The round of 16 thus far
The round of 16 thus far
The FIFA World Cup’s round of 16 kicked off in earnest on Saturday 28 June 2014 with two matches on the cards. Hosts Brazil were pitted against Chile while Uruguay played Colombia.It has been full of drama. Here is a glance of the matches played thus far.
Brazil v Chile
Brazilian Head Coach Luis Felipe Scolari was on record as having said Chile was the team he dreaded meeting at the Mundial. Well, they certainly proved no pushovers, making life difficult for the five time champions, pushing them to extra before bowing out on penalties.
David Luiz opened the scoring for the hosts, scoring his first ever international goal on 18 minutes. Chile were not out of it and leveled through Alexis Sanchez as the game was deadlocked 1-1 at half time.
It would remain this way for the second half and extra time, the game being decided by the lottery of penalty kicks. Brazil ‘keeper Julio Cesar emerged the hero of the day, blocking two penalties in a dramatic shootout as the Selecao advanced to the quarter finals 3-2 on penalties.
Uruguay v Colombia
Plenty of fireworks was expected from this contest but Uruguay, lacking their talisman Luis Suarez simply didn’t come to the party, they eventually fell off, James Rodriguez scoring twice to give Colombia the 2-0 result, setting up a date with Brazil in the quarters.
Netherlands v Mexico
This match played on Sunday was memorable for the goals, and incidents to. Mexico started this game with a lot of pep, putting the Dutchmen on the backfoot and coming close to scoring several times. They even managed to keep Robin van Persie quiet for a better part of the game.
Giovanni dos Santos opened the scoring three minutes after half time with a well taken strike, but Mexico seemed to peter out afterwards, Arjen Robben and Netherlands growing in stature as the half proceed.
The Dutch would draw level from their tenth corner of the game, the Mexican defense not aptly dealing with Robben’s corner. Wesley Sneijder unleashed a thunderous volley in the 88th minute to bring the Dutch level. Robben, an ever present threat, found space in the Mexican box, going down rather too easily from Rafel Marquez’s challenge, but doing enough to earn his side a penalty. Klaas Jan Huntelaar made no mistake, handing the Dutch the 2-1 result that sent them to the quarters.
Costa Rica v Greece
Costa Rica’s dream run at the Mundial continued, this after advancing to the quarters with a 5-3 penalty shootout win over Greece. The teams were tied 1-1 at the close of regulation and extra time. Bryan Ruiz had opened the scoring for Costa Rica on 52 minutes. They would lose Oscar Duarte to a 60th minute red card, and caved in under Greek pressure, Papa Sokratis leveling to take the game to extra time.
Costa Rican ‘keeper Keylor Navas saved two penalties, guiding his side to a quarter final date against the Netherlands.
The round of 16 continues with more action on Monday and Tuesday.