PLAYERS PROCRASTINATE, WAIT UNTIL END TO ENTERTAIN FANS

“All these games you play you’re messin’ with my head, And I don’t know why I stay, I should leave instead.”
-Good Charlotte, “I Don’t Wanna Stop”

This weekend was much too exciting for viewers that stayed until the end of the games. Stoppage time goals and penalty shootouts happened in all but one of the matches. It seems like South America is on a mission to beat themselves, and they obviously don’t like each other for some reason. Come on, neighbor, lighten up. A CONCACAF nation disappointed once again with a major breakdown, but another continued their remarkable run. Players must remember, you don’t let up or stop until the final whistle blows.

June 28th, 2014

Brazil 1 Chile 1 (Brazil 3-2 PK’s): Inches always matter. Watch Any Given Sunday if you don’t agree, and if you don’t get a little motivated then there’s something wrong. The host country received a serious scare over the weekend; Luiz’s goal seemed lucky, they weren’t converting on opportunities, they let emotions get the best of them as the game became physical, they made mistakes that led to a tying goal by Sanchez, and they almost loss in overtime with a hard shot off the crossbar. Cesar and the post saved their World Cup championship dreams on home soil though. Chile fought hard, but now they take the short journey home to their very long country, and back working in the mines hoping they surface another four years later to make the trip to Russia.

FIFA World Cup
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Colombia 2 Uruguay 0: This loss bites. Without Suarez, Uruguay had no offense. The most excitement that happened in their offensive box was when Forlan and Yepes started an old guy shoving and shouting match. Usually maturity comes with age and experience, but the two South Americans were acting like babies; babies with the combined age of like 100. The young guys had to step up, and Rodriguez once again answered the call. He scored both goals, one being a top three strike of the tournament; it’s close between his, Van Persie’s, and Cahill’s. They dance into the quarterfinals to face a physically worn out host. Let the quest for bragging rights begin, and hopefully a war doesn’t start in the Amazon; I’m sure there are some pretty sweet coffee beans deep in the jungle the Colombians desire though, so they may be fighting a little harder on enemy territory.

Colombia v Uruguay: Round of 16 - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
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June 29th, 2014

Netherlands 2 Mexico 1: I guess the Dutch didn’t want to start playing until the last five minutes of the game or so. The first half seemed like an attempt at conserving energy because neither team was being overly aggressive. It wasn’t until early in the second half when Dos Santos beautifully put Mexico ahead, and then late when Sneijder tied the match. Minutes later Robben drew a controversial (maybe a makeup call) penalty kick in stoppage time, and Super-Ochoa couldn’t save the Mexicans again. The Netherlands move on to face the winner of Costa Rica and Greece along with their coach’s bad haircut while Mexico returns to an overpopulated nation. The fiesta will take a siesta for now as the fans put away wrestling masks and sombreros and return to finding ways to get out of their country. It was a nice break for border control.

netherlands bleacherreport com
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Costa Rica 1 Greece 1 (Costa Rica 5-3 PK’s): The small Central American country has done it again, but they beat an undeserving Greece side. Ruiz started off by scoring from the top of the box; a goal that looked like the Greeks had no idea what was going on as it rolled into the corner. However, a stoppage time breakdown by the solid Costa Rican defense left Papastathopoulos wide open to bury a rebound and tie the game up. Seriously, what kind of name is that? Was Snuffleupagus Greek? Anyway, superb goalkeeping by Navas and efficiency by their shooters set them up for a much tougher game against the Netherlands, and it also sent the Greeks back home to watch the rest of the World Cup on television while stuffing their face with gyros and yogurt out of depression.

Costa Rica gettyimages com
Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

Today’s Slate:
France vs. Nigeria: 12pm EST
Germany vs. Algeria: 4pm EST

CHARLIE SHEEN AGREES: LOSING CAN BE CONSIDERED WINNING

“Anyway you want it, That’s the way you need it.”
-Journey, “Anyway You Want It.”

The United States lost their game, but benefited from the actions of a superstar. They become the third CONCACAF team to advance to the knockout stage of the World Cup which is impressive for the region. Joining them are a European power that doesn’t seem interested in reaching their full potential, another European (soccer) power that also doesn’t seem to be interested in reaching their full potential, and an African nation just happy they get to stay on the beaches of Brazil for one more week instead of returning to what could easily be considered the Middle East. Every team made it interesting, and used any way possible to get by.

June 26th, 2014

Germany 1 USA 0: The United States has squeaked through to the second round after a loss, and a little help. They played tough though, there’s no doubt about that, and advancing from the “group of death” certainly increases confidence. Holding Germany to one goal, a beautifully placed shot by Muller, is something to be proud of, but the European side once again looked a little too calm on the pitch. In the end, the Americans should be thanking Germany for destroying Portugal in the opener, thanking Ghana for not living up to the hype, and thanking Ronaldo for his late play against the Africans even though his late play days ago put them in this situation to begin with. Klingsman lost to his home country with a smile. How bittersweet. Next up: the team with the sideways German flag.

USA independend co uk
Photo courtesy of independent.co.uk

Portugal 2 Ghana 1: This was a physical match, so physical a Portuguese player almost ripped the shorts off one of Ghana’s. In America, that would be considered a hate crime, so would have the pushing and shoving towards the end of the match. After an early own goal, Ghana answered in the second half, but Ronaldo scored with about 10 minutes left to regain some sort of pride for the disappointing turnout his squad displayed this World Cup. He didn’t even celebrate after the score, probably the first goal of the entire World Cup where someone didn’t look ridiculous, just angry. Cheer up, Ronaldo, at least when you’re in the decline of your career years from now you will be accepted with open arms in the MLS for helping the US advance. It’s like you always wanted; plus you can have your pick of American women that will be lining up at the airport the minute you touch down.

Ronaldo dailystar com lb
Photo courtesy of dailystar.com.lb

Belgium 1 Korea Republic 0: The Belgians played a man down for the entire 2nd half, and they still found a way to get it done; one of four teams to win all their group games. Another positive for Belgium: a starter scored a goal. Vertonghen cleaned up a generous rebound in the 78th minute and that’s all they needed. When teams win under any circumstances, no matter how they do it, they’re still good teams. The US likes to give up late goals, and Belgium likes to bring in substitutes and score deep into the 2nd half of their games. As for South Korea, it was if nothing was working. They were a little unlucky at times, but they played hard. Maybe instead of returning to their home nation they can ask, “Hey, Brazilians, what’s French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, and Colombia like? Our northern neighbors are pretty annoying. Actually, on second thought, I think we’re better off.”

SK ctpost com
Photo courtesy of ctpost.com

Algeria 1 Russia 1: The last ticket punched for the second round goes to Algeria. They become the second African nation to make it past the group stage in this World Cup. Russia struck first and early, a wonderful header by Kokorin, but Slimani tied it for the Algerians in the 2nd half, and the draw was all the Desert Foxes needed to move on. Their reward: a date with the Germans next week. The fans were raucous, and what everyone hoped was a flare went off in the crowd. A joyous occasion for the Algerians was a disappointing outcome for the Russians, but you couldn’t tell because they always look disappointed even if they’re happy. Despite past belief that Putin may have taken an interest in soccer, it’s safe to say their national team will continue to be ignored upon return as the jail is still occupied by the failed winter Olympians.

Brazil Soccer WCup Algeria Russia
Photo courtesy of o.canada.com

Today’s Slate:
A day off!

SOUTH AMERICAN TEAM OUT, CONSPIRACIES PROVEN WRONG FOR NOW

“And another one gone, and another one gone, Another one bites the dust.”
-Queen, “Another One Bites The Dust”

CONCACAF and South America both lost one team yesterday, but it was expected. However, an African team made it to the knockout stage, a superstar is becoming an unstoppable menace against his opponents, two teams played a game to see which would leave less embarrassed, an uncertain European team gained confidence, and another European team may have received a wakeup call. Another couple down, one more day to go.

June 25th, 2014

Argentina 3 Nigeria 2: Messi is starting to become very dangerous; the Messi the world expected is carrying Argentina into the second round, yet they’re still barely getting by sub-average teams. If it wasn’t for his two goals, Argentina would have lost this game; if it wasn’t for his goals against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran they would have tied those games, and instead of going undefeated in the group they may have been going south to their Buenos Aires flats. Could they be playing to their opponent’s level and the knockout stage will be different when they face the Swiss or Ecuador? Hopefully not, because those aren’t very good teams right now, but it would be suspicious (I mean interesting) if we have our third South America vs. South America matchup of the second round pending on Ecuador’s performance.

Messi telegraph co uk
Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 Iran 1: At least Iran finally scored a goal; it only took 262 minutes. One minute later, Bosnia-Herzegovina answered to solidify their first World Cup victory and Iran’s disappointing exit. Both teams will go home, and Nigeria becomes the first African team to advance to the second round. Cheers and praise for the European side will be there to greet the team as they land; we can’t go into what the Iranian government might do to their players though. I think it’s safe to say that we wish both countries the best of luck the next four years because we all know they will be in the news at some point focusing on some sort of natural or man-made disaster. The second round will be free of hyphens and stereotypes directed at Iranian fans. How rude.

Bosnia bbc co uk
Photo courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Switzerland 3 Honduras 0: So much for Switzerland playing poorly. Sure it was against Honduras, but maybe this is the boost they needed to gain some momentum going into the second round, and also the boost Shaqiri needed. He scored all three Swiss goals and is now right in the thick of things for the golden boot award; if they were to advance against Argentina of course. Honduras is the first CONCACAF team to depart the tournament. Now they can go back to being ignored by the rest of the world for another four years with the periodic visit from American tourists to see why no one really goes there in the first place.

Swiss abc net au
Photo courtesy of abc.net.au

Ecuador 0 France 0: That was unexpected. Especially considering Ecuador was playing with a man down for a portion of the match and France was coming into the game with a potent offense. Maybe France isn’t the European team to beat anymore, but they still need to be careful against a pesky Nigerian squad next week. On the other hand, Ecuador really beat themselves no matter how much the home continent supported them. One South American team out, another two guaranteed to fall next week. Could this be Europe’s opportunity to finally lift the cup in South America? The French need to lay off the early celebratory wine if that is to happen; oh, and probably stop being jerks, but that’s more of a general opinion not directly related to soccer.

France sportingnews com
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Today’s Slate:
United States vs. Germany: 12pm EST
Portugal vs. Ghana: 12pm EST
Algeria vs. Russia: 4pm EST
Korea Republic vs. Belgium: 4pm EST

COUNTRIES HUNGRY FOR GLORY; SUAREZ CRAVES ITALIAN

“Love bites, love bleeds, It’s bringin’ me to my knees.”
-Def Leppard, “Love Bites”

What a weird day; it’s that simple. Certain players went ahead and proved they’re insane again, one team lost in deflating fashion and their fortunate opponent sneaked into the second round, a powerhouse and a star are budding right before our eyes, and everyone is ignoring a Central American Cinderella. No one cares about that crap though; they just want to Google teeth marks on an Italian man’s flesh. Weird indeed.

June 24th, 2014

Uruguay 1 Italy 0: Yet another South American team advances, but the game wasn’t short on crazy, as expected. Balotelli jumped through someone for some reason, receiving a yellow card for his pointless actions, and once again Suarez bit another player. Sure, his teeth are quite large and pointy, but marks on Italian skin prove it was no accident. You know, it’s not that difficult to not bite someone, but this is this third instance, and FIFA may just ruin the country’s chances at a title by suspending the hungry Suarez. They played horrible against Costa Rica without their star player, and only got by the Italians, who were playing a man down a majority of the second half, on Godin’s late goal which went pathetically off his back on a poorly defended corner kick. They have a lot of work to do.

Italy bbc co uk
Photo courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Costa Rica 0 England 0: It’s official: Costa Rica won group D when no one thought they would win a game. Yes, a 0-0 game isn’t that entertaining, and yes, a 1-0 game is nearly as boring, but they showed signs of offense against Uruguay in their opener. Also, they have quietly played exceptional defense, only allowing one goal against three world soccer powers. They come from CONCACAF, a region rarely feared by Europeans and South Americans, but next week may prove differently. Unless I just jinxed them; man, would that suck; and unless they play the Ivory Coast, and Africa is just about as feared as CONCACAF.

CR thetimes co uk
Photo courtesy of thetimes.co.uk

Greece 2 Ivory Coast 1: With all that being said, Costa Rica will face Greece. It’s unfortunate to see a team that has worked so hard, on the brink of advancing to the knockout round for the first time in its nation’s history, lose on a penalty kick in stoppage time. Not to mention that a defensive breakdown led to Greece’s first score late in the first half as well. It’s clear the team that was supposed to win did not, and once again an African nation is bowing out early. Greece struggled through this tournament and played like they would rather be home watching than competing. Now they have a shot against a Costa Rica side that’s advancing solely on momentum it seems. Something has to give, but Greece is getting used to being bailed out by other countries.

FBL-WC-2014-MATCH38-GRE-CIV
Photo courtesy of o.canada.com

Colombia 4 Japan 1: Neither Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, nor Ecuador is the best South American team in this tournament. I may have forgotten someone, but who cares. It’s Colombia. They easily handled their group as a dominant team should, and their last game was very convincing. James (pronounced “Ha-mess” for some reason) Rodriguez is becoming a superstar as the world watches. He doesn’t just score, but he sets up his teammates which was evident on Martinez’s two 2nd half goals to break the game wide open. They play Uruguay in the next round which means that another South American team will be forced out of contention next week. Hooray for equality in soccer.

Brazil Soccer WCup Japan Colombia
Photo courtesy of o.canada.com

Today’s Slate:
Nigeria vs. Argentina: 12pm EST
Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran: 12pm EST
Honduras vs. Switzerland: 4pm EST
Ecuador vs. France: 4pm EST

WE’RE MOVING ON

“And if that’s what you have in mind, Yeah that’s what you’re all about, Good luck movin’ up, cause I’m movin’ out.”
-Billy Joel, “Movin’ Out”

The second round officially has two games slated for this weekend, and all four teams have multiple strengths. There will be a battle between two countries from the host continents, and a UEFA-CONCACAF match featuring a high-powered offense verse a goalie that poses as a wall at the moment. Teams are beginning to move on out of the group stage to the knockout round where a tie doesn’t exist.

June 23rd, 2014

Spain 3 Australia 0: So that’s what the defending champs were supposed to do. Oh well, too little too late. In a meaningless game between the best team and worst team in the tournament (according to the lame FIFA rankings), the Spaniards dominated in their beautiful fashion, especially apparent on Villa’s goal with some flair. The ageless Torres scored in the 2nd half which is a nice bow out to a great Spanish striker. Tim Cahill and Australia gave the world entertaining goals and exciting games, but the Socceroos are to head home winless. Back to the outback, and time for the country to start paying attention to rugby and not dying from any animal or insect on their continent.

Spain sports ndtv com
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Netherlands 2 Chile 0: This match had meaning in the form of seeding, and the Dutch took home the number one spot. Without Van Persie, it seemed the offense struggled until late in the 2nd half when Fer headed home a beautiful cross and a great run and pass by Robben to Depay sealed the deal in stoppage time. The Chileans still advance as the number two seed from the group, but will most likely draw Brazil in their next match. At least one South American team will finally be out of the tournament next week if that’s the case. The stadiums may be safer and not prone to collapsing after whichever team is ousted.

Dutch sports ndtv com
Photo courtesy of sports.ndtv.com

Brazil 4 Cameroon 1: Surprise surprise, the Brazilians won their group for the 9th straight World Cup after a decisive victory. Neymar and his blonde hair had two goals in the first half, Fred was clearly offside on his goal, but no one in the country seems to care obviously, and the last was a wonderful display of passing and teamwork. As predicted in the above paragraph, Brazil will face Chile in what is sure to be a raucous event. Hopefully the stadium can handle the pressure, and hopefully someone actually sells people tickets instead of letting everyone herd in for free like unstoppable cattle, or whatever else they have in the rainforest that comes in herds. Piranhas?

APTOPIX Brazil Soccer WCup Cameroon Brazil
Photo courtesy of theepochtimes.com

Mexico 3 Croatia 1: The last 20 minutes of the match provided all the goooooooooals, the last being a consolation score of the Croatians. Marquez and Hernandez provided two of the goals proving the old guys can still get it done. However, everyone should be concerned that Ochoa let in his first goal of the tournament, who knows what kind of slippery slope out of the taco shell could end up happening. As for now, the fiesta is in full form until they have to take on the Netherlands. From checkers to full on orange, the Mexicans look to take down the colorful Europeans for trying to steal their colorful latin lifestyle.

Mex bleacherreport com
Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com

Today’s Slate:
Costa Rica vs England: 12pm EST
Italy vs Uruguay: 12pm EST
Greece vs Ivory Coast: 4pm EST
Japan vs Colombia: 4pm EST

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

“It’s too bad, it’s stupid, Too late, so wrong, so long, It’s too bad that we had no time to rewind.”
-NIckelback, “Too Bad”

Great players make great plays at the exact moment when they’re needed. Two stoppage-time goals highlighted the crazy weekend in Brazil. Let’s get a move on before we run out of time.

June 20, 2014

Costa Rica 1 Italy 0: The darlings of the tournament struck again, defeating another world power on a late first half header scored by Ruiz, and catching Italy offsides a record 11 times (mostly by a frustrated Barotelli). Maybe there’s more going on in the country other than poverty and beautiful beaches. Perhaps some American-influence from all those people who go teach abroad? I mean, Ruiz’s first name is Bryan, come on. That means nothing though, what matters is that Costa Rica is officially in the second round and England is officially out of the tournament.

France 5 Switzerland 2: Well then, that was a statement game. Or maybe the Swiss just aren’t as good as their chocolate and cheese tell us. It certainly looks as if the players had a little too much of each before competing. They were slow, they were lazy, and it was embarrassing. My guess is the country didn’t really have any negative or positive feelings towards their performance. The real question is: what are they putting in the wine from France? The Frenchmen could be the team to beat in the tournament as of right now; outscoring opponents 8-2 through two games.

France bbc co uk
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Ecuador 2 Honduras 1: Honduras was able to score their first World Cup goal in the last six matches. Good for them; and as a door prize they ended up getting eliminated. Ecuador used their home-continent advantage to get a victory that sets up an intriguing week ahead. It would seem Switzerland has the easier matchup, but who knows what craziness the South Americans will do to steal a win from the French. Everyone should be very suspicious if all South American teams make it to the second round. People shouldn’t start conspiracies like that; I mean, what has Ecuador ever done to anyone? People don’t even know if it’s in South America, Central America, an island somewhere, or a city in another country.

June 21, 2014

Argentina 1 Iran 0: Messi does it again! Scoring in stoppage time on a wonderful strike! People shouldn’t get too excited about it though considering his winning goals have come against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran. There’s nothing wrong with those countries, they still made it to the World Cup, but it’s not like the Argentines are playing against Brazil or the Netherlands (yet, dun dun dun). The Iranians played great defense, as they did against Nigeria, but their offense struggled, as they did against Nigeria. You would think with such an attack-minded leader they would have showed some initiative. They still have a chance though, so don’t go hiding in your bomb shelters quite yet, South Americans.

Germany 2 Ghana 2: Ghana played as if they had just lost their last game to a team they shouldn’t have lost to (so they think). The Germans were a little too relaxed, and it showed. Though they scored first, the Africans answered minutes later and then took the lead. With Germany in a hole, who else but Klose comes in off the bench to tie the match; a record-tying goal at that. An overweight Ronaldo sits at home eating donuts or whatever they eat in Brazil anxiously waiting if the most goals by a player in World Cup history will be set. Muller was left bloodied after the game, so Klose may get more shots than he thought.

Muller dailymail co uk
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Nigeria 1 Bosnia-Herzegovina 0: It’s safe to say that Nigeria has provided the world with two of the most boring games of the cup. However, they could still very well advance after a controversial goal that sent Bosnia-Herzegovina back to wherever their country actually is. Middle East-Eastern Europe? Someone will look it up. Next up for Nigeria: Argentina. Man, Messi should have had like 10 goals so far with this draw. Either way, we are going to see Iran or Nigeria in the second round which is a little odd considering they only have a combined one goal through three games.

June 22, 2014

Belgium 1 Russia 0: The super subs strike again! The Belgians were supposed to be a dark horse, but the critics won’t offer many positive comments or encouragement. Here’s one: they’re only the second European team to already advance. Another: their substitutes are scoring goals. They are a deep team full of confidence and a love for chocolate. The Red Devils are on a mission. Russia, on the other hand, looks to be on a plane back to the mother country where they will probably have to go into hiding until Putin remembers he really doesn’t pay any attention to soccer. Actually, I don’t know if that’s true, I don’t know the guy.

Algeria 4 Korea Republic 2: Be honest, you didn’t even know this game was going on. Probably one of the most ignored games of the tournaments, but it shouldn’t have been. The Desert Foxes of Algeria are for real, scoring three goals during a span of 10 minutes or so in the first half. They really have a chance to make a splash in their group, if only they can get over last World’s Cup heartbreak. What a nice transition.

USA 2 Portugal 2: USA pulled off a miracle against Algeria four years ago, they pulled off a miracle against Ghana a week ago, and now Portugal has returned the favor. After a poor defensive play, the US was in an early hole. However, a masterful strike by Jones tied the game midway through the second half, and Dempsey put the Americans ahead late. Not that late though. Ronaldo, who had a relatively quiet game and a weird haircut the ladies still loved, delivered a perfect cross onto the head of Varela who buried the game-tying goal in the 5th minute of stoppage time. The latest regulation goal in World Cup history deflated the US and their fans. They’re in good position though, they just have to tie or beat an angry German team or hope an angry Ghana team ties or loses. That’s not so difficult right?

US scpr org
Photo courtesy of scpr.org

Today’s Slate:
Australia vs. Spain: 12pm EST
Netherlands vs. Chile: 12pm EST
Cameroon vs. Brazil: 4pm EST
Croatia vs. Mexico: 4pm EST

MY BAD, REST OF COUNTRY

“Drained and blue, I bleed for you, You think it’s funny, Well you’re drowning in it too”
-Alice in Chains, “No Excuses”

Another day filled with joyous emotion and disappointment. Raucous crowds filled the stadium to support the host continent’s representatives, a coastal nation from directly across the pond proved to be more to handle than expected, two world class forwards showing the world what they can do, and two countries that desperately need a win to avoid elimination squared off. However, some teams had some serious apologizing to do after their performances.

June 19th, 2014

Columbia 2 Ivory Coast 1: The first half lacked luster; the most entertaining part being a stray balloon popped by a Colombian player on the field and another ball that rolled onto the playing area for some reason. What the hell was going on in the stands? The second half, however, was fast-paced and frantic. Rodriguez and Quintero scored six minutes apart, but the Ivory Coast quickly cut the lead in half minutes later. The South Americans held on and danced their way closer to the second round. They made Shakira very proud with their goal celebrations.

Col bbc co uk
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Uruguay 2 England 1: Suarez, Rooney, Suarez again. The knee looked fine after having surgery only a month ago, and the Uruguay forward scored early and late to keep the country’s hopes for advancement alive. Rooney ended his World Cup scoring drought by netting is first ever tournament goal to tie the game midway through the second half; this being his third attempt at international glory. He should have had three goals in this game alone, but inches have led to the almost certain departure of England. At least they have the memories of their opposition’s ridiculously skin-tight Puma jerseys to make fun of while watching the rest of the tournament in a pub over some warm pints. Anything to avoid saying sorry to the queen.

Suarez mashable com
Photo courtesy of mashable.com

Japan 0 Greece 0: This game was a snoozer, but had huge meaning in the group stage. If Greece were to win, their game against Ivory Coast would decide who moved onto the second round; if Japan were to win they could have had a legitimate shot against Colombia who already advanced and may be resting their players. However, the Greek captain received a red card in the first half, and Japan couldn’t score one goal against an opposition that had one less player. An apology needs to be given to Greece countryman by the guy with the black hair and the beard, or the other guy with the black hair and the beard, or that one guy with the black hair and the beard. I thought the Japanese were the ones that all looked alike?

greece telegraph co uk
Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk

Today’s Slate:
Italy vs. Costa Rica
Switzerland vs. France
Honduras vs. Ecuador