VAN GAAL THE HERO, NETHERLANDS 2-0 CHILE
Louis van Gaal is arguably emerging as the best manager in the tournament; the Dutch tactician was able to beat a well organized Chile side to top Group B, one that many pundits termed as a ‘tricky’ group. Thanks to their boss, Holland came out of the group with maximum points (9) and 10 goals.
Chile played its usual fast football game but the Orange Army defended well compared to their previous game against Australia. After a goalless first half, Leroy Fer, who had come in as a sub, scored in the first two minutes into the second half. Depay added the second goal of the match which was his second in the tournament assuring Holland the perfect record and control of the group.
CONSOLATION VICTORY FOR THE FALLEN KINGS
SPAIN 3-0 AUSTRALIA
Spain officially bid farewell to the World Cup 2014 and its short-lived reign on top of the soccer world with a victory over Australia.
The game had no significance in the group standing which even showed in the players’ faces and especially for Spain who did not even celebrate their goals as they usually do with pomp and flair.
David Villa netted in the 36th minute and passionately kissed the Spanish badge on his jersey. He was seen weeping after being subbed later on in the game, probably because this marked the end of his international football career. Torres and Mata scored the last two goals at 69th and 82nd minute respectively.
SAMBA BOYS EASILY SEE OFF TOOTHLESS LIONS, AS MEXICO BEAT 10 MAN CROATIA
END OF THE ROAD FOR CROATIA (Mexico 3-1 Croatia)
The game was physical from the beginning, characterised by cynical fouls throughout the match and the referee had a lot of work to do in calming the players down. In the 72nd minute the Mexican skipper lead by example and headed in the first goal.
The Mexican defense was tight and never gave room to the Croatian forwards to flourish. Mexico extended their lead to two goals courtesy of Andres Guardado with Manchester United striker Chicharito sealing the deal with the 3rd.
Croatia’s Ivan Perisic fired the first goal which Mexico has conceded in this season’s World Cup.
KNOCKOUT STAGES BATTLE LINES DRAWN
As the World Cup tournament approaches the knock out stage for the last 16 teams, Brazil will face Chile, in an all South American affair as the free scoring Netherlands battle it out with Mexico, a team that has arguably the best defense in the tournament; Mexico has only conceded only one goal in 3 games.
7PM – Italy vs Uruguay and Costa Rica vs England
With England already knocked out and Costa Rica qualified, all attention will be on the Italy vs Uruguay match. The Azzurris only need a draw to qualify.
Japan vs Colombia and Greece vs Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast must win this game to qualify in the next round. A draw can do the African Elephants good as well but they have to hope that Colombia doesn’t loose its game against Japan.