad to see Chile go out. Not really the kind of Samba performance we were expecting and again Neymar seems to be the talisman so lets hope he stays fit. A big shout out to Queens Park Rangers keeper who is actually the Brazilian number 1 goalie Julio Cesar, claiming he had to train in the park and buy his own gloves because of ‘contractual problems’ at Loftus Road………bless!
Colombia put in a masterful performance and sent the Luis Saurez-less Uruguay team packing and we now have our first World Cup star in James (‘Hamez’ to his pals) Rodriguez.
A true wonder strike announced his entry onto the world stage and the Colombian who plays for Monaco is the new boy wonder and could take the golden boot as, backed by a sea of yellow in the stands,Colombia look like a throw back to the Brazilian teams of years gone by with their free-flowing football and joyous celebrations. So making the tie with Brazil an all South American affair and an enticing prospect.
France beat Nigeria and continue to develop and progress setting up a mouth-watering all European tie with Germany who realistically were lucky not to have lost to the most magnificent Algerian team who really gave them a hard game.
Costa Rica were involved in a magnificent game with Greece and another penalty shoot out saw an ageing Greek team sent home and many plates I’m sure were smashed!
Absolute snooze-fest was Argentina vs Switzerland and really you could’ve just watched the last 4 minutes when Angel Di Maria swept in Lionel Messi’s pass to defeat the Swiss.
The tie of the tournament so far has to be Belgium vs USA with the Americans putting up a great fight against a misfiring Belgian side. They may have lost the game but this was the performance where America fell in love with football! there were heroic performances, most notably Everton/USA keeper Tim Howard, who became a hero for his world-record 15 saves. Sadly there was no Hulk Hogan comeback and the bad guys won. But the second half of extra-time may just have changed the perception of US football forever.
The tension and the passion on display were qualities many American viewers assumed the sport lacked and the USA showed the England team how football is meant to be played!
So onto the last eight teams and the quarter finals……………………Enjoy : O )
X Steve’ Andy Murray joins the England team back on the sofa’ Sidelnyk