This will be the first ever match between Costa Rica and Greece. Savvy fantasy football players will have loaded their teams loaded up with Costa Rican defenders – but the Greeks may spring a surprise and score their fifth ever World Cup goal.
This is the second time Costa Rica have reached the knockout stages of the World Cup (in 1990 they were knocked out at this stage by Czechoslovakia) – for Greece it is their first.Costa Rica have only let in one goal so far in this World Cup (a penalty) whilst Greece have only scored 2 (and only 4 in World Cup history).Greece have won just 2 out of their 9 World Cup games (v Nigeria and Ivory Coast).Greece are the only nation who made it through to the last 16 with a negative goal difference (-2).
The Netherlands have looked pretty impressive so far in this tournament, scoring more goals than any other team in the Group stage and slaughtering Champions Spain. Mexico managed to hold Brazil to a 0-0 draw but they will have their work cut out to avoid their usual fate at this point in the competition.
Out of 9 CONCACAF teams to reach the second round since 1990, only one has gone through to the quarter-finals – the USA in 2002.Mexico beat Bulgaria in 1986 to go through to the quarter-finals - where they were beaten by eventual finalists West Germany.Mexico have now reached the knockout stage in their last 7 World Cup appearances, but have been knocked out at the second round stage in all 5 editions since 1994.Netherlands have won 9 of their last 10 World Cup
Uruguay and Colombia are evenly matched, but Suarez has been suspended for well-documented reasons, and that may well tip the balance in Colombia’s favour.
Uruguay v Colombia stats
Uruguay won the only previous World Cup finals match between these teams 2-1 in 1962.Uruguay have won 2 out of the 3 World Cups in which they have played in South America (1930 and 1950).Uruguay have scored in each of their last 9 World Cup matches.Colombia have only once before reached the last 16 of the World Cup (in 1990 when Cameroon beat them 2-1)Rodriguez has scored in every one of his last 5 games for Colombia.Luis Suarez will not be playing in this match due to suspension. He also missed the 2010 semi-final in which Netherlands knocked Uruguay out and the
Updated 28th June 2014 at 02:43 PM by 11v11
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