“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.
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.
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.
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.
United States vs. Germany: 12pm EST
Portugal vs. Ghana: 12pm EST
Algeria vs. Russia: 4pm EST
Korea Republic vs. Belgium: 4pm EST