It was the 90th minute, the scoreboard read Costa Rica 1 - 0 Greece. The nightmare was almost over when.... Paspatathopoulos scored. I screamed "Not thirty more minutes of this! Curse you Greece!"
The game actually changed the pace in extra time, Greece showing the determination of a team who wanted to win the game, alas, if only they had bothered to win it in the first 90 minutes. The game changed from a dull exhibition of languid defense to a thrilling display of attacking football, it was a new Greece that rose for those last thirty minutes. Multiple saves by Keilor Navas gave Costa Rica hope. The referee whistled for the last time, no more wobbly legs, no more nasty tackles or yellow cards, just that 10 meter gap between the spot and the goal.
The Ticos scored all of their five penalties... and Navas became the hero for the umpteenth time. In the end the best team got the victory and a place in a quarter final game against the winner of the game between Netherlands and Mexico.
So what happened on that game that was played earlier? Mexico did what they had to do, control their match and keep their calm and try to get a goal in the process, and Gio Dos Santos did get that goal for his team at the 49th minute, everything was going to plan for El Tri. Louis van Gaal couldn't find a way to break the Mexican defense. Line up change after line up change all his efforts were thwarted by well crafted plan by El Piojo Herrera. The second water break came and something unexpected happened...
Louis van Gaal crafted a last minute plan in the 90 seconds that were given for the players to refresh. A mighty pep talk that would finally break the Mexican wall. Ten minutes later, the Oranje equalized, and five after, they were leading. The World Cup dream is still alive at the expense of the team directed by Miguel Herrera.
Matches for today:
- 12:00 PM EST: France vs Nigeria @ Estádio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasília.
The first of the African showdown, Nigeria takes on Les Bleus. A new and revived France by Didier Deschamps, that left their sour memories of South Africa 2010 in the past. Nigeria, one ofthe few African teams who are disciplined and organized won their last game against Argentina, but couldn't beat their Messi-as.
France 4 - 2 Nigeria
- 4:00 PM EST: Germany vs Algeria @ Estádio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre.
Germany struggled against another African team in their group stage... Ghana grinded out a draw against the almighty Mannschaft of Joachim Löw. Can Algeria disrupt the harmonious midfield of Germany like they did multiple times in their grup games against Belgium and S. Korea? Or will the battling trident of Lahm/Kroos/ Schweinsteiger reign supreme?
Germany 3 - 1 Algeria
To make things a bit more interesting... a point will be awarded to those who get the results right and two extra points for each correct scoreline. Feeling lucky? Then make a bold prediction and win an extra point for each one you get right.
So TAY what are your predictions for today's matches?
I took the liberty to create a spreadsheet (still on the early stages) to make it easier to keep track of our records... anyway, if you want to access it, just click here.