Day Fourteen at the World Cup

Bosnia-Herzegovina - Iran 3-1 : Edin Dzeko scored first for Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 23rd minute, assisted by Miralem Pjanic.  Pjanic then provided the second goal in the 59th minute, assisted by Tino Susic.  Reza Ghoochannejhad tried to bring Iran back into the game with a goal in the 82nd minute, but B-H put the lead back to 3-1 in the next minute to preserve the victory.

Nigeria-Argentina 2-3 : Lionel Messi put Argentina on top in the 3rd minute when he pounced on a ball that hit the upright after a shot by Angel Di Maria.   Messi ran onto it to the left of the penalty spot and blasted it into the top of the net.  Nigeria came right back, scoring a minute later in the 4th with a goal from Achmed Musa, the assist going to Michel Babatunde.  Messi then scored on a beautiful free kick at the end of the first half.  Musa scored the equalizer for Nigeria early in the second half in the 47th minute, this time assisted by Emmanuel Emanike. Marcus Rojo put Argentina ahead for good in the 50th minute on a corner kick.

Ecuador-France 0-0 : Most of the excitement in this game came in the 48th minute when Antonia Valencia of Ecuador was sent off for a challenge to France's Lucas Digne.  It looked on the replays like Valencia's foot slipped on the ball before raking down the leg of Digne.

Honduras-Switzerland 0-3 : Honduras dominated possession in the game, but Switzerland dominated the scoreboard.  Xherdan Shaqiri scored  in the 6th minute, assisted by Stefan Lichtsteiner.  Shaqiri scored again in the 31st, assisted this time by Josip Drmic.  Shaqiri completed the hat trick in the 71st minute with his third of the night, assisted again by Drmic.

 

Day Thirteen at the World Cup

Costa Rica-England 0-0 : Not much action in the first half, with almost no chances and only one shot on goal.  Nothing to see here, move along.  It didn't get that much better in the second half, but at least there were a few fouls to keep things interesting. Sad WC for England at least, with so much more expected of them.

Italy-Uruguay 0-1 : Unlike the England-Costa Rica game, at least these teams looked like they had something to play for.  Like the other game, most of the action happened in the second half.   Italy's Claudio Marchisio got his second yellow card and was sent off in the 59th minute to make things more interesting.   At the 79th minute, Luis Suarez appeared to bite Italy's Georgio Chiellini, though Chiellini is known for embellishing anything close to a foul.  Uruaguay's Deigo Godin scored a couple of minutes later in the 81st minute to send his team in to the round of 16.

Greece-Ivory Coast 2-1 : Greece makes it through to the Round of 16 with this win, thanks to a dive by Giorgio Samaras in stoppage time.  Greece started the scoring, with goal against the run of play in the 42nd minute.  Andreas Samaris scored with an assist from Samaras.  Ivory Coast equalized in the 74th minute with a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner, assisted by Gervinho.  IC then held off the Greeks until the end, when Samaras leaped into the air after stubbing his foot into the ground after very minimal contact from the IC defender.  Ivory Coast would have gone through rather than Greece with a draw.

Japan-Colombia 4-1 : Surprisingly, Japan dominated possession in this game 56-44%, and they had more shots on goal (13-9.) Columbia's Juan Guillermo converted a 16 minute penalty for the first goal.  Shinji Okazaki equalized for Japan at the end of the first half with an assist from Keisuke Honda.   Colombia came up with all the scoring in the second half, starting with a goal from Jackson Martinez in the 55th minute, assisted by James Rodriguez, a second half sub who had a great game.  Jackson Martinez scored again in the 82nd minute, this time assisted by James Rodriguez.  Rodriguez finished the scoring himself in stoppage time for Colombia's fourth goal after a through ball from Adrian Ramos.

Day Twelve at the World Cup

Australia-Spain 0-3 : Spain finally got it going in this World Cup, a little too late.  David Villa scored for Spain in the 36th minute with an assist from Juanfran.  Fernando Torres got on the scoresheet for Spain in the 69th minute on a through ball from Andres Iniesta.  Juan Mata finished the scoring for Spain in the 82nd minute on a left-footed shot from a very sharp angle with an assist from Cesc Fabregas.   Australia might have gone into the record book with a total of zero shots on goal for the game.  Spain dominated ball control with possession of 55-45% for the game.

Netherlands-Chile 2-0 : Chile dominated possession in the game by a huge margin, but sometimes that doesn't matter.  They weren't able to get to the Dutch goal, managing only one shot on goal for the game.   Leroy Fer, in for Robin van Persie who was suspended for Yellow cards, scored with a brilliant header from a corner kick in the 77th minute to put the Dutch ahead.  Memphis Depay scored for the Netherlands in stoppage time on a fast break pass from Arjen Robben to finish off Chile.  Chile go through anyway, having secured a spot in their second game of the first round.

Cameroon-Brazil 1-4 :  Neymar provided the early highlights in this one, first with a right-footed shot on a pin-point cross from Luiz Gustavo in the 17th minute.  Cameroon came back with a goal from Joel Matip in the 26th minute, assisted by Nyom right after a corner kick.  Neymar answered back with another goal in the 34th minute, this time with a Messi-like cutback after beating two defenders, putting the ball in at the near post.  In the second half, Fred scored for Brazil in the 49th minute, heading the ball in after a cross from David Luiz.  Fernandinho finished off Cameroon with a goal in the 84th minute, a hard shot into the lower right after a give and go from Oscar.

Croatia-Mexico 1-3 : All the goals in this game came late, with Mexico opening the scoring in the 72nd minute.  Rafa Marquez scored with a header from a Herrera cross following a corner kick to put Mexico on top.  AndrĂ©s Guardado doubled the lead with a goal in the 75th minute, a left-footed shot from the center into the upper left corner of the goal.  Chicharito (Javier Hernandez) put Mexico up by three with a goal in the 82nd minute, assisted by Rafa Marquez following a corner kick.  Ivan Perisic tried to get Croatia back in the game with a goal in the 87th minute, but they weren't able to get any closer.

Day Eleven at the World Cup

Belgium-Russia 1-0 :  With only six shots on goal for each side in this game, it wasn''t much to look at. Belgium''s Divack Origi scored to put his team ahead in the 88th minute, on an assist by Eden Hazard.

South Korea-Algeria 2-4 : Islam Slimani scored to put Algeria ahead in the 26th minute, after an uninspiring start to the match.  Rafik Halliche doubled Algeria''s score two minutes later on a header during a corner kick.  Algeria scored it''s third in the first half when South Korea''s defense totally fell asleep and let two Algerians beat their six defenders (five plus the goalie.)  Worst defense of the Cup so far.  Abdelmoumene Djabou scored in the 38th minute, assisted by Slimani as the Koreans stood around watching them.  In the 50th minute, Son Heung-Mi of South Korea tried to get Korea back in the game with a goal on Ki Sung-Yueng''s through ball, but Algeria''s Yacine Brahimi was able to answer with a goal in the 62nd minut to put Algeria back up by three.  Korea''s Koo Ja-Cheol scored to make it a bit closer in the 72nd minute on a short-range shot, but it was too late.

USA-Portugal 2-2 : Portugal went ahead early on with a miss-handled ball in the box by Cameron, pounced on by Nani to go ahead in the 5th minute.   Play went back and forth for a long time, with a number of chances by both teams, until American Jermaine Jones scored in the 64th minute on a long-range shot following a poor clearance on a US corner kick.  Clint Dempsey put the US ahead in the 81st minute on a combination play featuring Jones, DeAndre Yedlin, Graham Zusi and Dempsey.  The US was on the verge of going to the next round in first place when Portugal scored in the closing seconds of stoppage time.  Michael Bradley gave the ball away in the middle, then Silvestre Varela scored with a header on a great cross from Christiano Ronaldo.

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