We're down to just eight teams remaining in the 2014 World Cup. I know, it's sad, isn't it? But I did my best to pay a proper goodbye to (almost) all of the 24 teams that have already exited the tournament. If you'd like to reminisce, head on over here.
First, we'll give you a quick rundown on what happened in the Round of 16, in case you decided to take a poorly-timed vacation to Antarctica:
- Brazil and Chile played out a 1-1 draw, then ran around at a snails' pace for 30 minutes. They eventually limped to a penalty shootout, except for Gary Medel, whose leg collapsed, and Arturo Vidal, who seems to be human after all. But Jorge Sampaoli had apparently never watched Serie A in his life, leading him to make the downright dangerous decision of sending Mauricio Pinilla out to take Chile's first penalty. Yeah...Brazil advanced. Bye, Eduardo Vargas.
- Uruguay proved to be nothing without Luis Suárez and barely put up much of a fight against Colombia. But that's ok, because it meant we got to see James doing amazing James-like things.
- Netherlands clearly cheated to beat Mexico, except they didn't, because Rafa Márquez clearly clipped Arjen Robben. Robben probably should've kept his mouth shut rather than admit to previous diving, though.
- Greece and Costa Rica played out the longest match in the history of ever, with Greece being big meanies to equalize at the death, which forced us to watch 30 more minutes, but fortunately they screwed up a penalty and now we only are forced to watch the ticos.
- I don't care how great it is that a "little" team got this far, Costa Rica are still boring.
- Nigeria held France for nearly 80 minutes, but eventually - with absolutely zero help from Olivier Giroud - France got themselves through.
- Germany made us all cry when, after failing to score in 90 minutes, André Schürrle broke hearts with his goal 15 seconds in. Ok, maybe Germany fans didn't cry. But alas, Algeria were out, taking Faouzi Ghoulam with them.
- Argentina eventually triumphed over Switzerland, eliminating Valon Behrami, Gokhan Inler and Blerim Džemaili in one go. Džemaili was particularly heartbroken as the poor little guy hit the post after coming on as a substitute.
- The United States forced extra time against Belgium, but lost out to Dries Mertens. Or possibly some other dudes. But really it was Mertens.
|France vs. Germany||no longer has relevance||Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro||6 p.m./ noon|
|Brazil vs. Colombia||but I don't know how to remove columns||Estádio Castelão, Fortaleza||10 p.m./ 4 p.m.|
Any Napoli players involved?
Why, I'm glad you asked. The first match doesn't feature any partenopei, but Germany proved themselves heartless bastards by taking out Algeria so really, you should root for France.
This would also bolster my betting account but hey.
Colombia still features two Napoli fullbacks in the starting lineup. And really, with the way Camilo Zúñiga is playing at right back, is there a need to go shopping around for a new starter? Leave him on the right, use Ghoulam on the left and let Pablo Armero sit on the bench and lead the dancing. Sounds like a perfect plan.
p.s. Henrique exists
What else should I be looking for?
There's a lot of Golden Boot racing that might be done tonight. James Rodríguez leads with five, but tonight's opponent Neymar has four. So too does Thomas Müller, who's up against Karim Benzema, currently on three but probably a little bitter about not getting credit for the last-minute shot against Switzerland that landed in the back of the net...only to have it ruled that time had already run.
How do I watch these games?
In Italy? You're on SkyGO or Sky Mondiale. In the US it's ESPN in English and Univision in Spanish, and both have online streaming platforms, while Canadians friends have CBC and the CBC Sports player. In the UK you can watch ITV for the first match and BBC One for the rest of the day, or use the ITV or BBC players online. If you live elsewhere, check LiveSoccerTV for listings in your country.