Well, yesterday’s matches brought the group stage to its conclusion. In those two weeks, the world witnessed some shocking results and some beautiful goals. We’ve also perhaps got a little taste of what football’s future has in store for leagues all around the world with the use of video replay.
Biggest surprise: Germany’s not one, but TWO defeats in the group stage, signaling the reigning champion’s exit from the tournament. Were it not for some questionable refereeing in their game against Sweden, it is very possible that die Mannschaft would have lost all three! However, while that exit is a shock, it is eerily fascinating that four out of the last five reigning champions in a World Cup tournament failed to progress to the knock out stages.
Strongest performer thus far: Croatia. My dark horse pick before the tournament started has been consistent in all three of its group matches, picking up 9 points out of a possible 9. One of these wins included a 3-0 hammering of Lionel Messi’s Argentina. Considering the seven other sides that make up their half of the bracket, there is a VERY strong chance that they will make the final.
Round of 16 (All matches EST)
France vs. Argentina (6/30 10:00 am)
Uruguay vs. Portugal (6/30 2:00 pm)
Russia vs. Spain (7/1 10:00 am)
Croatia vs. Denmark (7/1 2:00 pm)
Brazil vs. Mexico (7/2 10:00 am)
Belgium vs. Japan (7/2 2:00 pm)
Sweden vs. Switzerland (7/3 10:00 am)
England vs. Colombia (7/3 2:00 pm)