Throughout the World Cup, we at 32 Flags will be giving you a complete recap of the action at the end of the day in our World Cup Roundup. Not only will we run down the biggest winners and losers, but the highlights and most talked about moments of each day and a look ahead to tomorrow.
1) Biggest Winner – Brazil
With the weight of their country squarely on their shoulders Neymar and Julio Cesar saved Brazil’s blushes. Going out in the Round of 16 would have been disastrous for the hosts but they managed to hold on and beat Chile in a penalty shootout. Cesar saved two Chile penalties and also had the help of the post keeping out Gonzalo Jara’s shot to give Brazil the win. Neymar scored the winner as he coolly stepped up (and sideways, and slowly) and slotted his penalty past Claudio Bravo to set up a match with Colombia in the quarterfinals.
2) Biggest Loser – Jo
Brazil won the match but boy was Jo awful. After coming in to the match in the second half the striker missed a sitter and had many other bad traps and wayward passes. If the hosts want to win it all they are going to have to get some production from one of their strikers.
3) Standout Performer – James Rodriguez (Colombia)
Rodriguez has arguably been the standout performer of the tournament so far. He is must watch. His goals today showed what a talent he is. His first was a strike players dream of while his second was a great run and a simple finish. Rodriguez played with Monaco last season and while the French club is am0ng the richest in the world, there still could be a bidding war from a number of clubs once the World Cup ends.
4) Best Tweet
5) Biggest Surprise – Uruguay Scoreless
With star striker Luis Suarez suspended for the bite heard around the footballing world, 2010 semifinalists Uruguay bowed out of this year’s tournament meekly. Colombia has been one of the best teams in 2014 but Uruguay came into Brazil expecting much more.
6) Best Moment – Brazil’s Party on Copacabana Beach
Here in the United States we have seen watch parties all across the country. Today in Brazil tens of thousands of people gathered on Copacabana Beach to root on Brazil and party the night away. The images on ESPN were incredible and just shows you what an incredible soccer nation Brazil is.
7) Best Goal – James Rodriguez
The trap, sublime. The finish, just ridiculous.
Netherlands vs. Mexico (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN), Castelao
The Dutch are one of the favorites to go all the way. After an awful qualifying campaign the Mexicans have been one of the surprises of the tournament. Expect Holland to score at least twice so Mexico will have to score numerous goals to keep up. I would expect Chicharito to start to try and get Mexico ahead early. This may be their only shot at winning.
Costa Rica vs. Greece (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN), Arena Pernambuco
A group with 3 former World Cup champions ended with Costa Rica on top. The Greeks park the bus better than anyone in the world and they advanced after finally scoring in their final group stage match. Look for Costa Rica to try and score early to break Greece from their defensive bunker. The Greeks will sit back, defend, and try and win the game with a goal on the counter or on penalty kicks.