Although magnificent Chile, perhaps inspired by the miners, have far surpassed expectations and Brazil (other than Neymar) are yet to impress, the historical and statistical omens for Saturday’s match heavily favour the Selecao:
Brazil have won all 3 previous World Cup matches versus Chile, (4-2 in the semi-final in 1962, 4-1 in Round 2 in 1998 and 3-0 in Round 2 in 2010).In their last 9 matches against Chile, Brazil have never scored less than 2 goals (and 32 goals in total.)Brazil have won their last 5 second round matches at the World Cup (since losing to Argentina in 1990.)In 20 attempts Chile have never beaten Brazil in Brazil (W0 D6 L20).Brazil are on an unbeaten run of 40 home matches (their last defeat being against Paraguay in August 2002.)
In the cultural landscape of post 9-11 America, a kind of super-charged patriotism has been almost de rigeur, and soccer necessarily has an ambiguous role in that. Could the success of the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) on the international stage of the 2014 World Cup, and their improbable escape from the Group of Death, help encourage Americans to think of their nation as united (for instance between immigrants and native born) and as a nation amongst nations (rather than the one exceptional one)?
Consider the recent intervention by conservative commentator Ann Coulter. She recently broke her self-imposed silence on soccer to write an article which suggests she may be becoming comfortable in a role as a kind of comedienne and figure of fun for liberal America.
Updated 27th June 2014 at 11:19 AM by Statisticus
The USA would very much welcome a draw in this game - which would see both sides progress to the Round of 16 at the expense of Ghana and Portugal.
However, there has never been a draw between these two sides in their 9 matches (Germany won 6, USA 3) and it remains to be seen if Germany will play ball.
The two sides have met twice before at the World Cup. Germany won 2-0 in 1998, (with Jurgen Klinsmann scoring), and 1-0 in the 2002 quarter-finals.Possible goalfest? The last 4 matches between these 2 sides have produced 19 goals.Clint Dempsey needs one more goal to equal Landon Donovan's USA record of 5 World Cup goals.The USA have now conceded 7 goals in the first 5 minutes of World Cup matches – a new record.The USA have only
Updated 26th June 2014 at 11:58 AM by 11v11
What is wrong with Luis Suarez?
No-one can deny his talent, but that just makes it all the more inexplicable.
In front of half the world - including impressionable young fans - he has treated us to another display of his animalistic brutishness.For most of us, biting anyone would probably lead to a criminal conviction. If it happened at work we would be dismissed with few questions asked. Our lives would change forever - we might even go to prison.And rightly so. In our society biting each other is not acceptable.Yet Suarez has - at least three times apparently - bitten a fellow professional while at work. Ajax v PSV, 2010Liverpool v Chelsea, 20 April 2013Italy v Uruguay, June 24 2014
Surely the FIFA Disciplinary Committee must act. This isn’t just
A draw is enough for Italy to qualify as they have a superior goal difference to Uruguay.
The Uruguayans need to win to reach the knock-out stages. Either winning team could top the group if England beat Costa Rica, depending on goal difference.
Italy v Uruguay stats
Italy have lost just 3 of 19 World Cup games against South American teams – including the 1970 final against Brazil.This will be Uruguay's 50th World Cup game (W19, D12, L18)Uruguay have met Italy twice in the World Cup drawing 0-0 in 1970 and losing 0-2 in 1990.Uruguay have missed out on the World Cup knockout stages only three times in 11 previous attempts. The last time was back in 2002.Uruguay's win over England ended a run of 15 World Cup games in which they had failed to beat a European
England have, of course, been eliminated at the first group stage of a World Cup for the first time since 1958.
Costa Rica are already through to the next round. If Costa Rica draw they will definitely top group D. If they lose they could still top the group, depending on goal difference.
This will be the first ever match between Costa Rica and England.Costa Rica have scored in all 7 previous World Cup matches v teams from Europe.England have not lost all 3 group games at a major tournament since the 1988 European Championships.Should England lose this would be the first time they have ever ended with zero points in a World Cup group.Roy Hodgson has lost his last 4 games at the World Cup, (including 2 with Switzerland).This is the first
So far everything has been going well for the USMNT – they could reach the next round but will be looking for a draw, at least, against a possibly demoralised Portugal.
Portugal have the great Ronaldo, but the historical record looks quite promising for the USA:
The USA have won their last 2 games against Portugal, including in the group stage of the 2002 World Cup (3-2).Current US coach Jürgen Klinsmann defeated Portugal as Germany coach at the 2006 World Cup. Portugal's 4-0 defeat against Germany their heaviest World Cup defeat.Current Portugal head-coach Paulo Bento came on as a substitute in the 2002 USA win.The USA has only kept 2 clean sheets in their last 24 World Cup gamesThere were 2 own goals in the USA win against Portugal at the 2002
Italians and England fans will be cheering for an Italian win which is a statistical likelihood.
England just need a decent win against Costa Rica and for Italy to win this game and against Uruguay to go through to the next round. We find this a perfectly reasonable scenario and worth a punt at the bookies.
Italy and Costa Rica's have never before met in the World CupCosta Rica have scored in each of their 6 World Cup games against teams from Europe.Italy have scored in their last 15 World Cup game, the best current run of any side.Other than Mexico and the USA, no CONCACAF team has ever won consecutive games at the World Cup.
Head to Head games
11/06/94 Costa Rica v Italy 0-1 (International)
Chilean fans burst into the Maracana, before their team’s famous victory against World Cup holders Spain on Wednesday protesting against extortionate ticket prices and chanting “FIFA is a mafia.”
Over 100 fans surged through the media centre, providing instant copy and photos for the press regarding the manifest failure of stadium security.
FIFA and the Brazilian organisers issued a press release saying, they "condemn these acts of violence."
"Ahead of the Spain versus Chile match at the Maracana a group of individuals without tickets violently forced entry into the stadium, breaking fences and overrunning security," the statement continued. "They were contained by the security and did not make it to the seats.”
"A group of individuals without tickets violently forced entry
Updated 19th June 2014 at 12:02 PM by 11v11
Spain, the World Cup holders, went out of the World Cup on Wednesday in as the spirit of the Chilean miners proved more powerful than the £500,000 bonus promised to Spanish players for winning the World Cup.
The video below, featuring the Chilean miners, may have played a role in motivating the Chilean footballers to beat the champions 2-0, and is also persuading many to adopt Chile as their second team:
Chile v Spain match report