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 – Costa Rica
The improbable dream continues for at least another four days. The United States and Mexico get all the credit for being the best in CONCACAF but they may have to move over for Costa Rica. They beat Uruguay and Italy and drew England in the Group Stage and now have beaten Greece in PK’s to move to the Quarterfinals for the first time. Their biggest test will be on Saturday when they play the Netherlands. I’m sure no one will give Costa Rica a chance to advance to the Semifinals but no one thought they were going to A) finish ahead of Mexico in World Cup Qualifying, B) win the group against three of the best teams in the world and C) hold onto win while being a man down against a deceptively tough Greek team. And if there’s anything we learned so far in this tournament, anything is possible.
2) Biggest Loser – Óscar Granados
Anytime where you get a yellow card in the World Cup and you haven’t even played in the World Cup, you’re getting put on this list.
3) Standout Performer – Guillermo Ochoa
Guillermo Ochoa had been lights out in this World Cup. He has made a name for himself on the big stage in a short period of time. His value has skyrocketed on the club level and while Mexico won’t win, Ochoa will emerge as the winner of the World Cup in a business and club sense.
4) Best Tweet
When Robben gets touched during a game https://t.co/wALWGKiJcz
— Football Vines (@FootballVines) June 29, 2014
5) Biggest Surprise – Costa Rica
Costa Rica arguably played their easiest opponent Sunday in Greece but them advancing to the Quarterfinals is still a surprise.
6) Best Moment – Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter was shown on the big screen during the Costa Rica/Greece and was immediately booed. Say what you want about Blatter being racist, sexist, senile, corrupt and just being an overall horrible person, but he does bring everyone together when it comes to hating him.
7) Best Goal
In the words of Andy Gray, “AAAHHH YA BEAUTY! WHAT A HIT SON, WHAT! A! HIT!”
France vs. Nigeria (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN), Brasilia
Germany vs. Algeria (4:00 p.m. ET, ESPN), Porto Alegre
Instead of it being UEFA vs. CONCACAF like Sunday, Monday will be UEFA vs. CAF. I grouped both games together because I can see both being absolutely the same in just about every aspect. I see France and Germany moving on and just being too strong against Nigeria and Algeria. Algeria will hope to seek revenge from the controversy of the 1982 World Cup where West Germany and Austria teamed up to finish out the last 80 minutes of the game with a 1-0 West Germany win resulting in both teams advancing and screwing over Algeria (who was 2nd in the group at the time) in the process. The result was that everyone in the group would play their third game at the same time.