Friday, July 4, 2014
With quarter-finals right around the corner, the fans can barely take any more suspense from the eight surviving teams of the tournament.
The quarter-finals have finally arrived in a World Cup that is full of surprises. For some teams, pleasant surprises; for other teams, not so much. But this year’s FIFA World Cup is definitely going against all odds.
The first surprise occurred on June 23rd, when Spain was left out of the World Cup. The most recent world champion left its fans wanting to celebrate more goals, and could not win, neither against the Netherlands nor Chile; in their last match participating in Brazil, Spain won against Australia, but it was already too late: they were eliminated. The World Cup fans were stunned to see England following in Spain’s footsteps along with Italy, which was the next team left out of the World Cup, eliminated by Uruguay.
To balance the hard time that the European teams are going through, with three World Cup winners watching the competition on TV, many nice surprises are coming along from Latin America. One of these surprises came from Costa Rica, which was not intimidated by the great European squads, but rather managed to complicate their game and leave behind teams such as Italy, England and Greece.
The round of 16 left Mexico, Switzerland, USA and Chile out, among other teams, in matches not suitable for the faint-hearted. The fans suffered some very intense moments in this round, from the four matches that had to be decided in extra time to the two matches that had to be decided on penalties. The entire world watched without blinking the penalties between Brazil and Chile, which up until the very last moment could have tilted the scale in favor of any team. In the end, Brazil scored more goals, which meant the end of the tournament for Chile.
Mexico gave a good game and was getting ready to celebrate a victory, when the Netherlands managed to turn the score around and eliminate them just two minutes before the end of the match. On the other hand, the match between Argentina and Switzerland seemed to be heading to penalties until Argentina finally scored a goal with only two minutes left of the extra time.
Last but not least, USA could not win against Belgium in a match where the American team, far from giving up, put up a fight until the end. Definitely, all praise for this last match of the round of 16 should go to Tim Howard. The American goalkeeper was able to save over a dozen attacks. However, this was not enough, and Belgium was able to score twice versus only once by USA. It’s worth mentioning that all these goals were also made during extra time.
Based on this picture, quarter-finals arrive full of expectation for the eight teams that are still in the running for the World Cup. Place your bets! In view of how the FIFA World Cup in Brazil has been surprising us, it is not easy to predict who will take home the title this year.